GAME PREVIEW: Rangers at Islanders
For the fifth time this month, the Islanders are in a back-to-back set of games as they take on the New York Rangers tonight at the Coliseum. The Blueshirts have a three games to two lead over the Islanders this season. The teams will play twice more this year, both at the Madison Square Garden and in consecutive weeks.
Rivalry aside, fans at the Coliseum could see something special tonight. Ranger's winger Jaromir Jagr could break team records for goals and points tonight. He currently is tied for the franchise lead in both categories with 52 and 109, respectively. Considering the Rangers long and storied history (remember, they're an original six team dating back to 1926), those feats are pretty impressive to say the least.
Fans can catch the game on FSN with Howie and Joe or on Bloomberg 1130 AM with John and Kinger.
Here are the game notes:
- Arron Asham (ankle) is out four-to-six weeks. He was injured on March 14.
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 58 games. He's currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive of Nov. 3, 2005.
- Mike York (eye) is day-to-day.
- Alexei Zhitnik (ankle) is out for the season. He was injured on March 14.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 71 games): 188
RECENT 2005-06 TRANSACTIONS
March 27 Recalled forward Rob Collins on an emergency basis from Bridgeport (AHL).
March 25 Recalled center Jeremy Colliton from Bridgeport and reassigned forward Rob Collins to Bridgeport.
March 22 Signed 2004 second round draft pick right wing Blake Comeau to a three-year contact.
ISLE LEAD THE WAY
Goals... Miroslav Satan 29
Assists... Alexei Yashin, Mike York 36
Points... Alexei Yashin 60
Penalty Minutes... John Erskine 119
Plus/Minus... Joel Bouchard +8
Game-Winning Goals... Shawn Bates 4
Power Play Goals... Miroslav Satan 15
Power Play Assists... Alexei Yashin 21
Power Play Points... Alexei Yashin 27
Shots... Jason Blake 262
Shooting Percentage... Shawn Bates 16.7%
Time on Ice... Alexei Zhitnik 24:30 per game
Hits... Trent Hunter 203
UPCOMING PRACTICE SCHEDULE (subject to change, all times local)
Thursday, March 30: Practice at Nassau Coliseum 10:00 am 12:30 pm
Friday, March 31: Morning skate at Nassau Coliseum 10:30 am 11:15 am
Saturday, April 1: Practice at Islanders Iceworks 10:00 am 11:30 am
Sunday, April 2: No Morning Skate
Monday, April 3: Practice at Islanders Iceworks 10:00 am 12:30 pm
Tuesday, April 4: Practice at Nassau Coliseum 10:00 am 12:30 pm
Wednesday, April 5: Morning skate at Air Canada Centre 11:30 am 12:15 pm
THE SCHEDULE THE REST OF THE WAY (all times Eastern)
Friday, March 31 vs. Pittsburgh, 7:00 pm
Sunday, April 2 vs. Philadelphia, 1:00 pm
Wednesday, April 5 at Toronto, 7:30 pm
Thursday, April 6 at New York Rangers, 7:00 pm
Saturday, April 8 vs. Washington, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, April 11 at New York Rangers, 7:00 pm
Thursday, April 13 vs. Toronto, 7:00pm
Saturday, April 15 vs. Pittsburgh, 7:00pm
Monday, April 17 at Pittsburgh, 7:30 pm
Tuesday, April 18 vs. Philadelphia, 7:00 pm
NEW YORK ISLANDERS vs. NEW YORK RANGERS
ALL-TIME REGULAR SEASON RECORD: 86-91-19-1
PLAYOFF RECORD: 20-19
RECORD AT NASSAU COLISEUM: 55-35-8-1
RECORD ON ROAD: 34-53-11-0
LAST GAME: February 2 at Nassau Coliseum L 5-2
NEXT GAME: April 6, 2006 at Madison Square Garden
CURRENT STREAK: Rangers, 3 wins
2005-06 SEASON SERIES:
October 19, 2005: Islanders 3, Rangers 2 (F/SO) Madison Square Garden
