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The Skinny Playoff Preview

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick The Isles return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday. Here is a preview- Skinny style. UP NEXT TH...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Skinny: Isles 2, Penguins 1 (shootout)

What's the result of stopping Sidney Crosby's point streak and beating the
league-leading Penguins?  A very lengthy Skinny.  Enjoy.

"The Skinny"
By Eric Hornick
Game 35
Isles 2, Penguins 1 (shootout)
PA Parenteau scored the deciding goal in the shootout and Rick DiPietro made 37
saves as the Islanders ended Sidney Crosby's 25-game point streak and defeated
the Penguins 2-1 before the largest crowd of the season (14,345) at Nassau
Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  The Islanders are 4-0-1 in their last five at home
and have reached NHL .500 on home-ice (7-7-3).
Bailey Scores First
Following a scoreless first period, Josh Bailey scored his sixth goal of the
season just 34 seconds into the middle period when he converted a rebound of a
Travis Hamonic shot. The Isles thought that they had doubled the advantage later
in the session when Matt Moulson picked up a loose puck and fired it home, but a
quick whistle kept the score at 1-0.
Penguins Get Even
Chris Conner tied the game for Pittsburgh at 16:33 of the second period off a
rebound of a Tyler Kennedy shot; Crosby was not on the ice at the time.  The
second period ended 1-1.
A Penalty Shot?
The Isles had two power plays early in the third and held Pittsburgh without a
shot over a 13:20 span (late second/ early third).  However at 12:59 of the
period, an Islander was called for closing his hand on the puck in the crease,
awarding the Penguins a penalty shot.  Only players on the ice can take the shot
so Dan Bylsma selected shootout specialist Kris Letang.  Letang was stopped by
Rick DiPietro and the game remained tied; Rick has stopped 10-of-12 penalty
shots in his career.  Neither team scored in the final 7:01 of regulation or in
the five minute overtime, setting up a shootout.  The Penguins outshot the Isles
38-26 in the game.
A Shootout Win
Rob Schremp and Kris Letang traded goals in round 1; Frans Nielsen's patented
move gave the Isles a 2-1 lead.  After DiPietro stopped Crosby, Marc-Andre
Fleury stopped John Tavares.  Evgeny Malkin scored for only the 7th time in 23
attempts to send the shootout to an extra frame.  Parenteau scored for the Isles
and DiPietro stopped Mark Letestu for the shootout win.  The Isles win the
shootout 3-2, and win the game, too. 2-1 Final.
Home and Road
The Isles are 10-19-6, 7-7-3 at home.  They are now 6-9-3 under Jack Capuano,
including 5-1-1 in the last seven.  It's their best stretch since a 9-3-1
stretch in late 2009/early 2010. Pittsburgh is 25-11-3, 12-5-2 on the road. The
Penguins lead the NHL with 25 wins, 53 points and 26 road points.

In the Nets
Rick DiPietro improves to 5-6-4 as he makes 37 saves.  With the win, DiPietro
improves to 18-10 all-time in shootouts; it's his first shootout win since
January 16, 2010 against Buffalo.  DiPietro raises his all-time record over NHL
.500; he is now 124-123-33 in his career.
Marc-Andre Fleury, playing his 21st game in a 23 game stretch, made 25 saves; he
is 17-8-2 for Pittsburgh (16-2-2 in his last 20 starts).
Year of the Penalty Shot
There have been 38 penalty shots in the NHL this season, and the Islanders have
been involved in seven of them.  Six have gone the Isles' way as Frans Nielsen
has scored twice (both while the Isles were shorthanded) and the Isles goalies
have stopped 4 opposition tries.  Dwayne Roloson stopped Benoit Pouliot while
DiPietro has stopped Marian Gaborik, Evander Kane, and Letang. Los Angeles'
Dustin Brown has a penalty shot goal against the Isles this season.
This was the 11th penalty shot in an Islander-Penguin game, which is by far the
most for the Islanders against any opponent.  Tim Connolly scored the Isles'
only goal in seven tries; Mario Lemieux has the only Penguin goal in four tries.
DiPietro stopped Evgeny Malkin on a penalty shot in 2007.

