GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at Ottawa
Oleg Kvasha is expected to make his return to the lineup when the Islanders play the Senators tonight at the Corel Centre. At yesterday's practice at Nassau Coliseum, Kvasha was on a line with Wyatt Smith and Mattias Weinhandl while Eric Godard practiced with Alexei Yashin and Miroslav Satan.
With Kvasha ready to go, Jeff Hamilton was returned to Bridgeport yesterday. Other than the Parrish-York-Hunter line remaining intact for tonight's game against the Senators, nothing else is written in stone.
The Islanders are in a three-game losing streak, but the atmosphere of teamwork, support and positive talk was impressive at yesterday's practice. Players were seen constantly encouraging each other, working with each other throughout. Steve Stirling reiterated his confidence in his players.
As Brad Lukowich said after the loss on Wednesday to the Rangers, "It's time we started to get in the trenches."
- Center Kevin Colley (knee sprain) was injured on Dec. 13 and was placed on the Injured Reserve on Dec. 17. He is out indefinitely.
- Center Oleg Kvasha (ankle) was injured on Nov. 26 and is currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive on Nov. 26
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 23 games. He's currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive of Nov. 3, 2005.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 36 games): 70
RECENT 2005-06 TRANSACTIONS
December 28 - Returned Jeff Hamilton to Bridgeport.
December 23 - Activated forward Shawn Bates from the Injured Reserve. Recalled forward Jeff Hamilton on an emergency basis and returned him to Bridgeport (AHL) following the game.
December 21 - Recalled forwards Rob Collins and Jeff Hamilton on an emergency basis and returned them to Bridgeport following the game.
December 20 - Returned forwards Rob Collins, Jeremy Colliton and Jeff Hamilton to Bridgeport.
December 17 - Recalled forwards Rob Collins, Jeremy Colliton and Wyatt Smith from Bridgeport. Placed center Kevin Colley on the Injured Reserve.
December 15 - Placed Oleg Kvasha on the Injured Reserve list retroactive of Nov. 26.
December 14 - Returned center Wyatt Smith to Bridgeport.
December 12- Returned defenseman Bruno Gervais to Bridgeport and recalled Tomi Pettinen from his conditioning assignment at Bridgeport.
ISLE LEAD THE WAY
Goals - Jason Blake, Miroslav Satan 16
Assists - Alexei Yashin 21
Points - Alexei Yashin 35
Penalty Minutes - Arron Asham 72
Plus/Minus - Jason Blake +4
Game-Winning Goals - Shawn Bates 4
Power Play Goals - Mark Parrish 9
Power Play Assists - Alexei Zhitnik 15
Power Play Points - Alexei Zhitnik 17
Shots - Jason Blake 136
Shooting Percentage - Mark Parrish 25.5%
Time on Ice - Alexei Zhitnik 24:30 per game
ISLANDERS VISIT THE SENS
Tonight's game is the 49th regular season meeting and 54th meeting all-time between the Islanders and the Ottawa Senators. The Islanders currently trail the all-time series 10-26-11-0. In Ottawa, the Senators hold a 5-14-5-0 edge over the Islanders. This is the fourth and final meeting of the regular season between these clubs.
Did You Know?
Ron Hextall has the only shutout for the Islanders in the lifetime series versus the Senators. He blanked Ottawa on Feb. 19, 1994 at the Coliseum. The Islanders won the game Derek King, Vladimir Malakhov, Beniot Hogue and Patrick Flatley scored for the Islanders.
2005-06 Season Series:
November 5, 2005: Ottawa Senators 6, Islanders 0 - Corel Centre
November 25, 2005: Ottawa Senators 6, Islanders 2 - Nassau Coliseum
December 23, 2005: 7:00 pm - Ottawa Senators 4, Islanders 2 - Nassau Coliseum
December 30, 2005: 7:30 pm - Corel Center
ISLANDERS OLYMPIC SPIRIT
Jason Blake, Rick DiPietro and Mark Parrish were named to Team USA for the upcoming 2006 Winter Games in Turino, Italy. This is the first time each of the three players will be representing their home country in Olympic play. In September 2004, Blake and DiPietro played for Team USA at the World Cup of Hockey. Parrish has represented the United States in three World Championships (1998, 2001 & 2005), while DiPietro has played in two World Championships (2001 & 2005). Blake has made one appearance at the World Championships (2000).
