GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at Toronto
The Islanders head north of the border to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre tonight. The Islanders and Leafs have split the season series at one game apiece so far with the Orange and Blue victorious in the last meeting on March 10 by a score of 2-1. The teams meet again at the Coliseum next week on April 13.
With the Islanders playing for pride as the regular season winds down, they'll be looking to break two ominous streaks in Toronto. The team is currently on a four-game losing streak and a five-game road losing streak.
As a reminder, fans can catch tonight's game on FSN 2 with Howie and Joe or on Bloomberg 1130 AM with John and Kinger. For a complete listing of FSN 2 channels, please click here.
Here are tonight's game notes:
- Arron Asham (ankle) is out four-to-six weeks. He was injured on March 14.
- Jason Blake (groin) is day-to-day. He was injured on March 31.
- Eric Godard (concussion) is day-to-day. He was injured on March 31.
- Alexei Zhitnik (ankle) is out for the season. He was injured on March 14.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 74 games): 199
RECENT 2005-06 TRANSACTIONS
April 4 Recalled center Jeremy Colliton and defenseman Allan Rourke from Bridgeport (AHL) and reassigned forward Rob Collins to Bridgeport.
April 1 Recalled forwards Rob Collins and Steve Regier from Bridgeport.
March 30 Signed 2005 first round draft pick center Ryan O'Marra to a three-year contact.
March 29 Activated center Petteri Nokelainen from Injured Reserve and reassigned center Jeremy Colliton and forward Rob Collins to Bridgeport.
ISLE LEAD THE WAY
Goals... Miroslav Satan 29
Assists... Mike York 38
Points... Alexei Yashin 61
Penalty Minutes... John Erskine 140
Plus/Minus... Joel Bouchard +5
Game-Winning Goals... Shawn Bates 4
Power Play Goals... Miroslav Satan 15
Power Play Assists... Alexei Yashin 21
Power Play Points... Alexei Yashin 28
Shots... Jason Blake 265
Shooting Percentage... Shawn Bates 17.5%
Time on Ice... Alexei Zhitnik 24:30 per game
Hits... Trent Hunter 213
UPCOMING PRACTICE SCHEDULE (subject to change, all times local)
Thursday, April 6: Morning skate at Madison Square Garden 11:30 am 12:15 pm
Friday, April 7: Practice at Nassau Coliseum 11:30 am 1:30 pm
Saturday, April 8: Morning Skate at Nassau Coliseum 8:30 am 9:45 am
Sunday, April 9: Practice at Islanders Iceworks 10:00 am 11:30 am
Monday, April 10: Practice at Islanders Iceworks 10:00 am 12:30 pm
Tuesday, April 11: Morning skate at Madison Square Garden 11:30 am 12:15 pm
Wednesday, April 12: Practice at Nassau Coliseum 10:00 am 12:30 pm
Thursday, April 13: Morning Skate at Nassau Coliseum 10:30 am 11:15 am
THE SCHEDULE THE REST OF THE WAY (all times Eastern)
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. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
ALL-TIME REGULAR SEASON RECORD: 54-48-7-1
PLAYOFF RECORD: 9-8
RECORD AT NASSAU COLISEUM: 29-28-3-0
RECORD ON THE ROAD: 23-28-4-1
LAST GAME: March 10, 2006 Islanders 2, Toronto 1 (F/SO)
LAST GAME AT COLISEUM: March 10, 2006 Islanders 2, Toronto 1 (F/SO)
NEXT GAME: April 13, 2006 at Nassau Coliseum 7:00 pm
CURRENT STREAK: Islanders, 1 win
2005-06 SEASON SERIES:
December 19, 2005: L 6-9 at American Airlines Centre
March 10, 2006: W 2-1 (F/SO) at Nassau Coliseum
** TONIGHT ** April 5, 2006: at American Airlines Centre 7:30 pm
April 13, 2006: at Nassau Coliseum 7:00 pm
REGIER MAKES NHL DEBUT
Steve Regier (pronounced REE-guhr) made his NHL debut on Sunday, April 2nd versus the Philadelphia Flyers. The Islanders' fifth round draft pick (148th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry, Regier saw 12 shifts for 7:30 of ice time and was even on the afternoon.
Prior to being recalled, Regier has spent the entire season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. He's recorded 16 goals and 22 assists for 38 points in 76 games with a +8 plus/minus rating and six power play goals for Bridgeport. In his first professional season last year, Regier played in 75 games with the Sound Tigers and recorded seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points. Regier played junior hockey with the Medicine Hat Tigers and enjoyed a breakout season in 2003-04 (his draft year) where he scored 25 goals and recorded 35 assists for 60 points all career highs.
