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Friday, December 10, 2010

The Skinny: Boston 5, Isles 2. Historic night, in defeat, for Frans Nielsen

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 26
Bruins 5, Isles 2
Frans Nielsen became the first Islander to ever score twice on a penalty shot in
a single season, but in the end it wasn't enough as the Boston Bruins hit the
empty net twice to cement a 5-2 win over the Islanders before a sellout crowd of
17,565 at TD Bank Garden.
Bruins Grab the Lead
The first period was scoreless for 14 minutes before Milan Lucic beat Rick
DiPietro for the session's only goal. Lucic's goal came only seconds after
Radek Martinek left the ice after blocking a shot while killing a 5-on-3. The
Bruins outshot the Isles 16-7 in the opening period. DiPietro had a strong
session in nets; however, his delay-of-game penalty set up the 5-on-3. The
Isles have been outscored 25-11 in the first period this season.
One for the History Books
In their first 37 seasons, the Isles had scored only 11 penalty shot goals. For
the second time this season, Frans Nielsen connected while shorthanded. Nielsen
was hacked at by Patrice Bergeron and then beat Tuukka Rask to knot the game.
Nielsen now has points in six of his last seven games (2-5-7) and has goals in
two straight after tallying only twice in the first 24 games.
Nielsen is:
· The first Islander to score twice on a penalty shot in the same season;
· The second Islander to score twice on a penalty shot in his career
(Benoit Hogue);
· The second Islander to attempt consecutive team penalty shots (Brad
Isbister) and the first to score on both;
· The first Islander to attempt/score consecutive team penalty shots;
· The first NHL'er to score twice on a penalty shot in a season since
Simon Gagne, then of the Flyers, in 2008-09;
· The first player to be awarded/score a penalty shot in an
Islander/Bruin game (140 previous regular season and 11 playoff games)
Turning Point of the Game
With the game tied 1-1, and the Islanders on a power play, John Tavares' shot
went off the post; Brad Marchand came down the other way for Boston; DiPietro
tried to poke the puck past Marchand in the face-off circle but his clearing
attempt hit Marchand, who then picked up the puck and deposited it into the
empty net for a shorthanded tally. It marked the first time since February 26,
2009 (against Toronto) that the Isles and their opponents had both scored
shorthanded in the same game.
Ryder Tries to Seal It… but Schremp Fights Back
Michael Ryder scored on a power play to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead with 5:44 to
play in the third, but Rob Schremp got the Isles back in the game with a goal
2:11 later. It was Schremp's 4th goal of the season (in only 12 games)
Double Empties
The Bruins hit the empty net twice in the final 1:03 to finish the scoring, with
Lucic and Patrice Bergeron netting the tallies. It's the first time since April
10, 2009 that a team has allowed two empty-net goals (Nashville vs Minnesota)
and the first time the Isles have done it since March 17, 2007 in Florida. 5-2

Home and Road
The Bruins improve to 16-8-3, 7-5-2 at home. The Isles are 5-16-5, 2-10-3 on the
road. The Isles are 0-9-2 in their last 11 on the road and 1-15-3 in their last
19 overall.
In the Nets
Tuukka Rask made 33 saves to record only his second victory in nine decisions
(2-6-1) this season. Rick DiPietro (3-5-4) made 32 saves for the Isles. It's
the first time in DiPietro's career that the Isles have allowed two
empty-netters with him on the bench.
Power Plays
None of the Bruin goals came 5-on-5 as the B's were 2-5 on the power play,
scored shorthanded and added two empty nets. The Isles were 0-3 on their power
play and have now gone 41 attempts without a power play goal, covering their
last two chances against Philadelphia on November 6th and a club record-tying
twelve games since. The 1972-73 squad also had a twelve game drought without
a power play goal. The Isles will need a power play goal on Saturday vs.
Atlanta to avoid setting a new club record.
In the Circle
The Isles won only 25 of 62 face-offs (40%). Zenon Konopka was the Isles' best,
winning 9 of 17. Patrice Bergeron won 13 of 16 for Boston.
First Goal Was Huge
The Bruins are 12-0-1 when scoring first while the Isles are 0-14-2 when
allowing the first tally.
Missing Men
Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Milan Jurcina, Doug Weight, Trent Hunter and Mike
Mottau remain out. Bruno Gervais was scratched. Dylan Reese has been returned
to Bridgeport.
Season Series Stats
The Bruins lead the season series 1 game to none. The teams will not meet again
until February 17th, when the Bruins visit Long Island.
Slump Stats
The Isles are 1-15-3 in their last 18 games. It's their fewest points in a 19
game stretch since going 2-17-0 over 19 games in the 1988-89 season. It's their
fewest wins in that stretch since winning once in a 20-game stretch late in the
1989-90 season.
Happy Anniversary
21 years ago today (December 9, 1989): Mark Fitzpatrick's third shutout in a
10-day period came in one of the more memorable Islander-Ranger games of the
era: the only scoreless tie ever between the teams. Fitzpatrick made 33 saves
while John Vanbiesbrouck had 26 stops for the Blueshirts. It's one of only seven
scoreless ties in Islander history.
35 years ago today (December 9, 1975): Chico Resch becomes the first Islander to
record consecutive shutouts as he blanked the Minnesota North Stars 6-0 at the
The Isles have played on December 9th in each of the last three seasons and have
lost all three.
Up Next
Saturday, December 11- Atlanta @ Islanders 7:00pm
[MSG+2 (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Islanders return home on Saturday night to face the Thrashers. It's the
first meeting of the teams this season; each team won twice last season (once in
regulation and once in OT/SO). The Isles are 4-1-1 in their last six against
The Isles are 7-4-0 in their last 11 home games against the Thrashers.
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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