A FIRST LOOK AT OVECHKIN
The Islanders are 1-2 and have been blunt in their self-assessment that they haven't played well this season, but no one is hitting the panic button.
"We are not happy with our start, not happy at all," said Islanders head coach Steve Stirling after today's practice at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. "Everyone wants to see a lot of changes to the lineup. That's not going to happen. The answers to any of our problems so far will come from the players in our dressing room. We believe in what we have put together. It's time to go to work."
Thursday's game at MCI Center is the start of a two-game road trip which concludes in Philadelphia on Saturday night. As they did with their home opener, the Islanders get a little bit of an edge because they were in their hotel rooms in downtown Washington last night while the Caps had to battle the Hurricanes in Carolina. On the other hand, it will be the Islanders' first look at Capitals phenom forward Alexander Ovechkin, who scored his fourth goal last night.
"He's the real deal," said Stirling. "Like Sidney Crosby, great for our game but tough on the opponents. We'll need to keep an eye on him at all times."
The Islanders and Washington Capitals meet tonight in the first of four regular season meetings this season and the first of two between the two clubs at the MCI Center. Following today's game, the next meeting between the teams will be at the Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday, January 31. The Islanders will make their second and final visit of the season to Washington on Tuesday, March 6, while the Capitals' will travel to New York on Saturday, April 8 for the series finale.
The Islanders have an all-time record of 72-76-13-1 vs. the Washington Capitals. At the Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders are 42-37-2-0 and their record on the road in Washington against the Capitals is 30-39-11-1.
In the last 10 meetings, the Islanders are 3-6-0-1 against the Capitals and are 1-7-1-1 in their last 10 visits to the MCI Center. .
The Islanders have won the last two meetings against the Capitals, winning 5-4 at Washington on December 24, 2003 and 3-0 at the Nassau Coliseum on March 23, 2004. Rick DiPietro made 37 saves in the shutout, his first-ever against the Capitals.
In 2003-04, the Islanders were 2-2 against the Capitals. New York won 5-4 at the MCI Center on December 24, 2003 and shutout the Capitals, 3-0, at the Nassau Coliseum on March 23, 2004. The Capitals won the first two meetings of the season, winning 6-1 in the season opener and skated to a 4-1 win over the Isles at the Nassau Coliseum on December 2, 2003.
Florida Panthers 3, New York Islanders 1
Goaltender Roberto Luongo made 29 saves Monday, including a penalty-shot stop in the third period, to lead the Florida Panthers to a 3-1 win over the Islanders in a Columbus Day matinee at the Nassau Coliseum. The former first-round pick of the Islanders was sharp early, making one save when he sprawled across the crease to deny Jason Blake with his stick and another off a shot that struck him in the mask. The Islanders took a 1-0 lead when Satan knocked in a rebound off of Alexei Zhitnik's shot from the point at 6:06 of the first period. The Islanders scored 15 seconds into Sean Hill's interference penalty. The goal was Satan of the season. Zhitnik and Alexei Yashin recorded assists on the goal. In the second period, the Panthers scored two goals less than eights minutes into the period to take a 2-1 lead. Kristian Huselius scored a power play goal 3:15 into the second to tie the game and Chris Gratton added his first goal of the season 4:31 later on a 2-on-1 break to give the Panthers' their first lead of the game. Miroslav Satan had a chance to tie the game 5:26 into the third period when he was given a penalty shot after he was hooked on a breakaway by former Islanders defenseman Branislav Mezei. Satan tried to shoot low, but Luongo came up with his biggest save of the game as he blocked the shot with his stick. With 1:35 left, Florida added an insurance goal as Rostislav Olesz sealed Florida's .500 road trip with 34.3 seconds left when he scored his first NHL goal on his 20th birthday. The Islanders were 1-for-7 on the power play and killed off 10 of Florida's 11 power play chances. Following Stan's goal early in the first period, Luongo, stopped all 18 New York shots in the final 53:54 of the game. Isles' goaltender Rick DiPietro stopped 20 of 22 shots in the loss.
