Toronto (28-28-5) at New York (28-29-4)

Light Rain Currently: Uniondale, NY
Temp: 41° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Fri Mar 10, 2006
  • TV: LTV, MSG
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Despite trading away several players, the New York Islanders insist they haven’t given up on the playoffs this season.

The Islanders will have a new look when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Islanders traded forward Mark Parrish and defenseman Brent Sopel to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday for two prospects, defenseman Denis Grebeshkov, left wing Jeff Tambellini and a conditional third-round pick in this year’s draft. The following day, New York sent defenseman Brad Lukowich to the New Jersey Devils for a third-round pick.

Grebeshkov and Tambellini were expected to join the Islanders for practice on Thursday.

The Islanders were tied for 11th place in the Eastern Conference heading into Thursday’s games, seven points behind Montreal for the eighth and final playoff spot. Mike Milbury, who will give up his role as general manager once a replacement is found, insisted Wednesday his team is still trying for a fourth straight postseason appearance.

“This is a trade made undoubtedly with an eye on the future of our organization, but we’re also very comfortable putting Denis and Jeff right into our lineup and still making a run at the playoffs this season,” Milbury said.

However, the Islanders have parted with their second-leading goal scorer, Parrish, and dealt two defensemen who were acquired before this season to replace departed defensemen Kenny Jonsson, Adrian Aucoin and Roman Hamrlik.

New York beat New Jersey 2-1 in a shootout on Tuesday for its fourth win in six games, with three of those victories coming over the Devils. Parrish scored the tying goal in the third period, and Miroslav Satan and Trent Hunter beat New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur in the shootout.

Satan has scored six times in eight shootouts, and goalie Rick DiPietro improved to 6-3 in the tiebreakers.

“If it was my last game here, I’m glad we wound up putting on a good show,” Parrish said.

Coach Brad Shaw said after the game he didn’t want to see his team broken up, but knew change was coming with his team currently being out of the playoff picture.

“I’d like to maintain the team we have and see what we can do with it,” Shaw said. “I think we needed to be closer than seven points away to realistically keep this team together.

“There were two or three games recently where we didn’t show up, and those points would have helped us out a lot.”

The Maple Leafs ended a five-game losing streak Tuesday with a 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Tomas Kaberle had a goal and a career-best four points for Toronto, which leads the Islanders by one point.

“We all know we have to win a lot more games. This is certainly a start,” said Mats Sundin, who scored twice.

The Maple Leafs acquired defenseman Luke Richardson from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday for a conditional draft pick, and sent veteran defenseman Ken Klee to the Devils for minor league forward Aleksander Suglobov.

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