By Eric Hornick
Isles 4, Colorado 3 (OT)
20-year old John Tavares scored 3:52 into overtime to give 20-year old
goaltender Kevin Poulin a win in his first NHL start, as the Islanders rallied
from an early 2-0 deficit, built a 3-2 lead, survived a 6th attacker goal at
19:56 of the third and defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 before a crowd of
15,171 at Pepsi Center. The Isles improve to 3-1 on their longest road trip of
the season, while is now 2-5-2 in their last nine games.
After holding Edmonton without a goal in his NHL debut on Thursday, Poulin
allowed two in the first 1:47. Milan Hejduk's 12th goal of the season came just
45 seconds into play; David Koci's first goal 1:02 later doubled the Av's
advantage. After allowing the two goals on the first four shots, Poulin settled
in and stopped 33 of 34 the rest of the way.
It's a Power Play Goal x2
The Isles rebounded in the first period with two power play goals. Jeremy
Colliton, who had scored only one goal in 42 previous NHL games and hadn't
played in the league since the 2008-09 season, scored at 5:52; Blake Comeau's
10th goal of the season at 12:59, his second in two games, erased the Avalanche
advantage. Colorado outshot the Isles 12-9 in the opening period.
Power Play Goal #3
Colliton, playing an NHL game in front of his parents for the first time in his
career, gave the Isles a 3-2 lead 3:!7 into the second with his second power
play goal of the game. Colliton was leading Bridgeport with 5 power play goals
at the time of his recall. Each team had 11 shots in the middle session.
Hold on…Hold on….
The Isles protected the lead until 19:56 of the third, when Hejduk's second
goal, this one off a goal mouth scramble, earned Colorado a point and sent the
game into overtime. The Avs outshot the Isles 12-5 in the third.
Overtime is Our Time…Again
John Tavares played hero again in the extra session, making a beautiful move out
of the corner and then beating Craig Anderson for the winning goal. It's the
third overtime goal of the season for Tavares and his 14th overall, tying Matt
Moulson for the club lead. 4-3 Final.
Won't Need This Stat Again for Awhile
For the second straight game, the Isles dressed two goaltenders who had never
won an NHL game. They are the second NHL team to do so this season. On October
13, Nashville dressed Anders Lindback and Mark Dekanich.
Home and Road
The Isles are 13-20-6, 6-13-3 on the road. They are now 9-10-3 under Jack
Capuano, including 8-2-1 in the last 11. It's their best stretch since a 9-3-1
stretch in late 2009/early 2010 and matches their best 11 game stretch since
their season-opening 11-1-1-1 stretch in October/November 2001. Colorado is
21-15-6, 11-8-3 at home.
In the Nets
Poulin made 34 saves to record his first NHL victory. Craig Anderson finished
with 23 saves for Colorado. Poulin (20 years, 271 days) is the first 20
year-old to win an NHL game since Chris Mason did so for Columbus on April 11,
2009 and is the youngest to do so since Mason did so at 20 years, 266 days on
February 19, 2009 in Toronto.
For the third time in four games, the Isles were essentially perfect on the
power play, converting three times in four opportunities. The only power play
that they did not score on lasted only four seconds. The Isles are 7-15 on the
power play on the road trip (46.7%). Colorado failed on all three of their
attempts; the Isles remain perfect (11-11) on the penalty kill in the first four
games of this season-long five game road trip.
It's the second time this season that the Isles scored 3 power play goals in a
game; they did it on Opening Night vs. Dallas. It's the first time that they had
scored three power play goals in a road game since March 15, 2009 in Chicago ;
another Islander goalie Peter Mannino made his first NHL start in that game.
It had been a long time for the Isles between multiple power play goal games
against Colorado. It was the first time since October 10, 1999 (Butch Goring's
first win as Isles coach). They hadn't scored multiple power play goals in
Denver since John Tonelli and Mike Bossy scored against Chico Resch on March 20,
1981 – just days after he had been traded to the Colorado Rockies.