Miroslav Satan is heading back to the Olympics for the third time and will suit up for Team Slovakia in Italy. Also returning to the Olympics is center Alexei Yashin and defenseman Alexei Zhitnik. For Yashin this will also be his third Olympics after playing for Team Russia in 1998 and 2002. The 2006 games will also be Zhitnik's third tour with Team Russia and first since 1998. He chose not to join the team at the 2002 games in Salt Lake City. Yashin has won Olympic Silver (1998) and Bronze (2002), while Zhitnik has won Silver (1998) and Gold (1992).
BLAKE CONTINUES TO BUZZ
The "new NHL" must be a great fit for Jason Blake because he's having a career year. Through his first 34 games of the season, Blake has recorded 16 goals and 13 assists for 29 point and his tied for second on the team in scoring. His goal total places him in a tie with Miroslav Satan for first on the squad. Entering this season, his best mark through 34 games came in 2003-04 when he had 19 points.
Currently, Blake has points in 10 of his last 14 games (9+7). That includes a game against Philadelphia on Nov. 26 when he netted his third career hat trick. Most recently, Blake chipped in an assist vs. the New York Rangers on Dec. 28.
A "MIKE YORK" STATE OF MIND
In the month of December, Mike York has been one of the Islanders hot scorers. He scored in the first eight games of the month and has recorded a point in all but two games this month. In the last 11 games, York has netted 16 points (6+10). He started off his hot streak by scoring the game-wining goal in Detroit on Dec. 4th and then tied a single-game high in points with five at Columbus two days later on Dec. 6th. He's also scored a power play goal at Columbus on Dec. 8th. He added one assist in three straight games (Dec. 13-Dec. 19) and scored a goal with two assists on Dec. 21st vs. New Jersey. He added an assist at Buffalo on Dec. 26.
Earlier this year, York scored his 100th NHL goal in the Islanders 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2005 at the Nassau Coliseum. On the season, York has recorded nine goals and 19 assists for 28 points and is third on the team in scoring.
HIT OR BE HIT
Arron Asham and Trent Hunter have a hit or be hit type of mentality. Following Wednesday's game, Trent Hunter has jumped to third in the league in hits with 100, while Asham is in eighth with 93. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defenseman with 74 and is 21st in the NHL. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 666 hits on their opponents this season. In Wednesday's game, the Islanders recorded a team season-high 38 hits with Hunter leading the way with seven.
PARRISH STAYS HOT
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 18 points in the last 17 games (9+9). He most recently scored a goal on Dec. 28 vs. the New York Rangers. Parrish also leads the league in shooting percentage with a mark of 25.5 percent.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Team captain Alexei Yashin leads the team in scoring with 35 points (14+21) in 36 games. This season, Yashin has recorded a point in 26 of 36 games. He has also scored in 15 of the last 21 games (6+14) and seven of the last 13. He's also had seven 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 36 games of that season he had 38 points.
This season, he had a season-high seven-game point streak from Oct. 10-25, collecting 11 points (5+6). In addition to his seven-game point streak, Yashin recorded an assist in five consecutive games (Oct. 15-25) and had a five-game scoring streak (2+3) (11/15-12/6). The seven-game point streak was Yashin's longest since the 2003-04, when he had a nine-game point streak with 13 points (3+10) from Nov. 14-Dec. 3.
COLLEY, KVASHA & NOKELAINEN REMAIN ON IR
Forwards Kevin Colley, Oleg Kvasha and Petteri Nokelainen remain on the Injured Reserve. Colley (knee sprain) was placed on the Injured Reserve list on Dec. 17 after sustaining his injury on Dec. 13 vs. Minnesota. He has missed the last six games. Kvasha (ankle) has missed the last 12 games and was injured on Nov. 26 at Philadelphia. He was placed on the IR on Dec. 15 retroactive of Nov. 26. Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 23 games.
ISLANDERS IN DECEMBER
The Islanders have a .500 record in December with a 5-5-1 record in 11 games. 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.
ISLANDERS ON THE COLISEUM ICE
The Islanders are 8-8-1 at home this season, scoring 54 goals and allowing 64. The Islanders recently lost to the New York Rangers at the Coliseum on Wednesday night by a score of 6-2.
ISLANDERS ON THE ROAD
The Islanders have lost their last two road games with the most recent defeat occurring at Buffalo on Dec. 26. They also lost at Toronto on Dec. 19. In their last 10 road games, the Islanders have a record of 6-3-1. The Islanders next road game is on Dec. 30 at Ottawa. It will be the fourth and final meeting between the clubs this season.
The Islanders have a five-game road trip in March, which will also take them to Atlanta, Boston, Florida, New Jersey and Tampa Bay.
