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10-13-2008, 10:41 AM
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Law
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#03 | Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Islanders | Oct 13 | L 1-7



GAMEDAY








GAME #3


OCTOBER 13TH | 2:00PM | NASSAU COLISEUM | UNIONDALE, NY


MSG+ HD (NYI) | MSG-BUFFALO (BUF) | 1100 AM | NHL.COM

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2008-09 HEAD TO HEAD
.....Date..........Home/Away..........Result..........Score.....
Oct 13Home--
Nov 22Away--
Dec 27Away--
Feb 28Home--





2009-09 STANDINGS



Rk..........Team............GP....W....L....OTL....PTS....GF....GA....PP%....PK%....Home....Away....Last 10..
1. NY Rangers 4 4 0 0 8 12 7 15.0 100.0 2-0-0 2-0-0 4-0-0
2. Carolina 2 2 0 0 4 10 7 30.8 69.2 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0
3. Montreal 2 1 0 1 3 7 3 27.3 90.0 0-0-0 1-0-1 1-0-1
4. New Jersey 2 2 0 0 4 4 2 12.5 80.0 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0
5. Atlanta 2 1 0 1 3 9 7 21.4 83.3 1-0-0 0-0-1 1-0-1
6. Ottawa 3 1 1 1 3 8 8 26.7 94.7 0-1-1 1-0-0 1-1-1
7. Pittsburgh 3 1 1 1 3 6 8 11.1 78.6 0-1-1 1-0-0 1-1-1
8. Buffalo 1 1 0 0 2 2 1 0.0 100.0 1-0-0 0-0-0 1-0-0
Washington 2 1 1 0 2 8 9 18.2 78.6 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-1-0
Boston 2 1 1 0 2 8 8 16.7 62.5 0-0-0 1-1-0 1-1-0
Toronto 2 1 1 0 2 4 8 33.3 60.0 0-1-0 1-0-0 1-1-0
Florida 2 1 1 0 2 7 8 18.2 77.8 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-1-0
NY Islanders 2 1 1 0 2 6 4 20.0 71.4 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-1-0
Tampa Bay 3 0 2 1 1 5 8 12.5 80.0 0-1-1 0-1-0 0-2-1
Philadelphia 1 0 1 0 0 3 4 0.0 83.3 0-1-0 0-0-0 0-1-0




STATISTICS



..........STATISTIC..........
2POINTS2
1-1-0RECORD1-0-0
6GOALS2
4GOALS AGAINST1
#10PP RANK#26 (Tied)
#24 (Tied)PK RANK#1 (Tied)
2PP GOALS0
2PP GOALS ALLOWED0
1SH GOALS0
0SH GOALS ALLOWED0
0SHUTOUTS0




..........STATISTIC..........
Doug Weight - 3POINTSLydman/Numminen/Vanek - 1
6 Tied - 1GOALSThomas Vanek - 1
Gervais/Streit/Weight -2ASSISTSLydman/Numminen - 1
Witt/Thompson - +2+/-4 Tied - +1
Bill Guerin - 4PIMTeppo Numminen - 4
Mark Streit - 24:24ATOIDerek Roy - 23:29
Hunter/Weight - 1PP GOALSN/A
Andy Hilbert - 1SH GOALSN/A
Guerin/Hunter/Sim - 6SOGThomas Vanek - 8
Joey MacDonald - 1WINSRyan Miller - 1
Joey MacDonald - 2.01GAARyan Miller - 0.93
Joey MacDonald - .927SAVE %Ryan Miller - .964




GAME PREVIEW


The Home Opener could not have gone much better for the Islanders, who scored four goals in the first period. Joey MacDonald––starting in his second consecutive game––played magnificently, stopping 24 of 26 shots.

"Players played with more urgency," said Head Coach Scott Gordon. "We talked about that before the game––being relentless, stopping and starting, and not letting them off the hook when they cut back on you. That was pretty close to the efforts we had in the exhibition games we won. From top to bottom, that was a pretty consistent effort by everybody."

Five different Islanders scored: Mike Comrie, Trent Hunter, Sean Bergenheim, Andy Hilbert and Bill Guerin. Hilbert scored his first career shorthanded goal. Bruno Gervais and Doug Weight each picked up two assists. Weight leads the team with three points in two games.

