GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton at Islanders
Two story lines to what figures to be a memorable and thrilling game at the Coliseum on Saturday night:
1. Can the Islanders start "bringing it" at home like they have of late on the road?
"It's a must," said Steve Stirling. "For two reasons: we have to establish home dominance if we want to challenge the top of the Eastern Conference. And because our fans deserve it. I'm relatively pleased at our play on the road lately -- although I wasn't happy at all with our start in Columbus on Thursday. It's time we started putting together complete games at homes."
2. And then there's the return of Michael Peca.
Remember Mike Milbury's quote last summer: "Mike Peca played as big a part as anyone in restoring credibility to our franchise. We will never forget that."
We're not in the business of telling fans what to do, but we will say this -- we'll be surprised if the former captain isn't received warmly by the fans at the Coliseum on Saturday night. Since joining the Oilers, Peca has been completely respectful of the Islanders, Long Island and the fans. We suspect that the respect will be returned.
The Islanders are planning on a brief welcome back to Mike at some point in the early stages of Saturday's game.
Here are your game notes, courtesy of Corey Witt:
December 8, 2005
Columbus Blue Jackets 4, New York Islanders 3 (F/SO)
The Islanders rallied in the second and third periods, but fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the shoot out, 4-3. David Vyborny scored for Columbus in the shoot out for the win, while the Islanders went 0-3. Mark Parrish tied the game with just 37 seconds remaining in the third and Mike York and Trent Hunter scored in the second. The Isles fired off 40 shots on Columbus netminder Pascal Leclaire and the Blue Jackets power play connected three times.
- Center Oleg Kvasha (ankle) was injured on November 26 and is listed as day-to-day.
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 16 games. He is currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive of November 3, 2005.
- Forward Shawn Bates (hamstring strain) was injured November 19, 2005 and is out 4-5 weeks. He is currently on the Injured Reserve.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 28 games): 41
PLAYER GAMES MISSED INJURY
Arron Asham 1 Rib Muscle
Shawn Bates 11 Hip Strain (4), Hamstring Strain (7)
Rick DiPietro 2 Concussion (1), Bruised Knee (1)
Oleg Kvasha 4 Ankle
Petteri Nokelainen 16 Sprained Ankle (1), Knee Injury (15)
Mark Parrish 4 Hip Strain
Brent Sopel 3 Sprained Wrist
Total Games Missed: 41
December 3 Recalled forwards Kevin Colley and Wyatt Smith and defenseman Bruno Gervais from Bridgeport (AHL). Assigned forward Robert Nilsson to Bridgeport.
November 30 Returned forwards Sean Bergenheim and Wyatt Smith to Bridgeport. Assigned defenseman Tomi Pettinen to Bridgeport on a conditioning assignment.
November 29 Recalled forwards Sean Bergenheim and Wyatt Smith from Bridgeport.
November 26 - Returned center Jeremy Colliton to Bridgeport.
November 25 Recalled center Jeremy Colliton from Bridgeport.
Today's game is the 61st meeting between the Islanders the Oilers. The all-time series is tied at 23-23-14-0. At the Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders lead the all-time series 15-7-9-0. The teams squared off once in 2003-04 with the Islanders taking the January 8, 2004 match up 3-2 behind a solid effort from Rick DiPietro. Justin Papineau scored twice and Radek Martinek chipped in the other for the Islanders. Ty Conklin was losing goalie for Edmonton.
Did You Know? There's only been one penalty shot in the lifetime series between the Islanders and the Oilers. Beniot Houge scored for the Islanders versus Ron Tugnutt at the Coliseum on February 16, 1993.
2005-06 Season Series:
December 10, 2005: at Nassau Coliseum 7:00 p.m. (EST)
A "MIKE YORK" STATE OF MIND
It might just be three games, but Mike York has the golden touch right now. After scoring the game-winning at Detroit on Sunday, York netted five points (two goals, three assists) at St. Louis on Tuesday night to tie a single-game career-high for points. He also scored a power play goal at Columbus on Thursday night. Earlier this year, York scored his 100th NHL goal in the Islanders 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday, November 12, 2005 at the Nassau Coliseum. On the season, York has recorded seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points and is fifth on the team in scoring.
