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READY FOR THE RED WINGS

Monday, 01.29.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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READY FOR THE RED WINGS
Brendan Witt expected to face Detroit on Tuesday

You couldn't tell from practice today at Iceworks that Brendan Witt was writhing in pain as he left the ice against Atlanta with an upper body injury on Friday. Much to the surprise of everyone, except his teammates and coaches, Witt plans on making an early return for Tuesday night's game at the Coliseum against the Detroit Red Wings.

"It's going to take a miracle to knock Witter out of the lineup tomorrow night," said head coach Ted Nolan. "We really missed his presence in the lineup, and he should be ready to go."

Witt wasn't just taking it easy out there in practice. He was flying around the ice like a kid with new skates. It was apparent that he was having a good time out there with the boys after missing the game against Buffalo.

"He enjoys the game as much as I've ever seen anyone enjoy the game," said Nolan. "There's no holding him back."

Even without Witt in the lineup for much of the Atlanta Thrashers game and the entire Buffalo Sabres contest, the Islanders came away with three out of four points. Everyone talked about the Islanders' tough initial stretch falling the All-Star break, but so far, so good.

After falling behind to division leaders Atlanta and Buffalo, the Islanders stormed back to earn three out of a possible four points in the two games. The Islanders spotted the Southeast Division Thrashers a 3-0 lead before tying it up and earning a point by eventually losing in overtime 5-4.

The following night, the Islanders found themselves down 3-2 heading into the third period against the league's most offensive team. But like the Islanders did against Atlanta, they battled back and put three goals up on the board in the third period, while shutting down the Buffalo offense for a 5-3 win.

"In the past we might have gotten down after falling behind," said Trent Hunter, "but this last little while we've been able to keep our spirits up and bounce right back. A big part of our success has been the fact that we haven't given up."

The games don't get any easier for the Islanders as they take on the Red Wings at home on Tuesday and then travel to Atlanta, Montreal and improving Washington. Tomorrow will be the one and only meeting between the Islanders and Red Wings this season.

"We have a tough Western Conference team in the Detroit Red Wings tomorrow night," said Jason Blake "We're playing them at home, so we have to be ready to play and come out with a good start. Every night is like a playoff game, especially for us. So many teams are so close in points that one night you could be in the playoffs and the next night you can be out."

The Islanders find themselves just three points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins, who are tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 11 6 5 -3 11
K. Okposo 11 2 6 -3 8
F. Nielsen 11 3 3 -3 6
B. Nelson 11 1 4 -5 5
T. Hickey 11 1 4 -5 5
A. Quine 10 1 4 -1 5
S. Prince 11 3 1 -1 4
R. Strome 8 1 3 1 4
N. Leddy 11 1 3 1 4
N. Kulemin 11 1 3 -5 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Greiss 5 6 2 .923 2.46
J. Berube 0 0 0 1.000 0.00
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