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The Skinny on the Playoff Race

Updating for all of Saturday's results: Saturday's Games Rangers 3, Isles 2 (SO) Philadelphia 1, New Jersey 0 Washington 4, Tampa Ba...

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Skinny: Devils 5, Isles 2

"The Skinny"
By Eric Hornick
Game 44
Devils 5, Isles 2
For the 7th straight game, the Isles allowed the opening goal and for the sixth
time in that stretch it came in the first five minutes.  Vladimir Zharkov's
first NHL goal came 4:25 into play and the Isles could not recover from the
early deficit as they fell to the New Jersey Devils 5-2 before 13,119 at the
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. It's only the second loss in the last nine at
home for the Isles (5-2-2).  The Devils improve to 3-0-1 in their last four
games; it's the best stretch for the Devils since they won five straight in
December 2009. They are 4-7-1 in twelve games under Jacques Lemaire.
Goals Come in Pairs
57 seconds after Zharkov's goal, Ilya Kovalchuk doubled the Devils' advantage
with a power play goal.  It was only the 2nd Devil power play goal in their last
25 attempts and was the back-end of the first of three pairs of goals in less
than a minute in the game.
Poulin's Tough Starts
Kevin Poulin was in goal for the Islanders and he has allowed a goal in the
first five minutes of all four of his NHL starts, after allowing only one goal
in the first five minutes of 14 games for Bridgeport.  Poulin now has a goals
against average of 15.00 for the first six minutes of the game and 1.69 for the
remainder of the game.

Tedenby makes it 3-0
Mattias Tedenby scored his fifth goal of the season at 6:40 of the second period
to give New Jersey a 3-0 crowd and silence the large matinee crowd.
The Isles Get Two Back
The Isles responded with two goals in 54 seconds as PA Parenteau and Michael
Grabner each scored their 11th goal of the season to bring the Isles within one
midway through the second period. Grabner's 11 goals rank him 6th among all
rookies.  The Isles now have five players with at least 11 goals (Tavares-18,
Moulson-14, and Comeau-13 are the others); the quintet have combined for 65 of
the Isles' 107 goals (61%) this season.  Comeau assisted on Parenteau's goal,
extending his point streak to four straight games (3-2-5).
Two for Us, Two for Them
The Devils regained a 3-goal advantage when Rod Pelley and Danius Zubrus scored
54 seconds apart to give the Devils a 5-2 advantage.  It marked the first time
since an 8-2 Devil win on March 24, 2000 that New Jersey has scored at least
five goals in a Coliseum contest.  Jason Arnott assisted on the Pelley goal for
his 500th career assist.
Goal Waved Off
With 1:29 left in the second period, the Isles thought that they had gotten
within two goals on what would have been Parenteau's second goal of the period.
However, the goal, which was originally allowed by rookie referee Marcus
Vinnerborg was disallowed a few minutes later after Bill McCreary, who was the
"high" referee, ruled that Grabner had interfered with Devils netminder Martin
Brodeur. NHL rules prohibit the use of video review in situations such as that;
television replays indicated that Grabner had been pushed into Brodeur by Devils
defensemen Mark Fayne.  The Isles lost the call, the goal, and after a scoreless
third, the game.  5-2 Final. 

Home and Road
The Devils improve to 13-29-3, as they win for just the sixth time in 23 road
games (6-16-1). The Isles are 14-23-7, including 8-9-4 at home. They are now
10-13-4 under Jack Capuano, including 9-5-2 in the last 16.  Their 14-23-7
record leaves them tied with Edmonton for 28th place.
In the Nets
Brodeur made 27 saves as he improves to 8-18-2 on the season.  It's his 610th
win, including 45 (45-25-6) against the Isles. Poulin suffers his first
regulation loss (1-1-1) as he finished with 22 saves.
Power Plays
The Isles went 0-3 on the power play while New Jersey was 1-2. In their last
nine games ,the Isles are 9-26 (35%) in their last nine games on the power play
and have killed 23 of 27 (85%) over the last nine games. 

In the Circle
After losing 13 of the first 16 face-offs, the Isles improved to win 24 of 50
(48%) face-offs overall; there were only 11 draws in the entire third period.
 John Tavares won 12 of 21 and has now won 37 of 57 over the last three games
(65%). He has won 52.9% of his draws this season after winning 47.5% in his
rookie campaign.

Fight Time
There were two fights, both in the first period.  Zenon Konopka battled Mark
Fraser and Matt martin squared off with David Clarkson.  Konopka has had 14
fights (second in the NHL) and leads the NHL with 148 penalty minutes.

Don't Mess With Big Z
Konopka's next penalty will give him at least 150 minutes; he will be only the
42nd Islander to ever reach that mark. He is 7 penalty minutes shy of the 155
accumulated by Tim Jackman in 2008-09.  No Isles forward has accumulated more
than that since Mick Vukota had 237 in 1993-94.
Missing Men
Mike Mottau and Mark Eaton are out for the season. Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo,
Doug Weight, Trent Hunter, Frans Nielsen and Rhett Rakhshani remain out; Rick
DiPietro and Trevor Gillies were healthy scratches. The Isles have now lost 277
man-games to injury.  Milan Jurcina played just 3:19 of the first period before
leaving with an upper body injury.
Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 126 games since
joining the team last season.  Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have
played every game this season; his 56-game streak includes the final 12 games
last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 24 NHL games (all
consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the

Home Sweet Home?
The Isles are now 1-2-1 on this homestand with one game to play.  The Isles are
four games into stretches of 13-of-20 and 19-of-29 at home. 

Season Series Stats          
The Isles still lead the season series two games to one (and four points to
two). The remaining three meetings will all be March.
Happy Birthday Dr. King
This was the 10th time since 1994 that the Isles have hosted a Martin Luther
King Day matinee.  The Isles are 3-4-3 in the 10 games.
 Happy Anniversary
5 years ago today (January 17, 2006):   Oleg Kvasha scores the winning goal in
overtime as the Islanders defeat the Blackhawks 2-1 at the United Center.
Overall, the Isles are 8-9-3 all-time on this date.  Also on this date: 1979:
the Rangers end Chico Resch's club-record 23 game unbeaten streak (15-0-8),
defeating the Isles 5-3 at Madison Square Garden.  1981: Mike Bossy set an NHL
record with his 8th hat trick of the season, giving him 48 goals in 47 games as
the Isles beat the Caps 6-4.
Up Next
Thrusday, January 20- Washington @ Islanders 1:00pm
[MSG+2 (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
Alexander Ovechkin leads the Capitals to the Coliseum for the first time this
season in the final game of this home stand on Thursday night.  It's the second
meeting of the teams in 2010-11; the Caps handed the Islanders their first
regulation loss of the season back on October 13 despite the only NHL goal of
Nino Niederreiter's career.  The Isles are 6-2-3 in the Caps' last 11 visits to
Long Island (while the Caps are 5-0-1 in their last six trips).
This game will be televised on MSG+2.  After Thursday, the next 24 games will
air on MSG+.
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since
January 21, 1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from
various sources.
 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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