GAME PREVIEW: Pittsburgh at Islanders
The Islanders host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at the Nassau Coliseum as the teams begin a home-and-home set to wrap up the season the series. Both teams have three wins apiece and will meet for the eighth and final time on Monday night in the Steel City.
Rick DiPietro is expected to get the start in net tonight for the Islanders as he goes for his 30th win of the season. Already third on the Islanders' all-time single-season list for wins by a goaltender with 29, DiPietro would become the youngest in franchise history if he gets to 30 this season.
Fans can catch the game on FSN with Howie Rose and Islanders' legend and all-time scoring leader Mike Bossy. On the radio side, John Wiedeman and Chris King have the call on Bloomberg 1130 AM.
At tonight's game, the first 5,000 fans 14 and under with will receive an Islanders youth t-shirt courtesy of Mr. Jay's and Maytag.
Here are tonight's game notes:
THE INJURY REPORT
- 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.
- Mike York (broken toe) is out for the season. He was injured on April 11.
- Alexei Zhitnik (ankle) is out for the season. He was injured on March 14.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 79 games): 230
RECENT 2005-06 TRANSACTIONS
April 12 Recalled forward Matt Koalska from Bridgeport (AHL).
April 4 Recalled center Jeremy Colliton and defenseman Allan Rourke from Bridgeport and reassigned forward Rob Collins to Bridgeport.
April 1 Recalled forwards Rob Collins and Steve Regier from Bridgeport.
ISLE LEAD THE WAY
Goals... Miroslav Satan 33
Assists... Mike York 39
Points... Alexei Yashin 66
Penalty Minutes... John Erskine 149
Plus/Minus... Jason Blake, Joel Bouchard +5
Game-Winning Goals... Shawn Bates 4
Power Play Goals... Miroslav Satan 17
Power Play Assists... Alexei Yashin 22
Power Play Points... Alexei Yashin 32
Shots... Jason Blake 291
Shooting Percentage... Shawn Bates 16.5%
Time on Ice... Alexei Zhitnik 24:30 per game
Hits... Trent Hunter 224
UPCOMING PRACTICE SCHEDULE (subject to change, all times local)
Sunday, April 16: Practice at Islanders Iceworks 10:00 am 11:30 am
Monday, April 17: Morning Skate at Mellon Arena 11:30 am 12:15 pm
Tuesday, April 18: Morning Skate at Nassau Coliseum 10:30 am 11:15 am
THE REST OF THE SCHEDULE (all times Eastern)
Monday, April 17 at Pittsburgh, 7:30 pm
Tuesday, April 18 vs. Philadelphia, 7:00 pm
NEW YORK ISLANDERS vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
ALL-TIME REGULAR SEASON RECORD: 83-70-22-3
PLAYOFF RECORD: 11-8
RECORD AT NASSAU COLISEUM: 47-31-8-2
RECORD IN PITTSBURGH: 36-39-14-1
LAST GAME: March 31, 2006 at Nassau Coliseum L 4-0
NEXT GAME: Saturday, April 15 at Nassau Coliseum
CURRENT STREAK: Pittsburgh, 1 win
2005-06 SEASON SERIES:
November 3, 2005: L 1-5 at Nassau Coliseum
December 21, 2005: W 3-2 (F/SO) at Mellon Arena
January 6, 2006: W 4-3 (F/SO) at Nassau Coliseum
February 4, 2006: W 5-4 (F/SO) at Mellon Arena
March 24, 2006: L 4-3 (F/OT) at Mellon Arena
March 31, 2006: L 0-4 at Nassau Coliseum
** TONIGHT ** April 15, 2006: at Nassau Coliseum 7:00 pm
April 17, 2006: at Mellon Arena 7:30 pm
JASON BLAKE'S CAREER-HIGHS
With his goal vs. Washington on April 8, Jason Blake set a new career high of 26 goals. He previously has 25, which was originally set in the 2002-03 season. That year he also had 30 assists for a total of 55 points, which is also a career-high that was tied on Thursday, April 13 vs. Toronto. On the season, Blake has 26 goals and 29 assists for 55 points. In his career, Blake has amassed 92 goals and 123 assists for 215 points in 423 career games. He recorded his 200th NHL point on Feb. 11 at New Jersey.
CAMPOLI HITS 30+ POINTS
With his goal on April 11 at Madison Square Garden, Chris Campoli became the third Islanders rookie defenseman to record 30-or-more points in their first NHL season. He has since added an assist to up his totals to nine goals and 22 assists for 31 points. He scored his first goal on his first shot in his first game on Oct. 5, 2005 at Buffalo. The 30 point plateau has been hit four previous times by an Islander rookie blueliner: Denis Potvin in 1973-74 (17+24=54), Stefan Persson in 1977-78 (6+50=56), Tomas Johnson in 1981-82 (9+25+34) and Bryan Berard in 1996-97 (8-40-48).
SATAN IS A "GOOD GUY"
The Long Island Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association has named veteran wing Miroslav Satan this season's recipient of the 2005-06 Islanders "Good Guy" Award. The honor is selected annually by the beat writers and local print media and given to the player who best displays professionalism, courtesy and cooperation with the media.
"The team, as a whole, has been one of the most courteous and cooperative groups in recent memory," the Long Island chapter of the PHWA said. "This was not an easy choice. But we chose Miro because he is the best example of a player who understands and respects the role of the media and willingly gives not only his time, but also an honest effort to answer questions thoughtfully and candidly."
Miroslav Satan, appearing in 228 consecutive games, is the Islanders' Ironman. He's appeared in every game over the last two seasons and the last 68 in the 2002-03 season for the Buffalo Sabres. However, his current streak has seen its share of adversity. The sniper almost missed the Islanders' March 2nd game vs. New Jersey because of the birth of his first child. He was in Buffalo the night before and bad weather almost kept him grounded. Before his current streak, Satan played in 256 games (which at the time was the fourth longest active streak in NHL) before missing three games with an injury.