New York Islanders 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2
The Islanders won their first game of the season as they held on for a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday before a sellout crowd of 16, 324 at the Nassau Coliseum. Jason Blake, Miroslav Satan and Shawn Bates each scored a goal and Rick DiPietro made 42 saves in the win. The Hurricanes led 1-0 after the first period on Eric Staal's breakaway goal, but the Islanders came back in the second period and tied the game on Jason Blake's power play goal at 13:01. Brent Sopel's shot from the point was stopped but he couldn't get to the rebound before Blake swooped in and knocked it past Ward for his second goal of the season. Early in the third period, the Islanders scored two goals 1:27 apart to take a 3-1 lead. Satan was credited with his first goal of the season at 5:39 and Bates followed with a short-handed goal at 7:06. The Islanders caught a break early in the third when Satan flung a shot toward the net from the right boards that Ward deflected and hit off Oleg Tverdovsky's stick and in for the goal. The Islanders increased their lead to 3-1 1:27 later when Bates single-handedly created a short-handed goal. He knocked the puck away in the Islanders zone and brought it up the ice. He deked center Matt Cullen off his skates and scored into an upper corner. Carolina made it interesting late in the game as Staal scored his fourth goal of the season and second goal of the game with 1:01 remaining that made it 3-2. Carolina was 0-for-5 on the power play, while New York scored a goal on five attempts. Ward made 32 saves in his second NHL start in two nights.
Buffalo Sabres 6, NY Islanders 4
The Islanders lost to the Buffalo Sabres, 6-4, in the 2005-06 season opener on Wednesday at the HSBC Arena. Alexei Zhitnik, Alexei Yashin, Jason Blake and Chris Campoli scored, while Brent Sopel and Mike York each had two assists for the Islanders, who are 1-6-3 in their last 10 openers and 8-17-8 overall. Daniel Briere led the Sabres with two goals and one assist, while Maxim Afinogenov scored twice and J.P. Dumont added a goal and an assist. DiPietro, who was the game's No. 2 star, made 33 saves in the loss for the Islanders, while Miller stopped 22 of 26 for the Sabres. The win was the Sabres' first against the Isles' since the 2003-04 season, snapping a six-game losing streak.
PLAYING AT HOME
The Islanders are 1-1-0-0 at home this season, scoring four goals and allowing four. The Islanders suffered their first regular loss at home on Monday since Carolina defeated the Isles' on March 27, 2004 (3-1). The Islanders were unbeaten in their last three home games (2-0-1) before Monday's 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. .
TOUGH TO BEAT AT HOME
The Islanders had a record of 25-11-4-1 at home during the 2003-04 season. The Islanders ranked first in the East and third in the NHL in home wins. The 25 wins and 55 points at home were the most in 19 years (1985-86 season). During the 2003-04 campaign, the Islanders had a nine-game unbeaten streak (6-0-3-0) in February marked the longest streak since the 1989-90 season.
PLAYING ON THE ROAD
The Islanders are 0-1-0-0 on the road this season, scoring four goals and allowing six. Dating back to the 2003-04 season, the Islanders are 2-3-0-0 in their last five road games and 4-5-0-1 in their last 10. In 2003-04, the Islanders had a 13-18-7-3 record on the road.
LEADING AFTER TWO
The Islanders are unbeaten in 52 games (44-0-8-0) when taking a lead into the third period. The streak is the longest active streak in the NHL. During the 2003-04 season, the Islanders were 26-0-5-0 when leading after two periods. The Islanders outscored their opponent, 87-61 in the third period in 2003-04. The streak began on December 28, 2002 with a 3-0 win vs. Carolina.
The Islanders are 1-2 this season when scoring the first goal of the game. In the first two games of the 2005-06 season, Buffalo and Carolina scored the first goal of the game, but the Islanders scored first in Monday's 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. In 2003-04, the Islanders had a record 11-23-6-3 when their opponents scored first. They were 27-6-5-1 when they scored the first goal of the game.
The Islanders were 1x7 on the power play on Monday vs. Florida. The Islanders were 1x5 on the power play on October 8 vs. Carolina. In the first game of the 2005-06 season, the Islanders were 1x7 on the power play at Buffalo on Wednesday. Overall, the Islanders are 3x19 (16.7%) on the power play. The Islanders have scored a power play goal in each of their three games this season. In the first three games of the 2003-04 season, the Islanders scored one power play goal in three games and were 1x14 (7.1%) on the power play. The last time the Islanders scored two power play goals in a game was vs. Philadelphia in a 3-3 tie on April 4. The Islanders scored three power play goals against the Flyers. In 2003-04, the Islanders recorded at least one power play goal in 38 of 82 games. They had a record of 27-9-3, including a mark of 16-4-1at home in games that they scored at least one power play goal. During the 2005 preseason, Islanders converted on 10 of 71(14.1%) power play opportunities in seven games. The Islanders, who had the ninth-most power play chances in the league, ranked 21st in the league in power play efficiency. The Islanders scored a power play goal in each of their seven preseason games. In the first game, the Islanders scored a season-high three power play goals on 11 chances in their 5-1 win over the Rangers on September 20. The Islanders had a season-high 15 power play chances vs. the Flyers on Sept. 21.
