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GAME PREVIEW

Saturday, 03.03.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
New York Islanders
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GAME PREVIEW
Islanders (32-23-9) at Washington (24-29-12)

(7:00 p.m. ET, TV: FSN NY | Radio: Bloomberg 1130) It's back to the road for the Islanders as they take on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals tonight at the Verizon Center.

The Islanders didn't end their seven-game home stand the way they had hoped, but looking at the overall stretch, they can certainly be proud of their performance over the past month.

In seven games, the Islanders compiled 11 points and have moved right into the middle of the playoff hunt. With games still in hand on the teams around them, the Islanders share seventh place with Carolina and trail Atlanta by three points. Montreal and Toronto are nipping at their heels, but the Islanders are looking forward not back.

Ryan Smyth made his Islanders debut in Thursday's 3-2 overtime loss to St. Louis. He put on quite a show in his first game, with the Nassau Coliseum crowd chanting Å“Ryan SmythÂ? throughout the night. He was instrumental in both Islanders goals.

In the first period, with the Islanders on their first power play, Smyth elected to stay at the offensive blue line while the team re-grouped. Mike Sillinger head manned the puck up to Smyth to trigger a 2-on-1 break. Smyth then found Sillinger, who walked in all alone and scored on the backhand.

Smyth didn't earn a point on the second Islanders goal, but without him it would never have happened. After Jason Blake knocked the net off while driving to the crease, Smyth conscientiously grabbed the net and put it back into place just a moment before Marc-Andre Bergeron's shot from the left side deflected in, off a Blues defenseman. It was Bergeron's first goal as an Islander. He has one goal and three assists in five games with the Islanders.

Since the arrival of the boys from Edmonton, the Islanders power play has improved. In the past five games, the Islanders have gone 4-for-14 (28.6%) on the power play.

The other recent Islanders acquisition, Richard Zednik, returns to the place he called home for this season and six others. Zednik began his career with the Capitals and then moved to the Canadiens before returning to Washington at the beginning of this season. He has gone scoreless in his first two games while playing on a line with Miroslav Satan and Viktor Kozlov.

The Capitals were already injury depleted prior to their 5-4 overtime loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday with their starting netminder Olaf Kolzig unavailable, but things got worse when forwards Matt Pettinger and Boyd Gordon were knocked out in the third period.

One player the Islanders will have to pay close attention to is in the lineup Alex Ovechkin. He is tied for fourth in the NHL with 38 goals and ranks eighth with 80 points. Ovechkin, though, isn't the only Russian to watch out for. Alexander Semin is having a stellar sophomore season, having already scored 33 goals.

Brent Johnson has been seeing a majority of time in goal with Kolzig out of commission.

Despite being plagued with injuries, the Capitals have had some fight in them, defeating New Jersey last Saturday and then losing to the Devils by one goal the following game. They followed up those performances with overtime losses to Florida and Tampa Bay.

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
CABLEVISION
FSN NY: 72

DirecTV:
FSN NY: 624

DISH NETWORK:
FSN NY: 413

HDTV:
FSN NY: 725
 

GAME NOTES
STANDINGS:
Islanders
- 73 points, 3rd place, Atlantic Division
Washington - 60 points, 5th place, Southeast Division

TEAM LEADERS:
Islanders
Jason Blake, 32 goals, 57 points; Mike Sillinger, 28 assists; Brendan Witt, 111 PIM.
Washington Alexander Ovechkin, 38 goals, 42 assists, 80 points; Donald Brashear, 129 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS:
Islanders
- Power play: 16.1 percent. Penalty killing: 80.5 percent.
Washington - Power play: 17.3 percent. Penalty killing: 81.0 percent.

GOALTENDERS:
Islanders
Rick DiPietro (28-18-6, 2.67 GAA, .915 SV%); Mike Dunham (4-5-3, 2.90, .911)
Washington Brent Johnson (5-10-6, 3.62, .888); Frederic Cassivi (0-0-1, 1.34, .944)

2006-07 SERIES:
Islanders:
3 pts.; Washington: 2 pts.

LAST MEETING:
February 4, 2007 at the Verizon Center: Washington 2-1 shootout win

ROAD/HOME RECORDS:
Washington
14-13-7 at home
Islanders 14-13-4 on the road


ISLANDERS
Goaltenders
1   Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro

Defensemen
3   Tom Poti
6   Sean Hill
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
18 Mike Sillinger
20 Richard Zednik
25 Viktor Kozlov
27 Randy Robitaille
45 Arron Asham
55 Jason Blake
81 Miroslav Satan
94 Ryan Smyth


WASHINGTON
Goaltenders
1   Brent Johnson
35 Frederic Cassivi

Defensemen
2   Brian Pothier
4   John Erskine
23 Milan Jurcina
26 Shaone Morrisonn
44 Steve Eminger
47 Bryan Muir
55 Jeff Schultz

Forwards
8   Alexander Ovechkin
10 Matt Bradley
13 Jiri Novotny
16 Brian Sutherby
21 Brooks Laich
24 Kris Beech
27 Ben Clymer
28 Alexander Semin
39 Alexandre Giroux
43 Tomas Fleischman
87 Donald Brashear

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 66 31 36 5 67
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 66 14 28 22 42
B. Nelson 66 18 20 8 38
F. Nielsen 66 11 26 13 37
A. Lee 60 22 13 14 35
J. Bailey 54 13 20 13 33
J. Boychuk 56 7 25 15 32
N. Leddy 66 9 19 17 28
T. Hamonic 56 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 34 13 1 .911 2.48
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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