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New York Islanders vs. San Jose Sharks

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders

Team Record: 3-4-1

Last Game: 3-2 SOL vs. PIT
Season Series: 0 of 1
Team Record: 5-3-0
Last Game: 4-2 W vs. DET
Season Series: 0 of 1
Frans Nielsen
On the ice for 16:18 on Thursday night, Nielsen has continued to receive top minutes on the Islanders penalty kill. He played 2:46 while shorthanded, blocked three shots and had his first shorthanded breakaway of the season.

Though he was ultimately denied on the breakaway, the Isles center scored his second goal of the season, knocking in a rebound from Kyle Okposo.

"The last couple of games, we've had some chances," Nielsen said of his line. "We got one (goal) last night, but we would like to score a lot more. As long as we can keep creating chances we are going to score. In the beginning (of the season), we didn’t have any chances. At least we've started to create a little bit now so we can score more goals."
Joe Pavelski
With two third period goals against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night and an assist on Joe Thornton's goal against the Detroit Red Wings Friday night, Pavelski became the Sharks leading scorer (6 goals, 3assists), lifting the Sharks above the Red Wings for their fourth straight win.

Joe Thornton
Sharing a line with Pavelski and Patrick Marleau, the 14-year NHL veteran has reached multiple milestones this season. He assisted on both of Pavelski's goals to record his 699th and 700th-career assists, just the 50th NHL player to reach that mark. He played his 1,000th game Oct. 12 at New Jersey and recorded a goal and an assist in that game. He notched two goals in the Sharks 4-2 win over the Red Wings on Friday night and his 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) are tied for second-most on the team.
The Islanders and Sharks couldn't be in more different situations. The Islanders earned a point in their shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, but are looking for their next win as their winless streak stretched to four games. Prior to playing the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night, the San Jose Sharks were on a three-game winning streak.

The most consistent part of the Islanders effort has been the success of their penalty kill. The Isles let up a PPG against the Penguins, but managed to fend them off of five more opportunities.

"(Thursday) night, we gave up nine powerplay shots, the most we’ve given up all year, but I think it stems from last year," Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said. "We built our foundation and our guide lines and how we want to kill."

He added, "Every team has guidelines, but to lay down to block a shot, to battle, to do the little things, those are the intangibles. The sacrifice those guys make, that’s what it’s about. It’s about the guys right now that are paying the price."

Evgeni Nabokov, who played 10 seasons for the Sharks, will not face his former club as he was injured during Thursday night's contest in Pittsburgh.
While many would have surely loved to have seen the New York Islanders' Evgeni Nabokov take on his former team, a lower-body injury is likely to keep the former San Jose Sharks goaltender out of Saturday night's matchup at Nassau Coliseum.

Nabokov spent the first 10 NHL seasons of his career with the Sharks (5-3-0) - helping them reach the playoffs nine times.

Despite a 1-2-0 record, the 36-year-old veteran has impressed in four games this season, posting a 2.23 goals-against average. He was especially sharp Thursday, turning away 30 of 32 shots in a 3-2 shootout loss at Pittsburgh - the fourth straight defeat for the Islanders (3-4-1). (Continue Reading)

In the midst of the Islanders 20-of-21 game winless streak last November, the Islanders earned a point against the Sharks as PA Parenteau scored a second period goal at 4:51 and Dan Boyle scored a 5-on-3 power play goal to tie the score; Dwayne Roloson made 37 saves to send the game to the shootout. Boyle and Logan Couture would score in the shoot out for the Sharks victory.
- Mark Katic - Shoulder (9/24 vs. NJ) - 8 games missed (Out indefinitely)
- Rhett Rakhshani - Concussion (9/27 at CGY) - 8 games missed (Out indefinitely)
- Nino Niederreiter - Groin (9/30 at NJ) - 8 games missed (Day-to-day)
Power Play %: 17.2%
Penalty Kill %: 90.6%
Home Record: 3-2-0
Road Record: 0-2-1
Goals For: 16
Goals Against: 20
Power Play %: 20.7%
Penalty Kill %: 75.9%
Home Record: 1-2-0
Road Record: 4-1-0
Goals For: 25
Goals Against: 19
(Answer from 10/27: Two answers were correct. Billy Smith and Goran Hogosta split a 9-0 decision over the Atlanta Flames on Nov. 1, 1977. Tommy Salo and Wade Flaherty split an Apr. 4, 1998 3-0 win against the New York Rangers. The two shutouts put the Islanders at 13th out of 23 on the franchise shutout list.)
Check out the Islanders depth chart. Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said Rick DiPietro starts tonight, Al Montoya backs up, Trevor Gillies and Mike Mottau are healthy scratches.

Sharks (Expected) Lineups
Forwards: Marleau-Thornton-Pavelski, Clowe-Couture-Havlat, McGinn-Handzus-Ferriero, Winchester-Desjardins-Murray

Defensemen: Boyle-Murray, Vlasic-Burns, Braun-Vandermeer

Goaltenders: Niemi, Greiss

Expected Scratches: Mitchell, White, Demers

Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano on the progression of Nino Niederreiter after he skated with the team for a few minutes on Friday: "Just a small step for him. I got the word this morning, he’s moving a long a little faster than expected. I'm sure he will continue to skate and then start skating with the team here (soon).”
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