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WITT OUT 2-4 WEEKS

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Islanders defensemen out with sprained MCL - Islanders (25-25-7) at Toronto (23-26-9), 7:30 pm, TV: FSN NY , Radio: Bloomberg 1130


After a heavy collision in the first period of Tuesday's 4-3 win over Philadelphia, Brendan Witt will be out 2-4 weeks with a sprained MCL. Witt missed four games earlier this season and only one all of last season.

The Islanders will skate without Witt tonight as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre at 7:30 pm. With Witt out of the lineup, Aaron Johnson is expected to be back in action, having played in ten games this season.

After two strong efforts against Pittsburgh and Minnesota last week, the Islanders finally broke through with a win, toppling the Philadelphia Flyers at home. Trent Hunter, Jeff Tambellini, Sean Bergenheim and Ruslan Fedotenko scored goals for the Islanders, who hadn't won in their previous seven games. Despite the winless streak, the Islanders are only six points back of eighth place Boston with 25 games to play.

Toronto sits right behind the Islanders in the Eastern Conference standings. In February, Toronto has come away with a couple of impressive victories, including wins over East-leading Ottawa and NHL-leading Detroit. On the flip side, the Leafs have also been shutout twice in five games this month, failing to score against Florida and Buffalo.

Last night, the Leafs lost 1-0 to Buffalo, failing to figure out Ryan Miller, who stopped 35 shots. Paul Gaustad scored the lone goal for the Sabres.

As always, Toronto is led by their captain, Mats Sundin, who paces the team in goals (23), assists (35) and points (58). Hard-shooting defenseman Bryan McCabe recently returned to the lineup after missing nearly two months of action.

Finnish netminder Vesa Toskala has seen a majority of time in goal. He played last night, but allowed only one goal. If he doesn't go, it will be backup Andrew Raycroft, who allowed four goals on 11 shots in his last start on February 5th.

The last time these two teams played, the Islanders won an epic 4-3 game in overtime the day after Christmas. After a Jason Blake giveaway in the extra frame, Richard Park set-up Mike Comrie's game-winner with less than ten seconds remaining.

Steve Mears and Chris King have the call on Bloomberg 1130, while Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe can be seen tonight on FSN NY.

Don't forget to choose your "Pick 'N' Win" answers prior to the game's start.


Check out the Islanders TV Game Day tab for complete coverage of tonight’s game.


BELOW ARE THE CHANNEL LISTINGS FOR FSN NY ON LONG ISLAND.

CABLEVISION
FSN NY: 72

DirecTV
FSN NY: 624

DISH NETWORK
FSN NY: 413

HDTV:
FSN NY: 717

VERIZON FiOS:
FSN NY: 69


For out-of-market viewers, catch the game live through Islanders TV on NHL Center Ice Online




GAME NOTES

HOLDING THEIR OWN WITHOUT SILLI: With an injury forcing Mike Sillinger - the Islanders' best faceoff man and one of the top five faceoff men in the game - to sit for a few, the Islanders have had to rely on other players to fill the void. They have done a tremendous job so far. Over the last four games, the Islanders have won a remarkable 56.8% (129-of-227) of their faceoffs. As a team, the Islanders won 36-of-53 faceoffs in their 4-3 win on Tuesday night over Philadelphia. Josef Vasicek has won 45 of the 71 faceoffs he's taken since stepping in for Sillinger, and newcomer Frans Nielsen has won 17 of 26 faceoffs taken over the last three games. On the season, the Islanders are eighth in the NHL, winning 51.4% of their faceoffs. On Tuesday against Philadelphia, Richard Park won 12 of 14 faceoffs.


STATS

TEAM LEADERS
Islanders
– Bill Guerin, 19 goals; Mike Comrie 25 assists, 41 points; Andy Sutton 84 PIM
Toronto – Mats Sundin, 23 goals, 35 assists, 58 points; Nik Antropov, 78 PIM

SPECIAL TEAMS:
Islanders
- Power play: 15.9%; Penalty killing: 84.0%
Toronto - Power play: 14.3%; Penalty killing: 79.4%

GOALTENDERS:
Islanders
Rick DiPietro (20-21-7), 2.71 GAA, .906 SV%); Wade Dubielewicz (5-4-0, 3.22, .901)
Toronto – Vesa Toskala (20-17-5, 2.65, .907); Andrew Raycroft (2-8-4, 4.07, .868)

2007-08 SEASON SERIES
Islanders: 2 pts., Toronto: 3 pts.

LAST MEETING
December 26, 2007: Islanders 4-3 OT win


ROAD/HOME RECORDS
Toronto
– 13-10-5 at home
Islanders – 11-13-4 on the road


ISLANDERS
Goaltenders

39 Rick DiPietro
34 Wade Dubielewicz
           
Defensemen
2   Aaron Johnson
4   Bryan Berard
8   Bruno Gervais
24 Radek Martinek    
25 Andy Sutton
44 Freddy Meyer
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron

Forwards                  
7   Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park
11 Andy Hilbert
13 Bill Guerin   “C”
15 Jeff Tambellini
20 Sean Bergenheim
26 Ruslan Fedotenko
51 Frans Nielsen
57 Blake Comeau
63 Josef Vasicek
72 Jeremy Colliton
89 Mike Comrie "A"


TORONTO
Goaltenders

1   Andrew Raycroft
35 Vesa Toskala

Defensemen
7   Ian White
8   Carlo Colaiacovo
15 Tomas Kaberle “A”
24 Bryan McCabe
25 Hal Gill
31 Pavel Kubina
36 Anton Stralman

Forwards 
3   Wade Belak
10 Alex Steen
11 Jiri Tlusty
13 Mats Sundin “C”
14 Matthew Stajan
16 Darcy Tucker "A"
18 Chad Kilger 
19 Dominic Moore
22 Boyd Devereaux
23 Alexei Ponikarovsky
42 Kyle Wellwood
52 Robbie Earl
55 Jason Blake
80 Nik Antropov



NYI Host 2nd Siller Foundation Night
Fans can help local burn centers and win a Coliseum luxury suite

Honor fallen firefighter and hero Stephen Siller and support the New York, Nassau, and Suffolk Firefighters Burn Center Foundations by purchasing tickets, starting at just $20, to the Islanders-Atlanta Thrashers game at the Nassau Coliseum on Saturday, February 16 at 7 pm.