HIT OR BE HIT
Arron Asham and Trent Hunter have a hit or be hit type of mentality. Following Thursday game, Asham is fifth in the league in hits with 76, while Hunter is in seventh place with 72. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defenseman with 53 and is 26th in the NHL. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 487 hits on their opponents this season. In Thursday's game, Hunter and Lukowich tied for the team-high in hits with three each.
BLAKE IS BUZZING
Jason Blake is off to the best start of his career. Through the first 28 games of this season, Blake has recorded 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points, good enough for second on the team. His goal total puts him in a tie for the team-lead with Miroslav Satan. Entering this season, his best mark through 28 games came in 2002-03 when he had 15 points and finished the year with career-highs with 25 goals, 30 assists and 55 points
Currently, Blake has points in six of the last eight games (6+4). That includes a game from two weeks ago against Philadelphia on November 26 when he netted his third career hat trick. Most recently, Blake chipped in a goal and an assist in St. Louis on Tuesday night.
CAPTAIN YASH LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Team captain Alexei Yashin leads the team in scoring with 29 points (12+17) in 28 games. This season, Yashin has recorded a point in 22 of 28 games. He recently snapped a five-game scoring streak (2+3) which ended on Thursday night in Columbus (11/15-12/6). He has also scored in 11 of the last 13 games (4+11). He's also had five multiple-point games. This is Yashin's second best start since the 2001-02 season, his first as an Islander. That season he finished with 32 goals, 43 assists and 75 points. Through the first 26 games of that season he also had 28 points.
This season, he had a season-high seven-game point streak from October 10-25, collecting 11 points (5+6). In addition to his seven-game point streak, Yashin recorded an assist in five consecutive games (October 15-25). The point streak was Yashin's longest since the 2003-04, when he had a nine-game point streak with 13 points (3+10) from November 14-December 3.
PARRISH STOPS SLIDE
After starting off the 2005-06 season with points in four of the first seven games (3+2), Mark Parrish slowed down after suffering a hip strain. But Parrish turned his luck around as he's making up for his mini-slump with points in seven of the last nine games (5+6). He most recently netted the Islanders third period tying goal with 37 seconds remaining at Columbus on Thursday night.
ISLANDERS IN DECEMBER
The Islanders have started off December on the right note with two wins and a shoot out loss on the road in their first three games of the month. Following Sunday's 2-1 win at Detroit, the Islanders rolled past the St. Louis Blues 6-3 and rallied against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night before falling in the shoot out 4-3. They have a 2-0-1 record so far in December. The Islanders will play a total of 12 games this month, six at home and six on the road. In 2003-04, the Islanders were 10-4-0-1 in December.
Win Loss OTL
Oct. 5 6 0
Nov. 7 6 1
Dec. 2 0 1
* The Islanders have an overtime victory, two shootout victories and two shootout losses. They have not yet lost in overtime. See below for details.
THE ISLANDERS' PENALTY KILL
- The Islanders killed off four of seven Columbus power plays on Thursday night.
- They have now allowed 10 power play goals in the last 13 games (75 chances).
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 158 of 192 (82.2%) power play attempts in 28 games this season.
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked tied for seventh best in the NHL on the road with an 85.2 penalty kill percentage, while they are ranked 26th at home with a penalty kill percentage of 77.4.
- This season, the Islanders had a streak of 37 consecutive penalty kills, which spanned six complete games and parts of two others. The streak started during the team's game at New Jersey on November 8th and last until the second penalty kill of the team's game vs. Buffalo on November 23rd. Chris Drury scored on the power play for the Sabres at 17:29 of the first period to snap the Islanders consecutive penalty kill streak.
- The Islanders have recorded three shorthanded goals this season. Arron Asham scored a shorthanded goal in the Islanders' 5-4 win over the Rangers on October 20. Earlier in the season, Shawn Bates scored the first shorthanded goal of the season in the Isles' 3-1 win over the Hurricanes on October 8 and Jason Blake scored a shorthanded tally in the Islanders' 5-3 win over Washington on October 13.
THE ISLANDERS ON THE MAN ADVANTAGE
- The Islanders were two for ten on the power play at Columbus on Thursday night.
- They have 19 power play goals in the last 14 games.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 20 of 28 games this season.
- They are 32-172 (18.6%) on the man-advantage and are tenth best in the NHL. On the road, the team's power play in tenth best in the NHL at 17.3%, while they are ranked ninth at home at 21.0%.