Power Plays
The Isles went 0-3 on the power play while the Penguins were 0-2.  In the two
games between the teams this season, the Isles have gone 1-9 (11%) on the power
play while the Penguins are 1-10 (10%).
In the Circle
The Isles won 35 of 67 (52%). John Tavares won 11 of 16 for the Isles; Crosby,
who was 10 of 13 through two periods, won just 6 of 17 in the third period and
It's Spelled T-E-A-M
The Isles blocked 28 shots (7 from Malkin alone), including five by Andrew
MacDonald.  MacDonald led all players with 27:44 of icetime (his second highest
total of the season).  Frans Nielsen had four blocks, including a big one when
the Isles were shorthanded in overtime. Matt Martin had seven hits to lead all
Stopping Sidney
For the first time since November 3rd, Sidney Crosby was held off the scorebook.
The Isles not only stopped Crosby's 25-game point streak (26-24-50), they also
ended his five-game goal streak.  It's the third time in the last eight games
that the Isles have held Crosby without a point.  The Kid has 18 points against
the Isles in the other five games.  Crosby has 65 points on the season; the New
Jersey Devils have scored only 62 goals.  This was only the 5th time this season
that he was held without a point.
Crosby played a team-high 26:16, including the first 1:44 and the last 1:51 of
the five minute overtime.
Streaks Stopped
John Tavares' career-best point streak ended at 6 games, while Parenteau's was
stopped at four.  Blake Comeau and Rob Schremp both had three game streaks

Missing Men
Mike Mottau is out for the season. Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Doug Weight, Trent
Hunter and Radek Martinek remain out.  With the trade of James Wisniewski to
Montreal, Bruno Gervais returned to the line-up. The Isles have now lost 204
man-games to injury.
Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 117 games since
joining the team last season.  Frans Nielsen (who missed most of the third
period on Monday in New York), Zenon Konopka, Blake Comeau are the only other
Isles to have played every game this season. Travis Hamonic (who played a career
high 25:08) has now played 15 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest
consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.
Season Series Stats          
The Isles' shootout win breaks a 5-game Penguin winning streak against the
Isles.  This season's series is even at one game and three points each, with
each team holding an extra time win on home ice.  The next two meeting will come
just over a week apart in late January and early February.   Going back to last
season's finale, this was the third consecutive game between the teams to go
beyond regulation (Pittsburgh won the other two with overtime goals).  The Isles
are now 3-0-2 in their last five games at home against Pittsburgh and are 4-1-3
in the last eight at the Coliseum against the Penguins.
Shootout Stats
The Isles have the Penguins' number, at least in the shootout. This was the
eighth shootout between the teams; the Isles are 6-2.  The six wins and
shootouts are by far the Isles most with an individual opponent.  It's the
Isles' first win in four shootouts this season and the Penguins' first loss in
Auld Lang Syne
This was the final home game of 2010.  The Isles end the calendar year with a
3-game home winning streak.  The Isles went 21-13-5 at home in 2010, including
7-7-3 so far this season.
Happy Anniversary
9 years ago today (December 29, 2001):  Alexei Yashin scored in overtime to give
the Isles a 6-5 win over Montreal, improving the Isles' record to 19-11-5-2.

This is the second straight season that the Isles have won in a shootout on this
date, and they are 6-1-0 in their last seven December 29th games. The Isles are
9-10-1 all-time on this date, including Chico Resch's shutout in Washington in
Up Next
Friday, December 31- Islanders @ Detroit 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
48 hours after beating the best team in the East, the Isles will take on the
Western Conference-leading Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.  It's the first
game of a season-long five game road trip and the only meeting of the teams this
The Isles have blanked Detroit in consecutive meetings.  Joey MacDonald needed
42 saves for a 2-0 win in Detroit on March 27, 2009, while Dwayne Roloson needed
only 16 in a 6-0 blanking at the Coliseum on January 12, 2010.  The Red Wings
haven't scored a goal against the Isles since Henrik Zetterberg capped a
comeback from a 3-0 third period deficit with an overtime goal at the Coliseum
on January 30, 2007.
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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