Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stat Trick: Isles 4, Washington 3 (ot)

The Islanders tied an NHL record by playing in their seventh October overtime game.  It didn't last long, as Mark Streit converted a pass from John Tavares 53 seconds into the extra session to give the Isles a 4-3 overtime win in Washington.  On to the trick:

1. The Islanders, who won just once in their first ten games, moved to within one game of NHL-.500 with the overtime win in Washington.  Kyle Okposo became the first Islander to score in the first period of a road game this season as he scored for the second consecutive game, before Frans Nielsen recorded his first two goals of the season in the second period -- the first time in his career that he has scored twice in a game, let alone a period.

2.  Alexander the Great (Ovechkin) scored on a first period power play for Washington while Tomas Fleischmann added a pair of goals in the middle session for the Caps, who had won six straight entering the game.

3. Dwayne Roloson made 37 saves and despite not being named one of the "Three Stars" was arguably the best player on the ice for either team.  Roloson made seventeen of those saves in the third period as he won for the second straight game.  The Isles have earned a point in six of his seven starts (3-1-3).  Jose Theodore made 26 saves for Washington.

...and a few more...

4.  The Isles conquered the "Post-Ranger letdown", at least for one night.  They are now 6-14-3 in their last 23 games following victories over the Rangers  They had lost four straight games that followed victories over the Rangers.

5. Scott Gordon finally beat the Capitals after five straight defeats, three of them in overtime.

6.  The Isles have now played seven overtime games (1 ot win, 1 shootout win, three overtime losses, and two shootout losses).  Eight of their first twelve games have been decided by a single goal.

7. The Isles have won consecutive games for the first time since March 7 and 8.  They scored four goals in a game (not including a shootout) for the first time since March 20th.  The win also broke an 8-game road losing streak (0-5-3).

8.  The Isles are 3-1-2 in their last six games, and have earned a point in four straight games (2-0-2) for the first time since going 3-0-1 last March 7-12.

9.  The Isles held Ovechkin to one goal on 7 shots. They also blocked four of Ovechkin's shots and four others missed the net. Radek Martinek played a team-high 24:44 for the Isles, much of that against Ovechkin, and was credited with four blocks.

10.  The season series is even at a game each, and at three points each as well (as the Caps won in overtime on Long Island last Saturday).  The teams play again in Washington on Veterans' Day, before concluding the season series on January 26th at the Coliseum.

Up next: The Isles begin a two-game homestand when they host Buffalo on Halloween night.  The Isles will be looking to avenge a 6-3 loss in Buffalo two weeks ago and get back to NHL .500 for the first time since opening the season 0-0-3.  The Isles have won three straight on Halloween since losing to Toronto in 1996.  The Isles will also be looking to win three straight for the first time since a four game win streak from January 21- February 3, 2009.

 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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