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GET TO THE GAME: Sillinger's 1000th! Tampa Bay at Islanders - Tonight at 7:05 pm

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Mike Sillinger's 1000th NHL Game; Tickets 40% off, starting at just $16

A night to honor the 1000th NHL game of Mike Sillinger – one of the classiest guys in the NHL.


40% OFF!: Tickets for Mike Sillinger's 1000th NHL game on Thursday can be purchased at up to 40% off regular prices – starting as low as $16 – through and at the Nassau Coliseum box office. The box office will be open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:30 am – 4:45 pm and on game night Thursday from 9:30 am through the start of the game.

Islanders (5-4-0) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (5-4-1)

The Islanders take on their second Southeast Division team in less than a week, when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning. Following a two-game winning streak, the Islanders dropped an 8-3 decision against the Southeast-division leading Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, and now match-up against the second-best team in the Southeast.

Two of the Islanders' three goals on Saturday came on the power play that went 2-for-5 on the evening, keeping the team second in the league with the man-advantage. The second power play tally was scored by Mike Sillinger, who registered his first goal of the season.

It was only fitting that Sillinger scored in the final minute, as a segue into his 1000th NHL game, which he is set to play on Thursday.

Tampa Bay has earned points in three of their past five games, losing to the Rangers 3-1 on Monday. They face-off against New Jersey on Wednesday before taking on the Islanders on Thursday. The Lightning have the rare opportunity of taking on the three Metro New York teams in consecutive games.

It's time for payback
To say the Lightning have the Islanders' number recently would be an understatement. Tampa Bay has won the past eight meetings, including every game played since the 2004-05 lockout. The last time the Islanders defeated the Lightning was less than four months prior to Tampa Bay winning the Stanley Cup.

However, the games last season were all one-goal games, minus the 5-1 loss on November 6 at the Nassau Coliseum. The two road games each ended in a shootout, but the Islanders could not muster a win. Three of the four games featured a Rick DiPietro-Johan Holmqvist matchup.

DiPietro vs. Lightning
Rick DiPietro comes into Thursday night's action sporting a 2-5-0 record in 11 career games vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning. DiPietro has a 2.82 goals against average and has given up 29 total goals in his career against the Lightning. One of his two wins was a shutout (3/31/04 at NYI). In 2006-07, DiPietro went 0-1-2 vs. Tampa Bay, allowing a total of 11 goals in three games.

Holmqvist vs. Islanders
Johan Holmqvist will take the ice on Thursday night with a 4-0-0 career mark against the Islanders in four games played. Over this span, Holmqvist has a 2.20 goals against average, allowing nine total goals. All four wins for Holmqvist came during the 2006-07 season.

(potential lines and D pairings)

39 Rick DiPietro
34 Wade Dubielewicz

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

26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 89 Mike Comrie - 7 Trent Hunter
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 13 Bill Guerin
20 Sean Bergenheim - 63 Josef Vasicek - 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon - 10 Richard Park - 2 Aaron Johnson

17 Shawn Bates

Tampa Bay
40 Johan Holmqvist
30 Marc Denis        

54 Paul Ranger - 71 Filip Kuba
39 Mike Lundin - 55 Shane O'Brien
3 Doug Janik - 37 Brad Lukowich

20 Vaclav Prospal - 4 Vincent Lecavalier - 26 Martin St. Louis
17 Jan Hlavac - 19 Brad Richards - 16 Jason Ward
7 Michel Ouellet - 77 Chris Gratton - 21 Mathieu Darche
74 Nick Tarnasky - 29 Craig MacDonald - 36 Andre Roy

Crucial Matchup: PP vs. PK
The Islanders and Lightning each sport two of the top five power plays in the league. The Islanders rank second, scoring at a rate of 28.6%, while Tampa Bay is fourth with a percentage of 22.5.

Over the past three games, the Islanders have scored seven power play goals. Three of those goals have been scored by Bill Guerin, while the other four were by different players. Chris Campoli leads the team with six power play assists – all registered in the past three games.

Tampa Bay has been nearly as good recently, tallying five power play goals over the past four games. Vaclav Prospal has played finisher, with four man-advantage goals, while Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis have each set-up four power play goals.


Mike Sillinger set to play game #1000

During his 17-year career, Mike Sillinger has played for 12 different teams while collecting 225 goals, 298 assists and 523 points. Sillinger has been a member of the Islanders organization since the start of the 2006-07 season and has accumulated 27 goals, 35 assists and 62 points in 91 games. He has yet to miss a spot in the lineup since coming to the Islanders, appearing in 82 games in 2006-07 and the first nine games of 2007-08.

