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Islanders-Blues Preview @NHLdotcom
Islanders-Blues Preview

GAME: New York Islanders (13-12-1) at St. Louis Blues (5-15-3).

TIME: Tuesday, 8 p.m. EST.

The New York Islanders look for their sixth win in seven road games when they meet the St. Louis Blues in the only regular-season meeting between the teams.

New York is coming off its first win in Detroit since 1997 with a 2-1 win Sunday over the Red Wings. Detroit-area native Mike York scored the game-winner with less than four minutes to play.

It was only his fourth goal and 13th point with the Islanders, who acquired him from the Edmonton Oilers for former captain Michael Peca.

"I think Michael will tell you he'd like to have more goals and more production," New York coach Steve Stirling said of York. "Maybe that will get him going."

Unlike their recent struggles in Detroit, the Islanders have flourished in St. Louis. New York is 3-1-2 in its last six games at the Savvis Center since a 4-1 loss on Dec. 19, 1995.

Alexei Yashin has two goals and two assists during a four-game point streak. He is averaging better than a point per game in his career against the Blues.

Yashin has eight goals and nine assists in 15 games versus St. Louis.

The Blues will try to put together back-to-back home wins for the first time this season. Keith Tkachuk had a goal and two assists in St. Louis' 4-1 win Thursday over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It was the first multi-point game of the season for the Blues' captain. Tkachuk was suspended by the team after the lockout for arriving at camp out of shape and later missed 18 games with a rib and groin injuries.

Tkachuk has two goals and an assist during a three-game points streak against the Islanders. Three of Tkachuk's 10 career goals against the Islanders have been game-winners.

Goaltender Patrick Lalime returned after being benched for six games and made 25 saves for his first win since Oct. 19 against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

"I think sometimes when you're not winning you try to do too much," Lalime said. "You need to get back to the basics and do your job."

Still, Lalime has been a disappointment in his first season with the Blues. He was acquired by St. Louis in a 2004 trade with the Ottawa Senators after averaging 31 wins and six shutouts in his last four seasons with them.

Lalime is 9-5-3 with a 2.60 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and two career shutouts versus the Islanders

STANDINGS (through Dec. 5): Islanders - 27 points, 4th place, 12 PB, Atlantic Division. Blues - 13 points, 5th place, 25 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Islanders - Miroslav Satan, 13 goals; Alexei Zhitnik, 17 assists; Yashin, 28 points; Janne Niinimaa, 52 PIM. Blues - Dean McAmmond, 9 goals; Petr Cajanek, 16 assists and 18 points; Jamal Mayers, 45 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 5): Islanders - Power play: 17.2 percent (27 for 157), 19th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (146 for 175), 10th. Blues - Power play: 14.9 percent (24 for 161), tied for 23rd. Penalty killing: 81.2 percent (121 for 149), 21st.

GOALTENDERS: Islanders - Rick DiPietro (9-9-1, 0 SO, 3.20 GAA); Garth Snow (4-3-0, 0, 3.37). Blues - Lalime (3-9-3, 0, 3.79); Curtis Sanford (2-4-0, 1, 3.21).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Blues, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: March 9, 2004; Blues, 3-2 (OT). At St. Louis, Pavol Demitra scored the game-winning goal 1:01 into overtime, their first win at home against the Islanders since Dec. 19, 1995.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Islanders - 8-7-0 on the road; Blues - 3-9-1 at home.

Associated Press
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