O'MARRA IMPRESSIVE IN FIRST WEEK
Ryan O'Marra has wasted little time to impress in his professional hockey debut over the weekend as the 18-year old netted four goals in his first three games as a Bridgeport Sound Tiger. He scored two on the power play on Friday, March 31, his first professional game. O'Marra was taken 15th overall by the Islanders in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
O'Marra signed a three-year contract with the Islanders last Thursday and joined the Sound Tigers immediately. He had a productive season finishing as the second-leading scorer for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. In 61 games, O'Marra was 27-50-77 with 134 penalty minutes. At the World Junior Championships in December, O'Marra had two assists and 18 penalty minutes in six games for Team Canada.
ISLANDERS DELIVER IN THE FIRST ROUND
O'Marra's signing means that the Islanders' last five first round picks are progressing in the organization at the NHL or AHL level: Rick DiPietro (2000), Sean Bergenheim (2002), Robert Nilsson (2003), Petteri Nokelainen (2004) and O'Marra (2005).
FIRST ROUND PRESENCE
The Islanders currently have seven former first round picks on their roster, including: Alexei Yashin (2nd overall, 1992), Rick DiPietro (1st overall, 2000), Denis Grebeshkov (18th overall, 2002) Sean Bergenheim (22nd overall, 2002), Robert Nilsson (15th overall, 2003), Jeff Tambellini (27th overall, 2003) and Petteri Nokelainen (16th overall, 2004).
WHERE ARE THE NEW BOYS...
The Islanders have nine rookies currently on their roster; three defenseman and six forwards. Here's the breakdown with their ages in parentheses: LW Sean Bergenheim (22), D Chris Campoli (21), C Jeremy Colliton (20), D Bruno Gervais (21), D Denis Grebeshkov (22), RW Robert Nilsson (21), C Petteri Nokelainen (20), LW Steve Regier (21) and LW Jeff Tambellini (21).
The Islanders used nine rookies in their lineup in their last game on Sunday, April 2 vs. the Philadelphia Flyers (see above note for players). The previous time they used nine rookies in a game was on April 12, 1996 vs. Florida. Credit to Bob Waterman of the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Islanders begin their tenth back-to-back series of the season tonight in Toronto. They play the second half of the series tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden versus the New York Rangers. The team's next and final back-to-back set starts on April 17 at Pittsburgh and concludes on April 18 vs. Philadelphia. That will also conclude the Islanders season.
The Islanders have a record of 3-6-0 in the first game of back-to-back games and a 5-4-0 record in the second game.
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. Following tonight's game, the Islanders' next road game is tomorrow night versus the New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden.
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
April 0 0 0
Totals 15 19 3
ISLANDERS ON THE COLISEUM ICE
The Islanders have a record of 18-17-2 this season at home. In their most recent game at the Coliseum, the Islanders lost to the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Sunday, April 2. The Islanders' next home game is Saturday, April 8 vs. Washington Capitals.
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 2 0
April 0 1 0
Totals 18 17 2
ISLANDERS IN APRIL
The Islanders have a 0-1-0 record in the month of April. The team plays nine games this month, five at home and five on the road. The Islanders wrap up their season at home on April 18 versus the Philadelphia Flyers.
APRIL AT A GLANCE
4/2 1:00 Philadelphia L 1-4
4/5 7:30 at Toronto Air Canada Center
4/6 7:00 at NY Rangers Madison Square Garden
4/8 7:00 Washington Nassau Coliseum
4/11 7:00 at NY Rangers Madison Square Garden
4/13 7:00 Toronto Nassau Coliseum
4/15 7:00 Pittsburgh Nassau Coliseum
4/17 7:30 at Pittsburgh Mellon Arena
4/18 7:00 Philadelphia Nassau Coliseum
Oct. 5 6 0
Nov. 7 6 1
Dec. 5 6 1
Jan. 6 7 1
Feb. 2 3 1
March 8 7 1
April 0 1 0
Totals 33 36 5
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 27-22-5. 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).
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.
HIT OR BE HIT
Coming into tonight's game, Trent Hunter is second in the league in hits with 213. Before suffering his injury, Arron Asham was fifth in the league with 168. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 1,382 hits against their opponents this season. In the team's last game vs. Philadelphia on April 2, Trent Hunter led the team with seven 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 third 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 Devils' 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.
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. In a pre-game ceremony this afternoon, Rick DiPietro will be named March's player of the month. DiPietro finished the month with an 8-5-0 record and a 2.17 GAA and a save percentage of .925.
October Alexei Yashin
November Jason Blake
December Mike York
January Miroslav Satan
February Brent Sopel
March Rick DiPietro
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Shawn Bates is three 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.
- Jason Blake is nine goals away from his 100th NHL goal.
- Miroslav Satan is one power play goal away from setting a new career-high of 16.
- Mike York is three assists away from tying his career-high of 41 set in 2001-02.