By Eric Hornick
Pittsburgh 4, Isles 3 (SO)
Travis Hamonic scored the tying goal with 35 seconds left to play in regulation
as the Islanders rallied to force a shootout with the Penguins. Kris Letang had
the only goal of the shootout as the Penguins clinched a "top 4" seed in the
Eastern Conference with a 4-3 shootout win over the Islanders 3-2 before a
sellout crowd of 16,250 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. It was the
Isles' third straight sellout to end the season, marking their longest sellout
streak in eight years.
Ex-Isle Pick Scores First
Once upon a time Mike Rupp was an Islander first round draft pick. He never
signed with the club and is now closing in on his 500th NHL game. He beat Al
Montoya at 8:57 of the first period off an assist from ex-Islander Eric Godard.
After Zbynek Michalek gave the Pens a 2-0 lead at 11:11 of the second period,
Blake Comeau, who had only one previous goal in his career against Pittsburgh,
got the Isles on the board at 15:18 of the second period. Comeau then scored
again, aided by the speed of Michael Grabner, at 8:14 of the third to tie the
game at two. Blake now has 24 goals on the season, matching his total with
Kelowna of the WHL when he was 18 years old. If he can get a goal in the season
finale, it would give him his highest goal total since he was 15 years old and
playing midget hockey.
Letestu Scores, but Hamonic Answers
Mark Letestu gave the Penguins the lead at 12:21 of the third, but after the
Islanders had a goal waved off in the final minutes, Travis Hamonic connected
from the blue line to force overtime. Hamonic now has 25 points on the season.
He is the first Islander rookie defensemen since Denis Potvin to have 20 assists
and 175 penalty minutes in the same season.
A Scoreless Overtime, and Then the Shootout
The Isles pressed late in the overtime and actually scored about a second after
the final buzzer. In the shootout, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped PA Parenteau, John
Tavares, and Blake Comeau while Al Montoya stopped Kris Letang and Alexei
Kovalev. However, on the sixth and final shot of the shootout, Chris Kunitz
beat Montoya to net the Penguins the empty point. The Penguins improve to 10-3
in shootouts while the Isles are 4-6. 4-3 (shootout) Final.
There were two altercations. Trevor Gillies fought Eric Godard and Zenon
Konopka was ruled to instigate a fight with Arron Asham. Overall there were 78
penalty minutes, including 62 in the first period.
Lots of PIM's
The Isles have four players with at least 100 penalty minutes: Konopka (287),
Trevor Gillies (155), Matt Martin (145), and Travis Hamonic (101). It is the
first time since 2001-02 that the Isles have had four players with at least 100
penalty minutes. The Islanders lead the NHL with 1,499 penalty minutes.
The Islanders have five players with at least 19 goals: Grabner 33, Moulson 31,
Tavares 28, Comeau 24, and Parenteau 19. The quintet has combined for 135 of
the Islanders' 220 goals (61%) this season. At least one of the five players has
scored a goal in 17 of the last 18 games.
200 Shot Club
The Islanders have three players (Tavares 237, Moulson 236 and Grabner 223) with
200 shots in a season for the first time since 2005-06 (Blake, Satan and
Yashin). Grabner is the first Islander rookie with at least 200 shots in a
season since David Volek had 229 in 1988-89. The trio combined for 17 of the
Isles' 38 shots on goal.
Grabner's Chase of the Record Books
Most Goals, Islander Rookie
1. Mike Bossy 53 (1977-78)
2. Michael Grabner 33 (2010-11)
3. Bryan Trottier 32 (1975-76)
Most Shots on Goal, Islander Rookie
1. Mike Bossy 235 (1977-78)
2. David Volek 229 (1988-89)
3. Michael Grabner 223 (2010-11)
Rookies Who Have Led Isles in Goals
1. Billy Harris - 28 in 1972-73,
2. Mike Bossy - 53 in 1977-78,
3. Trent Hunter -25 in 2003-04 (tied with Mariusz Czerkawski)
4. Kyle Okposo-18 in 2008-09.
Grabner currently has the team lead with 33.
Despite the loss, the Islanders are 15-11-6 since the All-Star Break and are
25-20-8 in their last 53 games. With the injuries mounting, the Isles are 1-5-1
in their last seven games, and have scored only eight goals in the five
Growing Up Together
The Islanders have had five players record their 100th career point, all of them
in Islander uniforms, this season.