THE ISLANDERS' PENALTY KILL
- The Islanders killed off two of three New York Rangers power plays on Wednesday night.
- They have now allowed 18 power play goals in the last 10 games (66 chances).
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 194 of 241 (80.5%) power play attempts in 36 games this season.
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked 9th in the NHL on the road with an 83.5 penalty kill percentage, while they are ranked 30th at home with a penalty kill percentage of 77.2.
- They have allowed a power play goal in 10 straight.
- This season, the Islanders had a streak of 37 consecutive penalty kills, which span lasted complete games and parts of two others. The streak started during the team's game at New Jersey on Nov. 8th and last until the second penalty kill of the team's game vs. Buffalo on Nov. 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 Oct. 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 Oct. 8 and Jason Blake scored a shorthanded tally in the Islanders' 5-3 win over Washington on Oct. 13.
THE ISLANDERS ON THE MAN ADVANTAGE
- The Islanders were zero for three on the power play versus the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
- They have 15 power play goals in the last 10 games (71 chances).
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 26 of 36 games this season.
- They are 42-228 (18.4%) on the man-advantage and are tied for 9th in the NHL. On the road, the team's power play is seventh in the NHL at 18.5%, while they are ranked 14th at home at 18.4%.
- 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.
DECIDED BY THE SHOOTOUT
The Islanders have participated in five shootouts this season and have an overall record of 3-2 and are 1-1 at the Coliseum. Rick DiPietro has been the Islanders goaltender in each shootout.
The most recent shootout occurred on Dec. 10th when Alexei Yashin and Trent Hunter (determining goal) scored for the Islanders as Rick DiPietro stopped two of three Edmonton Oilers shooters for the win.
On Dec. 8th, the Islanders lost in the shootout for the second time this season. 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 Nov. 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 Nov. 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 Oct. 19. In that contest, Miroslav Satan scored the only shootout goal against Henrik Lundqvist.
SCORING THE FIRST GOAL
The Islanders are 13-7-1 this season when scoring first and 4-9-1 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.
SHOTS ON GOAL
The Islanders have been outshot, 1,167-1042, through the first 36 games of the 2005-06 season. The Islanders have been outshot in 25 of 36 games this season, including a stretch of seven games that started on Nov. 19 at Florida and ended at St. Louis on Dec. 6. The Islanders are allowing an average of 32.4 shots per game while shooting off 28.9 shots on goal per game. Thirteen of the team's 16 victories have come when the team has been outshot. They have a record of 13-11-1 when they have been outshot and have a record of 3-6-1 in games when they've outshot the opponent. The Islanders are 1-0 in games where they tie their opponents shot total.
The Islanders recorded a season-high 40 shots, including 20 in the first period at Philadelphia on Nov. 10 and tied that mark at Columbus on Dec. 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 Nov. 25.
IN THE EXTRA SESSION
In the Islanders last overtime game, Shawn Bates scored the game-winning goal with 28.2 seconds left to lift the Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Nov. 1 at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders are 4-2 in overtime/shootout (one overtime win, three shootout victories, two shootout losses) this season and have a lifetime record of 66-61-194 in overtime.
Last season, the Islanders had a record of 2-4-11 in overtime.
The Islanders split their last back-to-back set in late November. The club fell to the Ottawa Senators at the Nassau Coliseum on Nov. 25 6-2, but rallied to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers on the road 4-2 on Nov. 26. 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 Jan. 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.
H.L. GROSS & BROTHERS PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Every month, Islanders fans along with H.L. Gross & Brothers Jewelers select the Islander of the Month. With 13 points off sevens goals and six assist, Jason Blake was November's Player of the Month.
October - Alexei Yashin
November - Jason Blake
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Arron Asham is one point away from his 100th NHL point.
- Arron Asham is eight games away from his 200th as an Islander.
- Kevin Colley's next goal will be his first NHL goal.
- Oleg Kvasha is seven points away from his 200th NHL point.
- Mark Parrish is three points away from his 200th as an Islander.
- Tomi Pettinen's next goal will be his first NHL goal.
- Miroslav Satan is six power play goals away from his 100th NHL power play goal.
- Wyatt Smith's next goal will be his first as an Islander.
- Alexei Yashin is five 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 Oct. 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Chris Campoli scored his first NHL goal/point on his first NHL shot on Oct. 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Petteri Nokelainen scored his first NHL goal on Oct. 13th at Washington.
- Robert Nilsson scored his first NHL goal vs. Buffalo on Oct. 29.