The Islanders killed off six of Florida's seven power play chances on October 10. The Islanders killed off of all Carolina's five power play opportunities on October 8. They killed off 10 of Buffalo's 12 power play opportunities on Wednesday. Overall, the Islanders have killed off 21 of 24 (88.2%) in three games this season. Shawn Bates scored the first short-handed goal of the season in the Isles' 3-1 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday. In the first three games of the 2003-04 season, the Islanders allowed two power play goals and killed off 15 of 17 (88.2%) power play chances. The Islanders successfully killed off 44 of 52 power play chances (84.6%) in seven preseason games. The Islanders allowed a power play goal in six of their seven preseason games. The Islanders allowed a season-high three power play goals in their 5-3 loss to the Flyers on September 27 and did not allow a power play goal in their 3-2 loss to the to the New Jersey Devils on Sept. 25.
SATAN BEDEVILED ON THE PENALTY SHOT
Miroslav Satan attempted his first penalty shot as an Islander on Monday against former Islander goaltender Roberto Luongo at 5:26 of the third period. Satan was unsuccessful on his attempt. He has scored on two of six penalty shot attempts in his career. His previous penalty shot attempts follows.
Date Opponent Goaltender Result
Miroslav Satan (Buf) 10/09/1999 at Atlanta Damian Rhodes GOAL
Miroslav Satan (Buf) 12/28/1999 vs. Detroit Ken Wregget No Goal
Miroslav Satan (Buf) 03/04/2000 at NYI Kevin Weekes No Goal
Miroslav Satan (Buf) 11/03/2001 at Ottawa Patrick Lalime No Goal
Miroslav Satan (Buf) 02/15/2003 vs. NYR Mike Dunham GOAL
Miroslav Satan (NYI) 10/10/05 Florida Roberto Luongo No Goal
The last Islander to score on a penalty shot in a regular-season game was Tim Connolly, who beat Pittsburgh's Jean-Sebastien Aubin on March 21, 2000. Shawn Bates beat Toronto's Curtis Joseph in Game 6 of the playoffs on April 28, 2002. Dating back to Connolly's penalty shot, the Islanders have been unsuccessful on their last eight penalty shot attempts. Overall, the Islanders have scored on 10 of 24 penalty shot attempts in team history.
Friday, October 14, Flyers Skate Zone, Voorhees, NJ (12:00-1p.m.)
Saturday, October 15, Game-day skate at Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pa. (10:30 AM). Game vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Sunday, October 16, Off
Monday, October 17, Islanders Iceworks, 10 AM-12:30 PM
Tuesday, October 18, Islanders Iceworks, 10 AM-12:30 PM
Wednesday, October 19, Game-day skate at Madison Square Garden, NYC (11:30 AM). Game vs. NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Thursday, October 20, Game-day skate at Nassau Coliseum (10 AM). Game vs. NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Friday, October 21, Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
Saturday, October 22, Game-day skate at Molson Centre (11:30 AM). Game vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.
SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Saturday, October 15 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, October 19 at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Thursday, October 20 vs. New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 22 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, October 25 vs. Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Thursday, October 27 at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 29 vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, November 2 vs. Boston, 7 p.m.
The Islanders have no injuries to report.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 3 games): 1
2003-04 Total Man-Games Lost (After 3 games): 0
The Islanders currently have 22 players on the roster, two goaltenders, seven defensemen and 13 forwards. The oldest player on the team is Garth Snow (36), while the youngest is Petteri Nokelainen (19).
Asham 20 games to 300
Blake 6 assists to 100
DiPietro 17 games to 100
Kvasha 14 points to 200
Lukowich 24 games to 400
Sopel 4 assists to 100
Yashin 8 goals to 300
25 assists to 400
York 2 goals to 100
23 games to 400
Zhitnik 2 points to 400
MINOR LEAGUE UPDATE
The Islanders' AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers fell to 1-1-1-0 (three points) on the season with a 6-5 overtime loss to the Norfolk Admirals last Saturday (October 8) at Scope. Rob Collins recorded a goal and two assists, while Sean Bergenheim and Justin Papineau added a goal and an assist. Wade Dubielewicz made 33 saves in the loss. The Sound Tigers were outshot, 39-19, in the game. Overall, Collins leads the team in scoring with six points (2+4) in three games. The Sound Tigers (1-1-1-0) are off until Saturday when they visit the Binghamton Senators at 7:05 p.m. at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.