· Blake Comeau's two goals give him 121 career points (56-65-121).
Only Trent Hunter (229 points) has more among current Islanders.
· Frans Nielsen has 120 points (37-83-120).
· John Tavares has 117 points (51-66-117). He is the youngest player in
Islander history to record 50 goals and the second youngest player (Bryan
Trottier) to record 100 career points.
· Kyle Okposo's assist gives him 115 points (44-71-115).
· Veteran defender Radek Martinek has 103 career points (21-82-103)
With 229 points, Trent Hunter (injured) is the only player on the current roster
to have recorded more points in an Islander uniform.
Matt Moulson earned an assist on Comeau's first goal. It was his 110th career
point and 100th as an Islander.
A number of Islanders are either close to or have assured themselves of career
years in key offensive categories: (Unless otherwise noted, the career high was
set last season)
Set New Career Highs:
· John Tavares: 28 goals, 36 assists, 64 points (24-30-54 last season),
4 GW goals (2)
· PA Parenteau: 19 goals, 32 assists, 51 points (3-5-8)
· Michael Grabner: 33 goals, 18 assists, 51 points (5-6-11), 6 SH Goals
· Blake Comeau: 24 goals, 22 assists, 46 points (17-18-35), 5 PP goals
(2 in 2008-09), 76 games (63)
· Frans Nielsen: 13 goals, 31 assists, 44 points (12-26-38), 7 SH goals
· Andrew Mac Donald: 4 goals, 23 assists, 27 points (1-6-7)
· Josh Bailey: 4 pp goals (3 -- twice)
· Jack Hillen: 4 goals, 18 assists, 22 points (3-12-15)
· Zenon Konopka: 81 games, 7 assists, 9 points (74 games, 3 twice , 7 in
2005-06); 287 penalty minutes (265)
· Matt Moulson: 31 goals, 21 assists, 52 points (30-18-48) 9 pp goals
· Milan Jurcina: 13 assists, 17 points (11 in 2008-09, 14 in 2008-09)
Approaching Career Highs
· Radek Martinek 16 points (17 in 2005-06 and 2006-07)
Home and Road
The Isles are 30-38-13; they finish the home campaign with a record of 17-18-6
on Coliseum ice, including 9-6-2 in the final 17. They are 26-28-10 under Jack
Capuano, including 25-20-8 in the last 53. Their 73 points is 12 more than they
managed in the entire 2008-09 season; they are five points behind last season's
pace. The Isles are now 21-11-6 in all-time home finales.
The Penguins are 48-25-8 and are 23-11-6 on the road. With their win and the
Flyers' overtime loss to Buffalo, the Penguins are now tied for first place in
the Atlantic with 104 points, however Philadelphia has more regulation/overtime
wins. Each team has one game to play.
First for Everything
Some stats are just hard to believe. This was the Isles' 81st game. Each team
had 38 shots on goal; it's the first time all season that the shots were even.
It's also the first time that the shots were even in exactly one year; on April
8, 2010 the Isles and Penguins each had 35 shots in the final regular season
game played at Mellon Arena. The Islanders were the road team in each of the
last eleven games that the shots were even. It had not happened at home since
February 19, 2007 in an overtime win against, you guessed it, Pittsburgh.
Sharing the Wealth
The Isles are 25-20-8 in their last 53 games, and all six goalies that the Isles
have used this season have wins during that stretch (Montoya 9, DiPietro 5,
Roloson 4, Poulin 4, Koskinen 2, and Lawson 1).
In the Nets
Al Montoya made 35 saves; his record now stands at 9-5-5. Montoya, who leads
the team in victories, will need a win tomorrow for the Isles to avoid ending a
full season without a goaltender with ten wins for the first time since
1973-74. Montoya has clinched at least a share of the team lead in victories.
He is the fourth goaltender to do so in as many seasons (DiPietro in 2007-08,
Joey MacDonald in 2008-09, Dwayne Roloson in 2009-10).
Marc-Andrew Fleury made 35 saves as he improves to 36-20-5.
The Islanders were 1-7 on the power play while the Penguins were 1-5. The Isles
are 3-35 on the power play in the last ten games, while they have killed
25-of-26 over the last five games. In the last nine games, the PK is 37-41 and
they have scored five shorthanded goals.
Need One More
The Isles are 12-15-13 in games decided by one goal.
