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New York Islanders @ St. Louis Blues - game preview

by Katrina Doell / New York Islanders
Team Record: 24-24-8

Last Game: 3-1 W @ WPG
Season Series: 0-0-0 of 1
Team Record: 35-15-7
Last Game: 2-1 L @ CBJ
Season Series: 0-0-0 of 1
PA Parenteau
The Islanders right wing is on pace for a career year. Last year, his first on the Island, he had 53 points (20g/33a). With 26 games left to play, Parenteau already has 51 points and his 39 assists are good for fifth-most in the NHL. On Tuesday in Winnipeg, he tallied the game-winning goal for the second time this season on a heads-up play (watch video above to see play), and added an assist on Matt Martin's empty-net goal.

Head Coach Jack Capuano often talks about the diversity of the 28-year-old Hull, QC native and how he can use Parenteau in any situation to be a playmaker.
David Perron
The Blues 23-year old winger was named the NHL's third star of the week on Monday.

Perron, selected by the Blues with the 26th overall pick in the 2007 draft, was on fire with six goals and a plus-5 rating in four games last week. His hot hands have helped the Blues to within five points of the Western Conference leading Detroit Red Wings.

The 23-year-old Sherbrooke, Quebec native has 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 30 games.
Building blocks: On Tuesday night, the Islanders were credited with 16 blocks. Islanders d-men are known to get down to sacrifce the body, and they lead the NHL with 971 blocked shots.

Playoffs?: It's every NHL team's goal to make the second season. The Islanders need to take care of their own business to barrel into the eighth spot in the East, but a little help from rivals can go along way. The Leafs fell 5-1 in Calgary on Tuesday, helping the Isles to be a mere six points out of the last spot until the Leafs topped Edmonton Wed. night. Entering Thursday's game, the Isles stand eight points from eighth place.

Le Tweet: Both players featured in the spotlight of this preview are French Canadian Tweeters who have been known to tweet in their native language from time to time. This is probably more than a little confusing for the English-speaking fans. Don't fret, that's what Google Translate is for.

A couple of big Mac's/Mc's: Blues forward Andy McDonald, a near namesake to the Islanders defenseman, returned to action Sunday after missing 51 games due to a concussion. He had an assist in the Blues 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. 

Andrew MacDonald has been key for the Islanders on defense, logging 23:52 time on ice (23rd in the NHL) in 49 games played. In his last five games, he has had two assists and he is ninth in the league with 126 blocked shots.
Andrew MacDonald scored two goals, including the game-winner, as the Islanders skated to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues at Nassau Coliseum March 5, 2011. John Tavares, Michael Grabner, PA Parenteau and MacDonald all recorded two points and Al Montoya stopped 21 of 23 for the win. Chris Stewart and Andy McDonald rounded out the scoring for St. Louis and McDonald also skated away with two points.

Click the photo for gallery from last game vs. St. Louis.
Date of
DiPietro 1/3 Sports hernia/knee swelling 20 10 weeks
Hamonic 2/4 Broken Nose 5 2 weeks
Katic 9/24 Shoulder 56 out indef. (IR)
Mottau 12/30 Concussion 21 No timetbl. (IR)
Reese 2/7 MCL Sprain 4 4-6 weeks
Power play: 19.8%
Penalty kill: 84.5%
Home record: 12-13-5
Road record: 12-11-3
Goals For: 134
Goals Against: 160
Power play: 14.3%
Penalty kill: 81.0%
Home record: 10-12-3
Road record: 24-3-4
Goals For: 140
Goals Against: 113

Answer from Tuesday's question: The New York Islanders have won six games on Valentine’s Day. Who was the last team they beat on Feb. 14? The answer is: Toronto Maple Leafs. The Islanders broke some hearts at the Air Canada Centre with a 5-4 victory against the Leafs on Feb. 14, 2008. 
Evgeni Nabokov will start in goal and Jack Capuano will go with the same lineup as Tuesday. Click here for the lines.

Blues Lineups
Forwards: Perron-Backes-Oshie; McDonald-Berglund-Stewart; Porter-Sobotka-Langenbrunner; Crombeen-Nichol-Reaves.

Colaiacovo-Pietrangelo; Jackman-Shattenkirk; Russell-Polak.

Elliott, Halak

Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano on the Islanders special teams play in Winnipeg: “When your special teams does its job, especially this time of year, you’re going to have success.”

Cory Wright contributed to this story
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