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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 5 Carolina 6, Isles 3 Carolina Wins Series 4-1 School is out. Jack D...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Skinny: Isles 4, Rangers 2

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick
Game 4
Isles 4, Rangers 2
Holy Robert Reichel!  John Tavares recorded his third career hat trick and added an assist, as he became the first Islander in nearly fifteen years to record back-to-back four point games as the Isles broke a 2-2 third period tie to defeat the Rangers 4-2 before a sellout crowd of 16,234 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  The win was the Isles' third straight after a season-opening defeat.

Moulson Give the Isles the Advantage
The Isles had some jump opening the game and after two unsuccessful power plays, Matt Moulson scored his 2nd goal in as many games at 12:04 of the first.

Rangers Get Even in the Second… twice        
Marian Gaborik scored 6:23 into the 2nd to tie the game at 1, but Tavares' first goal of the evening at 11:47 of the middle session gave the Isles the lead right back with a power play goal.  Brandon Prust's wraparound was deflected into the Isles goal by Frans Nielsen late in the frame to re-tie the game.

Time to Toss the Hats
Tavares needed just 7 seconds of a Dan Girardi penalty to tip home a Mark Streit shot and give the Isles the lead for good at 3:30 of the third.  The score stayed that way until Henrik Lundqvist was pulled from the net for the extra attacker.  With 1:08 to play, Tavares hit the empty net to secure the victory.   It was Tavares' 5th goal of the season.  He has eight points on the nine Islander goals scored in their last two wins, as he became the first Islander since Reichel (March 27/29, 1997, both vs Boston) to record consecutive four point games, and as many as eight points in a two-game stretch (Reichel had 9). 4-2 Final.

Home and Road
The Isles improve to 3-1-0 overall and 3-1-0 at home.  Their 6 points match their most through four games since 2001-02.  This was the final game of a four-game homestand, marking the first time since the inaugural 1972-73 season that the Isles have opened with at least four consecutive home games.  Their six points in four home games match their best start at home in 27 years (since opening 4-0-0 at home in October 1984).

The Rangers fall to 0-1-2 as they lose their first game of the season in North America.  The Rangers now head west for four games before finally opening their home season on October 27th.

In the Nets
Evegeni Nabokov wins his Islander debut, stopping 29 Rangers shots as he records his 294th NHL win, tying Mike Liut for 27th all-time.  He is now two wins behind Ron Hextall (296) for 26th place.  Nabokov is the 8th goaltender to play for the Islanders in their last 88 games.  He is also the fifth goaltender to appear in games for both the Islanders and San Jose Sharks, joining Wade Flaherty, Jeff Hackett, Kelly Hrudey and Chris Terreri.
Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves for the Rangers.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 2-8 on the power play (both goals by Tavares) while the Rangers were 0-4.   The Isles are now 3-18 on the power play and 18-19 on the penalty kill (allowing only a 5-on-3 goal) this season.  The Isles are a perfect 14-14 on the penalty kill in the last three games.  It was the first time since last December 26th that the Isles have had eight power plays in a game.

Fast Start
The Isles have now outscored their opponents 7 to 3 in the first period this season.  They were outscored 80-58 in the first period last season.  The Isles have scored 2 goals in each of the other periods.

Head of the Class
Tavares' 4 points gives him 129, four more than Colorado's Matt Duchene to lead the 2009 draft class. Nobody else is within 50 points of them.

The Lists Get Longer

John Tavares' Hat Tricks:
10/23/10 @ Florida (3)
1/15/11 Vs Buffalo (3)
10/15/11 Vs NY Rangers (3)
John Tavares' 4+ Point Games
3/16/10 @ Vancouver (2-3-5)
2/11/11 Vs Pittsburgh (1-3-4)
10/13/11 Vs Tampa Bay (2-2-4)
10/15/11 Vs NY Rangers (3-1-4)
Century Mark
Michael Grabner played his 100th NHL game.

Almost Even
The Isles strong start has raised Jack Capuano's career mark to 29-30-10, including 26-21-8 since last December 15th.

