By Eric Hornick
Isles 2, Devils 0
Rick DiPietro made 29 saves as the New York Islanders broke a 14-game (0-11-3) winless streak with 2-0 shutout victory over the New Jersey Devils before a holiday matinee crowd of 10,897 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The victory, the Isles' first in a club-record 36 days, ends the club's longest winless streak in 20 years while extending the team's point streak to three straight games (1-0-2).
Joensuu Scores First
The Islanders jumped on the board early, when Jesse Joensuu converted a gorgeous pass from Frans Nielsen for his third career NHL goal, and his first this season just 1:32 into play. It's the fourth straight game that the Islanders have scored first and only their 10th first period goal this season. This time, however, the Isles would hold the lead the entire game. The Isles would lead for the final 58:28 – they had led for only 29:27 in the past 14 games, combined.
Schremp Doubles It
Rob Schemp made it 2-0 Isles 5:15 into the second period, off a Blake Comeau pass. It marked the Islanders' first two-goal lead since they defeated Colorado 5-2 on October 16th. Michael Grabner also earned an assist.
Third Period is Ricky's Time
Rick DiPietro has found his game over the past week; the Devils outshot the Isles 13-1 in the third period but could not beat him, despite 5:02 of consecutive power-play, including a 58 second 5-on-3. 2-0 Final.
Coach Cap Gets His First
The win is the first NHL win for Jack Capuano (1-2-2). The most successful coach in Islander history, Al Arbour, waited even longer. Arbour went 0-3-4 in his first seven with the Islanders.
Home and Road
The Isles improve to 5-12-5, 3-4-2 at home. With 15 points, the Isles are only one point behind New Jersey (7-14-2, 4-9-0 on the road) and have played one fewer game than the Devils.
It's Over, Finally
The win breaks a 14-game winless streak, tied for 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 – November 24, 2010 (11 losses, 1 SO loss, 2 OT losses)
In the Nets
Rick DiPietro, making his third straight start, shuts out the Devils for the third time in his career. He has blanked New Jersey three times in the last six meetings, and has allowed only nine goals in his last seven appearances against the Devils. DiPietro has 96 saves on 102 shots in these three games (1.96 GAA and 94.1% save percentage) as he evens his record at 3-3-4.
The Isles had only 20 shots on goal – a single low at home; Johan Hedberg finished with 18 saves for New Jersey.
The Isles failed to connect on three power plays while New Jersey was 0-4, including a 58 second 5-on-3. The Isles have now gone 31 attempts without a power play goal, covering their last two chances against Philadelphia on November 6th and the eight games since. It's the first time since January 2-15, 2000 that the Isles have gone eight games without a power play goal.
In the Circle
The Isles lost 37 of 68 face-offs (46%). Zenon Konopka won 7 out of 10 as he continues to be one of the top face-off men in the NHL.
Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Andrew MacDonald, Milan Jurcina, Jack Hillen, Doug Weight and Mike Mottau remain out. Trent Hunter missed his first game and will be out indefinitely; he had a Grade 3 tear of the MCL in his left knee. Jon Sim was an emergency recall to replace Hunter.
The Isles improve to 2-0-0 in matinee games, and hold wins over the rival Rangers and Devils. Another division rival, Philadelphia, will be at the Coliseum a week from Sunday for a 1:00 game.
The Isles have finally won a game without Andrew MacDonald. They are 1-11-3 in the 15 games that he has missed.
It's Eaton Time
Mark Eaton led all players with 27:04 of ice-time (his highest total of the season in a regulation-time game) and was +1. Eaton blocked six shots, as did Radek Martinek (26:04).
Bruno Puts Up the Dukes
Bruno Gervais fought Colin White after White boarded PA Parenteau. It was the 3rd fight of Gervais' career, having previously dropped the gloves with the Rangers' Sean Avery and Lee Stempniak (then with Toronto). Gervais was assessed 17 penalty minutes (including the first misconduct penalty of his career) for instigating the fight; he had only one minor penalty in his first 12 appearances this season.
First to 10
Nielsen's assist on Joensuu's goal was his 10th of the season. He is the first Islander forward with 10 assists this season. Both Nielsen and Grabner now have earned assists in three straight games. James Wisniewski assisted on Schremp's goal for his team-leading 12th assist.
3 or Less
The Isles have been held to three goals or fewer in 17 straight games (3-11-3) 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.
No Points for New (Jersey)
In addition to stopping their 14 game winless streak, the Isles ended a streak of 16 games in which their opponent earned at least one point. The two wins that preceded the winning streak were both decided by an overtime goal.
No Goals for New (Jersey)
DiPietro has shutout New Jersey three times, matching his high against any opponent; he's also blanked Tampa three times. DiPietro now has 16 career shutouts. The Isles have shutout New Jersey once in each of the last four seasons (Yann Danis had the other one). It's only the second time in franchise history that the Isles have shutout an opponent at least once for a four-season span; the Isles blanked Tampa six times in a four season span (1996-97 to 1999-2000).
The Devils have now been involved in six shutouts this season, winning three and losing three.
Season Series Stats
This was the first meeting of the season. The Isles have won 5 of the last 6 Coliseum match-ups between the squads. The Isles will visit Newark for the first time this season on December 23rd while the Devils will return to Long Island for an MLK Day Matinee on January 17th. The remaining three meetings will all be in March.
The Islanders are now 4-2 in Black Friday matinees, including three straight wins.
29, 27, 13 and 5 years ago today (November 26, 1981-83-97-2005): The Isles have scored four hat tricks on this date. Bryan Trottier turned the trick in 1981 vs. St. Louis; Mike Bossy matched the feat against Chicago in 1983. In 1997, Robert Reichel recorded the only hat trick of his Islander career, beating Mike Richter three times in a 4-1 Islander win over the Rangers. Jason Blake concluded the quartet by scoring three goals against Antero Niittymaki in a 4-2 win in Philadelphia.
Thursday, December 2- Rangers @ Islanders 7:00pm
[MSG+2 (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Islanders will now have five days off before they begin a very busy December. Other than the All-Star break, it's the last time that the Isles will go five days without a game. The Isles will play 14 games in December, including a home-and-home with the Rangers to begin the month; the teams will also meet in the Garden during Christmas Week. The teams have met once this season, with the Isles blasting the Blueshirts 6-4 on Columbus Day so the Isles will be looking for consecutive home wins against the Rangers for the first time since 2007.
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various sources.