The Islanders have been effective on the power play so far in this very young season, scoring a power play goal in each of their first two games.

"I think we still need to shoot the puck more," said Mark Streit, who has two assists on the season. "It's early in the season. We have good players, and we'll figure out a way to score more goals."

Today, the Islanders will play their third game in four days. They face a Sabres team that defeated Montreal 2-1 in a shootout on Friday in their only game of the season. Ales Kotalik and Drew Stafford scored in the one-on-one skills competition and Ryan Miller stopped his two shooters to secure the win.

The Sabres' lineup looks very similar to last year's team that was unable to reach the postseason in 2007-08. The only major acquisition is Craig Rivet, who brings his 35 points from 2007-08 to the Sabres' blueline. The key loss from last season is Brian Campbell, who was traded at the deadline in 2007-08 to San Jose, but then took his services to Chicago, in the off-season.

Buffalo will be without forwards Tim Connolly and Paul Gaustad, who are both out with injuries.

In 2007-08, the Islanders had early success against Buffalo, sweeping the Sabres in the season's first two games. The Islanders lost their final two matchups against the Sabres later in the season.
Islanders Website Preview
OTHER PREVIEWS:
Sabres GDT (Now Available)
ESPN Preview
NEWS, INFORMATION & BLOGGING:
NYI PointBlank (Chris Botta)
On The Islanders Beat (Greg Logan)
NYI Blog Box





LINEUPS / INJURIES



.........................LW..................................................C..................................................RW.........................
16 - Jon Sim93 - Doug Weight13 - Bill Guerin (C)
10 - Richard Park (A)89 - Mike Comrie21 - Kyle Okposo
15 - Jeff Tambellini51 - Frans Nielsen7 - Trent Hunter
11 - Andy Hilbert45 - Nate Thompson20 - Sean Bergenheim

.........................D..................................................D.........................
38 - Jack Hillen32 - Brendan Witt (A)
44 - Freddy Meyer8 - Bruno Gervais
2 - Mark Streit17 - Thomas Pock

..............................G..............................
35 - Joey MacDonald
39 - Rick DiPietro


.........................Player..................................................Injury..................................................Status.........................
C Mike Sillinger Hip IR
D Chris CampoliShoulderIR
D Andy SuttonHandIR
D Radek MartinekShoulderDay-to-Day
C Josh BaileyLower Body Injury2-4 Weeks

INSIDE SHOTS:
At least the Islanders have found out that Joey MacDonald might be a capable backup goaltender.

That is the silver lining of Rick DiPietro spending the first two games of the Islanders season on the bench wearing a baseball cap rather than his famed Stars-and-Stripes goalie mask.

The Islanders are taking it slow with DiPietro at the start of the third season of his mammoth 15-year contract, especially after he underwent hip and knee surgeries in the past six months, so MacDonald started the first two games of the season and backstopped the Isles to a 5-2 win over St. Louis on Saturday in their home opener.

Of course, as much as new coach Scott Gordon has downplayed the significance of the decision, it is ludicrous to think the Islanders can accomplish anything unless DiPietro regains the form that made him a first-time All-Star last season.

“I’ve done a lot of talking about Rick, and I love talking about him,” Gordon said Saturday. “I’m not going to take away from what our team and Joey did tonight. For the time being, I think we’re going to pass on (talking about DiPietro).”

DiPietro, who allowed six goals and wasn’t sharp in his lone preseason appearance last week in Florida, could play as early as Monday’s matinee game against Buffalo at Nassau Coliseum. He was seen wearing an ice pack over his surgically repaired left knee following Friday’s loss in New Jersey, but DiPietro and Gordon said the Isles’ franchise player would not have been in uniform in either game if he was too injured to play.

“It’s natural when you’re coming off surgery to have some swelling in there. It’s nothing serious,” DiPietro said Saturday. “Joey has played absolutely phenomenal, and we’re just doing everything we can to make sure it doesn’t become an issue for the rest of the season.”

Asked about a report on Canada’s TSN.ca website that he sat out Saturday’s game because of swelling in his surgically repaired left knee, DiPietro said, “That report is completely false. I don’t know where it came from. If something had—God forbid—happened, I would have been in the net playing. The doctors have a plan for me, and we will do what it takes.”

