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Updating for all of Saturday's results: Saturday's Games Rangers 3, Isles 2 (SO) Philadelphia 1, New Jersey 0 Washington 4, Tampa Ba...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Stat Trick: Isles 5, Lightning 4

Richard Park scored a pair of goals, the latter awarded after a video review with only 2:22 to play, as the Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 on Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum. On to the trick:

1. Blake Comeau gave the Isles a 1-0 lead 7:31 into play. It's only the second time in the last twelve games that the Isles have scored first, and the first time in those twelve games that the Isles have had a lead at any point in the first period in those twelve games. The lead did not last long, as Steven Stamkos tied the game and Mike Lundin gave the Bolts the lead after twenty minutes. It was the 50th goal since last February 17th for Stamkos; only Alex Ovechkin (57) and Sidney Crosby (51) have more goals in that span.

2. There were four goals scored in the middle session, all by players who started the season with the Islanders. After Doug Weight scored his first goal of the season, Nate Thompson scored his first goal for the Lightning. (Thompson was claimed on waivers by Tampa on January 21st) Two strikes by the Isles in a sixty-second span gave the Isles the intermission advantage as Kyle Okposo tied the game off hard work from John Tavares and Park converted the rebound of a Comeau shot to give the Isles the lead.

3. Steve Downie tied the game 2:57 into the third, and the Lightning controlled most of the final period, outshooting the Isles 19-7, but it was Park who would score for the Islanders to give them the victory. It was Park's sixth career two-goal game, and his first since January 2, 2009.

...a few more...

4. It was a goaltending battle of ex-Flyers, as Martin Biron stopped 38 shots for his second straight win, beating former Flyer mater Antero Niittymaki. It's the first winning streak for Biron as an Islander and his 38 saves matches his season high. The Isles have scored eight goals in Biron's last two starts (both wins), after scoring only seven goals in his previous six starts.

5. Several Islanders broke scoring droughts: it was the first goal in 30 games for Weight, first in 11 games for Park, first in nine games for Comeau and first in eight games for Okposo.

6. The Isles improve to 16-11-2 at home; their 34 points equals their second highest total over the first 29 home games since 1987-88. (The Isles had 40 points in 29 games in 2003-04.)

7. Matt Martin and former Islander Nate Thompson engaged in a first period brawl. Martin also received a misconduct penalty; he has 22 penalty minutes in his first three NHL games.

8. Bruno Gervais finished +3 for the Isles as he was on-ice for all three second period goals. It was the first time since January 19th that he had a "plus" rating. The three Islander goals in the middle session marked their first three-goal period since January 2nd against Atlanta.

9. The Isles recorded their 25th win of the season; however twelve of the 25 have been in overtime or in shootouts. It's the first regulation win for the Isles since Rick DiPietro (who apparently is out again, this time with the flu) blanked New Jersey on January 18th.

10. The Isles scored more goals in this game than they did in the first three games against Tampa, when they were outscored 13-4. The teams split the two Coliseum games, but the Lightning win the season series three games to one.

Up next: The Isles play their final pre-Olympic game on Sunday at 5:00 when they entertain Ottawa. The Isles have struggled on the back-end of back-to-backs, going 1-8-0 in their last nine, with the victory coming in a shootout in Phoenix. It's the first visit of the Senators since November 29, 2008; the Isles swept both Coliseum meeting last season. The Isles played Ottawa even through sixty minutes in Ontario twice this season, but the Sens own both an overtime win and a shootout win over the Isles this season.

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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