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The Skinny: Isles 5, Pittsburgh 4

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 82 Isles 5, Pittsburgh 4    On to the Playoffs! Simon Holmstrom scored the winning goal with 5:3...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stat Trick: Penguins 6, Isles 5 (overtime)

Jordan Leopold scored with 35 seconds left in overtime to break a 5-5 tie and give the Penguins a season-ending victory over the Islanders at the Coliseum on Sunday.  With the single point the Isles earn the 5th seed, heading into Tuesday's draft lottery.  They will have an 8.1% chance to win the lottery and earn the #1 draft pick for the second straight season.  The Penguins finish 4th in the East and will face Ottawa as they begin defense of the Stanley Cup.  On to the Trick:

1. For the second time this week, the Penguins jumped all over the Isles in the first period as Evegny Malkin and Sidney Crosby sandwiched goals around the first tally since March 14, 2009 by former Islander Eric Godard.  Crosby's goal, the first of his two on the night, was his 50th of the season.  He is the first Penguins since Jaromir Jagr in  2000-01 to reach that mark.  The Isles got on the board late in the period as John Tavares scored the first of his two goals on a 5-on-3 power play. It was Tavares' 11th power play goal and 25th power play point.  Both totals led both the Islanders, and all NHL rookies.  Tavares is also the first Islander since Jason Blake (14) and Mike Sillinger (11)  in 2006-07 to record 11 power play goals in a season.

2. Crosby and Malkin scored again in the 2nd period, with Matt Moulson becoming the Isles' first 30-goal scorer in three seasons in between the two Penguin tallies. He is only the third Islander to reach 30 goals since the lockout; Miro Satan had 35 in 2005-06 while Jason Blake had 40 goals the following season. Crosby and Malkin combined for 79 goals on the season; Crosby's 2nd goal was enough for him to earn a share of the Maurice Richard Trophy with Tampa's Steven Stamkos.

3. The Isles fought back in the third period.  Kyle Okposo and John Sim scored 24 seconds apart to make it 5-4 and Tavares' second goal of the game, with 4:13 to play, forced overtime. Tavares finishes his rookie season with 24 goals and a team-leading 54 points.  The 24 goals tied Matt Duchesne for the league lead among rookies., while the 54 points was second to Duchesne's 55. 

.... a few more....

4. The Isles entered play with a chance to finish with anywhere from the 3rd to 6th seed in the lottery.  Florida's loss to Tampa gave them the 3rd seed.  The Isles' overtime point gave Columbus the 4th seed, however with Pittsburgh's overtime goal the Isles got the 5th seed and Tampa the 6th.

5. Brent Johnson made 33 saves for Pittsburgh; Dwayne Roloson finished with 31 saves for the Islanders.

6. The contentious game featured a first period fight between Joel Rechlicz and Mike Rupp and a second period scuffle between Rechlizz and Eric Godard. Rechlicz and Tim Jackman also earned misconducts as the Isles finished with 46 penalty minutes; Pittsburgh had 32.  The Isles went 2-9 on the power play while the Penguins were 1-6.  It's the first time since October 16, 2008 that the Isles have had nine power plays in a game. New York finished the season 49-306 on the power play and 71-300 on the penalty kill.  It's only the third time in club history that the Isles have had more power plays for the season than their opponents (last done in 1996-97)

7. Crosby, Malkin and Sergei Gonchar combined for 13 goals and 24 assists in the six games against the Isles this season. Crosby had 17 of them (6 goals and 11 assists); he now has 18 goals and 43 assists in  31 career games against the Isles (and 506 career points in 371 games over his first five NHL seasons). Crosby had two goals and three assists while Malkin had two goals and two assists tonight.

8. The Isles finish the season 34-37-11 for 79 points, and 23-14-4 for 50 points on home ice.  The 79 points represent an 18 point improvement over last season, while the 50 home points equals the second highest total for the Isles since 1987-88.  The overtime loss ends a three-game home winning streak; it's the first time that the Isles have ever ended a regular season with an overtime loss and the first time that they have ever ended a home regular season with an overtime loss.  The Isles are 21-11-5 in both regular season finales and regular season home finales.

9. The Isles allowed 20 goals in the last three games of the season.  It's the first time in over ten years that they have allowed 20 goals in three games (Dec. 30, 1999 -Jan. 4, 2000).  Only once in Isles history have they allowed more than 20 goals in a three-game span.  They allowed 22 in a three-game span November 3-8, 1972.

10. The Penguins win the seires five games to one,  and 10 points to four.  The Isles were 1-0-2 at home against Pittsburgh, including a shooutout loss in the season opener and an overtime loss in the season finale.  Overall, the Penguins finish the season 25-7-7 in one-goal games (14-7 in overtime/shootouts) while the Isles were 19-13-11 (14-11 in overtime/shootouts). The 25 extra session games are an Islander club record.

Up next:  The draft lottery is on Tuesday and the Entry Draft in on June 25 in Los Angeles.  Free agency begins on July 1 and the Isles will open their 38th NHL season in early October.  See you then!
 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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