By Eric Hornick
Isles 5, Panthers 1
For the second straight game, it was the "Matt and Montoya Show". Matt Moulson
took over the club lead by tallying three times for his second career hat trick,
and Al Montoya made 20 saves and came within 9:26 of a second consecutive
shutouts as the Islanders beat the Florida Panthers before the third-largest
crowd of the season (13,729) at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The
Isles improve to 8-3-0 since the All-Star Break as they beat the Panthers for
the first time this season.
Two for Moulson in the First
Moulson scored two goals 7 ½ minutes apart in the opening session. Travis
Hamonic earned assists on both goals, while PA Parenteau and John Tavares also
had helpers. Less than a minute after Moulson's second goal, the Panthers'
Stephen Weiss was ejected for a vicious elbow against Radek Martinek.
Martinek Strikes Back
Martinek responded to the elbow by scoring with just three seconds left on the
major power play to give the Isles a 3-goal advantage early in the second
period. Josh Bailey upped the lead to 4-0 at 6:41 of the session when he beat
Santorelli Breaks the Shutout
Midway through the 3rd period, Mike Santorelli scored his 17th goal of the
season to break Montoya's shutout. Montoya had not allowed a goal in his first
110:34 as an Islander starter.
Matt Moulson hit the empty net at 17:23 of the third to complete his hat trick
and take over the club lead in goals with 26, one more than Michael Grabner and
three more than John Tavares. The Isles are the only NHL team that has three
players with at least 23 goals. Moulson's 26 goals leave him tied for 12th in
the NHL. 5-1 Final.
Hamonic Drops the Gloves
Travis Hamonic was ruled to be the instigator of a fight with Steve Bernier in
the second period. Hamonic, who finished with 21 penalty minutes, now has 77
penalty minutes, which leads all Islander defensemen by a wide margin.
Strange Stat of the Game
Matt Moulson and John Tavares have combined for 49 goals this season after
combining for 54 a year ago. The 103 goals over two seasons are eight more than
a more heralded set of linemates (Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews) have managed
for the Hawks in the same period. (Thanks to Islander fan Neil Mairs for the
Trio Grande (with Apologies to Bossy, Trottier and Gillies)
They don't even play on the same line, but Moulson (26), Grabner (25) and
Tavares (23) have combined for 74 goals – one of the highest totals for three
teammates this season:
· Vancouver: Kesler/D Sedin/Burrows 82
· Anaheim:Perry/Ryan/Selanne 77
· Philadelphia: Briere/Carter/Giroux 75
· Isles: Moulson/Grabner/Tavares 74
· Tampa: Stamkos/St Louis/Lecavalier 73
The three have combined for 4 hat tricks (2 for Tavares, 1 for Grabner and
Moulson). It's the first time that the Isles have had four hat tricks in the
same season since they had five hat tricks in the 2002-03 season.
It's Been a Long Time Since…
…the Isles had such a lengthy streak of scoring at least three goals in a game.
Since being blanked in Pittsburgh on February 2nd, the Isles have scored at
least three goals in each of their last nine games. The last time the Isles
managed at least three goals in 9 straight games came in a ten game streak from
February 27 to March 17, 1994.
…the Isles allowed only one goal in a two-game stretch. It last happened on
October 31-November 2, 2009 when the Isles shutout Buffalo 5-0 and beat Edmonton
Growing Up Together
The Islanders have had four players record their 100th career point, all of them
in Islander uniforms, this season.
· Blake Comeau leads the way. His assist gives him 110 points
· Frans Nielsen's assist gives him 107 points (36-71-107)
· John Tavares' assists gives him 106 points (47-59-106). He is the
second youngest player in Islander history (Bryan Trottier) to record 100 career
· Kyle Okposo has 105 points (41-64-105)
Two injured players (Trent Hunter and Mark Streit) are the only others on the
current roster to have recorded 100 points in an Islander uniform.
With his two assists tonight, Tavares now has 106 career points, four more than
Matt Duchene. No other member of the 2009 draft class has more than 60 NHL
points. He is 5-11-16 in the 11 games since the All-Star Break.
Home and Road
The Isles are 23-30-7, and are 12-14-4 at home. They are 19-20-4 under Jack
Capuano, including 18-12-2 in the last 32. The Isles are 8-3-0 in February with
three games to play; it's their first 8-win month since November, 2008.
The Panthers fall to 25-27-7, and are 13-16-1 on the road.
In the Nets
Al Montoya improves to 3-0 on the season, making 20 saves. He has allowed only
four goals on 85 shots in his four appearances (1.23 GAA, 95.3 save
percentage). Montoya has allowed only three goals in his five career wins as a
starter. He is 5-1 in six career starts and 6-1 overall. The 21 shots allowed
by the Isles are their fewest allowed at home since allowing 20 to New Jersey on
January 18, 2010.
Tomas Vokoun made 32 saves for Florida, including 14 in the first period, when
the Isles outshot Florida 16-3.
The Isles went 1-5 on the power play while the Panthers were also 1-5.
In the Circle
The Isles won 24 of 47 (51%) face-offs. Zenon Konopka won 9 of 14 for the
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 served the fifth game of his nine-game. The Isles have lost 401 games
to injury and 13 games to suspension this season. With Matt Martin back in the
lineup, Bruno Gervais and Rob Schremp were healthy scratches.
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 142 games since
joining the team last season. Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have
played every game this season; his 72-game streak includes the final 12 games
last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 40 NHL games (all
consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the
Season Series Stats
The Panthers still lead the season series two games to one, with the teams
splitting the season series on Long Island. The final meeting of the season
series will be in Sunrise, Florida on March 19th.
17 years ago today (February 21, 1994): Ron Hextall became only the second
goaltender in Islander history to record consecutive shutouts as he blanked
All-time, the Isles are 9-11-0 on this date. They have won their last five on
February 21st (all at home), by a combined score of 18-3.
Tuesday, February 22 @ Toronto 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Islanders head to Toronto for the first game of a two-game road trip. It's
the third meeting of the teams this season; John Tavares scored in overtime to
give the Isles a 2-1 win in Toronto back on October 18th; the Leafs defeated the
Isles 5-3 two weeks ago at the Coliseum in the game in which Kevin Poulin
suffered a season-ending injury in warm-ups.
The Leafs enter the game four points ahead of the Islanders.
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