(7:30 p.m. ET, TV: FSN NY 2| Radio: Bloomberg 1130) The Islanders return to the ice after the All-Star break tonight to face the Southeast Division-leading Atlanta Thrashers at the Philips Arena.
It's been over week since the Islanders last played a game, and they're revved up to get the last half of the season started and make a final push for the playoffs.
The Islanders are currently tied for 11th in the Eastern Conference with 48 points, but only two points behind three teams tied for eighth: the Rangers, Pittsburgh and Toronto. Meanwhile, the Islanders have Washington and Florida knocking at their heels with 47 and 46 points, respectively. After 47+ games have been played, there are seven teams within four points of each other.
The Islanders acquired their 47th and 48th points by defeating the last place Philadelphia Flyers on January 18 by the score of 4-2. Mike Sillinger chipped in a goal and an assist, while Miroslav Satan added two assists. Rick DiPietro stopped 29 of 31 shots to earn the victory.
Following the Flyers game, all of the Islanders took an extended break except for Jason Blake, who made his successful debut at the All-Star Game. While playing on a line with Carolina Hurricanes Justin Williams and Eric Staal, Blake assisted on two Eastern Conference goals, including one where he made a perfect cross-ice pass to Williams, who swept it past West goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.
Now that the All-Star Game is over, it's back to business for the Islanders who take on four tough opponents in their first five games, including tonight's Thrashers, twice. The last time these teams met, the Islanders had their way with Atlanta, blowing them out 6-0 in front of an excited Coliseum crowd.
Rick DiPietro recorded his second shutout of the season. Shawn Bates and Miroslav Satan both contributed with a goal and an assist.
The Thrashers won three of their last four games leading up to the All-Star break, last playing on Saturday and defeating the Rangers 3-1.
Despite being 12 games over .500, the Thrashers strangely enough have sub-par special teams and have only scored four more goal than their opponents. The only explanation: they win the tight ones and lose by wide margins. However, the Thrashers are only 13-11 in one goal games and 8-8 in overtime games, making this stat even more perplexing.
Marian Hossa was the lone All-Star for the Thrashers. He is tied for the league lead in goals with 30 and leads the Thrashers in assists (33) and points (63).
Chris King and Steve Mears have the call on Bloomberg Radio 1130, while Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe can be seen tonight on FSN NY 2.
Islanders partner with the Stephan Siller Foundation
The Islanders are proud to announce their support to The Stephen Siller Foundation, formed in honor of firefighter, Stephen, who took his final heroic steps as he ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center to help save others on September 11, 2001.
For the Islanders game against the New Jersey Devils on February 17th, fans can buy tickets through the Foundation to help raise funds for your local Burn Center. All net proceeds will be donated to the New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Burn Center Foundations. Special seats have been reserved for the February 17th game that will be sold for a discounted price to help benefit the Burn Centers. You will be able to buy select seats for the following prices. For more information, please logon to the Islanders website.
BLAKE RECORDS TWO POINTS IN ALL-STAR GAME
Jason Blake participated in his first NHL All-Star Game this past Wednesday in Dallas, TX and recorded two points both assists in the contest. Blake was named to the team the week prior as a reserve. In the game, Blake skated 14 shifts for 12:45 of icetime and was minus-one. He skated on a line with Carolina's Eric Stall and Justin Williams.
The New York Islanders play on consecutive days a total of 15 times this season. The team begins its tenth set tonight in Atlanta and will conclude it tomorrow night at home versus Buffalo. In the first game of these sets, the Islanders have a 3-6-0 record and in the second game of these sets, the Islanders are 6-3-0.
WHEN LEADING AFTER TWO
The Islanders have the third best record in the NHL when leading after the period with a mark of 19-0-1. When leading after the first period, the team is 13-0-1.
ISLANDERS TV GOT GAMES
The New York Islanders are excited to announce that Islanders TV, the team's 24 hour-a-day on demand channel, has acquired the rights to all Islanders games. Islanders TV will get each game after Fox Sports Net's 48-hour exclusivity window is over. Islanders TV, after that 48 hour window, will air an easy-to-digest 60-minute version of every Islanders game entitled "Instant Isles." Islanders TV will make each game viewable for the rest of the season.
Islanders TV will also offer an extended highlights package after each game. The highlight show, which will be called "Islelights," will feature the best moments, action and replays from each game, in a fast-paced 2-minute format. Islanders TV is a service that debuted this season for all season ticket holders, and is now available to everyone with an internet connection on a free trial basis. To sign up, logon to newyorkislanders.com & click on the Islanders TV logo.
Islanders 48 points, 4th place, Atlantic Division
Atlanta - 62 points, 1st place, Southeast Division
Islanders Jason Blake, 24 goals, 43 points; Alexei Yashin, 24 assists; Brendan Witt, 93 PIM.
Atlanta Marian Hossa, 30 goals, 33 assists, 63 points; Greg de Vries, 56 PIM.
Islanders - Power play: 16.7 percent. Penalty killing: 79.9 percent.
Atlanta - Power play: 16.8 percent. Penalty killing: 79.5 percent.
Islanders Rick DiPietro (19-16-2, 2.71 GAA, .914 SV%); Mike Dunham (3-5-2, 3.05, .907).
Atlanta Kari Lehtonen (22-12-7, 2.77, .912); Johan Hedberg (5-3-1, 3.17, .881).
Islanders 2 pts., Atlanta 2 pts.
December 16, 2006 at the Nassau Coliseum: Islanders 6-0 win
Atlanta 12-6-4 at home
Islanders 11-12-1 on the road
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
3 Tom Poti
6 Sean Hill
8 Bruno Gervais
14 Chris Campoli
24 Radek Martinek
32 Brendan Witt
44 Freddy Meyer
7 Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park
11 Andy Hilbert
12 Chris Simon
17 Shawn Bates
18 Mike Sillinger
25 Viktor Kozlov
27 Randy Robitaille
45 Arron Asham
55 Jason Blake
79 Alexei Yashin
81 Miroslav Satan
1 Johan Hedberg
32 Kari Lehtonen
2 Garnett Exelby
3 Vitaly Vishnevski
4 Braydon Coburn
5 Steve McCarthy
7 Greg de Vries
28 Niclas Havelid
34 Shane Hnidy
9 Glen Metropolit
11 J.P. Vigier
13 Slava Kozlov
14 Jon Sim
16 Bobby Holik
17 Ilya Kovalchuk
18 Marian Hossa
19 Scott Mellanby
20 Steve Rucchin
23 Jim Slater
29 Brad Larsen
36 Eric Boulton
39 Niko Kapanen