1. The Isles end the 2nd longest road losing streak in their history with a 5-4 win in Atlanta. It's their first road win since November 24 (0-14-1). How long ago was that? 66 days. The Isles' previous road win was in Montreal, and raised their overall record to 9-10-2. They were one period from .500 two nights later, when the roof, and the season, fell in.
2. The Isles scored five goals for the first time since the home opener (5-2 win over St. Louis). It's the first time all season that they've scored 5 on the road (34 games, dating back to last February 28, also in Atlanta).
3. The Isles have a 2-game win streak for the first time since November 22-24 and a 3-game point streak for the first time since Nov 13-17.
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4. It's the first time this season that the Isles have allowed 4 goals in a game, and won (0-20-3 prior to this game). The Isles had gone winless in their last 30 games (0-26-4) when they alllowed at least 4, dating back to their overtime win in Atlanta last February 28. They hadn't allowed 4 goals and won in regulation since last Valentine's Day (5-4 over Toronto).
5. The Isles scored 4 goals in the first period and allowed 4 goals in the third period. It's the first time since December 19, 2005 that the Isles have scored 4 goals and allowed four goals in a period in the same game. (They actually allowed 4 goals in both the first and second period of that 12/19 loss to Toronto, 9-6 -- a loss that was the beginning of the end for Steve Stirling.)
6. The Isles outshot Atlanta 20-8 in the first period.
7. Kyle Okposo had a pair of goals for the Isles, with Josh Bailey earning the primary assist on each goal. Both players are now in the Top 25 in rookie scoring (tied-14, tied-22 respectively). Okposo's 9 goals gets him into a share of 10th place, while Bailey is now in the top 12 in rookie assists. Okposo, who now has 4 goals in three games, led the Isles with 5 shots on goal. Trent Hunter and Doug Weight (both in their first game back from injuries) and TIm Jackman had the other Isles goals.
8. The Isles held a 4-0 lead going to the third, but Atlanta scored third times in the first 9 minutes of the third. Okposo's second goal turned out to be the winner, before Ilya Kovalchuk scored in the final minute with the extra attacker. The Isles have allowed 69 third period goals this season, most in the NHL.
9. Yann Danis held on in the third, making 33 saves for his second straight win.
10. Up next: The Isles begin a 4 game stretch against the Sunshine State teams, by hosting the Florida Panthers on Saturday. The Isles completed 2008 with a New Year's Eve win over the Cats; their first after 6 straight losses to Florida.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982.
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