Heavy Hitter
Matt Martin was promoted to the third line and led the Isles with four hits.  He also had two shots on goal and two takeaways.  Martin has 20 hits over the first four games.

6 in 4
It has been 24 years since the Isles have allowed six goals or fewer through the first four games.  The 1987-88 team also allowed only six goals in the first four games. It has been 30 years since they allowed fewer goals in the first 4 games.  The 1981-82 team began the third Cup season by allowing only five goals in the first four games.

The Isles had used the same 18 skaters and Al Montoya in goal in each of their first three games.  It was the first time since the 2000-01 season that the same players had played in each of the first three games.  Trevor Gillies replaced Blake Comeau in the lineup tonight.

PA's Name Has Been on the PA… a lot
PA Parenteau recorded three assists.  It's the first time in his career that he has had three points in a game, let alone three assists. He had previously had 18 two-point games. Parenteau is 1-6-7 over the past three games, recording at least two points in each of them. 

Parenteau now has played seven games against the Rangers, scoring four goals and adding seven assists for 11 points.

They Tweeted It 
@PeterBotte:  "John Tavares > 70s R&B supergroup Tavares"

Team Effort
Trevor Gillies made his season debut and played 2:47. All of the other 17 Islander skaters played at least 12:40.  Buoyed by over eight minutes of PP time, Mark Streit played 24:50 to lead the way.

Team Improves, Attendance Soars
The Isles had two sellouts on this opening homestand.  They did not have their second sellout last season until March 31st.  The Isles have sold out five of their last seven home games.  The Isles have drawn 53,505 at home this season for four dates, up 13.5% through four dates from last season.

Countdown to 10K
The Isles scored four goals in this game and now have scored 9,924 goals in their history (including 39 shootout winners), leaving the club 76 shy of 10,000.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 22 of 50 (44%) face-offs.   Tavares won 8 of 14.  The Isles won only 9 of the first 29 draws before rebounding to win 13 of the final 21.  The Isles have lost a majority of the face-offs in all four games this season.

Missing Men
The Isles scratched Blake Comeau (healthy), Milan Jurcina and Rick DiPietro.  Jeremy Colliton has cleared waivers and is now the Captain of the Sound Tigers this season.  The Isles have three players on injured reserve: Nino Niederreiter, Rhett Rakhshani and Mark Katic. 

Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 168 games since joining the team last season. Travis Hamonic has now played 66 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.   

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season 1-0-0 (two points to none).   The teams will next meet on November 15th at the Coliseum.  The Isles have beaten the Rangers two straight times after dropping six of the previous seven to their rivals.  Tavares' hat trick was the 14th by an Islander against the Rangers; the Rangers have thirteen hats against the Isles.

Saturday Night Special
This was the first Saturday night game on Long Island between the rivals since March 5, 1994.  The Rangers had made four Saturday trips to the Coliseum since, but all for matinees.
Happy Anniversary
9 years ago tonight: October 15, 2002.  Adrian Aucoin scored the overtime winner at 1:50 of overtime as the Isles rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Nashville 4-3.  Aucoin's goal came just three seconds after Brad Isbister was stopped on a penalty shot.
Overall the Islanders are now 8-4-1 on this date.

On The Farm
Bridgeport evened their record at 2-2-0 with a shootout win in Hartford over the Connecticut Whale (the Rangers top farm club).  Justin DiBenedetto had another goal for the Sound Tigers, giving him 5 in the first four games. Kevin Poulind made 41 saves during the game and then stopped three of five in the shootout. The Sound Tigers will host Adirondack at 3pm Sunday, looking to avenge a 6-3 loss in Glens Falls on Friday night.

On the Air
All remaining Islander games this month will air on the club's normal TV home: MSG+.

Up Next

[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 7:00pm), WRHU-FM]
It's time to wear white. Following a few days off, the Islanders will play their first road game of the season on Thursday in Tampa against the Lightning.  The Lightning will be looking to avenge the Isles 5-1 Coliseum victory.  It's the second of four meetings between the teams. 
The Isles are 5-1-0 in their last six against Tampa Bay and won both games at the St. Pete Times Forum last season.

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: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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