"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Second Round Game 4 Carolina 5, Isles 2 Carolina wins series 4-0...
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Stat Trick; Boston 4, Isles 3 (SO)
It's been said that three-goal leads are the hardest to defend. The Islanders proved it tonight in Boston, dropping a 4-3 decision in a shootout. On to the trick...
1. The good: The Isles dominate the better part of the first 52 minutes, grabbing a 3-0 lead on second period tallies by Jon Sim, Radek Martinek, and John Tavares.
2. The bad: Boston scores three times in the final 8:01 to force a shoot-out. Marc Savard, Byron Bitz and Matt Hunwick score in a 5:27 span to even the score.
3. The ugly: The B's get shoot-out goals from Blake Wheeler and Marc Savard (only his third in fourteen career attempts) while Robbie Schremp has the only response for the Isles to give the Bruins an improbable victory.
...and a few more...
4. Tuukka Rask makes thirty-save saves for Boston, while Dwayne Roloson stops twenty-seven for the Isles. Roloson hasn't made a save in five shootout attempts over the two games, allowing four goals and having a fifth shot hit the post.
5. The Isles played without Trent Hunter (placed on IR) and Doug Weight. Both aggravated (or re-aggravated) injuries suffered in the pre-season during the game in Ottawa.
6. The Isles went 1-7 on the power-play but failed on a 1:37 5-on-3. The Bruins were 0-5 with the man advantage. The Isles have killed all ten opponent power plays this season and are the only team in the NHL not to allow a power-play goal. The Isles have had 17 power plays and been short only ten times this season.
7. Tavares and Hunwick each had a goal and an assist; they were the only players with two points in the game.
8. All three Isles games have gone to overtime. It's the first time that's happened since October 21-28, 2006. The Isles have lost three straight overtime games for the first time in their history. It's also the first time that the Isles have played three consecutive overtime games to open the season, and the second time that the Isles have been tied through sixty minutes (two ties in 1975) in their first two road games.
9. The Isles have now lost seven straight to Boston (0-6-1). That last happened from 1993-1995, when they also lost seven straight (the final seven games of a ten-game winless (0-8-2) streak against Boston).
10. Tavares is the first rookie to reach five points; he shares the rookie lead in both goals (2) and assists as well (3). He also had a good seat for Richard Park's shoot-out attempt.
Up next: The Isles return home to face the Kings in a Columbus Day matinee (Monday/2pm/MSG+). It will be interesting to see what retaliation if any the Islanders have for Sean O'Donnell, who served a five game suspension after incurring a match penalty when he cross-checked Matt Martin.
The Isles haven't beaten the Kings on Long Island since Tommy Salo blanked Los Angeles 1-0 on October 27, 1998. The Kings have visited Long Island five times since, winning four (including last year in a shoot-out) and tying once.
Trivia: Who scored the only goal in that October 1998 victory?
Trivia Answer: The current coach of the Colorado Avalanche, Joe Sacco. (One of six goals he scored in an Islander uniform.)
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick