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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...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Skinny: Vancouver 4, Isles 3 (so)

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 41
Vancouver 4, Isles 3 (shootout)

Kevin Poulin make 48 saves, the most by an Islander rookie in 38 years, but in
the end it was worth only one point as NHL-leading Canucks defeated the
Islanders 4-3 in a shootout before 8,913 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial
Coliseum. The Canucks extended their franchise-record point streak to 17 games
(14-0-3) while the Isles extended their home-ice point streak to 6 games
Burrows Strikes First
The Islanders allowed the opening goal for the fourth straight game and fifth
time in six games; the only goal of the opening session came off a face-off play
when the Sedin brothers set up Alex Burrows at 4:58 of the period. Vancouver
outshot the Isles 20-9 in the opening period.

Isles Get Even
Former Islander Jeff Tambellini took a hooking penalty at 13:12 and the Isles
converted one second after the power play ended, at 15:13. New daddy Jack
Hillen scored his first goal since last April 3rd. It was his 1st goal in 31
games and the 5th of his NHL career.
Kesler Regains the Lead
With time running out in the middle session, Ryan Kesler beat Poulin to give the
Canucks the lead. It was the 24th goal of the season for Kesler, who fired a
game-high eight shots at Poulin. Although each team scored once in the session,
the Isles had the better of the play, and of the shots, outshooting Vancouver
A Tie, A Lead, A Tie
John Tavares' 15th goal tied the game at 3:14 of the third. It was his 7th
power play goal; he leads the Isles in goals, points (29) and power play goals,
while sharing the team lead in power play points (13). Blake Comeau beat former
Islander Roberto Luongo at 14:24 to give the Isles the lead. Dylan Reese earned
an assist on the goal for his first point of the season. Alas, the lead lasted
only 34 seconds. Kevin Bieska threw the puck towards the net and it went in to
tie the game and send it into overtime. The Canucks outshot the Isles 18-15 in
the third and 3-1 in overtime, for a 51-41 advantage overall.
Rob Schremp scored to give the Isles the lead but Mason Raymond's spin-erama
tied the shootout. After PA Parenteau and Jeff Tambellini were stopped in round
2, John Tavares was beaten by Luongo in the top of the 3rd. Kesler beat Poulin
to win the shootout in the bottom half. The Isles fall to 1-4 in shootouts this
season (1-3 at home). Each of the four goalies that have played for the Isles
this season has now been beaten in the shootout. 4-3 (shootout) Final.
Home and Road
Vancouver improves to 28-8-6, 13-5-3 on the road. The Canucks have not lost in
regulation since December 5th and are 9-0-1 in their last ten on the road,
including five straight wins. The Isles reach the midway point of the season
with a 13-21-7 record, including 7-7-4 at home. They are now 9-11-4 under Jack
Capuano, including 8-3-2 in the last 13.

In the Nets
Luongo makes 38 saves as he records his 20th win for the 8th straight season.
Luongo is 20-8-4 on the season, and 6-10-3 in his career against the Isles.
It's his 290th career win, passing former Islander broadcaster (and Ranger
star) Ed Giacomin for 28th on the all-time list. Poulin makes 48 saves, but
drops to 1-0-1 in his NHL career. He had stopped 101 of 107 shots (94.4%) over
his first three NHL appearances.
Power Plays
The Isles nearly went 2-2 on the power play for the third time in two weeks:
Hillen's goal came two seconds too late to be a power play goal. The Isles
finished 1-2 and are 8-18 in their last six games on the power play (44.4%).
Vancouver came into the game with the NHL's best power play, but went 0-2. The
Isles have killed 16 of 17 over the last six games.
In the Circle
The Isles won 32 of 69 (46%) face-offs. Jeremy Colliton won 8 of 13 draws for
the Isles; former Ranger Manny Maholtra won 15 of 24 for the Canucks.
Missing Men
Mike Mottau and Mark Eaton are out for the season. Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo,
Doug Weight, Trent Hunter, Frans Nielsen and Rick DiPietro remain out. Radek
Martinek played 21:30 in his first game back and Rhett Rakhshani played his 2nd
NHL game (11:41). Bruno Gervais and Trevor Gillies were healthy scratches while
Jon Sim was assigned to Bridgeport. The Isles have now lost 252 man-games to
Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 123 games since
joining the team last season. Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have
played every game this season; his 53 game streak includes the final 12 games
last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 21 NHL games (all
consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the

