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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...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stat Trick: Isles 4, Nashville 3 (shoot-out)

Mark Streit scored a power play goal with just over 11 seconds to play to knot the game and John Tavares provided the deciding goal in the shoot-out as the Islanders defeated the Predators 4-3 at the Coliseum.  On to the trick:

1. Following a scoreless first period, the Isles did something they hadn't done in ten games: score first.  Freddy Meyer broke the seal 5:10 into the middle session.  The lead didn't last long as Cal O'Reilly and Joel Ward scored 3:16 apart to give Nashville the lead.  The Isles got even late in the period on a 5-on-3, with Bruno Gervais connecting for the second time this season.

2. Steve Sullivan's power play goal 4:12 into the third period to give the Predators a 3-2 advantage, but with Martin Biron on the bench in the final minute, Martin Erat was called for boarding.  Streit made Erat pay with the third goal of the game by an Islander defensemen to knot the contest.

3. In the shootout, Frans Nielsen connected on the first shot to give the Isles the lead.  After Sullivan and David Legwand failed for the Preds and Rob Schremp and Matt Moulson were stopped for the Isles, Martin Erat tied the shootout after round three,  John Tavares' wrist shot gave the Isles the lead in the shootout and when Biron stopped Patric Hornqvist, the Isles had broken their seven game losing streak.  Nielsen is now 10 for 17 in shootouts; he is the only active player in the entire NHL to have scored as many as ten shootout goals on fewer than twenty shots.

...a few more..

4.  Biron made 24 saves to break a personal 6-game losing streak and record his first win since November 13th and his first at the Coliseum since blanking Buffalo on ds.  Pekka Rinne finished with 29 saves for the Predators.

5. Despite their recent troubles, the Isles reach 56 points eleven games earlier than they did last season.  The Isles have only five fewer ppoints than they had all last season.

6.  All three Islander goals were by defensemen.  They had not had a goal by a defender since Jack Hillen scored on January 23rd against New Jersey.  It's the fofth time this season that they have had at least two goals from their defense but the first time that they have had three.

7. The Isles scored twice on the power play, ending an 0-24 drought.  It's the third time this season that the Isles have had two powerplayt goals in a game at the Coliseum.

8. The Isles did not score three goals in any of the seven games of their losing streak.  The three goals equaled thier total from the previous three games.

9.  The Isles now lead the NHL in home shootout wins with six.  They have also won six straight home shootouts since losing onto Pittsburgh on Opening Night and have won five straight shootouts overall.  The Isles improve to 7-5 in shootouts (and 12-8 in games that have taken extra time).  It's only the second time that the Isles have won five straight shootouts (seven straight, over two seasons, in 2006), and only the second time that the Isles have played at least 20 overtime games in a season (The club record is 22, set in the 2006/07 season).  The Isles' 12 OT/SO wins tie Montreal and Phoenix for the league lead; their 20 trips to overtime are tied with Boston for the most in the NHL.  The Isles are 32-21 all-time in shootouts, including 19-8 at the Coliseum.

10. This was the only meeting of the season between the teams.  This was the first Coliseum game between the teams since 2006; the Isles had not defeated the Predators on Long Island since 2002.  The Isles have had five different head coaches for the six games that they have hosted Nashville; only Butch Goring has coached more than once.

Up next:  The Isles have a speedy turn-around as they play Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.  It's the fourth meeting of the teams this season; each team hold an extra time win and the Penguins also hold a regulation victory against the Isles.  The Isles are 3-15-1 in divisional road games under Scott Gordon, however all three wins are at Madison Square Garden.  The Isles have lost six straight 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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