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Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 5:15 AM

Patrick Hoffman

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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders



After a long summer and a hard working training camp the wait is finally over. The Islanders start the 2009-10 season Saturday night at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins at 7 p.m.

For the Islanders, this season is all about a new beginning, a beginning that the organization hopes will evolve into something that lasts over time on Long Island. As the puck is dropped, Saturday night marks the beginning of 19-year-old phenom John Tavares’ NHL career. Tavares dominated the Ontario Hockey league for the past five seasons while with the Oshawa Generals and London Knights.

The Mississauga, Ontario native is looking to take the NHL by storm and prove that he belongs. What better way to do that than by taking on the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc Andre-Fleury and the rest of the 2009 defending Stanley Cup champions.

No matter who starts in goal for the Islanders home opener, it will be his first game as an Islander. During the off-season, the team went out and signed both Martin Biron and Dwayne Roloson while Rick DiPietro recovers from off-season surgery.

While there will be a few fresh faces on the team’s roster, youngsters such as Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo, Nate Thompson, Blake Comeau, Bruno Gervais, return to the team looking to continue their bright futures on the Island.

On the opposing bench, the Islanders will match-up against a well-prepared Penguins team coached by Dan Bylsma. The Penguins will return the majority of their 2008-09 Stanley Cup winning lineup. Forwards include the always-dangerous Crosby and Malkin, Jordan Staal, Chris Kunitz and former Islander captain Bill Guerin. Sergei Gonchar and Brooks Orpik anchor the defense.

Returning between the pipes for the Pittsburgh is Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguin net-minder is coming off a year in which he won the Stanley Cup and was invited to Team Canada’s Olympic camp in late August.

Last season, the Islanders were 1-4-1 against the Penguins and hope to turn that around this season with some new players, returning youngsters and a new beginning.

If you can’t make the game, watch it on MSG Plus or on the simulcast on 94.3 WMJC radio with Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe having the call.



Saturday’s game marks the first of six regular season meetings between the Islanders and Penguins, and the first of three contests between the clubs at the Coliseum. Their next meeting is on Friday, November 27, also at the Coliseum.

In 2008-09, the teams met six times, with the Islanders compiling a 1-4-1 record (Penguins: 4-1-1). The Islanders had trouble keeping up with the Penguins’ powerful offense throughout the season series while also losing two games to their Atlantic Division rival in overtime. Doug Weight (2g, 3a) led all Islanders with five points and tied for the team lead in goals with center-man Frans Nielsen.   


The Islanders begin the 2009-10 season with an all-time record of 9-19-8 on opening night. The team has opened up its season on the road in each of the past nine years, compiling a 2-6-1 record during that span. The Islanders lost last year’s opener at New Jersey.
In 36 years, this will be only the fifth time that the Islanders have opened the season at home, going 2-2-0 in those contests. The Orange and Blue have compiled a 7-17-8 record in openers on the road.

The Islanders claimed left winger Rob Schremp off waivers before the start of the season. Shremp spent the good part of the last three seasons in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons and Wilkes-Barre Penguins.

Pittsburgh opened their 2009-10 season last night against the New York Rangers with a 3-2 win.  Prior to the game, the Penguins raised their 2008-09 Stanley Cup Champions banner to the Mellon Arena rafters.  The banner now hangs alongside the team’s two other Stanley Cup banners from the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons.  


30 Dwayne Roloson
43 Martin Biron

2 Marc Streit “A”
8 Bruno Gervais
24 Radek Martinek
25 Andy Sutton
32 Brendan Witt “A”
38 Jack Hillen
44 Freddy Meyer

7 Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park “A”
11 Nate Thompson
12 Josh Bailey
13 Rob Schremp
15 Jeff Tambellini
16 Jon Sim
17 Jeremy Reich
20 Sean Bergenheim
21 Kyle Okposo “A”
26 Matt Moulson
28 Tim Jackman
91 John Tavares
93 Doug Weight “C”



1 Brent Johnson
29 Marc-Andre Fleury


3 Alex Goligoski
6 Ben Lovejoy
7 Mark Eaton
41 Martin Skoula
44 Brooks Orpik
55 Sergei Gonchar “A”
58 Kris Letang
74 Jay McKee

9 Pascal Dupuis
11 Jordan Staal
12 Christopher Bourque
13 Bill Guerin
14 Chris Kunitz
17 Michael Rupp
24 Matt Cooke
25 Maxime Talbot
27 Craig Adams
28 Eric Godard
38 Mark Letestu
48 Tyler Kennedy
71 Evgeni Malkin “A”
87 Sidney Crosby “C”

2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 11 '10 PIT 6 at NYI 5 - OT J. Leopold
Apr 08 '10 NYI 3 at PIT 7 S. Crosby
Feb 10 '10 NYI 1 at PIT 3 E. Malkin
Jan 19 '10 NYI 4 at PIT 6 E. Malkin
Nov 27 '09 PIT 2 at NYI 3 J. Tavares
Oct 03 '09 PIT 4 at NYI 3 - SO K. Letang
S. Crosby2213+2200
R. Fedotenko2112+1000
E. Malkin2112+1210
K. Letang2022+2000
S. Gonchar2022+0000
A. Goligoski2022+0000
T. Kennedy2101+2001
M. Eaton2101+0200
B. Guerin2011+1200
J. Staal2011+0000
J. McKee2000+11900
M. Cooke2000+1000
B. Orpik2000+1400
C. Kunitz2000+1000
E. Godard2000+0500
C. Adams2000-1000
P. Dupuis2000-1200
M. Rupp2000-1700
M. Fleury22-0-05552.40.909
M. Streit1112+0210
J. Tavares1112+0010
T. Hunter1112-1000
M. Moulson1011+0200
K. Okposo1011+0000
J. Bailey1011-1000
A. Sutton1000+0000
R. Martinek1000+0000
T. Jackman1000+0500
S. Bergenheim1000+0000
F. Meyer1000+0000
J. Tambellini1000+0000
N. Thompson1000+0000
J. Rechlicz1000+0000
B. Witt1000-2500
R. Park1000-2200
J. Sim1000-2000
B. Gervais1000-2000
D. Roloson10-0-13422.77.929
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