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Wednesday, 03.7.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / News
New York Islanders
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Notes from today's practice at Nassau Coliseum

The Islanders' lineup will receive another boost when captain Alexei Yashin returns to the lineup to face the Rangers on Thursday evening at the Nassau veterans Memorial Coliseum. After acquiring Marc-Andre Bergeron, Richard Zednik and Ryan Smyth before the trade deadline, Ted Nolan adds one more piece to his offensive arsenal.

"Yash looks good, a little trimmer, lighter and quicker than before," said Nolan. "A player of his caliber will get back in the swing of things pretty quickly. Can't think of a better game than Islanders-Rangers to throw him back in."

Now that Yashin is back, the big question is where Nolan will put him. Nolan was reluctant to put him on the top line because he didn't want to break up the chemistry of Jason Blake, Ryan Smyth and Randy Robitaille. Nolan did indicate, however, that Yashin may be on a line with Miroslav Satan.

Nolan doesn't want to rush Yashin into playing a lot of minutes in his first game back, so look for the captain to play approximately 15 on Thursday.

Everyone in the Islanders' locker room agreed that the Islanders didn't bring their best against the Rangers on Monday, but they're putting that behind them and looking ahead to Thursday's rematch. With the Rangers only five points behind the Islanders, these games have serious playoff implications.

"We need high energy right now and some passion," said Nolan. "We were a little off our game on Tuesday. You have to give the Rangers credit: they came at us pretty good, but that was two days ago. We'll be ready for whatever they have for us. Guys were a little feisty on the ice today and should be charged for tomorrow."

A difference for Thursday will be the home-ice advantage. The players and coaches know the benefits of playing at home, especially in a packed house.

"You can never underestimate the home crowd," said Nolan. "I've seen how loud this building can be. Hopefully, it can be as loud as possible, because we definitely need that. It really helps get the team going."

Days later, there was still talk about Rick DiPietro's star performance on Monday, when he set a team record by stopping 56 shots in the Islanders' 2-1 shootout loss. Ted Nolan added one more quote to the mix.

"Not only did Ricky look like a superstar, he acted like a superstar," said Nolan. "He was very composed, determined and focused. I don't think I've seen any goaltending performance much better than that. He was definitely in the zone."

After seven games with Bergeron in the lineup, the Islanders have gone 8-for-24 (33%) on the power play and improved from 15.4% to 17% for the season in that span. Bergeron has contributed a goal and three assists while on the man advantage. In Monday's game against the Rangers, the lone Islanders tally was a power play goal by Jason Blake with Bergeron earning one of the assists.

"When you make additions to the power play like Bergeron and Smitty it makes it more dangerous," said Blake. "Bergeron has a great shot and Smitty is one of the best at standing in front of the net. Forwards are worried about defending against Bergeron's shot and the defense is pre-occupied with Ryan in front of the net. It makes more room for the rest of us."


Tickets still remain at the Coliseum box office and through TicketMaster for Thursday's Islanders-Rangers showdown at the Coliseum...

Miroslav Satan sat out today's practice with what Ted Nolan termed "bumps and bruises," but Satan declared that he will play tomorrow night...

Thursday's Islanders version of the game broadcast with Howie, Billy and Deb has been moved to FSN 2...

The Islanders will take their annual team photo before practice at the Coliseum on Friday.




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


2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
J. Tavares 9 6 5 0 11
K. Okposo 9 1 6 0 7
F. Nielsen 9 3 2 -1 5
B. Nelson 9 1 4 -4 5
T. Hickey 9 1 4 -4 5
A. Quine 9 1 4 0 5
S. Prince 9 3 1 1 4
R. Strome 6 1 3 3 4
N. Leddy 9 1 3 3 4
C. Clutterbuck 9 2 1 -1 3
T. Greiss 5 4 1 .930 2.34
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