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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 5 Carolina 6, Isles 3 Carolina Wins Series 4-1 School is out. Jack D...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stat Trick: Isles 4, Leafs 1

If Boxing Day was Bill Murray's Ground Hog Day, the Isles would be in good shape. For the third straight year, the Isles spent Boxing Day at home, and for the third straight year they emerged victorious. On to the trick.

1. The Isles improved to 10 wins, 1 loss (a one-goal defeat to Hartford in 1985) and two ties at home on Boxing Day. (Contrast that with the Canucks -- who are 0-6-2 in their last eight games on Boxing Day at home, and haven't won in BC since 1973! Vancouver trails tonight, as well)

2. Bill Guerin is the 8th American and 79th player overall to reach 400 goals; he had two goals tonight, including one that was erroneously initially credited to Josh Bailey.

3. Kyle Okposo set a career high with his 3rd goal of the season (he had 2 in nine games last season). Okposo, playing his 31st NHL game, recorded the first two point game of his career.

...and a few more

4. Rick DiPietro knocked Billy Smith out of the Isles record books. DiPietro recorded his 14th point (all assists), breaking the record he shared with Smitty (1-12-13). More importantly, DiPietro recorded his first win since February 28th, and the 117th of his career.

5. Jeff Tambellini celebrated his 100th Islander game with an assist. (He has 4-16-20 in 104 NHL games with all points coming as an Islander.) His dad played in 107 games for the Isles (24-25-49).

6. Andy Hilbert broke a bone in his foot blocking a shot in the 2nd period; he did not return. Hilbert has played in every game this season.

7. Oh Canada. Six of the Isles' 11 wins (and 4 of their six home wins) have come against Canadian opponents. The Isles are 6-2 against teams North of the Border this season after going 5-9-1 last season. It's the first time since the lockout that the Isles have won at least six games against Canadian team. Six of the Isles' last seven wins have come against Canadian teams; the seventh was in Buffalo - a city that plays the Canadian anthem before home games.

8. Blake Comeau assisted on both third period goals; it's the first two assist game of his career.

9. The Isles are 7-1-1 in their last 9 and 11-2-1 in their last 14 games against the Leafs on Long Island.

10. Looking ahead: The Isles visit Buffalo on Saturday night. The teams have split two games this season, with the visitor winning on both occasions.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

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