By Eric Hornick
Columbus 4, Isles 3 (overtime)
Jakub Vorocek scored 2:31 into overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a club record-tying fifth straight win, a 4-3 extra time victory over the Islanders before 8,652 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The overtime loss, the second straight for the Isles, extends their winless streak to 14 games (0-11-3).
Now's the Time for 99
Trent Hunter gave the Isles the lead at 10:16 of the first period. It was his first goal since last April 1st (22 games) and 99th of his NHL/Islander career. The Blue Jackets evened the game with a 5-on-3 goal by Antoine Vermette and grabbed the lead on a Chris Clark goal 2:10 later. RJ Umberger assisted on Clark's goal, setting a Blue Jacket record with an assist in seven straight games.
Two in 93 Regain the Lead for the Isles
The Isles regained the lead in the first 2:24 of the period as Michael Grabner and John Tavares scored for New York. Grabner's goal was his 5th – only two rookies (Logan Couture and Jeff Skinner) have more. Grabner is also now third on the team in goals, behind Matt Moulson and Tavares. Tavares, playing his 100th NHL game, now has 32 goals and 34 assists in his career, and tied Moulson for the team lead with eight goals.
Umberger Re-Ties It
Long-time Islander nemesis Umberger tied the game at 6:46 of the middle period with his seventh goal of the season. Umberger now has 12 goals in 26 career games against the Islanders. Neither team scored in the remainder of regulation.
Overtime Not Our Time, Again.
The Islanders had two good scoring chances in overtimes but couldn't beat Mathieu Garon, who finished with 21 saves. Midway through the session, Rick DiPietro, playing on home ice for the first time since Columbus Day, stopped Kris Russell's dead on shot, but Voracek cashed in the rebound for Columbus' eight win in nine road games (8-1-0). 4-3 Final. The Isles are 2-3 in games decided by an overtime goal this season (2-5 including shootouts) while the Jackets are 3-0 in games that go beyond 60 minutes. Voracek has been a good luck charm for the Jackets – Columbus is 11-0-0 when he earns a point.
Capuano Still Looking
The Isles pick up a point for the second straight game, but Jack Capuano is still looking for his first win (0-2-2). It's the first time since October 24/26, 2009 that the Isles have lost consecutive games in overtime.
The Islanders held Rick Nash off the scoresheet. Nash had scored a goal in each of his last six games and a point in each of the last nine games he had played. He had missed a game during that stretch, so officially he had a four game goal/point streak stopped.
Offense Sees the Light
The Isles scored three goals for the first time in 12 games, after having scored at least three goals six times in their first nine games.
Home and Road
The Jackets improve to 14-6-0, 8-1-0 on the road. The Jackets are off to the best starts in their history, both overall and on the road. It's their fifth straight road win, which breaks the club record set in 2006. The Isles, who broke a four-game home losing streak, are 4-12-5, 2-4-2 at home.
The Isles are now winless in 14 straight for the first time since February/March, 1990. It matches the second longest winless streak in club history:
· 15- November 21, 1972-December 20, 1972 (12 losses, 3 ties)
· 14 -February 13, 1990 –March 15, 1990 (11 losses, 3 ties)
· 14 -October 23, 2010 – CURRENT (11 losses, 1 SO loss, 2 OT losses)
In the Nets
Rick DiPietro, making his second straight start, finished with 34 saves. It's his highest save total in a game since he also made 34 against Florida on October 18, 2008. DiPietro made 67 saves on 73 shots in these two games (2.90 GAA and 91.8% save percentage). His record is now 2-3-4. Garon, who raised his record to 6-1-0, allowed three goals for only the second time this season.
The Isles failed to connect on two power plays while Columbus scored on a 5-on-3 and was 1-4 overall. The Isles have now gone 28 attempts without a power play goal, covering their last two chances against Philadelphia on November 6th and the seven games since. It's the first time since November 13-28, 2003 that the Isles have gone seven games without a power play goal.
In the Circle
The Isles won the game's first seven draws, but lost 36 of 65 face-offs overall (45%). Rob Schremp won 5 out of 6.
Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Andrew MacDonald, Milan Jurcina, Jack Hillen and Doug Weight remain out and Mike Mottau missed his first game since suffering an eye injury in Atlanta.
Back In Business
With Josh Bailey on loan to Bridgeport, Trevor Gillies returned to the line-up. He played only 1:00, but it was an important minute as Hunter's goal immediately followed Gillies' fight with Jared Boll after Boll had a late hit on John Tavares. Gillies, who was assessed 17 penalty minutes, has recorded 141 penalty minutes in 28 NHL games. He has 45 penalty minutes this season, despite having been on ice for only 26:51.
The Isles are 0-11-3 in the 14 games Andrew MacDonald has missed.
Travis Hamonic, the Islanders' 2nd pick (53rd overall) in 2008, played 19:57 in his NHL debut. His mother and brother flew in for the occasion, and were interviewed by MSG Network's Deb Placey.
3 or Less
The Isles have been held to three goals or fewer in 16 straight games (2-11-3) since tallying five against Colorado on October 16. It's the longest that the team has gone without scoring four goals (in a single season) since going 22 games from November 3 – December 19, 2007. The first of those 22 games was Al Arbour's 1500th as an NHL coach.
Season Series Stats
This was the only meeting of the season between the squads. The teams have met seven times since the lockout; five of the games have gone into overtime. Both meetings last season also went to overtime. The Isles are 4-1-2 in their last seven vs. Columbus, but the Blue Jackets have earned at least a point (8-1-4) in 12 of 13 all-time meetings.
2 years ago today (November 24, 2008): Richard Park had the deciding goal in the shootout as the Islanders took advantage of a Ryan O'Byrne gaffe to defeat the Canadiens 4-3 in Montreal. Overall, the Isles have earned at least a point in 9 of their last 10 games on this date, dating back to 1990.
Friday, November 26th- New Jersey @ Islanders 1:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 12:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
While the Thanksgiving Eve game has been an Islander tradition since the mid-1990s, this will be the sixth time since 2001 that the Isles have hosted a Black Friday game. The Isles have won three of the previous five, including a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh last season.
The Devils come in having won consecutive games for the first time all season. Johan Hedberg earned the win in both games, once by shutout and once by shootout, allowing only one goal.
It's the final game of November for the Islanders and they will need a victory to avoid matching the club winless record (15) and avoid a winless month for the first time in franchise history.
Just two words: Happy Thanksgiving.
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various sources.
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