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Monday, October 26, 2009

Stat Trick: Canadiens 3, Isles 2 (overtime)

As Yogi Berra once said, "It's deja vu all over again." Another game.  Another overtime loss.  On to the trick...

1. Former Islander Roman Hamrlik scored 1:32 into overtime to give Les Habitants the overtime victory. Hamrlik played 300 games for the Islanders earlier this decade and scored three overtime goals for the Islanders (only Pierre Turgeon, with four, has more for the Isles in regular season play).

2. Hamrlik's OT heroics partially spoiled the first two-goal game of Jeff Tambellini's NHL career. Tambellini, who played in his 150th NHL game, now has three goals in the last two games, and sixteen in his NHL career. It was the second time that he has scored in consecutive games, having also done so last March 7-8.  Tambellini has the last three Islander goals; he's the first Islander to score three consecutive Islander goals since Richard Park did so on January 2-3, 2009.

3. Tambellini's goals twice erased one-goal deficits caused by Montreal goals by Jaroslav Spacek and Travis Moen.  It was the 75th goal of Spacek's career, and his first as a Canadien.

...and a few more...

4. Jaroslav Halak and Martin Biron each faced 31 shots as Biron failed for the fifth straight time to win his 200th NHL game.

5. Both of Tambellini's goals came on the power play as the Isles went 2-7 with the man advantage, while Montreal was 0-2. Tambellini now has three goals on the season (in just five games), tying Tavares for second on the squad.  It's the second time this season that the Isles have scored two power play goals in one game (October 3 vs. Pittsburgh)

6. Glenn Metropolit, who wasn't expected to play due to flu-like symptons, assisted on the first two Montreal goals.

7. John Tavares' rookie season continues to mirrors Denis Potvin's, as the Isles 1-4-5 record equals the 1973-74 team mark through ten games.  It's the tenth time in their 37-year team history that the Isles have earned seven points or less through the first ten games.  Seven of the ten games have been decided by one goal.

8.  It's the first time since January 27-February 16, 2004 that the Isles have earned a single point in five games out of a span of ten games or fewer.  The Isles had four ties and an overtime loss in that stretch in 2004.  The Isles once played six ties in a span of ten regular season games, but that was over two seasons, from March 23-October 12, 1975.

9.  With tonight's game going into overtime, the Isles and Montreal still have a combined total of one regulation victory this season.
10.  Montreal now leads the season series two games to none, and four points to one.  The teams will play on Long Island on December 9 and April 6, but will not play again in Montreal this season.

Up next: It's the first Battle of New York of the season as the Rangers visit the Coliseum on Wednesday night.  The Blueshirts took five of six from the Isles last season and have won five straight on Long Island, matching their best streak ever at the Coliseum.  Face-off is at 7:08pm with Islander television coverage on MSG+ and Ranger coverage on MSG2.
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

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