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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...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Stat Trick: Isles 2, Detroit 0.

"On paper, this game should never be played." "That's why they play the game." Clue the cliche machine for a rather remarkable Islander victory in Detroit. On to the trick:

1. Joey MacDonald made 42 saves for his third career shutout as the Isles blanked the Stanley Cup Champions in their own barn, temporarily denying Detroit a chance to be the first team since the Canadiens of the late 70's to record 50 victories for a fourth straight season.

2. MacDonald had help from his defense... and from the posts (and crossbars). Hossa hit a cross-bar in the 2nd period; Filippula, Datsyuk, and Franzen all hit posts in the 3rd.

3. It was the Isles first shutout of the Wings since Billy Smith blanked Detroit in 1981 and their first road shutout in 72 games, dating back to November 16, 2007 at New Jersey (1-0). It's the Isles first road shutout by anyone other than DiPietro since Garth Snow blanked San Jose 3-0 on February 19, 2003.

...and a few more:

4. Frans Nielsen (shorthanded) and Josh Bailey had the Islander goals, 6:28 apart in the second period. Nielsen has points in 4 of the last five games (3-2-5), while Bailey now has three goals in three games, and is 4-3-7 in March.

5. Doug Weight returned to the Islander lineup after missing 19 games.

6. The Isles stopped the Wings on 6 pp's, despite 14 Red Wing pp shots. Every Red Wing got at least one shot on goal except Kromwell; Mikael Samuelsson led the Wings with 7 shots.

7. The Wings not only out-shot the Isles 42-30, they had EIGHTY attempts on goal (14 blocked by the Isles; 24 missed shots --which includes the 4 posts). The Isles had only 37 attempts (1 blocked by Detroit and 6 missed net).

8. It took nearly four years to assemble, but the Isles own a 2-game win streak at the Joe for the first time since winning three straight in Detroit in 1984 and 1985. This was the only meeting of the season between the teams.

9. Nielsen's shorty was the first of his NHL career. It was the Isles' 10th SH goal of the season.

10. Up next: Speaking of Philadelphia, the Flyers visit Long Island on the back-end of the back-2-backs on Saturday. The Flyers have beaten the Islanders 8 straight (0-6-2) and 11 of 12 (1-9-2). The Isles have scored only 23 goals in those 12 games.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982.

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