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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, February 16, 2011

The Skinny: Isles 4, Ottawa 3 (SO)

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 57
Isles 4, Sens 3 (SO)

Michael Grabner extended his goal scoring streak to six games, Josh Bailey
scored his first goal of 2011, and Frans Nielsen had the deciding goal in the
shootout as the Islanders won their fourth straight, and improved to 6-2-0 since

the All-Star Break with a 4-3 shootout win over the Senators before 17,565 at
ScotiaBank Place in Kanata, Ontario.
The Butler Did It
The Sens scored the game's only goal in the first period, with Bobby Butler
beating Nathan Lawson for a power play tally.  It's the second goal in as many
NHL games for the Ottawa rookie.  It's the 37th time this season that the Isles
have allowed the opening goal.
Comeau and Shannon Trade Goals
The Isles evened the game at 8:07 of the second period as Blake Comeau scored
for the second straight game since returning from his concussion.  However, Ryan

Shannon's power play goal gave Ottawa a 2-1 lead entering the second

Grabner… Again
Grabner tied the game with an unassisted shorthanded tally at 2:48 of the third
as he stole a pass, had the puck slide off his stick on a forehand/backhand
move, and then recaptured the puck and banged it in on a wrap-around. It's his
25th goal of the season, passing Logan Couture for the rookie lead, and his 10th

in the last six games.  Grabner is the first Islander rookie since Patrick
Flatley in 1984-85 to score in six straight games and only the 2nd player in the

entire NHL to do so this season (Daniel Cleary).  Grabner's streak is the
longest by a rookie since Evgeny Malkin had a 6-game stretch in 2006-07. 

While he would have other chances, including one in overtime, Grabner's
multi-goal game streak would end at 3, which shares both the team record (all
players) and NHL rookie record.
Bailey Give the Isles the Lead
Josh Bailey scored at 6:39 off a pass from Grabner for his 7th goal of the
season.  It was his first goal since December 29th against Pittsburgh.  However,

Erik Karlsson tied the game at 15:56.  Erik Kondra, making his NHL debut, earned

an assist. The final four minutes of regulation and all of overtime went
scoreless, setting up the shootout.
A Shootout Win!
Ottawa went first and Alexei Kovalev beat Lawson to give the Sens the lead.  Rob

Schremp beat Brian Elliot with a wrist shot to tie the shootout.  After Lawson
stopped Jason Spezza, Frans Nielsen crossed Elliot up and score on a forehand
move.  Lawson then stopped Butler's shot to cement the victory and keep the Sens

winless in shootouts (0-4).  The Isles are now 3-4 in shootouts.  4-3 (Shootout)

Grabner's Glory
Grabner now has a 6-game goal streak -- he has ten goals in the last six
games.  Since January 15th, Grabner has 16 goals in the last 15 games, by far
the most of any player in the NHL (Entering play Sunday, no one else had more
than eight).

Without a Fight
Only 9 minor penalties were called.  The Isles have not had a fight in either of

the two games played since their 9-3 victory over the Penguins Friday produced
346 penalty minutes, 183 on the Islanders.  Both marks were club records.
Strange Stat of the Game
The Isles have won their last three road games, despite trailing after two
periods in all three games.  The Isles opened the season going 0-20-2 in games
that they trailed after two periods.
The Isles have won three straight road games, all in extra time (two overtimes
and a shootout) for the first time in their history.

The Isles have won 4 straight games for the first time since January 9- 18, 2010

and three straight on the road for the first time since a four game streak from
January 11-22, 2008.
Streak Stopper
John Tavares was held without a point, ending his 5-game point streak and 3-game

goal streak. Frans Nielsen's assist streak ended at three games; he had recorded

six assists during the streak.
The Jurcina Effect
Milan Jurcina led the Isles with 5 shots and with 6 hits. In the 32 games that
he has played, the Isles are 18-11-3.  They are 3-18-4 in the 25 games that he
has missed.
Home and Road
The Isles are 21-29-7, and are 11-16-3 on the road.  The 25 road points are
their highest total through 30 games in the last three seasons. The Isles are
9-5-0 in their last 14 road games for their best road stretch since
February/March 2008 and are 17-19-4 under Jack Capuano, including 16-11-2 in the