- Last season, 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 16-4-1 at home in games that they scored at least one power play goal.
ISLANDERS ON THE COLISEUM ICE
The Islanders are 5-5-1 at home this season, scoring 35 goals and allowing 42. The Islanders are currently on the three-game losing streak on home ice. The last Islanders victory at the Coliseum came on November 12 vs. Boston. In the three losses, the Islanders have been outscored 14-8.
COLISEUM ATTENDANCE UPDATE
The Islanders have a total attendance of 144,809 after eleven games at the Nassau Coliseum, for an average of 13,165 (81.1% capacity) with one sellout. Last season after seven games at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders had a total attendance of 84,866, an average of 12,266 (79.8% capacity) with one sellout. The seating capacity for the Nassau Coliseum is 16,234.
ISLANDERS ON THE ROAD
The Islanders recently finished up a three-game, six-day road trip with a 2-0-1 record. They defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Sunday (12/4) and the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday (12/6) for their eighth and ninth road victories and fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in the shoot out on Thursday (12/8). In 2005-06, the Islanders are 9-7-01on the road.
The team has a five game road trip in March, which will also take them to Atlanta, Boston, Florida, New Jersey and Tampa Bay.
LUKOWICH JOINS THE 400 CLUB
Brad Lukowich joined the 400 NHL game club on Tuesday night at St. Louis. Currently in his first season with the Islanders, Lukowich was originally drafted by the Islanders in the fourth round (90th overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He started his career with the Dallas Stars and played in 224 games with them before being traded to Tampa Bay on June 22, 2002. With The Lightning, he played in 149 games en route to winning the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004. This season, he has played in all 28 games with the Islanders.
Teammate Mike York also played in his 400th NHL game this week in the Islanders 2-1 win in Detroit on Sunday. Also in his first season with the Islanders, York was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in the sixth round (136 overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He went onto play in 230 games for the Rangers before being traded to Edmonton in March of 2002. He played in 144 games with the Oilers. This season, he has played in all 28 games with the Islanders.
PARRISH NETS 150/100
In Tuesday night's win at St. Louis, Mark Parrish scored his 150th NHL goal and his 100th as a member of the Islanders. The Islanders traded for Parrish along with Oleg Kvasha for Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo in June of 2000. Parrish is currently in his fifth season with team.
SCORING THE FIRST GOAL
The Islanders are 11-5-1 this season when scoring first and 3-6-1 when the opposition scores the first goal of the game. 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.
NOT BAD WHEN LEADING AFTER TWO
The Islanders have only lost once in 62 games (54 wins, eight ties and one overtime loss in the shootout) when taking a lead into the third period. The Islanders are 10-0-1 this season when leading after two periods. This streak includes wining in overtime (vs. Bruins, Nov. 1) and winning in the shootout twice (at Rangers, Oct. 19 and at Pittsburgh Nov. 14) this season. The only loss occurred in the shootout this past Wednesday night when the Islanders dropped a 4-3 decision to the Buffalo Sabres. During the 2003-04 season, the Islanders were 26-0-5-0 when leading after two periods.
SHOTS ON GOAL
The Islanders have been outshot, 933-823, through the first 28 games of the 2005-06 season. The Islanders have been outshot in 20 of 28 games this season, including a stretch of seven games that was just snapped starting on November 19 at Florida and ending at St. Louis on December 6. The Islanders are allowing an average of 33.3 shots per game. They have a record of 11-8-1 when they have been outshot and have a record of 2-4-1 in games when they've outshot the opponent.
The Islanders recorded a season-high 40 shots, including 20 in the first period at Philadelphia on November 10 and tied that mark at Columbus on December 8. The Islanders have also allowed 40 or more shots in a game four times this season and have a record of 2-2. The most recent game was the team's loss versus the Ottawa Senators on November 25.
IN THE EXTRA SESSION
Shawn Bates scored the game-winning goal with 28.2 seconds left in overtime to lift the Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on November 1 at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders are 3-1 in overtime/shootout (two shootout victories, one shootout loss) this season and have a lifetime record of 65-60-194 in overtime. Last season, the Islanders had a record of 2-4-11 in overtime.
