1. The Islanders grabbed the lead midway through the first period as Josh Bailey nudged a puck over the goal line after a shot by Kyle Okposo got through Columbus netminder Steve Mason. It was Bailey's eighth goal of the season (a career high, as he had seven last year) and his first in 15 games.
2. The Isles protected the lead for nearly 40 minutes, but RJ Umburger, who has always been a thorn in the Islanders' side, tied the game at 9:47 of the third. It was Umburger's 9th goal in the last 20 games and his 10th in 24 career games against the Islanders. It was the first goal scored in the last eight periods of regulation time by the Blue Jackets, who won a 1-0 game in overtime on Monday night.
3. The Blue Jackets dominated the third period but the tied changed when Fredrik Modin was called for Delay of Game with 1:42 to play in regulation. While the Isles couldn't score on the power play, they did turn the play in their favor, and eventually outshot Columbus 5-2 in the overtime session. After the first four shooters (Jeff Tambellini and Frans Nielsen for the Islanders; Kristain Huselius and Rick Nash for the Coyotes) were stopped, Rob Schremp converted for the only goal of the shootout. Roloson then stopped Fedor Tyutin to earn the second point for the Isles and hand the Blue Jackets their 12th straight road loss (0-8-4).
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4. It was the second shootout goal in three attempts for Schremp, who has scored only one regulation goal in his first 26 NHL games. The shootout win raised the Isles record to 2-4 in shootouts and to 7-7 in games that have gone beyond 60 minutes.
5. For the fourth straight game, neither the Isles or their opponents scored on the power play. The Isles failed on four opportunities, all in the third period, including a 47 second 5-on-3 while the Blue Jackets were blanked on three attempts. In those four games, the Isles are 0-13 on the power play and 10-10 on the penalty kill. Over the last 10 games, the Isles are 2-38 on the power play, scoring on the 1st attempt (Schremp vs. Boston on December 11) and going 1-37 since. The Isles have not allowed a power play goal in any of their last nine wins, killing all 30 of the opposition power plays.
6. Roloson records his third straight win to raise his record to 14-7-5. In those three games, he's allowed only four goals on 107 goals. It's the third time this season that Roloson has had a winning streak of at least three games.
7. This game ends a stretch of ten consecutive games in the metro-NY area (eight at home, and two at Madison Square Garden). The Isles went 5-5-0 in the ten games, including 3-5-0 at the Coliseum. The Isles now have 39 points in 41 games; they had only 38 points in their first 55 games last season. With the win, the Isles move from a tie for 13th place to within one point of a playoff spot. Such is life in the NHL's Eastern Conference, where three points separates 8th place and 14th place.
8. Jeff Tambellini, playing for the first time in ten games, made a big impression early, finishing with two shots and five hits. He was averaging less than one hit per game prior to tonight. TIm Jackman had six hits for the Isles, who out-hit Columbus 34-24. Andy Sutton had four hits and five blocks for the Isles, while Andy Hillen also blocked five shots.
9. Mark Streit led all skater with 26:44 of ice-time while Tyutin led Columbus with 22:43 of ice-time and 5 blocked shots. Columbus won 26 of 49 face-offs; Schremp was by far the best Islander, winning 9-of-12.
10. The Islanders lead the season series 1-0; the teams will play again on March 27th in Columbus. The Isles have won the last three Coliseum meetings between the squads, but are still looking for their first-ever win at Nationwide Arena.
Up next: The Isles will ring out the old, as they end 2009 with a New Year's Eve game in Ottawa. The Isles have won their last four December 31 games, including a 4-2 win over Florida in a matinee last season. The Islanders have not been beaten on New Year's Eve since the final night of 1998, when Jocelyn Thibault and the Blackhawks blanked the Isles 1-0 in Chicago.
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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