By Eric Hornick
Atlanta 2, Isles 1 (overtime)
Dustin Byfuglien scored 90 seconds into overtime to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 2-1 extra time win over the Islanders before 10,066 at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The overtime loss extends the Islanders winless streak to 13 games (0-11-2).
Grabner'ing the Lead
After a scoreless first period, Michael Grabner gave the Islanders the lead with 13 seconds to play in the middle session with a 4-on-4 goal. Frans Nielsen and Radek Martinek earned assists as the Islanders scored first for the second straight game. It was Grabner's 4th goal of the season – only three rookies (Logan Couture, Jeff Skinner and Tyler Ennis) have more.
Antropov Evens It
With the Islanders carrying a lead to the third period for the first time during the streak, Zenon Konopka took a holding penalty at 2:12 of the third. It took only 13 seconds for Nik Antropov to blast one past Rick DiPietro to tie the game; Andrew Ladd and Byfuglien earned assists.
Overtime Not Our Time
The game went into overtime, earning Jack Capuano the first point of his NHL career (0-2-1) but Byfuglien blasted an uncontested shot past Rick DiPietro for the winning tally. It was his 7th goal of the season, tops amongst NHL defenders. 2-1 Final. The Isles are 2-2 in games decided by an overtime goal this season (2-4 including shootouts). It's the first time that the Isles have not won in a game that they led after 40 minutes (2-0-1).
One is the Loneliest Number
The Isles have been held to one goal or less in seven of the last eight games; John Tavares' sixth-attacker goal on Wednesday gave the Isles their only two-goal game in that stretch.
Home and Road
The Thrashers improve to 9-9-3, 5-5-1 at home. Atlanta has won two straight after losing their previous three games. The Isles are 4-12-4, 2-8-3 on the road. The Isles have earned two points in their last three on the road (0-1-2) but have not won a regulation game on the road this season.
The Isles are now winless in 13 straight for the first time since 14-game winless streak in February/March, 1990. It's the third 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)
· 13 -October 23, 2010 – CURRENT (11 losses, 1 SO loss, 1 OT loss)
This matches the earliest in Islander history that they played their 13th road game by both number of games, done twice previously. The Isles actually played their 13th road game last season on November 20th, but that was in their 22nd game.
In the Nets
Rick DiPietro, playing for the first time in eight games, finished with 33 saves. It's his highest save total in a game since making 34 against Florida on October 18, 2008. His record is now 2-3-3. Ondrej Pavelec, playing in his 9th straight game, has been brilliant in nets since recovering from his scary Opening Night collapse, although his record doesn't show it. He is in the top 4 in both goals against average (1.93) and save percentage (.939) as he improved to 3-4-2.
The Isles failed to connect on four power plays while Atlanta was 1-4. The Isles' power play is 0-24 in the last six games, while the penalty killers killed 9 of 10 over the weekend. It's the first time since March 6-16, 2006 that the Isles have gone six games without a power play goal.
The Isles have scored only twelve goals in the last eleven games. It matches the club record for the fewest goals that the Isles have scored in an eleven-game stretch that was set during the inaugural 1972-73 season, when they scored 12 goals in the 11 games preceding their 9-7 win in Boston on January 18, 1973.
The Isles have scored 41 goals in the first 20 games, which is also the fewest in club history (42 in 2000-2001).
In the Circle
The Isles won 32 of 61 face-offs (52%). Zenon Konopka (8-5) and John Tavares (13-8) were the Isles' best face-off men.
Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo and Andrew MacDonald Milan Jurcina and Jack Hillen remain out, although MacDonald has resumed skating. Doug Weight missed his 2nd game with back spasms while Trevor Gillies was a healthy scratch. Mike Mottau was injured in the first period when he was struck in the face with a puck and was taken to the hospital for overnight observation.
The Isles are 0-11-2 in the 13 games Andrew MacDonald has missed.
3 or Less
The Isles have been held to three goals or fewer in 15 straight games (2-11-2) 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
Atlanta leads the season series 1 game to none. The Isles are 4-1-1 in their last six games against the Thrashers.
17 years ago today (November 21, 1993): Pierre Turgeon scores in overtime to give Ron Hextall a victory over the Flyers, 5-4 in Philadelphia.
Wednesday, November 24th- Columbus @ Islanders 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Islanders invite Columbus to Long Island for the annual Thanksgiving eve home game, when they entertain the Blue Jackets on Wednesday.
It's the only meeting of the teams this season. The Islanders beat Columbus twice last season, once in overtime and once in a shootout. NHL accounting can produce some strange figures – such as these: the Isles are 4-1-1 in their last six against the Jackets while Columbus has lost only once in regulation in their history to the Isles.
The first Wednesday home game in Islander history was on Thanksgiving Eve 1991. Since 1995, the Isles have hosted a Thanksgiving Eve game in every year except 1999 and the lockout year of 2004.
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various sources.