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GET TO THE GAME: Pittsburgh at Islanders - Saturday at 7:05 pm

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Tickets to Pittsburgh at Islanders on Saturday at 7:05 pm are still available, purchase them here


Click here to check out Post Game stats from Thurday's victory over Phoenix.


THE REASON TO GO

1. Come watch one of the brightest stars in Sidney Crosby take on the Islanders on Saturday.

2. Bring three unwrapped, unopened gifts to Saturday's game to help benefit sick and underprivileged children, and receive a free ticket voucher to the Saturday, December 22 Islanders-Washington contest at the Nassau Coliseum.


GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY
The Islanders take on the high-flying Pittsburgh Penguins for the third time this season on Saturday. Their first two matchups were already heated battles, so don't miss their second matchup of the season at the Nassau Coliseum.

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 on Saturday at the Coliseum.

Click here to purchase tickets today!



Holiday Toy Drive   

When you come to the Islanders game on Saturday, December 15th at 7 pm versus Pittsburgh, be sure to bring presents! The Islanders, WBAB and the John Theissen Foundation are holding a toy drive at the Coliseum to benefit sick and underprivileged children during the holiday season. Representatives will be stationed around the concourse of the Nassau Coliseum during the game. All fans that bring three or more unwrapped, unopened toys will receive one voucher per person for the Saturday, December 22nd game versus the Washington Capitals.


 

THE STORY
Islanders (15-13-2) vs. Pittsburgh (15-16-2)

With the Islanders and Penguins tied with 32 points, Saturday's matchup will determine who jumps ahead in the standings

The Islanders boast a team with a fair number of experienced players as they take on a far younger Penguins squad.

Sidney Crosby is among the league's leading scorer with 42 points in 31 games, while Evgeni Malkin isn't far behind with 37. Sergei Gonchar is tied for second in the league among defensemen with 26 points.

Pittsburgh snapped a four-game winning streak on Wednesday night by getting shelled by Philadelphia 8-2. They then lost on Thursday 4-1 against Ottawa.

The Islanders have grabbed two victories in their past three games, capturing a 3-2 decision over Phoenix, Thursday night at the Nassau Coliseum. They'll look to continue that momentum Saturday night.


DiPietro vs. Penguins
Rick DiPietro enters Saturday's game with a 9-5-0 record against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In two meeting this season, DiPietro is 0-1-0 having allowed five goals in the two games. DiPietro left the game early on November 3, when the Islanders came from 2-0 down to defeat Pittsburgh on Al Arbour Night, 1500.

Sabourin vs. Islanders
This will we Dany Sabourin's first career game against the Islanders. He has an overall career record of 8-12-2, having first entered the NHL in 2003-04. He is 6-4-0 on the season.


THE LINEUPS
(potential lines and D pairings)

ISLANDERS
Goaltenders

39 Rick DiPietro
34 Wade Dubielewicz

Defensemen
32 Brendan Witt - 24 Radek Martinek
25 Andy Sutton - 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
14 Chris Campoli - 8 Bruno Gervais


Forwards
26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 89 Mike Comrie - 13 Bill Guerin
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
20 Sean Bergenheim - 63 Josef Vasicek - 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon – 10 Richard Park - 28 Tim Jackman




PITTSBURGH
Goaltenders

30 Dany Sabourin
35 Ty Conklin


Defensemen
4 Rob Scuderi – 19 Ryan Whitney
3 Mark Eaton - 55 Sergei Gonchar
5 Darryl Sydor – 58 Kris Letang

Forwards
12 Ryan Malone - 87 Sidney Crosby – 20 Colby Armstrong
25 Maxime Talbot - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 17 Petr Sykora
37 Jarkko Ruutu - 16 Erik Christensen - 27 Georges Laraque
10 Gary Roberts - 11 Jordan Staal - 48 Tyler Kennedy




Crucial Matchup: Youth vs. Experience

Many of the Penguins' best players are under the age of 25, including forwards Sidney Crosby (20), Evgeni Malkin (21), Jordan Staal (19), defensemen Ryan Whitney (24) and Kris Letang (20).

Their youthful energy brought them to the 2006-07 playoffs, but they ran into a more experienced Ottawa Senators squad that easily dismantled them in the first round.

The Islanders, with a much more experienced team, have been able to handle the Penguins well over the past two seasons. With a record of 5-4-1 against Pittsburgh in their past ten meetings, the Islanders will try to out-smart the speedy and talented Penguins team led by Crosby.


