Steve Stirling will get an excellent look at 20 of the top players In the Islanders organization this weekend. The coach has decided that, barring injury, the same 20 players will face the Bruins in Boston tonight and Manchester, New Hampshire on Saturday night.
œIt's a good test, Stirling said this morning. œWe're taking a lot of our key vets, like Yash and Satan, and Zhitnik and Janne on D, but we're also bringing a bunch of the kids O'Marra, Nilsson, Comeau. We're playing an excellent team on back-to-back nights on the road. I think we'll get a good read on a lot of our guys, and the ones who don't play tonight and tomorrow will get a shot against the Devils on Sunday.
Four of the defensemen perceived as leading candidates for the two open spots on the blue line Joel Bouchard, Ryan Caldwell, Chris Campoli, and Bruno Gervais will play both games against the Bruins. So will the Islanders' four most recent first round picks Sean Bergenheim, Robert Nilsson, Petteri Nokelainen and Ryan O'Marra. Caldwell, Wade Dubielewicz and Eric Godard will make their pre-season debuts this weekend.
As a precautionary measure, the Islanders will give goaltender Rick DiPietro (wrist tendonitis) the weekend off. Garth Snow and Dubielewicz will share the netminding chores over the three games.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (1-1-0) vs. BOSTON BRUINS (1-1-0)
Friday, September 23, 2005 TD Banknorth Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Saturday, September 24, 2005 Islanders' Preseason Games No. 3 and 4, Road Games No. 1 and 2
TV: None/Radio: None
September 23-24, 2005
30 Garth Snow G
34 Wade Dubielewicz G
2 Chris Campoli D
4 Joel Bouchard D
6 Bruno Gervais D
10 Sean Bergenheim LW
11 Mattias Weinhandl RW
12 Oleg Kvasha C
21 Robert Nilsson LW
29 Petteri Nokelainen RW
37 Mark Parrish LW
43 Ryan Caldwell D
44 Janne Niinimaa D
47 Justin Papineau C
49 Eric Godard RW
57 Blake Comeau RW
67 Ryan O'Marra C
77 Alexei Zhitnik D
79 Alexei Yashin C
81 Miroslav Satan RW
Tonight's game is the first of two preseason games between the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins. Both teams enter tonight's game with a preseason record of 1-1-0. The Islanders opened up the preseason with 5-1 win over the New York Rangers at the Nassau Coliseum, but fell to the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, on Wednesday at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey. The Bruins lost 5-0 to Toronto in their preseason opener on Tuesday, but bounced back with a 5-4 shootout win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
ALL-TIME RECORD vs. BOSTON:
The Islanders have a lifetime regular-season record of 40-59-21-0 against the Boston Bruins. At home, the Islanders have a lifetime record of 24-27-10-0, while in 59 regular season visits to Boston, they have posted a record of 16-32-11-0. In 2003-04, the Islanders were 0-1-3 against the Bruins. .
2005 PRESEASON SCHEDULE:
The Islanders will play seven preseason games in preparation for the 2005-06 NHL season. The Islanders have split the first two games, winning 5-1 over the New York Rangers (September 20) and losing 2-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers (September 21). The Isles continue their preseason schedule tomorrow night when the play the Bruins at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. (7 p.m. start) and will conclude the weekend slate on Sunday when they visit the New Jersey Devils at the Continental Airlines Arena (8 p.m. start). Next week, the Islanders will visit the Flyers at the Wachovia Center on Tuesday (7 p.m. start) and then will conclude their preseason schedule against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, Sept. 29 (7 p.m. start).
YASHIN, SATAN AND ZHITNIK IN TONIGHT'S LINEUP:
After sitting out Wednesday's preseason game against the Flyers, Alexei Zhitnik, Miroslav Satan and Alexei Yashin will be back in the lineup tonight when the Islanders visit the Bruins. Zhitnik scored two goals and Satan added two assists to lead the Islanders to a 5-1 win over the Rangers on Tuesday at the Coliseum. Yashin, who was named captain before the game on Tuesday, scored the game's first goal. 14 players that skated in Tuesday's game will be in tonight's lineup against the Bruins.
The Islanders converted on four of 26 (15.4%) power play opportunities in two preseason games. The Islanders scored three power play goals on 11 chances on Tuesday vs. the Rangers and scored one power play goal on 15 tries on Wednesday vs. the Flyers.
The Islanders have successfully killed off 15 of 17 power play chances (88.2%) in two preseason games. The Islanders allowed a power play goal in each of their two-preseason games. They successfully killed off five of six chances vs. the Rangers and killed off 10 of 11 chances vs. the Flyers.
The Islanders have lost both shootouts in the preseason, losing 2-0 to the Rangers and 2-1 to the Flyers. The Islanders have scored once on five tries (Mike York), while the Rangers scored on both of their attempts (Michael Nylander and Martin Straka) and Philadelphia scored on two of their attempts (Mike Richards and Simon Gagne). Garth Snow was in net for the Islanders during both shootouts.
Monday, Sept. 26 at Iceworks: 10 a.m. 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 27 at Iceworks: 10:30 a.m. 12 noon. Game at Philadelphia, Wachovia Center (7 p.m.)
Wednesday, Sept. 28 at Iceworks: 12 noon 2 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 29 at Iceworks: 10 a.m. 11:30 a.m. Game at NY Rangers, Madison Square Garden (7 p.m.)
Friday, Sept. 30 at Iceworks: 10 a.m. 2 p.m.
NOTE TO FANS: ALL PRACTICES AT ISLANDERS ICEWORKS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Rick DiPietro (wrist tendonitis), Shawn Bates (hip flexor) and Arron Asham (rib sprain) are all day-to-day.
The Islanders will open their 33rd season in the NHL on Wednesday, October 5 when they visit the Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. start). This will be the second time in the last three years that the Islanders have opened the season in Buffalo and it will also mark the fifth consecutive season that they have started the season on the road. The Islanders will play six of their first 10 games of the season on the road. The Islanders will open their home portion of the schedule on Saturday, October 8 vs. Carolina (7 p.m. start).