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The Skinny on The Openers

"The Skinny" … on the Openers By Eric Hornick The NHL released the schedule for the 2016-17 season on Tuesday.  It'...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Stat Trick: Penguins 4, Isles 3 (Shootout)

It was almost a perfect debut for John Tavares.  But the champs are champs for a reason, and Pittsburgh rallied to tie the Isles and then beat them in a shootout.  For the first time in season 37, on to the trick:
 
1. John Tavares had a goal on two shots in his NHL debut and also added an assist.  Both of his points came on the power play.  He played 22:05 and won 9 draws and lost 10.  Tavares is the 18th Islander, and first since Jesse Joensuu to score in his NHL debut.  Joensuu did it  last season. 
 
2. Linemate Okposo was the only forward to play more than Tavares (22:18)  Along with Matt Moulson, the trio combined for 4 points and 11 shots on goal.
 
3.  Dwayne Roloson made his Isles debut, stopping 39 shots.  He had to be at his best in the 3rd period and overtime, stopping 20 of 22.
 
...a few more
 
4.  The Isles fail to win on Opening Night (nothing new there; the Isles are 9-19-9 on Opening Night and have won only once in the last 7 season openers) and in the home Opener (after 5 straight home Opening wins).
 
5.  The Opener was a sellout for the 8th time in the last 9 seasons.  (Only 2006 vs Boston failed to sell-out)  It's the earliest in October that the Isles have ever played a home game and only the 3rd time that they opened this early in the month (10/3/97 at MSG, 10/2/00 at TB)
 
6. Sidney Crosby had a goal, an assist and a shootout goal for the Pens, who beat the Isles for the 7th time in the last 8 meetings (including three shootouts, two won by the Pens and one, last President's Day, by the Isles)  Evgeny Malkin seemed to have a quiet game, but assisted on the tying goal and finished +2.
 
7.  Brendan Witt had 8 blocked shots, and two hits -- including one that led to a frst period fight with  Jay McKee.  The Isles blocked 29 shots in all.
 
8. All three Isles goal scorers (Hunter, Streit and Tavares) also added an assist.  Fedotenko and Crosby had 1 and 1 for the Pens.
 
9.  It's the first time that the Isles have ever opened a season against the reigning Stanley Cup Champion.  Bill Guerin was briefly honored during a first period timeout.
 
10. This year's goalie tandem of Roloson (167) and Biron (199) have 366 career wins.  Last year's duo (excluding DiPietro) started the season with a total of 6 (three each).  (366/ 6 =61   -- with the 61 matching the Isles' point total last season.
 
Up next: Tavares will play his first road game in hockey-mad Ontario as the Isles visit Ottawa Thursday.  The Isles took 3 of 4 from Ottawa last season.
 
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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