Appearing in 999 career games, below is a breakdown of Sillinger's career regular season numbers with each of the 12 teams he played for:






DET Totals





ANA Totals





VAN Totals





PHI Totals





TB Totals





FLA Totals





OTT Totals





CBJ Totals





PHO Totals





STL Totals





NSH Totals





NYI Totals





NHL Totals





When Sillinger plays his 1000th NHL game on Thursday night at the Coliseum, he will become just the sixth Islander to wear the Blue and Orange when reaching the milestone, joining Keith Acton, Butch Goring, Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier and Ed Westfall. Of those six, only Potvin and Trottier played all 1,000 games with the Islanders.

1st NHL Goal: 10/25/92 at Chicago
1st NHL Assist/Point: 10/7/90 at Philadelphia
500th NHL Point: 12/3/07 at Montreal
Most Goals/Game: 2 (22 times); last on 3/17/07 at Florida
Most Assists/Game: 4 on 3/18/06 vs. Calgary
Most Point/Game: 5 on 3/17/07 at Florida
Most PIM/Game:  15 on 12/26/05 vs. Dallas

Mixing and Matching the Lines
With the team struggling to score 5-on-5 in their previous game against Carolina, Ted Nolan did some line changing to try and generate some more offense. After starting the game with Mike Comrie centering Ruslan Fedotenko and Trent Hunter and Mike Sillinger in between Andy Hilbert and Bill Guerin, he swapped Guerin and Hunter to return to the line combinations from the beginning of the season.


There were no line combinations set in practice today, but it appears that Ted will return to the lines that started the Carolina game. He merely switched them up as an experiment with the game out of hand.



The Week in Review/The Week Ahead
After having several days off the Orange and Blue returned to action on Saturday, October 27 and were defeated by Southeast-division leading Carolina Hurricanes by a count of 8-3 at the Coliseum, marking only the second home loss of the season for the Isles. The Islanders received goals from Ruslan Fedotenko (3), Marc-Andre Bergeron (2) and Mike Sillinger (1) in the losing effort.

The Orange and Blue continue their homestand on Thursday at 7:00 pm when they host Tampa Bay. The game will mark the 1,000th NHL appearance for assistant captain Mike Sillinger. On Saturday, November 3 the Islanders will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:00 pm in what will be another special night at the Coliseum. The Islanders will welcome back former head coach Al Arbour to take the bench for one last time, marking his 1,500th coaching appearance all-time.

Facts And Figures
  • The Orange and Blue currently rank second in the NHL in power-play percentage at .286 (12-of-42) and eighth in penalty-kill at .863 (7-of-51)
  • Chris Campoli is currently tied for third among defenseman in points with nine (2G, 7A) and is eighth in the NHL in power-play assists with six.
  • Mike Comrie (.278) and Josef Vasicek (.231) both rank among the top 25 in the NHL in shooting percentage.

Milestones Approaching
  • Mike Sillinger is one game away from reaching 1,000 in his NHL career (225-298-523 in 999 games).
  • Rick DiPietro is five wins away from 100 career NHL victories (95-84-8-14 in 213 games).
  • The Orange and Blue are seven wins away from 1,200 all-time victories.
  • The Islanders are two wins away from 500 all-time road victories.

Bridgeport Report

The Sound Tigers lost two straight road contests this week to extend their losing streak to three games. On Wednesday, October 24 the Sound Tigers took on the Lowell Devils. Joey MacDonald did all he could to keep the Sound Tigers in the game by stopping 29 shots, but the Sound Tigers could not hold a 2-1 advantage heading into the third period and lost by a count of 4-3.

On Saturday, October 27 the Sound Tigers took the ice against the Norfolk Admirals and could not maintain a third period lead for the second consecutive game. Jeremy Colliton scored the Sound Tigers' first short-handed goal of the season and MacDonald made 32 saves, but it was not enough to overcome the performance of the Admirals' goalkeeper - Jonathan Boutin - who recorded 33 saves in the win. Bridgeport will continue their four-game road trip with a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday at the Binghamton Senators (7:05 pm) and Hershey Bears (7:00 pm) respectively.

Prospect Watch

Name: Mark Katic
Position: Defenseman
Team: Sarnia (9-7-0-0)
League: OHL
Acquired: Islanders 2007 third-round draft pick (62nd overall)
Stats to date: Games Played (6), Goals (0), Assists (3), Points (3), PIM (7)

Update: After missing the first ten games of the season with an injury, Katic helped lead Sarnia to three consecutive victories to raise the team's record to 9-7-0-0. Katic picked up an assist in each of the three games this past week.

compiled by Jason Lockhart and Adam Baruch


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