|Ruslan Fedotenko and Zach Parise |
skated with the team this morning and was all smiles before heading into the locker room. Ted Nolan announced that Ricky would be a game time-decision for tonight's matchup against the New Jersey Devils.
"Ricky wants to play all the time," said Ted. "We just have to make sure we're 100-plus percent sure before we put him back in. It's going to come right down to game time, where he might go through the pre-game ceremony, and then go from there. He definitely wants to play. But we have to look at it medically to make sure he can go."
After leaving the Ottawa game in the second period with a hand injury, Ruslan Fedotenko will be back in action. Tank said this morning that he felt fine and is ready to go.
Marc-Andre Bergeron will return to the lineup in place of Bryan Berard after sitting out since December 15. The Quebec native has three goals and seven assists in 21 games. A "NEW" JERSEY
The last time the Islanders and Devils faced, New Jersey was at the bottom of the Atlantic Division standings. Over a month later things have changed, with New Jersey now pacing the division after going on a tear following their November 16 loss to the Islanders.
Ted and the players have noticed a different look from the Devils.
"They're a little bit hungrier for the puck instead of waiting back and trapping towards the middle of the ice," said Nolan. "That's the way the new coach likes to do things. He's a little bit more aggressive. They're still sound defensively, but they're a little bit different." FIGHTING INJURIES
With Ricky and Radek Martinek both nursing leg injuries, Ruslan Fedotenko mending a hand injury and Chris Campoli with a nice shiner from a high stick, the Islanders are a little more banged up than they've been all season. But as Fedotenko said this morning, "It's a full-contact league; you're going to get injuries."
"You look at our schedule," said coach Nolan. "We've had a lot of tight-checking, hard-fought games. It takes its toll on you. That Christmas break was a nice couple of days to get some rest. Then you go right back at it and have another tough game against Toronto. Then 24 hours later we play in Ottawa. With this game you have to make sure you're physically and mentally fit all the time. Injuries are part of the process. We're like every other team in the league. We just have to pick ourselves up and play hard." AJ SKATES WITH THE TEAM
Defenseman Aaron Johnson, who hasn't seen playing time since November 3, due to a leg injury, skated with the team for the first time in almost two months. Click here for the game preview of tonight's Islanders-Devils matchup.Tickets still available, purchase them hereTHE REASON TO GO
1. Support the Islanders as they look to go 4-0-0 against the rival New Jersey Devils
2. Show your Town pride for the Town of Babylon Night.GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY
The Islanders have played in three tight games against New Jersey this season. On Saturday, expect nothing different when the Islanders meet Martin Brodeur and the Devils.To purchase individual game tickets, click here or visit the Coliseum box office, the Islanders Team Store at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville or call Ticketmaster at 631.888.9000.
We'll see you tonight at the Coliseum. Click here
to purchase tickets today! Town of Babylon Night at the Coliseum
Come celebrate the Town of Babylon Night presented by Newsday, on Saturday when the Islanders host the New Jersey Devils; Town residents receive up to 40% off tickets - with prices starting at $16
On Saturday, the Islanders will be paying special tribute to the Town of Babylon presented by Newsday when the take on the New Jersey Devils. All residents of the Town will receive a discount of up to 40% off, with ticket prices starting at just $16! This night is dedicated to reaching out to the community and getting residents of Babylon closer to the Islanders.
A portion of the proceeds from the game’s ticket sales will be donated to Autism Speaks, whose goal is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. Autism Speaks is dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder.
Get to the game early because the first 10,000 fans receive a knit hat courtesy of Sharp Electronics.
Show your pride for your community by being apart of this very special celebration of the Town of Babylon. To purchase special discounted Town of Babylon tickets, please call 1.800.882.ISLES ext. 3, e-mail the group sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org or bring your proof of residency to the Nassau Coliseum Box Office.
NYI MOBILE TO LAUNCH SATURDAY
On Saturday at the Islanders-Devils game, the Islanders will introduce "NYI Mobile," our newest program to bring everything "NYI" to your mobile phone.