last 29.  The Isles are 6-2-0 in February with six games to play; it matches
their most wins in any month this season (6-7-1 in December).
The Sens are 18-30-9 and 9-15-5 at home. Ottawa is 2-13-5 in their last 20 games

overall, and has not won on home ice since Boxing Day.
In the Nets
Nathan Lawson becomes the 6th different Islander to win a game in goal this
season, making 28 saves.  They are the first team since the 2006-07 Los Angeles
Kings to have six winning goaltenders in the same season.  This was his first
game since being injured in Buffalo 3 ½ weeks ago.  The Isles have had a
different goaltender record a victory in each of the last three games (Koskinen,

Montoya [in relief], and Lawson) – that hasn't happened for the Isles since at
least the 1980's.  None of the three had recorded a victory as an Islander prior

to the current 4-game win streak.  Lawson joins Koskinen and Kevin Poulin in
recording their first NHL victories for the Islanders this season.
Brian Elliot made 25 saves for Ottawa.  He is 13-19-8 this season.
Power Plays
The Isles went 0-4 on the power play while the Sens were 2-5.  The Isles did
however get a shorthanded goal from Grabner. It's Grabner's second shorty in the

last three games and the Isles' third in the last six games.  Grabner has 3
shorty's this season, one behind Boston's Brad Marchand for the rookie lead. The

Isles now have 8 shorthanded goals on the season; only the Rangers (9) have
In the Circle
The Isles had a difficult night in the circle as they won just 25 of 73 (34%)
face-offs.  No Islander center won more than he lost; Chris Kelly, who was
involved in a mid-ice collision with Andrew MacDonald in the first period, won
13 of 19.  After the game, the Sens traded Kelly to Boston.
Missing Men
Mike Mottau, Trent Hunter, Kevin Poulin and Mark Eaton are out for the season.
Mark Streit, Doug Weight, Rick DiPietro, and Jeremy Colliton remain out. Trevor
Gillies and Matt Martin served the second of their nine and four game
suspensions, respectively.  The Isles have lost 381 games to injury and eight
games to suspension this season. With Jack Hillen back in the lineup, Bruno
Gervais was a healthy scratch.
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 139 games since
joining the team last season.  Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have
played every game this season; his 69-game streak includes the final 12 games
last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 37 NHL games (all
consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the
Grabner Climbing the Rookie Leaderboard
Grabner needs just one goal in the final 25 games to do something no Islander
rookie since Mike Bossy has done—score as many as 26 goals.  His 25 goals equal
David Volek's total in 1988-89 and Trent Hunter's tally in 2003-04. John Tavares

had 24 last season.  Bossy had a club rookie-record of 53 in 1977-78.  Four
rookies have led the Isles in goals: Billy Harris - 28 in 1972-73, Mike Bossy -
53 in 1977-78, Trent Hunter -25 in 2003-04 (tied with Mariusz Czerkawski) and
Kyle Okposo-18 in 2008-09.
Season Series Stats         
The team split the season series two games each, although tonight's shootout
loss gives Ottawa 5 points to the Isles' 4.  It is the Isles first win in Ottawa

since November 13, 2008, breaking a 4-game winless streak (0-2-2).
Happy Anniversary
14 years ago today (February 15, 1997):  Claude Lapointe's overtime tally is
the game's only goal as the Isles blanked the Panthers 1-0 before a sellout
crowd at the Coliseum.  It's the first 1-0 overtime win in club history; Tommy
Salo recorded the shutout.
All-time, the Isles are 8-5-2 on this date, including wins in their last three
games (2003, 2007, and 2011)
Up Next
Thursday, February 17 Boston @ Islanders 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Boston Bruins finally visit Long Island as the Isles begin a three-game
homestand.  The teams have met just once this season, a 5-2 Bruin win in

The Bruins have won four of the last five at the Coliseum, with the sole
Islander victory coming on a Frans Nielsen overtime tally in December, 2009.
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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