Second on the Islanders' Ironmen list is Trent Hunter, who has appeared in 152 consecutive games. After being in and out of the lineup through the first nine games of his rookie season in 2003-04, Hunter went on to play in the last 73 en route to being a Calder Trophy finalist. He's also appeared in all 76 games this season.
RICKY UPS PERSONAL MARK WITH 29TH WIN
Rick DiPietro continues to set a new personal season-high in victories this season. On April 11, he recorded his 29th career victory with the win over the New York Rangers. His previous season-high was 23, which he recorded in the 2003-04 season. On the season, DiPietro is 29-24-5. He had a six-game winning streak from March 2 March 14.
The Islanders' record for most victories by a goaltender is 32, co-held by Bill Smith (1981-82) and Chris Osgood (2001-02).
MOST SINGLE-SEASON WINS FOR NYI GOALIES
1981-82 Bill Smith 32
2001-02 Chris Osgood 32
2005-06 Rick DiPietro 29
1977-78 Glenn Resch 28
1993-94 Ron Hextall 27
1978-79 Glenn Resch 26
1976-77 Glenn Resch 26
1978-79 Bill Smith 25
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. He has since added another two more goals to up his total to 33 on the season. Satan has netted 30-or-more goals three previous times in 1998-99 (40), 1999-00 (33) and 2001-02 (37).
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. With Satan approaching the 35 goals, the last Islander to reach that mark was Mariusz Czerkawski in 1999-200 (35).
MIRO DOES IT ON THE POWER PLAY
Miroslav Satan can score on the power play. On April 5 at Toronto, Satan set a new career-high in power play goals with 16. He has since upped that mark to a team-leading 17 power play goals. 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 did not have a player score more then 15 power play goals since the 1999-00 season when Mariusz Czerkawski netted 16.
The Islanders begin their eleventh and final back-to-back series of the season on Monday, April 17 at Pittsburgh. The set wraps up 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 5-5-0 record in the second game.
WHERE ARE THE NEW BOYS...
The Islanders have ten rookies currently on their active 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), C Matt Koalska (25), D Allan Rourke (26), RW Robert Nilsson (21), LW Steve Regier (21) and LW Jeff Tambellini (21). C Petteri Nokelainen (20) would make eleven rookies, but he is currently out indefinitely with a knee injury.
The Islanders used ten rookies in their lineup in their last game on April 13 vs. Toronto (see above note for players). In the previous five games, the team used nine rookies (April 2 vs. the Philadelphia Flyers, April 5 at Toronto, April 6 at New York Rangers, April 8 vs. Washington and April 11 at New York Rangers. There are no records for the last time, if any, the team used ten rookies in their lineup. However, prior to this season, the last time the Islanders used nine rookies in a game was on April 12, 1996 vs. Florida. Credit to Bob Waterman of the Elias Sports Bureau.
ISLANDERS DELIVER IN THE FIRST ROUND
With the signing of 2005 first round draft pick Ryan O'Marra, the Islanders now have their last five first round picks 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.
ISLANDERS ON THE COLISEUM ICE
The Islanders have a record of 19-17-3 this season at home. In their most recent game at the Coliseum, the Islanders lost to the Toronto Maples 4-3 in overtime on Thursday, April 13. Following tonight's game, the Islanders' next and final game of the season is Tuesday, April 18 vs. Philadelphia.
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 1 1 1
Totals 19 17 3
ISLANDERS ON THE ROAD
The Islanders have a road record of 16-21-3 this season. In their most recent game on the road, the Islanders defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday, April 11. The Islanders' next and final road game is April 17 at Pittsburgh.
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 1 2 0
Totals 16 21 3
ISLANDERS IN APRIL
The Islanders have a 1-3-1 record in the month of April. The team plays a total of 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 L 2-3
4/6 7:00 at NY Rangers L 1-3
4/8 7:00 Washington W 5-0
4/11 7:00 at NY Rangers W 3-2
4/13 7:00 Toronto L (F/OT) 3-4
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 2 3 1
Totals 35 38 6
1,474 HITS AND COUNTING
Coming into tonight's game, Trent Hunter is second in the league in hits with 224. Before suffering his injury, Arron Asham was fifth in the league with 168. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 1,474 hits against their opponents this season.
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 24 times this season and have a record of 21-2-1. 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 three losses occurred vs. Buffalo (shootout, Nov. 23), at Buffalo (Dec. 26) and at Ottawa (Dec. 30).
IN THE EXTRA SESSION
The Islanders have a 3-3 in overtime this season. In their most recent game that ended in overtime, the Islanders lost to the Toronto Maples Leafs 4-3 at the Coliseum on April 13. In the first game that ended in overtime, 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 Coliseum. In the second game, Mark Parrish scored at the 2:15 mark of the extra session to give the Islanders a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Jan. 4 at the Coliseum. In the third, Oleg Kvasha scored at the 3:02 mark of the extra session to the give the Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 17 at the United Center. In the fourth game, the Islanders fell to the Tampa Bay Lighting 4-3 at the Coliseum on Feb. 6. In the fifth game, the Islanders lost to the Penguins 4-3 in Pittsburgh on March 24.
The Islanders are 10-6 in overtime/shootout (three overtime victories, seven shootout victories, three overtime losses and three shootout losses) this season.
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 second 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.
SCORING THE FIRST GOAL
The Islanders are 24-11-1 this season when scoring first and 11-27-4 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 two goals away from tying his career-high of 17 set in 2001-02.
- Jason Blake is one point away from setting a new career-high of 56 points.
- Jason Blake is eight goals away from his 100th NHL goal.