For Saturday, fans will be able to text in their votes for a question aired on the Video Board. The results will be shown periodically throughout the game on the Video Board. All participants are eligible to win great prizes and offers, such as Team Store Discounts and special giveaways!THE STORY
Islanders (18-16-2) vs. New Jersey (20-13-3)
The Islanders look to continue their strong play against Atlantic Division foes (8-5-0) when they host Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.
This season, the Islanders have been a perfect 3-0-0 against their inter-state rivals. The Islanders have come out on top in three one-goal games, including their last meeting, a 1-0 shutout by Rick DiPietro
on November 16.
But the Islanders might be without the services of DiPietro, who is day-to-day with a knee injury. If he is out, Wade Dubielewicz is the likely starter, having faced New Jersey in the final game of the 2006-07 regular season.
Following a slow start to the season, New Jersey is atop the Atlantic Division standings. Brodeur is back to his usual tricks having gone 13-2-1 over his past 16 games. Following the loss to the Islanders on November 16, Brodeur won his next nine starts, lifting the Devils above .500. DiPietro vs. Devils
could return for Saturday night’s contest with the Devils at the Coliseum. Rick is 10-8-1 in 21 career games against the Devils. DiPietro has tallied a 3-0-0 mark against New Jersey this season, including his first shutout against his Atlantic Division rivals in the last meeting on November 16 in New Jersey.Dubielewicz vs. Devils
Wade Dubielewicz is expected to be in net Saturday night when the Islanders host New Jersey. Dubielewicz boasts a 1-0-0 mark in three career games against the Devils, including a
spectacular 1.11 goals against average. Wade’s last game against New Jersey came on the last day of the 2006-07 regular season when the Islanders defeated the Devils 3-2 in a shootout to secure a spot in the playoffs. On the season Dubie is 2-2-0 in five games. Brodeur vs. Islanders
Martin Brodeur has appeared in 65 career games against the Islanders and has a 38-19-4-2 record in those contests, including a 2.15 goals against average and 10 shutouts. However, during the 2007-08 season Brodeur has appeared in two games against the Orange and Blue, going 0-2-0 over this span. THE LINEUPS
(potential lines and D pairings)
39 Rick DiPietro
34 Wade Dubielewicz
35 Joey MacDonaldDefensemen
32 Brendan Witt - 8 Bruno Gervais
25 Andy Sutton - 44 Freddy Meyer
14 Chris Campoli - 4 Bryan BerardForwards
10 Richard Park - 89 Mike Comrie - 13 Bill Guerin
? - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
20 Sean Bergenheim - 63 Josef Vasicek - 81 Miroslav Satan
28 Tim Jackman – 11 Andy Hilbert - 57 Blake Comeau
Injured: 26 Ruslan FedotenkoDEVILS
30 Martin Brodeur
1 Kevin Weekes Defensemen
6 Andy Greene - 2 Vitaly Vishnevski
27 Mike Mottau – 5 Colin White
7 Paul Martin - 29 Johnny Oduya
8 Sheldon BrookbankForwards
16 Dainius Zubrus - 26 Patrik Elias - 14 Brian Gionta
19 Travis Zajac - 10 Rod Pelley - 15 Jamie Langenbrunner
23 David Clarkson - 11 John Madden - 18 Sergei Brylin
17 Mike Rupp - 22 Arron Asham Injured: Zach Parise, Jay Pandolfo Crucial Matchup: Defense vs. Defense
|Bruno Gervais |
It’s no secret that both the Islanders and Devils are defense-first teams.
But that doesn’t mean the teams don’t sport some offensively-minded players. While New Jersey is very responsible defensively, they also contain the likes of Patrik Elias and Brian Gionta. Islanders-killer Zach Parise is day-to-day with an illness, but is expected to be back Saturday. The Islanders counter with the stickhandling wizard Mike Comrie, Bill Guerin and Miroslav Satan.
