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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Islander's Preseason Game No. 6, Road Game No. 3
TV: None/Radio: None

The Islanders look to bounce back from Sunday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Devils tonight as they visit the Philadelphia Flyers. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Wachovia Center. 

Tonight's game is the second and final meeting of the preseason between the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers. The Islanders enter tonight's game with a record of 2-2-1, while the Flyers are 3-0-0.  In the first meeting of the season last Wednesday, Philadelphia defeated the Islanders, 2-1, at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey.

The Islanders' lineup tonight will be a different one that played against the Flyers last week in Trenton. Rather, following yesterday's roster moves, tonight's lineup will most likely be the one opening up the season next Wednesday in Buffalo.  After missing the last three games with wrist tendinitis, goaltender Rick DiPietro will be back in goal for the Islanders.  Center Shawn Bates is expected to see his first action of the preseason after missing the first five games with a hip flexor, while right winger Arron Asham is still out with a rib sprain. The two other scratches for the Islanders tonight will be forwards' Justin Papineau and Eric Godard.    

Following tonight's game, the Islanders will conclude their seven-game preseason schedule on Thursday against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. start).  

Tonight's Lineup vs. Philadelphia:

30 Garth Snow  G
39 Rick DiPietro  G 

 3 Brent Sopel  D
 8 Tomi Pettinen  D  
10 Sean Bergenheim  C/LW 
11 Mattias Weinhandl C 
12 Oleg Kvasha  C/LW 
16 Mike York  C/LW 
17 Shawn Bates  C 
21 Robert Nilsson  RW 
24 Radek Martinek  D 
25 Brad Lukowich  D 
29 Petteri Nokelainen C 
37 Mark Parrish  RW 
44 Janne Niinimaa  D 
55 Jason Blake   C 
77 Alexei Zhitnik  D 
79 Alexei Yashin   C 
81 Miroslav Satan  RW 

The Islanders on Monday returned defenseman Dustin Kohn (Calgary WHL) and forward Ryan O'Marra (Erie OHL) to their respective juniors clubs and assigned 15 players to their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.  Assigned to the Sound Tigers were forwards Wyatt Smith, Travis Brigley, Matt Koalska, Steve Regier, David Masse, Rob Collins, Kevin Colley, Cole Jarrett and Jeremy Colliton; defensemen Joel Bouchard, Allan Rourke, Ryan Caldwell; and goaltenders Frederic Cloutier, Wade Dubielewicz and Chris Madden.  With the roster moves, the Islanders have 25 players left in camp eight defensemen, 15 forwards and two goaltenders.

Prior to the game against the Rangers, Alexei Yashin was appointed the tenth captain in Islanders history. Veteran Islanders wing Mark Parrish and first-year Islanders defenseman Brad Lukowich have been named alternate captains.  
"This is a very big honor for me," said Yashin. "There are so many players on our team who are great leaders and would have been excellent choices, so this means a lot. This is a big responsibility that I take seriously. I'm very proud to follow the Islanders captains before me, like Ed Westfall, Denis Potvin and Mike Peca."
"Alexei is our leader, on and off the ice. This just makes it official," said Islanders head coach Steve Stirling. "We discussed this at length with Yash and all of our veterans. We're counting on the leadership of at least a dozen guys I can think of. Alexei, Mark and Brad will be at the forefront."
Yashin, a former captain of the Ottawa Senators, follows previous Islanders captains Ed Westfall, Clark Gillies, Denis Potvin, Brent Sutter, Patrick Flatley, Bryan McCabe, Trevor Linden, Kenny Jonsson and Michael Peca.

Steve Stirling returns for his second season as head coach of the New York Islanders.  In his first season behind the bench two years ago (2003-04 season), Stirling led the Islanders to their third consecutive playoff berth with a record of 38-29-11-4 (91 points). 
Stirling was The Hockey News' Minor Pro Coach of the Year in 2001-02 after taking the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to the 2002 Calder Cup Final.  In his two seasons with the Sound Tigers, Stirling had a record of 83-51-19-7.   
This season will be his eighth in the organization.  Prior to being promoted to head coach of the Islanders, Stirling spent two seasons as head coach in Bridgeport, three seasons as an assistant in Lowell (AHL) and one as a pro scout. When Lorne Henning served as interim head coach in the 2000-01 season, Stirling was his assistant.
He joined the Islanders after a successful career as a college coach. Under then-athletic director Lou Lamoriello, Stirling coached Providence to the 1985 NCAA Final. Surrounding his two seasons at Providence were two stints as head coach at Babson College where he was twice named Division II/III Coach of the year. His 15-year collegiate head coaching record is 290-129-28.
As a player, Stirling was captain of the 1971 NBAA champion Boston University Terriers and played pro with the AHL's Boston Braves and Rochester Americans.

Wednesday, Sept. 28 at Iceworks, Syosset: 12 noon 2 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 29 at Iceworks, Syosset: 10 a.m. 11:30 a.m. Game at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 30 at Iceworks, Syosset: 10 a.m. 2 p.m.

August 1 Islanders re-sign goaltender Garth Snow to a three-year contract.
August 2 Islanders sign defenseman Alexei Zhitnik to a four-year contract.
August 3 Islanders acquired forward Michael York and a conditional draft pick from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Michael Peca.
August 3 Islanders sign forward Miroslav Satan to a three-year contract.
August 3 Islanders acquire defenseman Brent Sopel from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a 2006 draft pick.
August 8 Islanders name Brad Shaw assistant coach.
August 10 Islanders sign forward Wyatt Smith to a one-year contract.
August 11 Islanders sign defenseman Brad Lukowich to a two-year contract.
August 12 Islanders re-sign forward Mattias Weinhandl to a two-year contract.
August 12 Islanders sign defenseman Allan Rourke to a one-year contract.
August 15 Islanders re-sign defenseman Radek Martinek to a one-year contract.
August Islanders re-sign forwards Oleg Kvasha and Aaron Asham to one-year contracts.
August 16 Islanders sign defenseman Brent Sopel to a two-year contract.
August 17 Islanders sign forward Masi Marjamaki to a three-year contract. 
August 18 Islanders sign defenseman Joel Bouchard to a one-year contract.
August 18 Islanders name Dan Bylsma assistant coach. 
August 22 Islanders re-sign forward Shawn Bates.
August 23 Islanders sign forward Petteri Nokelainen to a three-year contract. 
August 24 Islanders re-sign forward Justin Papineau.
August 25 Islanders announce affiliation agreement with the Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL).
August 25 Jack Capuano named assistant coach.
August 30 Islanders sign forward Robert Nilsson to a three-year contract.
August 31 - Islanders re-sign defenseman Tomi Pettinen to a one-year contract.
September 1 Islanders re-sign forwards Rob Collins and Kevin Colley to one-year contracts.
September 7 Islanders re-sign goaltender Rick DiPietro to a one-year contract.
September 14 Islanders re-sign forward Mark Parrish.

Arron Asham (rib sprain) and Shawn Bates (hip flexor) are listed as day-to-day.
2005-06 SEASON:
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).

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