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"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick The Isles return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday. Here is a preview- Skinny style. UP NEXT TH...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Skinny: Caps 2, Islanders 1.

"The Skinny"
By Eric Hornick
Game 3
Capitals 2, Islanders 1
Ovechkin/Backstrom Too Much
Alexander Ovechkin scored the tying goal late in the second period and then had
Nicklas Backstrom deflect his shot in for the winning goal with 3:39 left in the
third as the Capitals rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat the Islanders 2-1 in
front of a sellout crowd of 18,938 at Verizon Center in Washington.
 Nino, Nino, Nino
Nino Niederreiter scored his first NHL goal off a pass from Doug Weight just
3:14 into play to give the Islanders the lead.  With the goal, Niederreiter
became the 4th youngest player of the expansion era (and likely since World War
II) to score an NHL goal.  Nino is 18 years, 35 days old.  The only younger
players to score in the NHL were Grant Mulvey (18 years, 32 days), Jordan Staal
(18 years, 32 days) and Patrick Marleau (18 years, 34 days).
It was the 751st career assist for Weight, passing Larry Robinson for 39th place
in NHL history.  Weight's first assist was on a Sergei Nemchinov overtime goal,
for the Rangers, on October 5, 1991 – nearly a year before Nino was born. 
Michael Grabner was credited with the second assist for his first point as an
Gillies vs. King
Nino's goal came just seconds after Trevor Gillies' first fight of the season;
he squared off against DJ King in King's first shift as a Capital.
Ovie Evens It
The Capitals had the better of the play in the second period and finally
"Capital"-ized on it when Ovechkin beat Dwayne Roloson at 18:19 of the third.
Ovechkin, who played in his 400th NHL game, now has a goal in all three Capital
games this season.  Backstrom earned an assist on the goal for his first point
of the season.  Roloson, making his first appearance of the season, celebrated
his 41st birthday on Tuesday.  He is the oldest active goaltender in the NHL.

Backstrom Wins It
The Isles dominated for several stretches of the third period, but could not
score.  Matt Moulson was stopped on a breakaway with 6:03 to play.  It was one
of 12 third period saves, and 22 total for Michael Neuvirth in the Capital
goal.  Neuvirth improved to 3-0-0 with the win and the NHL rookie is now 11-2-0
in his career at Verizon Center (and 14-6-0 overall).  With Blake Comeau off for
an offensive zone roughing penalty, Backstrom, playing in his 250th game, tipped
in Ovechkin's shot for the winning goal. 2-1 Final.
Power Outage
The Backstrom goal was the only power play goal of the night.  Washington went
1-4 with the extra man while the Isles were 0-3 after going 5-13 in the prior
two games.  The Capitals improved to a perfect 15-15 on the penalty kill this
season as they held the Isles to only one shot with the man advantage.
In the Circle
Zenon Konopka had a huge game on draws, winning 16 of 20 (80%).  Doug Weight won
6 of 8 as the Isles won 37/63 overall.   Konopka has won an impressive 68% on
the season (30 of 44); he is one of only four players in the league who have
taken at least 15 face-offs to win over two-thirds of his draws.
The Long Road Ahead
This is the first game in a 15 game stretch that will find the Islanders playing
12 on the road and only three at home.  Their three home games in that stretch
are on October 16, October 29 and November 6.
Missing Men
The Isles, already without Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo and Rob Schremp for extended
periods, played for the second straight game without John Tavares, who is also
not expected to play on Friday in Pittsburgh.  James Wisniewski missed the first
of two games due to a league suspension from his gesture towards the Rangers'
Sean Avery.  Jack Hillen replaced Wisniewski in the lineup.
NHL Accounting Lesson
The Capitals have beaten the Isles three straight times, including one in a
shootout.  The Isles have not defeated Washington in regulation time since
October 18, 2007; since then the Isles are 3-4-4 while the Capitals are 8-0-3.
Top 11 Club
(With thanks to Comcast Sports Net,) Dwayne Roloson is only the 11th goaltender
to play in the NHL after his 41st birthday.
Max Roberts and Johnny Bower both played at 45; Gump Worsley, Lester Patrick and
Jacques Plante played at 44.  Dominik Hasek was 43 when he played his last game
while Eddie Johnston was 42.  Three other goaltenders played their final game at
41: Ed Belfour, Curtis Joseph and George Hain`sworth.
Season Series Stats          
This was the first of four meetings on the season and the Capitals now lead the
series 1 game to none.  Mr. Ovechkin will be at the Coliseum on January 20th and
February 26th while the Isles will return to DC on March 1st.
This Date in Isles History: October 13
Only one Islander goaltender has recorded a win on October 13th in the last 25
years; Garth Snow did the trick, in Washington, in 2005.   In 1973, Al Arbour
and Denis Potvin made their Coliseum debuts; the Flyers beat the Isles 6-0. 
Four years later, Mike Bossy scored in his first NHL game as the Isles lost to
Buffalo 3-2.   In 1984, Bossy scored in overtime for a home-opener win over
Up Next
Friday, October 15- Islanders @ Pittsburgh Penguins 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Isles were the Penguins' final regular season opponent at the Mellon Arena
last season; they will be the Penguins' 4th opponent in the NHL's newest
building, the Consol Energy Center on Friday.  The Penguins will be desperate
for a win against their division foes as they are 0-3-0 in their new home.
It's the first of six meetings on the season between the squads; the Penguins
took last season's series 5 games to 1, but the Isles did manage points in all
three Coliseum games (1-0-2).  It was a different story in Pittsburgh, where the
Isles have lost eight straight and 11 of 12. 

The Isles' newly-retooled defense will have their hands full. Pittsburgh scored
27 goals against the Isles last season.  Sidney Crosby recorded two games of at
least five points – he's the first player to do that against one opponent in 17
years, and finished with 17 points in the series (6 goals, 11 assists).
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since
1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various
 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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