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The Skinny: Isles 4, New Jersey 1 - Isles clinch a Playoff Spot!

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 81 Isles 4, New Jersey 1    They're in! Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Kyle Palmieri scored goals 4...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Stat Trick: Tampa Bay 4, Isles 2

Ryan Malone played with Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh; he plays with Steven Stamkos in Tampa.  If he only faced the Islanders, he might make the Hall of Fame before either of them.  On to the trick:

1.  Malone assisted on Tampa Bay tying goals in both the first and second periods, before scoring twice himself in the third period. Malone, who recorded his fourth 4-point game of his career, has 17 goals and 7 assists in 31 career games against the Isles.

2.  Trent Hunter had given the Islanders a 1-0 lead with a power play tally in the first period. The goal broke an 0-19 streak for the Islander power play.  It was his 93rd career goal as an Islander, establishing him as one of the Top 30 goal scorers in Islander history, tying Garry Howatt and Greg Gilbert for 28th  place on the all-time list. Nate Thompson had the other Islander goal; it was his first in 62 games and his first-goal ever at the Coliseum.

3.  Steven Stamkos and Vinny Lecavalier  both scored in the second period for Tampa, with Lecavalier's goal coming with 19 seconds left in the middle session.  Stamkos and Malone have combined for 39 goals this season; among teammates, only San Jose's Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau (42) have combined for more.

... a few more...

4.  The penalty kill continues to be a huge problem for the Islanders.  They've allowed eight goals in fifteen times short over their last three games, all losses.  The Islanders have allowed 18 power play goals in 40 attempts (55% penalty kill) in their last 11 games after allowing only 18 on 102 attempts (82.4% penalty kill) in their first 26 games.  The results show up in their record as well: 10-9-7 in the first 26 and 3-8-0 in the last 11.

5.  Mike Smith, who shut the Islanders out earlier this month, made 36 saves.  He's 2-0-0 vs. the Isles and 4-9-5 vs. the rest of the league.  Dwayne Roloson suffered his third straight home loss, making 24 saves.

6.  The game featured ten power play plays -- four of them (two for each team) came on Delay of Game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass from the defensive zone.

7..  Alex Tanguay earned an assist on the Lecavalier goal.  It was his 600th NHL point.

8. After going through a four-game stretch in which all of their goals were scored by either John Tavares or Matt Moulson, the last ten Islander goals have been scored by nine different players.  Unfortunately, it's taken six games for the Isles to score those ten goals.  The Isles have been outscored 42-19 in their last eleven games.

9.  The Isles have lost four straight at home (all in regulation).  They have been outscored 19-5 in those four games.

10.  Tampa, who broke a four-game Coliseum losing streak, now leads the season series two games to none, and four points to zero.  The teams will play twice in a ten-day span just beofre the Olympic break in February.

Up next:  The Isles look to salvage the final game of the homestand when the Maple Leafs visit on Wednesday.  The teams split two games in Toronto earlier in the season, with the Islanders' win coming in overtime.  The Isles have dominated the Leafs on Long Island in recent years, going 7-1-2 against Toronto since the 2003-2004 season.  It's the tenth time in the last 14 seasons that the Isles have hosted a game on December 23rd; they're 5-3-1 in the last 9.
 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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