- Alexei Yashin scored his 300th career NHL goal on Nov. 14th at Pittsburgh.
- Alexei Zhitnik played in his 900th NHL career game on Nov. 14th at Pittsburgh.
- Jeremy Colliton played in his first NHL game on Nov. 23rd vs. Buffalo.
- Arron Asham played in his 300th NHL game on Nov. 25th vs. Ottawa.
- Rick DiPietro played in his 100th NHL game on Nov. 25th vs. Ottawa.
- Alexei Yashin scored his 200th point as an Islander on Nov. 26th at Philadelphia.
- Bruno Gervais made his NHL debut on Dec. 4th at Detroit.
- Mike York played in his 400th NHL game on Dec. 4th at Detroit
- Brad Lukowich played in his 400th NHL game on Dec. 6th at St. Louis.
- Mark Parrish recorded his 150th NHL goal on Nov. 29th vs. Philadelphia.
- Mark Parrish recorded his 100th goal as an Islander on Nov. 29th vs. Philadelphia.
- Jeff Hamilton scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 17 vs. Colorado.
- Rob Collins made his NHL debut on Dec. 17 vs. Colorado.
- Rob Collins recorded his first NHL assists on Dec. 19 at Toronto.
- Rob Collins scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 19 at Toronto.
- Eric Godard scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 19 at Toronto.
- Jeff Hamilton recorded his first two NHL assists on Dec. 19 at Toronto.
- Jason Blake recorded his 200th point as an Islander on Dec. 21 vs. New Jersey.
- Jason Blake played in his 300th games as an Islander on Dec. 23 vs. Ottawa.
- Alexei Yashin recorded his 700th NHL point on Dec. 26 at Buffalo.
YASHIN RECORDS 700TH NHL POINT
Islanders captain Alexei Yashin recorded his 700th NHL point on Dec. 26 at Buffalo. After scoring earlier in the second period, Yashin recorded the secondary assist on the Miroslav Satan tally to reach the milestone.
Earlier this season, Yashin scored his 300th NHL career goal on November 14th at Pittsburgh. He also recorded his 200th point as an Islander on November 26 at Philadelphia Flyers. For his career, Yashin has 305 goals with 295 assists for 700 points. As a Islander, Yashin has recorded 87 goals with 122 assists for 209 points. This is Yashin's fourth season as an Islander.
BLAKE PLAYS IN 300TH GAME AS AN ISLANDER
Jason Blake played in his 300th game as an Islander on Dec. 23 vs. Ottawa. He has played in 382 games in his NHL career with the other 82 Los Angeles Kings. After going undrafted, Blake was signed by the Kings in April of 1999. The Islanders acquired Blake from the Kings on January 3, 2001 for a fifth round draft pick.
UPCOMING PRACTICE SCHEDULE (all times local)
Saturday, December 31: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am-11:30 pm
Sunday, January 1: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am-11:30 pm
Monday, January 2: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am-11:15 am
Tuesday, January 3: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Wednesday, January 4: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am-11:15 am
Thursday, January 5: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Friday, January 6: Game day skate at RBC Center, 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Saturday, January 7: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am-11:15 am
NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
Friday, December 30 at Ottawa Senators, 7:30 pm
Monday, January 2 vs. Tampa Bay, 7:00 pm
Wednesday, January 4 vs. Florida, 7:00 pm
Friday, January 6 at Carolina, 7:00 pm
Saturday, January 7 vs. Carolina, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, January 10 at Nashville, 8:00 pm
Thursday, January 12 vs. Calgary, 7:00 pm
Saturday, January 14 vs. Vancouver, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, January 17 at Chicago, 7:30 pm
Thursday, January 19 at Carolina, 7:00 pm
MINOR LEAGUE UPDATE - BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers blanked the Springfield Falcons 4-0 at home on Wednesday night behind goaltender Wade Dubielewicz's second shutout of the season. The Sound Tigers are now unbeaten-in-regulation in the last three games going 2-0-0-1. Dubielewicz has stopped 106 of 109 shots during the streak. Sean Bergenheim, Bruno Gervais, Cole Jarrett and Masi Marjamaki scored for the Sound Tigers. Rob Collins and Robert Nilsson each had two assists.
The Sound Tigers will visit the Philadelphia Phantoms tonight at 7:05 pm and then return home to host the Lowell Lock Monsters in a New Year's Eve matinee tomorrow at 1:05 pm. All Sound Tigers games are web-cast live at www.soundtigers.com. Fans can also watch all games live on the B2 Networks.