Fight Night
The game featured one fight—a donnybrook between Matt Martin and Tanner Glass.
Getting Younger All the Time
The Isles, who as recently as New Year's Day had a 41 year old on their roster,
dressed only two players over 30: Radek Martinek and Zenon Konopka (30 years, 9
days). The Isles have three players who were born in the 1990's (Poulin, Travis
Hamonic and Tavares; Tavares remains the youngest player on the team). The
average age of the 20 players dressed for this game was 24.96 years. Alex Edler
was the youngest Canuck in tonight's game; the Isles dressed ten players younger
than Edler.
As seen on MSG+ (Only Billy Better)
Poulin's 48 saves are the second-highest total ever by an Islander rookie.
Billy Smith made 55 saves on November 22, 1972 in Philadelphia.

Lots of Shots for Poulin
Poulin is the first goalie under the age of 21 to face 51 shots in an NHL game
since Dan Blackburn did so for the Rangers on November 23, 2001. He is also the
first goalie under the age of 21 to make at least 48 saves in an NHL game since
at least the 1987-88 season. Steve Mason and Jose Theodore each made 47 saves
in a game as a 20-year old. Poulin and Theodore have something else in common;
they both wear uniform #60.
Lots of Shots, Period
The teams combined for 92 shots, which breaks the Islander club record for
combined shots (89) in an overtime game. The Isles outshot Dallas 46-43 on
October 28, 2001 in a game the Isles won on a Michael Peca overtime goal. It's
the first time each team has had 40 shots in an Islander game since November 14,
2009 in Florida (Isles 42, Panthers 40) and the first time it has happened at
the Coliseum since that October 28, 2001 game.
Race to 100 Heads to the Homestretch
Blake Comeau's goal and assist gives him 99 career points (42-57-99), three more
than Kyle Okposo (39-57-96), four more than Frans Nielsen (29-66-95) and seven
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.
Home Sweet Home
The Isles have earned points in six straight at home (4-0-2). This was the first
game of a five-game homestand (0-0-1) and the first game of stretches of
13-of-20 and 19-of-29 at home.
Other Stuff
Rob Schremp had two assists for the 2nd time this season; Michael Grabner had 7
shots on goal to match the team high for the season; Daniel Sedin and Kesler
each extended their point streaks to 5 games; The Isles earned their second
point this season when trailing after two periods (0-15-2) while Vancouver is
21-0-3 when leading after two; The Canucks are 23-1-3 when Kesler records a
Season Series Stats
The Canucks win the only meeting of the season, but the Isles continue to
accumulate points against Vancouver. The Isles are 4-1-3 in their last eight
home games against the Canucks and are 6-3-4 against Vancouver since 1999.

Happy Anniversary
25 years ago today (January 11, 1986): Two days after blanking Pittsburgh 9-0,
the Isles score the game's first six goals as they pound Detroit 8-4. The 15
unanswered goals set an Islander record that still stands today. Overall, the
Isles are 8-3-3 all-time on this date; their last 3 games have gone to
shootouts, with DiPietro recording wins in 2007 and 2008 prior to tonight's
shootout loss.
Up Next
Tuesday, January 13- Ottawa @ Islanders 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Ottawa Senators visit the Coliseum for the first time this season on
Thursday night. The Sens, who were beaten in Boston 6-0 on Tuesday night for
their sixth straight defeat, have 38 points, just five more than the Isles.
Ottawa leads the series one game to none, defeating the Isles in Ontario 4-1 in
early November.
The Sens have given the Isles problems throughout their history, but the Isles
are 4-2-0 in their last six at home against Ottawa.
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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