If there is one thing you can expect from two responsible teams, it is few mistakes. Both teams will try to take advantage of the few turnovers that are likely to occur in this tilt. Don’t be surprised if it’s the fourth one-goal game of the season series. Islanders Leaderboard Through 35 Games Goals
1. Bill Guerin 12
2. Mike Comrie 11
3. Miroslav Satan 10
Josef Vasicek 10 Assists
1. Mike Comrie 18
2. Chris Campoli 13
3. Miroslav Satan 12 Points
1. Mike Comrie 29
2. Miroslav Satan 22
3. Bill Guerin 20 WHO'S HOT:
ISLANDERS AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS (as of 12/28/07):
- Miroslav Satan has tallied a point in six of his last eight games (three goals, three assists).
- Mike Comrie has two goals and two assists in his last two games.
- Richard Park has two goals and four assists in his last six games.
- Brendan Witt is tied for sixth in the NHL with 93 blocked shots and is 15th with 94 hits.
- Mike Sillinger is tenth in the NHL with a 55.5 faceoff percentage.
- Trent Hunter ranks second in the NHL with 124 hits.
- Josef Vasicek is ninth in the NHL in shooting percentage at 20.8% (10-for-48).
- Rick DiPietro is tied for ninth in the NHL in wins with 16.
MILESTONES RECORDED (this past week):
- Ruslan Fedotenko is one game away from appearing in his 500th NHL contest.
SUBPLOTS Dubie, Dubie, Do
- Rick DiPietro tied Kelly Hrudey for third on the Islanders all-time wins list with 106.
- Miroslav Satan appeared in his 900th NHL game on 12/21 at PIT.
Wade Dubielewicz will never forget Easter Sunday in 2007. It's a game that will forever live in the minds of Islanders fans. It was a day when a backup goaltender became the Islanders' savior of not just a game, but a season.
It was on April 8 that Dubielewicz backstopped the Islanders to a 3-2 shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils to secure a playoff berth.
While it can be said the Devils had nothing to play for having already secured the second spot in the East, no team run by Lou Lamoriello would ever not give it their all. Tell that to Zach Parise who made a beautiful backhand roofer to tie the shootout at one or John Madden, who used every ounce of energy to chip the puck over Dubie to tie that game at two in the final second of the third period.Rick DiPietro
always gets pumped up for games against Brodeur, and it should be no different if Dubie should get the call to face the Devils. Who Will Play Hero?
With three wins in a row under their belt, the Islanders have needed contributions from every player to come out on top.
In three close wins, the Islanders have used goal scoring from all four lines. In their 4-2 win over Pittsburgh on Friday, rookie Blake Comeau scored the game-winner and added an assist. The following night, Richard Park scored in overtime to give the Islanders a 3-2 win over Washington. In their latest contest, Mike Comrie tallied the overtime winner.
So the question for Saturday is: who will the hero be? New York Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils All-Time Series Results:All-Time:
11/16/07, Islanders 1 at Devils 0Last Loss:
3/27/07, Islanders 2 vs. Devils 3Last OT/SO:
10/20/07, Islanders 4 vs. Devils 3 (OT)2006-07
: Islanders went 2-5-12007-08:
Islanders are 3-0-0 2007-08 Season Series: October 20, 2007
– Islanders 4 vs. New Jersey Devils 3 (OT)November 10, 2007
– Islanders 2 vs. New Jersey Devils 1November 16, 2007
– Islanders 1 at New Jersey Devils 0December 29, 2007
– Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils, 7:00 p.m. January 16, 2008
– Islanders at New Jersey Devils, 7:00 p.m. February 23, 2008
– Islanders at New Jersey Devils, 1:00 p.m. March 21, 2008
– Islanders at New Jersey Devils, 7:00 p.m. April 1, 2008
– Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils, 7:00 p.m. *All times EST
LOUDVILLE IS OPEN!
High School and college students, this is your chance for $10 tickets to see Mike Comrie and the Islanders take on the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. For Long Island students, there isn't a better deal in professional sports. LOUDVILLE tickets go on sale 60 minutes before game time. There are a limited number of seats available per game, so arrive early to secure a seat. Remember to bring your Student ID! There is a limit of one $10 LOUDVILLE ticket per ID. Once you get to the LOUDVILLE section, do your part to help lead the crowd in giving the Islanders the best home-ice advantage in the NHL! Check out video of the Islanders all season long on Islanders TV.
Compiled by Jason Lockhart and Adam Baruch