GAME PREVIEW

Saturday, 02.24.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / News
New York Islanders
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GAME PREVIEW
Islanders (30-23-8) vs. Montreal (32-25-6)

(1:00 p.m. ET, TV: MSG | Radio: Bloomberg 1130) The Islanders will get their chance to jump into a playoff position when they take on the Montreal Canadiens today at the Nassau Coliseum on Mascot Day.

Unlike on Thursday when they downed the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were tied with them for ninth in the Eastern Conference, the Islanders will have an opportunity to control their own path at least temporarily into the playoff mix with a win tonight. The Islanders valiantly came from behind to defeat Toronto in a shootout, putting them one point ahead of the Leafs, but due to an unexpected turn of events throughout the rest of the league, the Islanders failed to gain any ground on the teams in playoff position.

All 11 of the Eastern Conference's top teams earned at least a point on Thursday due to each contest ending in overtime or a shootout. Teams six through eight at the time Tampa Bay, Montreal and Carolina all won their respective games, so the Islanders still find themselves two points out of seventh and one point out of eighth. But with Montreal occupying the seventh spot, the Islanders can draw even with them with a win in regulation.

Before the Islanders were looking ahead to Saturday's game against Montreal, they took care of business for the third time in four games on this seven-game home stand. Like the Islanders have been doing recently three times since the All-Star break they needed a third-period comeback to earn two points. They did just that against Montreal in a 4-2 win on February 3.

After falling behind 2-0, Trent Hunter scored the first of his two goals in the final minute of the second period with a deflection in front. He duplicated his tally with another deflection, while on the power play, late in the third to send the game into overtime.

After a scoreless, but exciting overtime, it came down to a shootout the fourth time this month for the Islanders. Ted Nolan once again pulled out his bag of tricks to gut out a shootout win. This time he slotted Randy Robitaille for the crucial third spot, and like Frans Nielsen did in Toronto earlier this month, Robitaille didn't disappoint, scoring the game-deciding goal. Rick DiPietro earned his 26th win of the season, stopping 27 shots.

Now the Islanders face a depleted, but still dangerous Montreal team. The Canadiens were rolling earlier in this season and on their way to challenging Buffalo for supremacy in the East, but a string of injuries halted that surge. Defenseman Craig Rivet, forwards Alexei Kovalev and Steve Begin as well as starting goaltender Cristobal Huet are on injured reserve, while Long Island-native Chris Higgins is day-to-day with an upper body injury.

Despite all the injuries, Montreal is still hanging onto a playoff spot having defeated Western Conference powerhouse Nashville 6-5 in a shootout on Thursday. That was their third win in a row. Instead of relying on backup David Aebischer, it's been the rookie netminder from Slovakia, Jaroslav Halak, who has led them through this mini-streak having picked up three wins in his first three NHL starts.

Parents, today is the perfect day to catch exciting Islanders action with the kids. Sparky will be hosting mascots from around the NHL and Long Island. It's sure to be an unforgettable day. 

Chris King and Steve Mears have the call on Bloomberg Radio 1130, while Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe can be seen today on MSG.

For those of you not in the New York area, you can catch King and Mears' Bloomberg Radio broadcast on XM Satellite Radio, channel 207.
 

BELOW ARE CHANNEL LISTINGS FOR MSG ON LONG ISLAND
CABLEVISION
MSG: 71

DirecTV:
MSG: 621

DISH NETWORK:
MSG: 412

HDTV
MSG: 720


GAME NOTES
STANDINGS:
Islanders
68 points, 3rd place, Atlantic Division
Montreal - 70 points, 3rd place, Northeast Division

TEAM LEADERS:
Islanders
Jason Blake, 28 goals, 51 points; Mike Sillinger, 26 assists; Brendan Witt, 107 PIM.
Montreal Sheldon Souray & Michael Ryder, 20 goals; Saku Koivu, 35 assists, 52 points; Souray, 115 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS:
Islanders
- Power play: 15.7 percent. Penalty killing: 80.5 percent
Montreal - Power play: 22.4 percent. Penalty killing: 83.0 percent

GOALTENDERS:
Islanders
Rick DiPietro (26-18-5, 2.63 GAA, .916 SV%); Mike Dunham (4-5-3, 2.90, .911)
Montreal David Aebischer (10-10-3, 2.94, .909); Jaroslav Halak (3-0-0, 3.26, .878)

2006-07 SERIES:
Montreal: 4 pts Islanders: 2 pts.

LAST MEETING:
February 3, 2007 at the Bell Centre: 4-2 Islanders win

HOME/ROAD RECORDS:
Islanders
16-10-4 at home
Montreal 14-13-3 on the road


ISLANDERS
Goaltenders

1   Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro

Defensemen
3   Tom Poti 
6   Sean Hill
8   Bruno Gervais
14 Chris Campoli
32 Brendan Witt
44 Freddy Meyer
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron

Forwards
7   Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park 
11 Andy Hilbert
12 Chris Simon
15 Jeff Tambellini
18 Mike Sillinger
25 Viktor Kozlov
27 Randy Robitaille
45 Arron Asham
55 Jason Blake
51 Frans Nielsen
81 Miroslav Satan
 

MONTREAL
Goaltenders
30 David Aebischer
41 Jaroslav Halak

Defensemen
6   Janne Niinimaa
8   Mike Komisarek
25 Mathieu Dandenault
32 Mark Streit
44 Sheldon Souray
51 Francis Bouillon
79 Andrei Markov

Forwards
11 Saku Koivu
14 Radek Bonk
15 Sergei Samsonov
20 Mike Johnson
35 Tomas Plekanec
40 Maxim Lapierre
42 Alexander Perezhogin
46 Andrei Kostitsyn
47 Aaron Downey
57 Garth Murray
62 Duncan Milroy
73 Michael Ryder
84 Guillaume Latendresse

 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 7 2 4 2 6
J. Bailey 7 2 3 1 5
N. Leddy 7 0 5 0 5
R. Strome 7 2 2 1 4
K. Okposo 7 2 1 1 3
C. Clutterbuck 7 2 1 1 3
B. Nelson 6 2 0 1 2
F. Nielsen 7 1 1 -1 2
N. Kulemin 7 1 1 0 2
L. Visnovsky 4 0 2 5 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 3 4 1 .926 2.30
M. Neuvirth 0 0 0 1.000 0.00

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