In the Circle
The Isles won 34 of64 (53%) face-offs. Zenon Konopka had another strong game on
draws, winning 11 of 17.
Mike Mottau is out for the season. Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Doug Weight, Trent
Hunter and Radek Martinek, Mark Eaton and Rick DiPietro remain out. Frans
Nielsen missed his second game of the season with a groin strain while (adductor
muscle) Trevor Gillies was a healthy scratch. The Isles have now lost 235
man-games to injury.
Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 121 games since
joining the team last season. Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have
played every game this season; his 51 game streak includes the final 12 games
last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 19 NHL games (all
consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the
2009 Draft Redux
It was the third career meeting of John Tavares and Matt Duchesne, taken 1st and
3rd overall in 2009. Tavares now has two goals against Colorado while Duchesne
is pointless against the Isles. Duchesne is 40-55-95 in his career while Tavares
John Tavares shares a uniform number with Islander Stanley Cup hero Butch
Goring; perhaps he should be wearing #23, the retired uniform number of Islander
legend and overtime hero Bob Nystrom. Tavares set an Islander club record by
recording his third overtime goal of the season. Tavares is the 6th Islander to
record at least three career overtime goals; Pierre Turgeon is the only one to
have scored four. Tavares is one overtime goal shy of the NHL record of four,
shared by several players – most recently Daniel Sedin in 2006-07. He is tied
with Atlanta's Dustin Byfuglien for the NHL lead.
Getting Younger All the Time
The Isles, who as recently as last Saturday had a 41 year old on their roster,
dressed only three players over 30: Jon Sim and Zenon Konopka (30 years, 6
days), and they saw less than 22 minutes of ice-time combined. With Kevin
Poulin in the lineup, the Isles now have three players who were born in the
1990's (Travis Hamonic and John Tavares are the others; Tavares remains the
youngest player on the team). The average age of the 20 players dressed for
this game was 25.07 years.
Jeremy Colliton scored his first NHL goal since potting his first NHL tally on
April 15, 2006 against Pittsburgh. Only one other Islander played in both that
game and this one: Bruno Gervais.
Race to 100
With his goal in this game, Blake Comeau now has 97 career points (41-56-97),
one more than Kyle Okposo (39-57-96), two more than Frans Nielsen (29-66-95) and
five more than Radek Martinek (19-73-92). No player drafted by the Islanders
has recorded 100 points in an Islander uniform since Scott Lachance reached the
mark during the 1998-99 season.
Season Series Stats
The Islanders win the season series two games to none and four points to one.
The Isles are 7-0-2 against Colorado since being shutout 1-0 by Patrick Roy on
November 16, 2001.
31 years ago today (January 8, 1980): Chico Resch records a shutout as the
Isles blank Vancouver 3-0 at the Coliseum. It's the first of three shutouts in
eight weeks for Resch, but the only one that resulted in a victory. (The other
two were scoreless ties.) The Isles are now 7-12-1 all-time on this date.
This was the 1,502nd road game in Islander history. The Isles are 539-752-211
all-time on the road. The Isles will also play their 3,000th game on this road
trip (Sunday in Chicago). Their 1,500th home game will be on January 15th
against Buffalo while their 1,500th Nassau Coliseum game will be on January 20th
against Washington (each NHL team played two neutral site games in 1992-93 and
Sunday, January 9- Islanders @ Chicago 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The road trip concludes on Sunday when the Islanders play the 3,000th game in
their history as they face the Stanley Cup Champions for the only time this
season at the United Center in Chicago.
Blake Comeau has fond memories of the team's last meeting; in the first game
after the Olympic break last March, Comeau recorded a hat trick in a 5-3
The Isles have dominated the series in recent years, winning six straight games,
including three straight in Chicago. They've outscored the Hawks 30-12 in that
stretch. The Hawks last win vs. the Isles came on December 10, 2002 at the
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since
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