October 20, 2005: Islanders 5, Rangers 4 Nassau Coliseum
October 27, 2005: Rangers 3, Islanders 1 Madison Square Garden
December 28, 2005: Rangers 6, Islanders 2 Nassau Coliseum
February 2, 2006: Rangers 5, Islanders 2 Nassau Coliseum
**Tonight** March 29, 2006: 7:00 PM Nassau Coliseum
April 6, 2006: 7:00 PM Madison Square Garden
April 11, 2006: 7:00 PM Madison Square Garden
HOME SWEET HOME //// ISLANDERS ON THE COLISEUM ICE
The Islanders are 18-14-2 at home this season and are currently on a six-game home winning streak, which started March 2nd with a 3-2 shootout win over New Jersey. The current streak has seen three shootout wins. In their most recent game at the Coliseum, the Islanders defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 5-2 on Saturday, March 25. Prior to that game, the Islanders defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Tuesday, March 21. Following tonight's contest, the Islanders' next home game is Friday, March 31 versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
MONTH-BY-MONTH AT THE COLISEUM
Oct. 3 2 0
Nov. 2 3 1
Dec. 3 3 0
Jan. 3 4 0
Feb. 1 2 1
March 6 0 0
Totals 18 14 2
ISLANDERS ON THE ROAD
The Islanders have a road record of 15-19-3 this season. In their most recent game on the road, the Islanders lost to the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 on Tuesday, March 28. The Islanders' next road game is April 5 at Toronto.
MONTH-BY-MONTH ON THE ROAD
Oct. 2 4 0
Nov. 5 3 0
Dec. 2 3 1
Jan. 2 3 1
Feb. 2 1 0
March 2 6 0
Totals 15 19 3
The Islanders are in the midst their ninth back-to-back series of the season and fifth of five this month. Last night, the Islanders fell to the Montreal Canadiens 2-0. The team's next back-to-back set is next week when they travel to Toronto on April 5 and then play at Madison Square Garden versus the Rangers on April 6. The Islanders are will play 11 sets of back-to-back games during the 2005-06 regular season.
The Islanders have a record of 3-6-0 in the first game of back-to-back games and a 5-3-0 record in the second game.
BLAKE TIES CAREER-HIGH IN GOALS
With his goal in Pittsburgh on March 24, Jason Blake tied his career high of 25 goals, originally set in the 2002-03 season. That year he also had 30 assists for a total of 55 points, which was also a career high. On the season, Blake had 25 goals and 23 assists for 48 points. He is seven points shy of matching his career-high in points. In his career, Blake has amassed 90 goals and 117 assists for 207 points in 414 career games. He recorded his 200th NHL point on Feb. 11 at New Jersey.
RICKY UPS PERSONAL MARK WITH 27TH WIN
Rick DiPietro continues to set a new personal season-high in victories this season. On March 25, he recorded his 27th career victory with the win over the Atlanta Thrashers. His previous season-high was 23, which he recorded in the 2003-04 season. On the season, DiPietro is 27-20-5. He had a six-game winning streak from March 2 March 14, not counting March 6 at Washington which he did not play in.
The Islanders' record for most victories by a goaltender his 32, co-held by Billy Smith (1981-82) and Chris Osgood (2001-02).
ISLANDERS IN MARCH
The Islanders have a record of 8-6-0 in the month of March with three shootout victories. The team plays a total of 16 games in a span of 30 days this month, eight at home and eight on the road. The team also plays a total of five back-to-back series this month.
