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The Skinny on The Openers

"The Skinny" … on the Openers By Eric Hornick The NHL released the schedule for the 2016-17 season on Tuesday.  It'...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Skinny; Leafs 2, Isles 1

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 61
Leafs 2, Isles 1

Phil Kessel scored an unassisted goal with less than five minutes to play and
James Reimer made 28 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Islanders 2-1
before 19,459 at Air Canada Center as they handed the Isles only their 4th loss
in twelve games since the All-Star Break. The Leafs are 7-2-2 in their last 11
games.

MacArthur Gives Leafs the Lead
Clark MacArthur scored the only goal of the opening session, beating Al Montoya
midway through the session for his 18th goal of the season. The Islanders lost
Milan Jurcina with a groin injury in the first period after he was hit by Mike
Brown. He did not return.

Moulson Gets It Back
If the first half of the month belonged to Michael Grabner, the second half has
belonged to Matt Moulson. The Islanders' leading goal scorer tallied on the
power play at 8:09 of the second period for his 27th goal of the season and
sixth in the last three games. He is the 12th player in the NHL to score 27
goals this season. Moulson also extended his point streak to four games; Andrew
MacDonald earned the only assist. The Isles have now scored 65 second period
goals, and allowed 65 goals in the middle session as well.

Kessel Wins it
Phil Kessel scored an unassisted tally with 4:41 to play in regulation for his
23rd goal of the season. It would turn out to be his 4th game-winning goal of
the season. Kessel has nine goals in 18 career games against the Islanders. The
Leafs are 7-3-2 in games tied after 40 minutes while the Isles are 5-9-3. 2-1
Final.

A Pair of Misconducts
There were no fighting majors in the game but both Travis Hamonic and Zenon
Konopka drew misconducts. Hamonic now has 87 penalty minutes, which leads all
Islander defensemen by a wide margin while Konopka's 219 penalty minutes lead
the NHL.

Two with Ten
Matt Moulson (10-3-13) joins Grabner (10-5-15) as Islanders with ten goals this
month. John Tavares is 5-11-16 in February.

Trio Grande (with Apologies to Bossy, Trottier and Gillies)
They don't even play on the same line, but Moulson (27), Grabner (25) and
Tavares (23) have combined for 75 goals – one of the highest totals for three
teammates this season:
· Vancouver: Kesler/D Sedin/Burrows 82 (entering Tuesday game with
Montreal)
· Anaheim:Perry/Ryan/Selanne 77
· Philadelphia: Briere/Carter/Giroux 76
· Isles: Moulson/Grabner/Tavares 75
· 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.

Streak Stopper
By scoring only once, the Isles end a 9-game streak in which they had scored at
least three goals in each game. It's their longest such streak since they
scored at least three goals in 10 straight games from February 27 to March 17,
1994.

Strange Stats of the Night
The loss is the 1,300th in Islander history (1306-1300-415). The loss ends an
Islander three-game road winning streak, with all three wins coming in either
overtime or a shootout.

Border Crossing
This was the final game outside of the US for the Islanders this season. The
Islanders were 3-4-0 in Canada this year, with all three wins coming in overtime
or shootouts.

Home and Road
The Leafs improve to 26-27-7, and are 14-11-6 at home.
The Isles are 23-31-7, and are 11-17-3 on the road. They are 19-21-4 under Jack
Capuano, including 18-13-2 in the last 33. The Isles are 8-4-0 in February with
two games to play; it's their first 8-win month since November, 2008.

In the Nets
James Reimer made 28 saves to beat the Islanders for the 2nd time this season
and improve to 9-4-2.
Al Montoya made 23 saves, but drops to 3-1. He has allowed only six goals on
110 shots in his four appearances (1.41 GAA, 94.5 save percentage). He is 5-2
in seven career starts and 6-2 overall.


Power Plays
The Isles went 1-6 on the power play while the Leafs were 0-3.

In the Circle
Continuing a recent trend, the Islanders struggled in the faceoff circle, as
they won 21 of 55 (38%) face-offs. Zenon Konopka won 6 of 10 for the Isles but
Josh Bailey went 0-7.

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. Radek
Martinek missed the game with an upper body injury. Trevor Gillies served the
six game of his nine-game suspension. The Isles have lost 410 games to injury
(the equivalent of five players missing all 82 games) and 14 games to suspension
this season. Rob Schremp was a healthy scratch.

Ironmen
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 143 games since
joining the team last season. Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have
played every game this season; his 73-game streak includes the final 12 games
last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 41 NHL games (all
consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the
Isles.

Season Series Stats
The Leafs lead the season series two games to one, and five points to two, with
the teams splitting the season series in Toronto. The final meeting of the
season series will be at the Coliseum on March 8th.

Happy Anniversary
With Jiggs filling in for Howie this week, it seems appropriate to have an Eddie
Westfall anniversary fact.
36 years ago today (February 22, 1975): Ed Westfall scores the second (and
final) hat trick of his Islander career as the Isles beat Montreal 7-6 at the
Forum. It's the Isles' first-ever win in Montreal and their only win there in
regular season play in their first six seasons. Billy MacMillian scored the
winning goal, breaking a 6-6 tie with 5:25 to play. Buried in the agate of that
game—minor penalties to David Lewis and Billy Smith at 7:52 of the second period
for an altercation with current Ranger general manager Glen Sather (who received
a double minor on the play).
All-time, the Isles are 10-4-3 on this date with their loss in Toronto ending a
five game unbeaten streak on this date (4-0-1) that went all the way back to
1990!

Up Next
Thursday, February 24 @ Philadelphia 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The road trip concludes on Thursday in Philadelphia. The Wachovia Center has
been an unfriendly place for the Islanders in recent years; Scott Gordon never
won there (0-6-1) and the Isles are 0-10-1 in their last 11 visits since a win
on the penultimate day of the season set up the Easter Epic in 2007.

The Flyers have won all three games this season, but both Coliseum meetings have
been one-goal games. The Flyers defeated the Islanders 6-1 in Philadelphia in
October with Frans Nielsen's shorthanded penalty shot goal being the only
Islander tally.

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

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