GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at Rangers
The Islanders are back in action again as they wrap up their back-to-back set of games with tonight's tilt at Madison Square Garden to take on their cross-town rival New York Rangers. The Blueshirts currently lead the season series four games to two. Following tonight's game the teams will meet once more, next week on April 11 at MSG.
Last night, Miroslav Satan became the first Islander to hit the 30-goal plateau since the 2001-02 season with his power play tally in third period. The goal also marked a new career-high of 16 for the sniper.
Fans can catch the game on FSN with Howie and Joe or on Bloomberg 1130 AM with John and Kinger.
Here are tonight's game notes:
- Arron Asham (ankle) is out four-to-six weeks. He was injured on March 14.
- Joel Bouchard (knee) is day-to-day.
- Eric Godard (concussion) is day-to-day. He was injured on March 31.
- Petteri Nokelainen (knee surgery) is out indefinitely.
- Alexei Zhitnik (ankle) is out for the season. He was injured on March 14.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 75 games): 205
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 30
Assists... Mike York 38
Points... Alexei Yashin 62
Penalty Minutes... John Erskine 142
Plus/Minus... Joel Bouchard +5
Game-Winning Goals... Shawn Bates 4
Power Play Goals... Miroslav Satan 16
Power Play Assists... Alexei Yashin 21
Power Play Points... Alexei Yashin 29
Shots... Jason Blake 270
Shooting Percentage... Shawn Bates 16.6%
Time on Ice... Alexei Zhitnik 24:30 per game
Hits... Trent Hunter 215
UPCOMING PRACTICE SCHEDULE (subject to change, all times local)
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)
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: 86-92-19-1
PLAYOFF RECORD: 20-19
RECORD AT NASSAU COLISEUM: 55-36-8-1
RECORD ON ROAD: 34-53-11-0
LAST GAME: March 29 at Nassau Coliseum L 5-1
NEXT GAME: April 11, 2006 at Madison Square Garden
CURRENT STREAK: Rangers, 4 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
March 29, 2006: Rangers 5, Islanders 1 Nassau Coliseum
**Tonight** April 6, 2006: 7:00 PM Madison Square Garden
April 11, 2006: 7:00 PM Madison Square Garden
30 GOALS FOR MIRO
Miroslav Satan became the first Islander to score 30-or-more goals in a season in three seasons with his score on April 5 at Toronto. The last time the Islanders had a 30-goal scorer was in 2001-02 when Mark Parrish (32) and Alexei Yashin (30) both reached that plateau. Satan has netted 30-or-more goals three previous times in 1998-99 (40), 1999-00 (33) and 2001-02 (37).
MIRO DOES IT ON THE POWER PLAY
Miroslav Satan can score on the power play. In last night's game at Toronto, Satan set a new career-high in power play goals with 16. Previously on Friday, March 17, Satan netted his 100th NHL power play goal. 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 had not have a player score more then 15 power play goals since the 1999-00 season when Mariusz Czerkawski netted 16.
The Islanders are in the midst of their tenth back-to-back series of the season, which concludes tonight at Madison Square Garden. Last night, the Islanders fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. 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 3-7-0 in the first game of back-to-back games and a 5-4-0 record in the second game.
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
Ryan O'Marra's signing means that the Islanders' last five first round picks are progressing in the organization at the NHL or AHL level: G Rick DiPietro (2000), LW Sean Bergenheim (2002), W Robert Nilsson (2003), C Petteri Nokelainen (2004) and C O'Marra (2005).
FIRST ROUND PRESENCE
The Islanders currently have seven former first round picks on their roster, including: C Alexei Yashin (2nd overall, 1992), G Rick DiPietro (1st overall, 2000), D Denis Grebeshkov (18th overall, 2002), LW Sean Bergenheim (22nd overall, 2002), W Robert Nilsson (15th overall, 2003), LW Jeff Tambellini (27th overall, 2003). Center Petteri Nokelainen (16th overall, 2004) is currently out indefinitely with a knee injury.
WHERE ARE THE NEW BOYS...
The Islanders have ten rookies currently on their roster; four defensemen 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), D Allan Rourke (26), 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 two games (Sunday, April 2 vs. the Philadelphia Flyers, Tuesday, April 5 at Toronto (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.
ISLANDERS ON THE ROAD
The Islanders have a road record of 15-20-3 this season. In their most recent game on the road, the Islanders lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Tuesday, April 5. Following tonight's game, the Islanders' next road game is next week, April 11th versus the New York Rangers at 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 1 0
Totals 15 20 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 0-2-0 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.
MARCH AT A GLANCE
4/2 1:00 Philadelphia L 1-4
4/5 7:30 at Toronto L 2-3
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 2 0
Totals 33 37 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).
HIT OR BE HIT
Coming into tonight's game, Trent Hunter is second in the league in hits with 215. Before suffering his injury, Arron Asham was fifth in the league with 168. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 1,396 hits against their opponents this season. In the team's last game at Toronto on April 5, Jeff Tambellini led the team with three 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.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Shawn Bates is three goals away from tying his career-high of 17 set in 2001-02.
- Jason Blake is six 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.
- Mike York is three assists away from tying his career-high of 41 set in 2001-02.