DECIDED BY THE SHOOTOUT
On Thursday, the Islanders lost in the shoot out for the second time this season. They now have a record of 2-2 when the game is decided by the shoot out. Alexei Yashin, Miroslav Satan and Mike York all missed fired on their attempts. Rick DiPietro stopped two of three shooters with Columbus' Davide Vyborny scoring the determining goal
On November 23, the Islanders lost their first shootout since its inception dropping the decision to the Buffalo Sabres at the Coliseum. Ales Kotalik (determining goal) and Tim Connolly scored against Rick DiPietro, while Alexei Yashin and Jason Blake failed on their attempts for the Islanders.
The Islanders shootout victory over the Penguins on November 14 was the second longest so far in the NHL this season. Eighteen shooters were used by both teams, which at the time set a new standard in the inaugural season for the shootout. Jason Blake netted the determining goal against goaltender Jocelyn Thibault and Islanders' goaltender Rick DiPietro stopped seven of nine Penguin shooters, including rookie Ryan Whitney to seal the win.
The team's first shoot out victory came against the New York Rangers in a 3-2 decision at Madison Square Garden on October 19. In that contest, Miroslav Satan scored the only shootout goal against Henrik Lundqvist.
The Islanders completed their third set of back-to-back games this past weekend, splitting the contests. The club fell to the Ottawa Senators at home on Friday 6-2, but rallied to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers on the road 4-2. The Islanders are scheduled to play 10 sets of back-to-back games during the 2005-06 regular season, four fewer than they had in 2003-04. The Islanders do not have back-to-back games in December and the next set is in January when the team plays a home-and-home series versus Carolina on January 6-7.
The Islanders have a record of 2-1-0 in the first game of back-to-back games and a 2-1-0 record in the second game. The Islanders played 14 back-to-back sets in 2003-04, posting a 13-13-1-1 record in those 28 contests; 8-6-0-0 in the first games of back-to-back sets and 5-7-1-1 in the second games.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Arron Asham is seven points away from his 100th NHL point.
- Jason Blake is four games away from his 300th as an Islander.
- Eric Godard's next goal will be his first NHL goal.
- Oleg Kvasha is eight points away from his 200th NHL point.
- Miroslav Satan is eight power play goals away from his 100th NHL power play goal.
- Alexei Yashin is six points away from his 700th NHL point.
- Alexei Yashin is nine assists away from his 400th NHL assist.
MILESTONES REACHED THIS SEASON
- Chris Campoli, Robert Nilsson and Petteri Nokelainen each played in their first NHL game on October 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Chris Campoli scored his first NHL goal/point on his first NHL shot on October 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Petteri Nokelainen scored his first NHL goal on October 13th at Washington.
- Robert Nilsson scored his first NHL goal vs. Buffalo on October 29.
- Alexei Yashin scored his 300th career NHL goal on November 14th at Pittsburgh.
- Alexei Zhitnik played in his 900th NHL career game on November 14th at Pittsburgh.
- Jeremy Colliton played in his first NHL game on November 23rd vs. Buffalo.
- Arron Asham played in his 300th NHL game on November 25th vs. Ottawa.
- Rick DiPietro played in his 100th NHL game on November 25th vs. Ottawa.
- Alexei Yashin scored his 200th point as an Islander on November 26th at Philadelphia.
- Bruno Gervais made his NHL debut on December 4th at Detroit.
- Mike York played in his 400th NHL game on December 4th at Detroit
- Brad Lukowich played in his 400th NHL game on December 6th at St. Louis.
- Mark Parrish recorded his 150th NHL goal on December 6th at St. Louis.
- Mark Parrish recorded his 100th goal as an Islander on December 6th at St. Louis.
UPCOMING PRACTICE SCHEDULE (all times local)
Sunday, December 11: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Monday, December 12: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
* Minnesota Wild practice at Islanders Iceworks, 3:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 13: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m. 11:15 p.m.
Wednesday, December 14: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 15: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Friday, December 16: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 17: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m. 11:15 p.m.
NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
Saturday, December 10 vs. Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 13 vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 17 vs. Colorado, 7 p.m.
Monday, December 19 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 21 vs. New Jersey, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, December 23 vs. Ottawa, 7:00 p.m.
Monday, December 26 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 28 vs. New York Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, December 30 at Ottawa Senators, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, January 2 vs. Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m.