(7:30 p.m. ET, TV: FSN NY | Radio: Bloomberg 1130) The Islanders take on Western Conference powerhouse Detroit tonight at the Nassau Coliseum for the first time in over a year.
The Islanders continue their stretch against tough opponents tonight against the Detroit Red Wings, who rank fourth in the Western Conference. The Islanders' first two games since the All-Star Break have gone fairly well. After earning a point against Atlanta after falling behind 3-0, the Islanders did one better and topped the top-ranked Eastern Conference Buffalo Sabres after being down 3-2 heading into the third period.
Goals by Arron Asham, Randy Robitaille and Andy Hilbert gave the Islanders a 5-3 win over the Sabres last Saturday. Rick DiPietro shutdown the NHL's number one offense in the third period to record his 20th win of the season the third consecutive year he's eclipsed the 20-win mark.
The Islanders will face a high-flying Detroit team without Tom Poti, who is out with an upper body injury. Good news, however, is that Brendan Witt will be back in the lineup after sitting out the game against the Sabres. Allan Rourke will fill in for the second consecutive game after tallying his first point of the season, an assist on Asham's third-period goal.
Due to the NHL's scheduling focus on intra-division rivalries, this is the first time the Detroit Red Wings have been to the Coliseum since December 17, 2002 a 2-2 tie. It was also be the last time they will be here in until at least the 2008-09 season.
The Red Wings are filled with seasoned veterans, including goaltender Dominik Hasek and defenseman Chris Chelios, who are two of the NHL's six players in their 40s. Nicklas Lidstrom is once again leading the Red Wings defense, tallying 41 points in 51 games.
Up front, the Red Wings are powered by youngsters Pavel Datsyuk, who leads the team in points with 47 and Henrik Zetterberg, who paces the team in goals with 19.
Hasek, at the age of 42, is second in the league in goals against average and shutouts.
The Red Wings are coming off an impressive win against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. Detroit won 3-1 after holding the Avalanche to a mere 12 shots on goal.
Tonight is another Havoc Energy Zone game. All students are encouraged to get to the building at least 90 minutes before the game starts to get the best possible seats for only $19.
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.
BELOW ARE CHANNEL LISTINGS FOR FSN NY ON LONG ISLAND
FSN NY: 72
FSN NY: 624
FSN NY: 413
FSN NY: 725
ISLE MAKE A DIFFERENCE
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 OFF TO CAREER BEST START
Jason Blake is off to the best start of his NHL career. Through the first 49 games of the season, Blake has recorded a team-leading 25 goals with 20 assists for 45 points and leads the team in scoring. Blake's previous high through 49 games is 39 points set in 2005-06. His best NHL season came in the 2002-03 season when he recorded 25 goals and 30 assists for 55 points. That year he recorded 31 points through the first 49 games.
BLAKE ON THE NHL CHARTS
Jason Blake's career-season is putting him atop the NHL leader boards. His 25 goals places him tied for eleventh in the NHL while his 12 power plays goals puts him tied for seventh in the league.
BLAKE CLOSES IN ON CAREER HIGH, AGAIN
For the second straight season, Jason Blake is closing in on his career high in goals scored. He currently has 25 on the season, three away from the 28 he scored last season in 2005-06. He recorded the 28 goals scored over the course of 76 games in 2005-06. His 25 this season have been scored in 49 games.
Islanders - 51 points, 4th place, Atlantic Division
Detroit - 68 points, 2nd place, Central Division
Islanders Jason Blake, 25 goals and 45 points; Alexei Yashin, 25 assists; Brendan Witt, 93 PIM
Detroit Henrik Zetterberg, 19 goals; Pavel Datsyuk, 33 assists, 47 points; Kris Draper, 40 PIM
Islanders - Power play: 16.2 percent. Penalty killing: 80.1 percent
Detroit - Power play: 16.6 percent. Penalty killing: 82.6 percent
Islanders Rick DiPietro (20-16-2, 2.79 GAA, .912 SV%); Mike Dunham (3-5-3, 2.97, .909)
Detroit Dominik Hasek (26-8-3, 2.01, .911); Chris Osgood (5-3-2, 3.17, .903)
2005-06 SEASON SERIES:
December 4, 2005 at Joe Louis Arena: 2-1 Islanders win
Islanders 12-9-3 at home
Detroit 13-11-3 on the road.
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
6 Sean Hill
14 Chris Campoli
24 Radek Martinek
32 Brendan Witt
38 Allan Rourke
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
30 Chris Osgood
31 Joey MacDonald
39 Dominik Hasek
3 Andreas Lilja
5 Nicklas Lidstrom
22 Brett Lebda
24 Chris Chelios
55 Niklas Kronwall
95 Danny Markov
11 Dan Cleary
13 Pavel Datsyuk
18 Kirk Maltby
20 Robert Lang
21 Josh Langfeld
26 Jiri Hudler
29 Jason Williams
33 Kris Draper
40 Henrik Zetterberg
51 Valtteri Filppula
93 Johan Franzen
96 Tomas Holmstrom