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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 5 Carolina 6, Isles 3 Carolina Wins Series 4-1 School is out. Jack D...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stat Trick: Ducks 5, Isles 4 (overtime) Anaheim ties it in final minute and wins it 14 seconds into overtime

Saku Koivu scored just 14 seconds into overtime as the Anaheim Ducks rallied from a 4-2 deficit with ten minutes to play and defeated the Isles 5-4 at Honda Center. With the "loser point", the Isles climb within six points of Boston for 8th place in the East. On to the Trick:

1. Each team scored twice in the first period as neither team could hold a lead for more than one minute.  Richard Park and Kyle Okposo had the Isles' goals, sandwiching Duck  goals by Matt Beleskey and Lubomir Visnovsky.

2.  The Isles grabbed control of the game in the second period as Okposo and John Tavares each scored on the power play.  Okposo's goal, his 16th, gave him only the second multi-goal game of his career (2 against Atlanta on 1/29/2009).  Tavares, who scored in consecutive games for the first time since December 8-9, now has four goals in the last six games.

3. Former Islander Jason Blake got the Ducks back in the game with a power play goal midway through the third.  It was only his third career goal against the Isles (in 14 games). Visnovsky then tied the game with a 6th-attacker goal with just 32 seconds to play in regulation.  It was his 15th goal of the season (only Mike Green, with 17, has more among defensemen).  Saku Koivu scored 46 seconds later (:14 seconds of overtime) to give the Ducks the improbable victory.  It's the first time that the Ducks have ever scored five goals in a game against the Islanders.

...a few more...

4. For the second straight game, the Isles chased an Olympic netminder, sending Jonas Hiller to the bench by scoring three times on their first 17 shots.  Former Blue Curtis McIlhenny earned the win in relief, stopping 13 of 14.  Marty Biron made 34 saves for the Isles; he is 3-0-2 in his last five starts.

5. The Isles went 2-3 on the power play. It's the 11th time this season that they have had two power play goals in a game. They have connected on the power play in five straight games for the first time since December 4-13, 2008. Mark Streit assisted on both power play goals; 18 of his 39 points have come with the man advantage. Ironically, they lost all five of those games. The penalty killers allowed a goal for the first time in four games, setting the stage for the Ducks' comeback.

6. The Isles have been outscored 78-40 in the third period.  Islander coach Scott Gordon refused to answer a question about the third period problems during the club's postgame show, walking out on an interview with Rob Carlin.  The Isles' 40 goals in the third period are nine fewer than any other team; only three teams have allowed more third period goals.

7. It's the earliest overtime goal the Isles have ever allowed in their history.  They have scored two goals earlier in overtime, one by Pat Lafontaine (:10 on 11/5/88 vs. Washington) in the regular season and one by JP Parise :11 on 4/11/75 at Madison Square Garden) in the playoffs.

8.  The Isles are now 12-10 in extra time, including 5-4 in overtime.  It's the first time since October 26th that the Isles have allowed an overtime goal.  The 22 overtime games matches the club record, set in 2006-07.  The Isles also played 22 ties in 1974-75, but there was no regular season overtime in those days.

9. Jack Hillen and Matt Moulson each played in their 100th NHL game.

10.  This was the only meeting of the teams this season.  Despite the overtime loss, the Isles are 5-1-2 in their last eight games against Anaheim.  The Isles are 8-5-2 against the West this season, for a total of 18 points in inter-conference games.  They have three games to play against the West, all in the next eight days (at Los Angeles, vs. Calgary, at Columbus).  Buffalo has 23 points against the West, most of any Eastern Conference team.

Up next:  The Isles play their final game West of the Mississippi on Saturday night in Los Angeles.  The Kings defeated the Isles 2-1 on Columbus Day and have had the Isles' number in recent years.  The Isles have not defeated the Kings anywhere since winning 3-2 in Los Angeles on February 15, 2003. Since then, the Isles have earned only two points in five meetings ( a tie in 2004 and a shotoout loss in 2009).  It will be interesting to see if the Isles have any retribution in mind for Sean O'Donnell, who received a match penalty for a stick incident with Matt Martin in the pre-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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