MARCH AT A GLANCE
3/2 7:00 New Jersey W 3-2 (F/SO)
3/4 7:00 Philadelphia W 4-2
3/6 7:00 at Washington L 2-5
3/7 7:00 New Jersey W 2-1 (F/SO)
3/10 7:00 Toronto W 2-1 (F/SO)
3/11 7:00 at Boston W 3-1
3/14 7:30 at New Jersey W 6-1
3/16 7:00 at Atlanta L 2-4
3/17 7:30 at Florida L 2-4
3/19 5:00 at Tampa Bay L 2-5
3/21 7:00 Montreal W 3-1
3/24 7:30 at Pittsburgh L 3-4 (F/OT)
3/25 7:00 Atlanta W 5-1
3/28 7:30 at Montreal L 0-2
3/29 7:00 NY Rangers Nassau Coliseum
3/31 7:00 Pittsburgh Nassau Coliseum
Oct. 5 6 0
Nov. 7 6 1
Dec. 5 6 1
Jan. 6 7 1
Feb. 2 3 1
March 8 6 1
Totals 33 33 5
MIRO DOES IT ON THE POWER PLAY
Miroslav Satan can score on the power play. On Friday, March 17, Satan netted his 100th NHL power play goal. The tally also tied his career-high of 15, which ranks tied for twelfth in the NHL. The Islanders season-record for power play tallies in 28, held by Hall-of-Fame member Mike Bossy in the 1980-81 season. The Islanders have not had a player score more then 15 power play goals since the 1999-00 season when Mariusz Czerkawski netted 16.
WHERE ARE THE NEW BOYS...
The Islanders have a total of eight rookies currently in their lineup; three defenseman and six forwards. Here's the breakdown with their ages in parentheses: LW Sean Bergenheim (22), D Chris Campoli (21), LW Rob Collins (28), C Jeremy Colliton (21), D Bruno Gervais (21), D Denis Grebeshkov (22), RW Robert Nilsson (21) and LW Jeff Tambellini (21). Center Petteri Nokelainen (20) is currently on the Injured Reserve.
HIT OR BE HIT
Coming into tonight's game, Trent Hunter is third in the league in hits with 203. Before suffering his injury, Arron Asham was fifth in the league with 168. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 1,316 hits against their opponents this season. In the team's last game at Montreal, Jason Blake led the team with four hits.
On Feb. 4, the Islanders recorded a season-high 33 hits versus the Rangers. Hunter led the way with nine.
WHEN LEADING AFTER TWO
The Islanders have taken the lead into the third period 22 times this season and have a record of 19-2-1. This stretch includes winning in overtime (vs. Bruins, Nov. 1) and winning in the shootout six times (at Rangers, Oct. 19, at Pittsburgh, Nov. 14, vs. Edmonton, Dec. 10, vs. Pittsburgh, Jan. 26, at Pittsburgh, Feb. 4, vs. New Jersey, March 2). The two losses occurred vs. Buffalo (shootout, Nov. 23), at Buffalo (Dec. 26) and at Ottawa (Dec. 30).
MIRO AND HUNTER STAR IN SHOOTOUTS
Miroslav Satan and Trent Hunter are clutch in the shootout. Satan is tied for third in the NHL with seven shootout goals and is tied for first with five determining goals. He is also fourth in the NHL with a shooting percentage of 77.8% in the shootout (of shooters with more than three attempts). Satan is also six-for-six when leading off the shootout for the Islanders and is three-for-three versus the New Jersey Devil's Martin Brodeur.
Hunter has been almost as successful with five goals in the shootout and two determining goals. He's converted 62.5% of his attempts.
SCORING THE FIRST GOAL
The Islanders are 22-9-1 this season when scoring first and 11-23-4 when the opposition scores the first goal of the game. In 2003-04, the Islanders had a record of 27-6-5-1 when they scored the first goal of the game and were 11-23-6-3 when their opponents scored first.
The Islanders have recorded five shorthanded goals this season. Jason Blake has scored two (Oct. 13 at Washington, Dec. 30 at Ottawa), while Shawn Bates (Oct. 8 vs. Carolina), Arron Asham (Oct. 20) and Mike York (March 25) have netted one apiece.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Shawn Bates is four goals away from tying his career-high of 17 set in 2001-02.
- Jason Blake is seven points away from tying his career-high of 55 points set in 2002-03.
- Radek Martinek is a game away from his 200th NHL game.
- Miroslav Satan is one power play goal away from setting a new career-high of 16.
- Mike York is five assists away from tying his career-high of 41 set in 2001-02.