Islanders 5, Blues 2: The Islanders did not have a single period last season in which they scored four goals. So perhaps it is either a tribute to new coach Scott Gordon’s up-tempo system or a testament to the shoddy state of the Blues defense that the Isles jumped to a four-goal lead in the first 20 minutes and cruised to their first victory under Gordon in their home opener at Nassau Coliseum with All-Star goalie Rick DiPietro still not deemed ready to contribute. As advertised, the Isles forechecked with abandon and turned numerous early turnovers into scoring chances to give backup goalie Joey MacDonald an immediate cushion after providing no margin for error in a season-opening 2-1 loss at New Jersey one night earlier.

“The players played with more urgency,” Gordon said. “We talked about being relentless and not letting them off the hook when they cut back on you. That was pretty close to the effort we had in the games we won in the exhibition season. Hopefully that’s going to be our identity as a team.”

NOTES & QUOTES:
• LW Blake Comeau, expected to be a key to the Isles’ youth movement after scoring eight goals in 51 games as a rookie last season, has been a healthy scratch the first two games following a lackluster preseason. New coach Scott Gordon indicated Saturday that Comeau needs to improve his conditioning and be more responsible in all facets of his game to crack the lineup.

“Blake hasn’t had the benefit of defining what kind of player he’s going to be at the American League level to show what kind of player he could possibly be at the NHL level,” Gordon told Newsday. “He had some moderate success last year, but at the time he got called up, I don’t think anybody thought he was really ready to play. We’re asking him to be more accountable in different areas than maybe he was last year.

“I want him to play with the same desperation that a guy like Richard Park or Andy Hilbert plays with. I don’t think that Blake has conditioned himself to play that way yet.”

• C Josh Bailey, the Isles’ first-round draft pick, will be sidelined about two to four weeks with a lower-body injury.

“He was feeling good, and then, all of a sudden, it was there,” Gordon said. “I guess it could have been a lot more serious had he not stopped when he did.”

Bailey, 19, isn’t likely to play more than nine NHL games before he is returned to his OHL junior club in Windsor for contractual reasons.

Quote To Note: “If I wasn’t backing up, there would be something to talk about. Joey played well (Friday) night, and we went back with him tonight. I am going to do everything the doctors tell me to do and I’m going to do everything the coach tells me to do and contribute any way I can. If that is sitting on the bench backing up cheerleading, that’s what I am going to do.”—All-Star G Rick DiPietro, on sitting out his second consecutive game to start the season following offseason hip and knee surgeries.

ROSTER REPORT:

Player Notes:

• C Doug Weight, the former All-Star who totaled only 10 goals and 25 points in 67 games last season for St. Louis and Anaheim, has three points in two games after notching two assists in a 5-2 win Saturday against St. Louis.

• RW Kyle Okposo, who was denied by Martin Brodeur on a penalty shot Friday, notched his first point of the season with an assist on C Mike Comrie’s goal.

• LW Andy Hilbert, who was held off the scoresheet for the first 19 games last season, posted a goal and an assist.

• D Thomas Pock, obtained by waivers from the Rangers the final week of the preseason, was even over 18:22 in his Isles debut, including a few shifts on the power play. He replaced rookie D Jack Hillen in the lineup.

Medical Watch:

• C Josh Bailey, the Isles’ first-round draft pick (ninth overall) who surprisingly is starting the season with the team, wasn’t in the lineup against the Devils Oct. 10 due to a groin/abdomen injury suffered in practice on Oct. 8.

• D Radek Martinek left the Oct. 11 game with an undisclosed injury (possibly a shoulder problem) following a check into the rear boards by Blues F David Backes late in the first period. The injury-prone blue-liner did not return.

• D Andy Sutton, in the second year of a three-year, $9 million contract, reportedly underwent hand surgery on Oct. 2 and is likely out until mid-November. Sutton was limited to 58 games last season due to a hamstring injury.

• D Chris Campoli, who played only 46 games in 2007-08 due to shoulder surgery, suffered what the Isles insist is an unrelated shoulder injury during training camp in mid-September. He also has opened the season on the injured list.