Lots of PIMs
Konopka has 287 penalty minutes while Gilles has 155. It's the first time since
the 1996-97 season that the Isles have had at least two players with at least
155 penalty minutes (Pilon 179, Bryan McCabe 165). Konopka had 19 penalty
minutes and Gillies 15 tonight. With Matt Martin having 145 penalty minutes,
the Isles have three players with at least 145 since 1992-93.
Chasing PIM History
Konopka's 287 penalty minutes are the 5th highest in club history; he is six
minutes shy of Mick Vukota's club record for forwards of 293 penalty minutes.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 30 of 59 (51%) face-offs. Josh Bailey won 8 of 13.
Mark Streit, Mike Mottau, Trent Hunter, Kevin Poulin, Doug Weight, Andrew
MacDonald, Mark Eaton, Milan Jurcina and Frans Nielsen are all out for the
season, while Jack Hillen and Bruno Gervais also missed the game with injuries.
The Isles have lost 575 games to injury and 25 games to suspension this season.
With seven defensemen out injured, Jamie Doornbosch became the second defensemen
in as many games to make his NHL debut on an Amateur Tryout. Doornbosch played
5:21 and was -1. He is the 14th defenseman to be used by the Islanders this
season. The club record of 16 was set in 1995-96. Doornbosch is the 35th
skater to dress for the Isles this season.
Skaters (does not include goalies) (Since the Lockout):
The six Islander defensemen entered the night with only 587 games of NHL
experience, with 451 of those games belonging to Radek Martinek. Pittsburgh's
Alexei Kovalev played his 1,301st NHL game; the Pens dressed three other players
who had more experience than the entire Isles defense.
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 163 games since
joining the team last season. If he plays on Saturday, he will be the first
Islander since Richard Park to play in all games of consecutive seasons 92006-07
and 2007-08). Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have played every game
this season; his 93-game streak includes the final 12 games last season for
Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 61 NHL games (all consecutive); he has
the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles. Hamonic, who
made his NHL debut on November 24th has played more games for the Isles this
season than any defensemen other than Jack Hillen (64 games) and Radek Martinek
Season Series Stats
The Penguins win the season series four games to two and nine points to six even
though the Isles outscored Pittsburgh 16-14. The Isles are 3-0-3 over the last
two seasons at home against Pittsburgh.
The Isles are now 21-11-6 in home finales. They have lost in extra time in each
of the last two (both to Pittsburgh) and are 0-2-2 in the last four. Of the 20
who suited up for the Isles in the home opener on October, only nine dressed in
this game: Bailey, Gillies, Parenteau, Martinek, Moulson, Konopka, Comeau,
Tavares, and DiPietro
Who were the others, you might ask: Injured: Eaton, Hunter, Mottau, Jurcina,
MacDonald, Nielsen, Weight
Waived/Traded/Juniors: Sim, Wisniewski, Niederreiter, Roloson
33years ago today (April 8, 1978): The Islanders clinch the Patrick Division
for the first time in club history with a 7-2 pounding of the Rangers at the
Coliseum. Exactly one year later, the Islanders clinch first place overall with
a 5-2 win at Madison Square. Finally, on this date in 2007, Wade Dubielewicz'
poke check makes for a joyous Easter Sunday as the Isles defeat New Jersey in a
shootout to clinch a playoff berth on the season's final day.
All-time, the Isles are 7-4-2 in regular season play on this date. The Isles
are also 6-2 on this date in playoffs games, including a victory over the
Rangers in 1975 in the first playoff game in club history.
With tonight's point, the Isles remain in 14th place in the East (and 27th
overall). They are one point behind Ottawa but can catch the Sens only if they
beat Philadelphia while Ottawa falls to Toronto on Saturday as the Sens own the
regulation/overtime win tiebreaker. The Isles cannot be caught in the standings
by Florida so the Isles will have either the 3rd or 4th seed for the NHL Draft
Lottery, which will be held on Tuesday.
Saturday, April 9 @ Philadelphia 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Isles conclude their 38th National Hockey League season on Saturday night in
Philadelphia. The Flyers, who lost to Buffalo in overtime on Friday, can clinch
the Atlantic Division with a win of any type. The Flyers have won all five
games this season from the Isles, including once in overtime and have won 20 of
21 against the Isles over the 3+ seasons (the Isles are 1-16-4 in the same
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since
1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various
sources. Follow Eric @ehornick on Twitter.
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