By Eric Hornick
Isles 4, Montreal 1
Dwayne Roloson made 38 saves for his third win in as many starts as the
Islanders defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 in front of a blizzard crown of
3,136 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The three straight wins matches
the season high set in October, while the Isles have now earned points in a
season-high five straight games (4-0-1).
3,136 Very Special Fans
In a game played in a blizzard, many ticketholders elected not to attend. 3,136
did –the second smallest announced attendance in islander history. Under
similar circumstances on February 8, 1994, 2,966 attended an Islander-Sabre
game. All ticketholders for tonight's game, whether they attended the game or
not, can exchange their ducats for another game. See the Islander website for
Comeau Grabs the Lead
The Isles scored first as Blake Comeau became the first Islander with 20 points
on the season, as he beat Carey Price 11:04 into play for the opening session's
only goal. It was Comeau's second goal in as many games; it's the second time
this season that he has scored in consecutive games.
Grabner Doubles the Advantage
Montreal got off to a good start in the second period, but a Jack Capuano
timeout seemed to calm matters 3 ½ minutes in. While Montreal outshot the Isles
16-7 in the middle session, it was the Isles who had the only goal. Michael
Grabner scored on a breakaway for his 8th goal of the season. The Isles also
had a goal waved off earlier in the session; video review could not conclusively
determine that the puck fully crossed the goal line after a price misplay.
Max Pays for His Crime
Montreal's Max Pacioretty, a Connecticut native, was ejected after being called
for boarding early in the third period and the Isles made him pay, with two
power play goals on the ensuing major penalty. P.A. Parenteau and James
Wisniewski each scored a goal and had an assist on the two goals scored just
2:20 apart. It's the first time since October 27th that the Isles have scored
two power play goals in a game, and the first time since October 11th that they
had done so in a single period. Wisniewski's goal came on a 5-3.
Tomas Plekanec ruined the shutout with his 11th goal of the season (3rd against
the Isles), but not the evening – at least from an Islander perspective, who
outscore their opponent in the third period for the second straight game and
record their third straight win. 4-1 Final.
Home and Road
The Isles are now 9-18-6, 6-7-3 at home. The Canadiens are 20-14-2, 8-9-0 on the
road. With the win, the Isles now hold a four point lead over New Jersey; the
Isles have also played two fewer games.
In the Nets
Dwayne Roloson makes 38 saves for his third straight win; he has allowed two
goals or fewer in 10 of his 18 starts. Roloson played three games this week,
stopping 106 of 109 shots (97.2%). He should merit consideration for the NHL
Player of the Week, which will be announced at noon on Monday. Carey Price made
21 saves for Montreal.
Roloson has allowed just one goal in each of the last three games; it's the
first time that the Isles have allowed one goal or fewer in three consecutive
games since a four-game stretch from March 7-14, 2006. (Rick DiPietro was in
nets for all four of those wins.)
Nobody Leads the Wiz
James Wisniewski now leads the Isles in assists (18) and points (21). He also
leads in power play assists (11) and power play points (14). Wisniewski now has
an assist in five straight games for the second time this season.
The Isles went 2-8 on the power play against a Canadiens squad that had killed
57/62 on the season in road games, and had over 14 minutes of power play time.
They have now tallied six times in the last seven games with the extra man. The
Canadiens went 0-2 on the power play the Isles have killed six straight over the
last two games.
In the Circle
The Isles had a good night in the circle, winning 34 of 61 (56%). John Tavares,
who had his four game point streak stopped, was dominant in the circle, winning
14 of 20 (70%). Jeff Halpern was the Canadiens' best, winning his first six
draws, and finishing 6 of 10 overall.
Protecting the Lead
The Isles are 8-3-0 when scoring first and are 7-1-2 when leading after two
Mike Mottau is out for the season. Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Doug Weight, and
Trent Hunter remain out. Rick DiPietro was activated from IR and Matt Martin
returned from his two-game suspension, so Nathan Lawson and Jesse Joensuu were
returned to Bridgeport. With Radek Martinek still banged up, Bruno Gervais and
Jack Hillen were in the line-up as the Isles dressed 7 defensemen for the second
time this season. Trevor Gillies was a healthy scratch. The Isles have now
lost 190 man-games to injury.
Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson was injured on a high hit by Anton Volchenkov in the first period
on Thursday but dressed tonight. Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has
played in all 115 games since joining the team last season. Frans Nielsen,
Zenon Konopka, Blake Comeau are the only other Isles to have played every game
this season. James Wisniewski is the only Islander defenseman to not miss a game
due to injury this season; he has played the most consecutive games on defense
for the Isles: 31.
Season Series Stats
The Canadiens still lead the season series two games to one, and four points to
two. The season series will conclude in Montreal on February 10th. The Isles'
win tonight was their first in regulation over Montreal since February 24,
2007. The Isles had gone 3-11-1 in the interim, but all three of their wins
were in overtime or shootouts. Montreal had gone 6-0-1 in their last seven
visits to Long Island.
1 year ago today (December 26, 2009): Kyle Okposo tallies in overtime as the
Isles beat the Rangers 3-2 at Madison Square Garden. It's the fourth time an
Islander has scored on Boxing Day in overtime—more than any other day in their
history. Benoit Hogue (1993), Mark Parrish (2003) and Mike Comrie (2007) are
the other OT goal scorers.
The Isles have played on this date in seven straight seasons, and have now won
five straight on Boxing Day (6-1-0 in the last seven).
The Isles are 16-7-2 on December 26th in their history, and have now earned more
points on this date than any other (33 on December 17th).
Monday, December 27- Islanders @ Rangers 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Isles head to Manhattan to battle the Rangers for the fourth time this
season. The Isles defeated the Rangers in October, but the Rangers swept a
home-and-home earlier this month.
Okposo's overtime goal last December 26th was the Isles' last one at MSG. The
Rangers have blanked the Isles in each of the last two games on Garden ice.
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