Peca, Connolly Make Their Returns:
Buffalo Sabres (11-13-2-1) at Islanders (15-5-4)
Gametime: 7:00 pm EST
Uniondale, NY (Dec. 1) Captain Michael Peca has plenty of friends on
the Buffalo Sabres. However, those relationships will take a back
seat when the former captain of the Sabres faces off against his old
mates tonight for the first time since the big trade over the summer
on June 24. It also marks Tim Connolly's first game against his old
team as he and Taylor Pyatt, who is playing in Buffalo's minor league
system, were both sent to Buffalo for the rights to Peca.
Hammer Time, Evie Down
D Roman Hamrlik, who missed the last game on Thursday with a knee
sprain, is expected to return to the lineup tonight. Hamrlik is tied
for fifth among NHL rearguards in scoring with 17 points in 24 games.
To make room, D Evgeny Korolev was returned to Bridgeport Friday
Mark Parrish will be playing in his 250th NHL game tonight. He has
posted career numbers of 83 goals and 139 points along with 23 power
play goals and 104 penalty minutes.
With a 1-1 tie vs. Montreal on Thursday, the Islanders extended their
unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2). It is the second time this year
that the Islanders have had a six-game unbeaten streak (Oct. 17-30).
Buffalo'ed by Buffalo
Last season, the Islanders were 0-4 vs. Buffalo, including a pair of
shutouts in the first two meetings of the season. The Islanders have
lost their last five games against the Sabres, one in OT, and are 1-6-
1-2 in the last 10 meetings.
November To Remember?
After a sluggish start, the Islanders managed to finish November off
on a very positive note by going 6-5-3. It was the first time the
team finished November over .500 in 11 years. The last time the
Islanders had a winning November was the 1990-01 season, when the
team went 6-5-2.
Mariusz Czerkawski is riding a three-game point streak and is 3-3-6
in that span including his Nov. 27 hat trick vs. Washington. Since
being paired with Alexei Yashin six games ago, Czerkawski has four
goals and nine points while Yashin is 5-3-8 during that same
timeframe. Prior to this stretch, Czerkawski had 13 points (4-9-13)
in 22 games.
Dick Tarnstrom has an assist in each of his last two games. He
registered his second career NHL point on Thursday, assisting on
Alexei Yashin's second period goal. He netted his first NHL point
last Tuesday against Washington.
Did You Know?
...that the last time the Islanders had winning records in both
October and November was during the 1987-88 season? That team, which
eventually went on to win the Patrick Division title, was 6-3-1 in
October and 9-4-0 in November.
The Last Time These Clubs Met...
...was in Buffalo on Feb. 7 of last season. Maxim Afinogenov scored
in overtime to spoil Rick DiPietro's brilliant performance between
the pipes. It also saw the rookie goaltender end up in an on-ice free-
for-all with Buffalo toughie Rob Ray taking a swipe at the Islanders'
Buffalo's Last Game
The Sabres ended a four-game road losing streak with a 5-2 victory
over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. Slava Kozlov, who recently
issued a "play me or trade me" edict, and Jay McKee ended long goal-
What's Up With Buffalo?
The Sabres are situated in last place in the Northeast Division and
10th in the Eastern Conference. The trade of Dominik Hasek for Kozlov
has been a big factor in the Sabers yielding the 5th-highest goals
against total in their Conference (68). On the positive side of
things, Buffalo is heating up of late as they've taken seven of their
last possible 10 points.
Keep An Eye On...
Buffalo RW JP Dumont. The name should be familiar to Islanders' fans.
He also happens to be the hottest Sabre right now, riding a five-game
point-scoring streak with three goals and eight points in that span.
For the Islanders, LW Shawn Bates is day-to-day with a groin injury.
D Kevin Haller (abdominal injury) is out. For the Buffalo, D Dmitri
Kalinin (broken thumb) is on the injured reserve and is not expected
1050 ESPN RADIO's Chris King's projected lineups
(21) Mariusz Czerkawski-(79) Alexei Yashin-(15) Brad Isbister
(12) Oleg Kvasha-(27) Michael Peca-(37) Mark Parrish
(55) Jason Blake-(13) Claude Lapointe-(38) Dave Scatchard
(25) Juraj Kolnik-(10) Mats Lindgren-(20) Steve Webb
(29) Kenny Jonsson-(3) Adrian Aucoin
(4) Roman Hamrlik-(24) Radek Martinek
(33) Eric Cairns-(47) Dick Tarnstrom
(45) Marko Kiprusoff
(35) Chris Osgood
(30) Garth Snow
(81) Miroslav Satan-(41) Stu Barnes-(17) JP Dumont
(9) Erik Rasmussen-(18) Tim Connolly-(13) Slava Kozlov
(25) Vaclav Varada-(37) Curtis Brown-(61) Maxim Afinogenov
(12) Ales Kotalik-(77) Chris Gratton-(32) Rob Ray
(74) Jay McKee-(4) Rhett Warrener
(44) Alexei Zhitnik-(42) Richard Smehlik
(51) Brian Campbell-(5) Jason Woolley
(3) James Patrick
(43) Martin Biron
(31) Bob Essensa
Inside The Numbers
Buffalo 25 points, fifth and last place in the Northeast Division.
Islanders: 34 points, first place, Atlantic Division.
Buffalo Miroslav Satan, 11 goals and 21 points; Alexei Zhitnik, 15
assists; Rob Ray, 65 PIM.
Islanders: Mark Parrish, 16 goals; Michael Peca, 16 assists; Alexei
Yashin and Parrish, 28 points; Steve Webb, 54 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 22): :
Buffalo Power play: 12.8 percent (18 for 141), 21st in NHL. Penalty
killing: 86.7 percent (85 for 98), 11th (tied).
Islanders: Power play: 18.6 percent (24 for 129), 6th. Penalty
killing: 89.9 percent (107 for 119), 1st.
Buffalo 3-7-0-1 away from HSBC Arena.
Islanders: 7-1-3-1 at Nassau Coliseum.