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ISLES RIDE INJURY BUG; WILL GET TWO BACK

Tuesday, 02.06.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
New York Islanders
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ISLES RIDE INJURY BUG; WILL GET TWO BACK
Poti and Gervais set to return to the lineup

With the playoff race still as tight as ever seven teams and nine points separate 8th and 14th in the Eastern Conference the Islanders are getting healthy at the right time.

For the Washington game on February 4, the Islanders had a season-high five players scratched due to injury Alexei Yashin, Shawn Bates, Tom Poti, Radek Martinek and Bruno Gervais.

"The guys we've called in have stepped in well," said Brendan Witt, who's missed only one game all season, despite sacrificing the body game in and game out. "It happens with injuries. Guys have to step up when they get more ice time. It's a physical sport and takes its toll on your body. Whoever is up the team has to stay within the same system and keep it simple."

Poti and Gervais are set to return after missing four and seven games respectively. Poti leads the team's defense in points with 22, while Gervais has already reached a career-high six assists in one season, and is one point away from tying his career high of seven points in one season.

"We've missed Poti a lot, especially on the power play and in those last minute plays," said head coach Ted Nolan. "He's had a tremendous year so far. We're really excited to get his back, as well as Bruno, has been chomping at the bit to get going. Some injuries take a little longer to recover than you expect. He's excited about playing and when you add that enthusiasm into the group of guys we already have it should make the team even more enthusiastic."

With players starting to fall to injury, the Islanders had a rare stretch of games where they faced seven different opponents in seven games, but that streak halted when the Islanders took on the Atlanta Thrashers for the second time in less than a week on February 1.

For the next month, starting with the Montreal Canadiens game last week, the Islanders will face six opponents twice within the same month. They include Montreal (Feb. 3 and 24), Washington (Feb. 4 and Mar. 3), Philadelphia (Feb. 7 and 27), New Jersey (Feb. 8 and 17), Boston (Feb. 10 and 15) and Toronto (Feb. 13 and 22). The Islanders have gone 7-6-2 against these teams so far this season.

"It doesn't really matter who we face," said Witt. "It's going to be tight all the way until the end. You have to look at the last 30 games like a mini-playoff."

Because of the early season road trip out West, the Islanders have not left Eastern Standard Time since their game against Dallas on November 15. The Islanders have only one more game against the Western Conference, and that's at home against the St. Louis Blues on March 1.

Despite the return of Poti and Gervais, the Islanders will still have to face upcoming opponents without their captain as well as Bates and Martinek. The Islanders have been able to ride the injury bug, picking up points in seven straight games, and will have to continue to do so stay with the playoff pack.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 64 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 64 14 27 22 41
B. Nelson 64 17 19 7 36
F. Nielsen 64 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 58 20 13 13 33
J. Bailey 52 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 54 7 23 16 30
N. Leddy 64 8 18 15 26
T. Hamonic 54 4 21 15 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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