By Eric Hornick
Thrashers 5, Isles 4
Former Devil Johnny Oduya scored his first two goals of the season 1:18 apart in
the third period as the Atlanta Thrashers overcome a 2-0 deficit and defeated
the Islanders 5-4 before a crowd of 10,066 at Nassau Veterans Memorial
Coliseum. The Islanders have lost five straight.
The Isles had the better of play early, and after failing to convert on 4:46 of
consecutive power play (including a 1:14 5-on-3), the Isles grabbed the lead
with a Matt Martin goal at 16:53. The Isles exited the first period with the
lead for only the third time in the last 20 games.
Moulson Doubles It
Matt Moulson gave the Isles a 2-0 lead early in the second period, when he
recorded his 10th goal of the season. He is the first Islander to reach double
digits this season. It's his 40th goal as an Islander – one more than Kyle
Okposo. Trent Hunter is the only current Islander with more goals in an Isles
uniform – he was 99. Moulson is the 59th player in Islander history with at
least 40 career goals.
Thrashers Take Over
Atlanta dominated stretches later in the second period, and Anthony Stewart
converted a Brett Sopel pass at 18:01 to bring the Thrashers within one after 40
The Johnny Oduya Show
Oduya recorded his first goal in 46 games, and his second goal for Atlanta at
5:45; he added the lead goal at 7:03 to give Atlanta the lead.
Schremp Ties It
The Isles did not quit, and Rob Schremp tied the score at 9:15 of the third.
Andrew MacDonald earned his first assist of the season on the play.
Hard to Believe
Just 34 seconds after Schremp's goal, Dustin Byfuglien's hooking penalty gave
the Islanders their 5th power play. With a face-off in the Isles zone, Atlanta's
Bryan Little pushed the face-off past Rick DiPietro to give the Thrashers a 4-3
lead. It was Little's second shorthanded goal of the season and the second
allowed by the Isles in as many games; they had not allowed shorties in
consecutive games since February 28-March 1, 2008.
For the second time in two games, the Isles were involved in a penalty shot.
DiPietro stopped Evander Kane on the attempt at 14:12 of the third; Rick has
stopped 9-of-11 penalty shots in his career. The Thrashers have now had three
penalty shots vs. DiPietro (more than any other opponent) and Rick has stopped
2-of-3. However, on the ensuing face-off, just 4 seconds later Alexander
Burmistrov beat DiPietro on a shot that was deflected on the way in to give
Atlanta a 5-3 lead.
Tavares' First Fight
Less than a minute after Burmistrov's goal, John Tavares slashed and then fought
the Thrasher defensemen. It was the first career fight for both players. The
Islanders killed the minor penalty, and Anthony Stewart was called for holding
the stick with 3:03 to play, setting up an Islander man advantage.
Finally, It's a Power Play Goal
With DiPietro on the bench for an extra attacker, the Islanders scored a power
play goal for the first time since November 6th. Blake Comeau scored the 6-on-4
goal with 1:16 to play for his 3rd point of the game. Rob Schremp earned an
assist on the play, completing his first three point game in the NHL. It's the
first time since October 27th that an Islander has recorded three points in a
The Isles pressed for the tying goal, but fell short. 5-4 Final.
Rob Schremp scored for the second straight game and finished with the first
three-point game of his career; the Isles have scored 15 goals over the last six
games, and Schremp has points on seven of them (4-3-7).
Home and Road
The Thrashers improve to 16-11-3, 7-5-2 on the road. The Isles are 5-17-5, 3-7-2
at home. The 15 points in 27 games matches the 2nd worst record through 27
games (also done in 1989-90 and 1995-96).
The Isles are 1-6-1 in their last 8 at home and 1-16-3 in their last 20 overall.
In the Nets
Chris Mason, playing for the first time since November 14, records his first win
since November 3rd by making 25 saves. DiPietro made 31 saves for the Isles.
The Isles were 1-6 on their power play; their goal in the last attempt ended a
club record-tying streak of 12 consecutive games without a power play goal. It
was the longest streak in the NHL since the Devils went 13 games without a power
play goal in 2002-03.
The Isles had been unsuccessful on a club record 46 consecutive attempts. The
1972-73 squad went 12 games and 39 attempts without a power play goal. The
Islanders killed all five Thrasher power plays; Atlanta's power play entered the
game ranked 2nd in the NHL.
In the Circle
The Isles won 31 of 63 face-offs (49%). John Tavares was the Isles' best,
winning 12 of 22. Brian Little won only 9 of 20 for Atlanta, but scored the
lead goal off a face-off win.
Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Milan Jurcina, Doug Weight, Trent Hunter and Mike
Mottau remain out. Radek Martinek missed the game with soreness after blocking a
Zdeno Chara shot on Thursday; Bruno Gervais replaced him in the lineup. Mark
Eaton, the only Islander defensemen to play in every game this season, left the
game midway through the first period with a groin injury and did not return.
4 in the Third
The Isles allowed four goals in the third period. It's the third time this
season that they have allowed four goals in a period (2nd pd in Philadelphia
10/30; 2nd pd vs. Florida 11/20)
Season Series Stats
The Thrashers lead the season series 2 games to none, and four points to 1. The
teams will not meet again until February 1st in Atlanta; the Thrashers return to
Long Island on March 24th.
The Isles are 1-16-3 in their last 20 games. It's their fewest points in a 20
game stretch since going 2-17-1 over 20 games in the 1988-89 season. It's only
the second time that the Isles have earned just one win in a 20-game stretch
since the inaugural 1972-73 season; it also happened late in the 1989-90 season.
Isles Welcome Nordique Nation
The Isles welcomed 1100 fans from Quebec, all clad in their Nordique jerseys.
14years ago today (December 11, 1996): Tommy Salo made 37 saves and Zigmund
Palffy had the winning goal, as the Islanders beat the Rangers 5-3 at Madison
Square Garden. This was only the 5th time that the Isles have played on that
date since, and the Isles are 0-3-2 in that span. Overall, the Isles are 9-5-3
on this date.
Monday, December 13- Islanders @ Nashville 8:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 7:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Islanders head to Music City for their only meeting of the season with the
Nashville Predators. The Islanders won last season's matchup in a shootout at
the Coliseum, but have not won in Nashville since April 11, 2002. Garth Snow
was the winner that night as the Isles beat Nashville 5-2.
The Isles have been shut-out twice in their four times to Nashville since;
dropping all four games by a combined score of 9-4. In their last visit
(December 20, 2008), Verne Fiddler had the game's only goal as the Preds beat
the Isles 1-0.
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