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"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 5 Carolina 6, Isles 3 Carolina Wins Series 4-1 School is out. Jack D...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Stat Trick: Isles 4, Thrashers 1. Matt Moulson - first career hat trick

Matt Moulson scored three consecutive goals as the Islanders rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat Atlanta 4-1 at Philips Arena on Thursday niight.  On to the trick:

1. Vyasckeslav Kozlov scored Atlanta's only tally at 9:01 of the first period, and the Thrasher carried that lead into the intermission.  It was the only goal allowed by Dwayne Roloson, who made 26 saves to win his third straight start and improved to 9-2-5 on the season.  Kozlov also extended his consecutive game streak to a Thrasher-record 227 games.

2.  The rest of the game belonged to Matt Moulson, who tied the game 1:47 into the second period with a goal on a slap shot.  He gave the Islanders the lead with the game-winning goal, on the power play, later in the second period, before completing his hat trick and essentially putting the game out of reach 13:09 into the third.  Those were the only goals allowed by Ondrej Pavelec, who made 23 saves.

3.  John Tavares added an empty-netter with less than a second to play to seal the victory.  Tavares continues to lead all NHL rookies with 11 goals and 22 points.

... a few more...

4. Trent Hunter assisted on Moulson's first two goals, while Kyle Okposo assisted on the second and third tally.  Mark Streit assisted on the third goal and finished +3.

5. Moulson joins Jeff Tambellini as Islanders with hat tricks this season.  League-wide, it was the 22nd hat trick, and each has been in a winning effort for their team.  It's the first time in three seasons that the Islanders have had two hat tricks (Kozlov, Blake and Blake in 2006-07) and the first natural hat trick by an Islander since Jason Blake did so at Madison Square Garden on December 19, 2006.  It's the second hat trick that the Isles have ever had against the Thrashers; Jason Blake turned the trick against Atlanta at the Coliseum in 2003.

6.  The Islander climb back over NHL .500 at 11-10-7.  They have 29 points in 28 games; they didn't reach 29 points last season until an OT loss to the Caps on MLK Day "raised" their record to 12-29-5.

7. With 14 goals, Moulson moves into a tie for 15th place in NHL goal scoring.  He has scored 14 goals in 28 games for the Islanders after scoring just six times in 29 games for Los Angeles over parts of two seasons.  With 14 goals and 8 assists (14-8), he's also in the running for the Cy Young Award - -his last six points have all been goals.  Moulson is only four goals behind Kyle Okposo's total of 18 from last season, when Okposo led the squad the goals.

8.  It was a bad night for another superstar against the Islanders, as Ilya Kovalchuk went -3, although he did had six shots on goal.  Maxim Afinogenov also was -3 and the Islanders snapped his four game point streak.

9.  The Islanders snapped several Thrasher streaks; Atlanta had won 4 straight games, had earned points in five straight, had won all 10 games that they scored first and all seven games that they led after one period.  The Isles also outscored the Thrashers 2-0 in the third period, which is pretty impressive considering Atlanta had outscored their opponents 38-13 in the third period entering the game.

10.  The Isles have won both games of the season series and have now beaten the Thrashers in three straight games.  The Isles now own two regulation wins over Atltanta and only five other regulation wins.  With their win , the Isles moved into 3rd place in the Atlantic, two points ahead of both the Rangers and Flyers.   It's the first time that they have been ahead of the Rangers since the morning of January 24, 2008.  A Ranger win and Islander loss that evening knotted the teams with 54 points.  The Isles had not led the Rangers in points since then.

Uo next:  The Isles wwill play the middle game of this five game road trip on Satruday night in Tampa against the Lightning.  It's the first meeting of the season of the squads and will match #1 overall draft pick John Tavares and #2 overall Viktor Hedman.  The Isles won three out of four last season, including an overtime win in Tampa last October 16 (Trent Hunter had the OT goal).
 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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