On one of the most tragic days in history, men and women sacrificed their lives to come to the rescue of those in mortal danger. That is why the Islanders are proud to support The Stephen Siller Foundation, formed in honor of firefighter, Stephen, who took his final heroic steps as he ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center to help save others.

The Stephen Siller Foundation is known for restoring hope to the New York area, post 9/11, and once again is reaching out to continue that legacy. This foundation is best known for “The Tunnel-to-Towers Run” that takes place the last Sunday in September.  The sole purpose of the Stephen Siller Foundation is to honor the legacy of love given to the Siller family through Stephen.  They do this by paying tribute to his heroic life and death, his 342 FDNY brothers, and all those who lost on 9/11, through the annual Tunnel-to-Towers Run.  The Stephen Siller Foundation supports the Pediatric Unit of the NYC Firefighter Burn Center and burn centers throughout the nation.  They strive to help children who have lost one or both parents through local community awards and contribution to organizations with a like mission, including children of Firefighters, Policemen, EMS, and Military who lost a parent in the line of duty. For the 2nd year, the Islanders have teamed with the Foundation to raise money for your local Firefighters Burn Centers. This is where Islanders fans can help.

For the Islanders game against the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday, February 16th, we’re asking you, the fans, to buy tickets through the Foundation to help raise funds for your local Burn Center. All net proceeds will be donated to the New York, Nassau, and Suffolk Burn Center Foundations.

The first 10,000 fans will receive a mini Rick DiPietro bobblehead courtesy of GEICO.

Special seats have been reserved for the February 16th game, so don’t miss out on this great night!

The person that purchases the most tickets to this event, by February 15th, will receive their very own luxury box that seats 12, to be used the night of the event.

So please join the New York Islanders team in continuing the legacy of Stephen Siller, and all who fought for our freedom on 9/11.  

Ticket prices start at just $20, and can be purchased by calling 1.800.882.ISLES EXT. 3 or e-mailing groupsales@newyorkislanders.com


KID'S DAY, TOO SET FOR FEB. 18

NYI vs. San Jose; Family Fun Packs for just $124, Post-Game On-Ice Shootout!!! Meet the players!!!  All fans 14 & under will receive a Puck Bank, courtesy of New York Community Bank!!! Mascots from around the NHL!!! NYI Family Fan Fest and so much more!!!


If you missed the Kids' Opening Day on October 8th, don't worry fans, the Islanders have given everybody a second chance with Kids' Day, Too when Rick DiPietro and the Islanders host the San Jose Sharks at 2 pm on Presidents' Day, Monday, February 18.







FAMILY FUN PACK:
With school off, there is no better way to spend a day with the whole family than taking in an exciting Islanders game at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders have put together a special Family Fun Pack for Kids' Day, Too to get you and three others to the game. The Family Fun Pack includes:
  • 4 tickets
  • 1 Dave & Buster's $40 Power Card Voucher
  • 1 Friendly's $25 Gift Card
  • Valued at $265, the Family Fun Pack can be purchased for just $124.


Here are some more reasons why you should get to the game on February 18th to cheer on your favorite hockey team.

 
POST-GAME ON-ICE SHOOTOUT WITH THE PLAYERS: The Islanders want to make Kids' Day, Too as exciting as possible for the kids. Following the game, all kids are invited down to ice level to take a shot on the same nets defended by Rick DiPietro. There will also be special guest appearances by the Islanders players.


MASCOTS GALORE: While we all know that the Islanders' Sparky the Dragon is the greatest mascot in pro sports, he's making Kids' Day, Too even more memorable by bringing a bunch of his friends from around the NHL and the area. Here's a list of the other mascots that will be roaming the Coliseum all game, looking for the most excited fans.
  • Storm – Bridgeport Sound Tigers
  • Mr. Met - NY Mets
  • Stinger – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Blades - Boston Bruins
  • Stormy – Carolina Hurricanes
  • Gnash – Nashville Predators
  • Thrash – Atlanta Thrashers
  • ThunderBug- Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Fin - Vancouver Canucks
  • Iceburgh- Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Kate and Willie - Hofstra
  • QuackerJack - LI Ducks

NYI FAMILY FUN FEST STARTS AT NOON!: Arrive at the Coliseum early and join us in the lower lobby for the Family Fan Fest, featuring fun inflatables, face painting, kids broadcasting station, interactive games and so much more.


FREE PUCK BANK: All kids 14 and under in attendance will receive Islanders Puck Bank, courtesy of New York Community Bank.


Make Presidents' Day a memorable experience for the whole family by attending an Islanders game at the Nassau Coliseum.

To purchase a Family Fun Pack, please call the Islanders customer service department at 1 800 882 ISLES, ext. 2. or email customerservice@newyorkislanders.com







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