Islanders Leaderboard Through 30 Games

Goals
1. Josef Vasicek  9          
    Mike Comrie  9
3. Miroslav Satan  8
     Bill Guerin 8
5. Mike Sillinger 7
  
Assists
1. Mike Comrie  15
2. Chris Campoli 12
     Miroslav Satan 10
4. Ruslan Fedotenko 9
5. Trent Hunter 8 
     Bruno Gervais 8
               
Points
1. Mike Comrie 24
2. Miroslav Satan 18
3. Ruslan Fedotenko 15
    Bill Guerin 15
    Chris Campoli 15

   
   


DECEMBER TO REMEMBER

As the Islanders embark on a 15-game December slate, we decided to take a look at some of the team’s success over the last few December’s. The Orange and Blue will play eight games at home and seven on the road during the month. The Islanders have compiled a winning December in three of the last four years, going 30-19-3-1 over this span. Below is a look at the Islanders during the month of December over the past few seasons:

NYI during the month of December (since 2002-03):

Year Overall Record Home Road
2006-07 7-6-0 4-3-0 3-3-0
2005-06  5-6-1 3-3-0 2-3-1
2003-04  10-4-0-1 7-2-0-0 3-2-0-1
2003-04  8-3-2-0 5-2-1-0 3-1-1-0
Totals: 30-19-3-1 19-10-1-0  11-9-2-1

NYI 2007-08 December schedule:

Date    Time    Opponent    Result
12/1    7:00 p.m.    vs. Atlanta    L, 0-4
12/3    7:00 p.m.    vs. Boston    L, 1-3
12/5    7:00 p.m.    at Atlanta    L, 3-4 (SO)
12/7    7:30 p.m.    at Florida    L, 0-3
12/8    7:30 p.m.    at Tampa Bay    3-2 W (OT)
12/12    7:00 p.m.    at Buffalo          3-5 L
12/13    7:00 p.m.    vs. Phoenix      3-2 W
12/15    7:00 p.m.    vs. Pittsburgh   
12/19    7:00 p.m.    vs. Buffalo   
12/21    7:30 p.m.    at Pittsburgh   
12/22    7:00 p.m.    at Washington   
12/26    7:00 p.m.    vs. Toronto   
12/27    7:00 p.m.    at Ottawa   
12/29    7:00 p.m.    vs. New Jersey   
12/31    8:00 p.m.    at Carolina   



SUBPLOT

A Rookie in Goal
With Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on the shelf with an ankle injury, the Islanders can expect to play against rookie netminder Dany Sabourin. Prior to Fleury's injury there had already been a goalie controversy in Pittsburgh, since Fleury – a former first overall pick – was not living up to his billing, despite only being 23 years old.

Head coach Michel Therrien's patience wore thin, giving Sabourin an opportunity to take over the starting goaltender reigns. Sabourin helped the Penguins out of their early season slide, but he has gone 3-4-0 in his past seven starts.

With an unfamiliar goaltender in their way, the Islanders will want to test him early as he will be unfamiliar with the shooters on the Islanders. An early mistake and the young netminder could get rattled.


 
LOUDVILLE IS OPEN!

High School and college students, this is your chance for $10 tickets to see Rick DiPietro and the Islanders take on the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday and the Pittsburgh Penguins 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!


JON SIM MALL APPEARANCE

On December 14th, Jon Sim will be signing autographs from 4:00 - 5:00 PM at the Roosevelt Field Mall.

Come visit the New York Islanders and KJOY at the Roosevelt Field Mall and the Walt Whitman Mall every Friday and Sunday through December 29th for the holiday season, and meet Sparky, the Ice Girls, and a chance to bid on some great Islanders prizes such as a road trip with the team or a VIP Suite night!



BOSSY, NYI HOST 250 KIDS AT MODELL'S
 
Islanders great Mike Bossy and Entourage's Kevin Connolly will accompany 250 kids on a shopping Spree at Modell's thanks to the generosity of United Way of Long Island and the Islanders Business Club

As part of Islanders Holiday Spirit: Hockey with a Heart, Mike Bossy will be joined by Entourage star and Islanders fan Kevin Connolly for the shopping spree of a lifetime at Modell's in East Meadow for 250 fifth and sixth graders.

For Tuesday, December 18 from 8-9 am, United Way of Long Island and the Islanders Business Club have teamed up to provide a group of youngsters an opportunity to "shop 'til they drop" at one of the largest sporting good stores in the world.

With breakfast provided by Dunkin Donuts, transportation courtesy of Suffolk Transportation Services and additional support from Bossy's Bunch, North Shore Motor Group, Parts Authority, Tuscan Dairy, KDJ Advertising, Commerce Bank, OSI Pharmaceuticals, Winters Bros., and Alure Home Improvement, 250 kids will visit Modell's with Bossy and Connolly for a day to remember.

Since the program was first announced earlier this year, hundreds of holiday wish letters have been sent to United Way, and on Tuesday many of these wishes will be granted.



Check out video of the Islanders all season long on Islanders TV.


Compiled by Jason Lockhart



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