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

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stat Trick: Toronto 3, Isles 2. Late goal by Blake spoils Tavares' night

Jason Blake scored following a Mark Streit giveaway with just 4:05 to play to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 win over the Isles at the Air Canada Centre.  The Blake goal spoiled a two-goal third period by John Tavares, who has now scored the Islanders' last five goals.  On to the trick:

1.  Toronto grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Francois Beauchamin and Ian White.

2.  Tavares' two third period goals were both scored on the power play, giving him back-to-back two-goal games for the first time in his career.  Tavares, who also scored the Isles' last goal in their win in Atlanta last week, has now tallied five straight Islander goals.  I can confirm that this is not a club record, but I can not confirm that he doesn't at least share the mark.  (Bryan Trottier scored five consecutive goals in a February 13, 1982 Islander rout of the Flyers)

3. Blake's winning goal was only his 2nd in twelve career games against the Islanders.  Blake, who had six shots on goal, scored 127 goals in 426 games as an Islander.

... a few more..

4.  For the second straight night, Kyle Okposo assisted on both Islander goals and for the second straight night both goals were scored on a power-play.  The Isles also scored on a 5-on-3 for the second straight game.  Jeff Tambellini and Rob Schremp, the latter playing for only the 2nd time in the last 22 games, also earned assists.

5. Dwayne Roloson made 32 saves for the Isles while Vesa Toskala finished with 30 saves for the Leafs, who improve to 7-2-1 in their last ten (after opening the season 3-11-6).

6. This was the final game of a 5-game road trip (1-4-0) and of stretches where the Isles played 12 of 14 games and 14 of 17 games on the road.  The Isles played as many games in Toronto (2) over the last 14 games as they played on Long Island..  They were 6-9-2 over the last 17 and 5-7-2 over the last 14.  The Isles have played 20 of their first 31 games on the road -- other than the 1992-1993 season, when the Isles opened with 20 of their first 33 on the road, the Isles had never played more than 20 of their first 35 games away from the Coliseum.  The schedule now turns, as the Isles will play 8 of the next 10 at home, with the only two road games coming at Madison Square Garden.

7. After having a lead at some point in thirteen consecutive games, the Isles have not led at any point in the last three games (0-3-0).  They have scored four goals in that stretch, all by Tavares, and all on the power play.

8. Other than his giveaway on the winning goal, Mark Streit had a strong game, with three shots, one hit and five blocked shots.  Streit played a team-high 28:01.

9. Tavares now has 15 goals and 11 asssists, with eight goals and seven assists coming on the power play.  He leads all rookies in at least six statistical categories (goals, points, power play goals, power play points, shots, and shooting percentage).  Only two players in the entire league have more power play goals and points than Tavares , who has a point on 15 of the Islanders' 22 power play goals.  Tavares also passed Matt Moulson for the team lead in goals; Moulson has 14.  Tavares, by the way, is not close to Mike Bossy's rookie season pace.  Bossy, who finished with 53 goals in his rookie season, scored goals 15 and 16 in the Islanders' 19th game.

10.  The season series is now tied at one game each.  The remaining two meetings are on Long Island: on December 23rd and March 14th.

Up next:  The Isles finally return home as they face the Bruins on Saturday night.   The Bruins have won three straight on Long Island and seven out of eight against the Isles (1-6-1).  The Isles did win the last meeting, on November 16th in Boston.

 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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