Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stat Trick: Isles 4, New Jersey 0

For the second time in less than a week, one of the top teams in the NHL over the past 15 years came into the Coliseum and were overwhelmed, and shutout, by the Islanders.  Today it was New Jersey's turn, as the Isles blanked the Devils 4-0.  On to the trick:

1. As he did in the 6-0 shutout win on Tuesday over Detroit, Matt Moulson scored in the game's second minute to give the Isles the lead.  Moulson's goal was at 1:07, four seconds earlier than it was on Tuesday.  After Richard Park had a goal disallowed due to the referee losing site of the puck, Mark Streit extended his point streak to four games by scoring his third goal in four games to give the Isles a 2-0 lead just 3:44 into play. It was the second time in as many games that an apparent goal by Park had been waved off. Kyle Okposo assisted on the Streit goal, extending his point streak to six games; he also has a six-game streak to start the season.  Okposo now has five point streaks of at least five games in his career.

2.  Josh Bailey and Moulson scored 2:23 apart late in the second period to double the Isles' advantage to 4-0 after two periods, and chase future Hall-of-Famer Marty Brodeur to the bench for the second time in as many Coliseum visits. Bailey's goal gave him 25 points on the season, matching his rookie campaign total, while Moulson, who recorded his third multi-goal game of the season, now has 19 goals.  Moulson's 19 goals are one more than Kyle Okposo scored last season, when he led the club with 18 goals. Moulson now has 25 career goals, in just 78 NHL games.

3.  Former Islander Yann Danis handled 14 shots flawlessly in the third, but the Devs couldn't solve Rick DiPietro.  DiPietro stopped 20 shots in the game for his first shutout, and first winning streak, since blanking Tampa Bay on February 20, 1988.  It was the 15th shutout of DiPietro's career; only Chico Resch (25) and Billy Smith (22) have more as an Islander.

...a few more...

4. Andy Sutton had another big game for the Isles, assisting on the final goal, while going +3 and addding five hits and five blocked shots.  It was the 100th assist of Sutton's career. Jack Hillen was also +3.

5. The Isles outshot New Jersey 46-20.  It is their most shots in any game since getting 60 vs. Carolina on October 25, 2008 and the most shots that the Islanders have had on goal in a game that they won by shutout since totalling 48 shots while blanking the Devils 7-0 on February 22, 1987-- Okposo, Bailey and Taveres were not even born when that game was played. Eleven of the Islanders' 46 shots were on the power play; New Jersey did not generate a shot on goal in two power plays.  It's the second straight game that the Isles have generated 11 shots on goal on their power play.

6.  The Isles improve to 9-2-1 in their last 12 games, matching their best 12 game streak since ending calendar year 2003 with an identical mark.  The Isles actually went 10-2-1 over the final 13 games in December 2003.

7.  The Isles have three shutouts this season, matching the total in each of the last two seasons.  DiPietro joins Biron and Roloson with one shutout each.  It's the third time that the Isles have gotten a shutout from three different goalies in the same year.  Felix Potvin, Roberto Luongo and Steve Weekes each had one blank in the 1999-2000 season;  Eric Fichaud (1 shutout), Tommy Salo (4) and Wade Flaherty (3) turned the trick in 1997-98.  The last five Islander shutouts have been recorded by five different goalies.

8. The Isles improve to 6-1-0 in 2010.  Their last five wins have all been against teams ahead of them in the overall standings. The Isles have won four straight overall, and five straight at home.  Of their five home wins, three have been by shootout, and two have been by shutout.  It's the second 4-game win streak of the season (previously done October 27-November 2nd) and the club's first five-game win streak since winning six straight from March 2 - March 25, 2006.  The Isles are now 22-19-8 (52 points); they were 12-29-5 (29 points) on MLK Day, 2009.  The Isles are now just seven points away from last year's total of 61 points.  They are 13-8-2 at home; they have recorded more than 28 points in the first 23 home games only once in the last 20 seasons (30 points in 2003-04).

9. John Tavares has six shots on goal (one shy of his season/career high).  He now has 16 shots in the last three games after having only 22 shots in the prior 15 games.

10.The Isles have scored first in all three games of the season series, but the home team has won all three games between the teams this season.  The Isles will look to even the season series with New Jersey when the Devils return to Long Island on Saturday.  The Isles have dominated the series between the teams on Long Island in recent years, going 6-1-1, including wins in the last three home games vs. New Jersey.

Up next: The Isles head to Pittsburgh to battle the Stanley Cup Champions on Tuesday night.  The Isles are 1-0-1 vs. Pittsburgh this season, with both games having been played on Long Island.  However, the Isles have lost five straight (and eight of nine) games in Pittsburgh.

 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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