• C Mike Sillinger has resumed skating but is still recuperating following February hip surgery.





LINEUPS / INJURIES



.........................LW..................................................C..................................................RW.........................
26 - Tomas Vanek9 - Derek Roy21 - Drew Stafford
20 - Daniel Paille55 - Jochen Hecht29 - Jason Pominville
12 - Ales Kotalik22 - Adam Mair61 - Maxim Afinogenov
76 - Andrew Peters41 - Clarke MacArthur36 - Patrick Kaleta

.........................D..................................................D.........................
52 - Craig Rivet10 - Henrik Tallinder
6 - Jaroslav Spacek44 - Andrej Sekera
5 - Toni Lydman27 - Teppo Numminen

..............................G..............................
40 - Patrick Lalime
30 - Ryan Miller

.........................Player..................................................Injury..................................................Status.........................
C Paul GaustadHandIR
C Tim ConnollyBackDay-to-Day

INSIDE SHOTS:
The Sabres are going to go to practice, and they are going to work on shootouts. After all, practice is making perfect so far.

One of the Sabres’ main goals this season is to perform better in the game-deciding extra session. They went just 4-9 last year, and they missed the playoffs by four points. A better shootout record would have gotten them in.

So coach Lindy Ruff has been putting an extra emphasis on breakaways during practice. It’s going to continue because in their season-opening 2-1 win over Montreal, Buffalo scored on both its shootout chances and thwarted the Canadiens on both of theirs.

“It has to be your focus because separation between (making the) playoffs and missing (them) is thin,” goaltender Ryan Miller said. “It was a conscious effort throughout the team.”

Another thing that ailed the Sabres last year was a slow start. They lost their opening two games in a home-and-home series with the New York Islanders. They head to Long Island on Monday for their second game of the year. Just like their shootout improvement, they want to improve against the Islanders, too.

“It’s fun to win,” right wing Drew Stafford said. “It’s as simple as that.”

SABRES 2, CANADIENS 1 (SO): Montreal’s Robert Lang and Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek traded first-period goals, and the goaltenders were stellar after that. Ryan Miller finished with 27 saves and his Montreal counterpart, Carey Price, stopped 35 shots. But Miller was better in the shootout, stopping Lang and Saku Koivu while Ales Kotalik and Drew Stafford solved Price.

NOTES & QUOTES:
• The Sabres, who used a monthly captain rotation last season and had co-captains the year before, have decided to go with one captain this season. They named D Craig Rivet their 23rd captain in team history. The 34-year-old was acquired from San Jose in July for two second-round draft picks.

• The Sabres opened the season with a shootout win after going just 4-9 last season. They started 2-9.

• The Sabres are 21-14-3 all time in season openers. They are 15-6-3 at home.

Quote To Note: “We’re learning from last year. Two points early in the season might have made the difference at the end. To get that extra point here is going to be important.”—Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, whose team lost it’s opening two games last year but won this year’s opener 2-1 over Montreal in a shootout.

ROSTER REPORT:
Player Notes:

• C Tim Connolly has a hairline fracture in a vertebrae in his back, and coach Lindy Ruff said he likely will miss a week. Connolly skipped a few practices during training camp, but he said he was “100 percent” certain he would play in the opener. He participated in the morning skate but the back became too painful.

• G Ryan Miller has 19 wins in the month of October since the 2005-06 season, most in the NHL.

• LW Thomas Vanek, who led the Sabres in goals the past two seasons with 36 last year and 43 in 2006-07, scored the team’s first goal of this season.

• D Teppo Numminen played his first game in Buffalo since May 19, 2007. He had heart surgery at the start of last season and played in only the season finale, in Boston. The 40-year-old is the fourth-oldest player on an opening night roster, trailing Gary Roberts (42), Curtis Joseph (41) and Mark Recchi (40).

Medical Watch:

• C Tim Connolly has a hairline fracture in a vertebrae in his back, and coach Lindy Ruff said he likely will miss a week. Connolly skipped a few practices during training camp, but he said he was “100 percent” certain he would play in the opener. He participated in the morning skate but the back became too painful.

• C Paul Gaustad had surgery to repair ligaments in his right thumb Sept. 30 and is out until at least early November.








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