The Isles' win Sunday afternoon lowered the magic number to 6. Montreal's OT Loss Sunday night lowered it to 5. Here's w...
Friday, November 25, 2011
The Skinny: Devils 1, Isles 0
By Eric Hornick
Devils 1, Isles 0
Petr Sykora scored the game's only goal late in the second period as the New Jersey Devils blanked the Isles 1-0 before 15,358 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.The Isles have been shutout six times this season, including 5 times on home ice.
One game after both teams scored in the first 37 seconds, there was only one goal scored in total, and that came on a play in which Adam Larsson broke his stick and the puck came free in the slot to Petr Sykora.
Michael Grabner had two third period breakaways, and was pulled down for a shorthanded penalty shot with 7:10 to play.Alas, Johan Hedberg stopped the penalty shot –one of his 23 saves on the afternoon as he earned his second shutout of the season.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 5-11-4 overall and 5-6-2 at home. The Isles are 0-3-1 in their last four games, and conclude a six game stretch in which they played five times at home with a 1-4-1 record.It's the first time since the season opener that the Isles have been under NHL-.500 at home.
The Devils are 12-8-1 overall and 7-5-0 on the road.
In the Nets
Al Montoya made 22 saves in his first appearance since being injured in Colorado 15 days ago. Montoya is 2-3-1 on the season despite a 2.23 GAA and a 93.0 save percentage.The Isles have scored one goal (total) in Montoya's three regulation losses.
Johan Hedberg made 23 saves for his 19th career shutout.On a team whose other goalie is Martin Brodeur (116 shutouts), Hedberg has both Devils shutout this season.Hedberg has had four of the last six Devils shutouts, dating back to last season.
The Islanders were 0-4 on the power play while the Devils were 1-2.The Isles are 1-17 in the last five games and 3-34 in the last 11 games on the power play, while they have allowed a power play goal in five straight games (14-19).
Lots of Hits
The Isles out-hit the Devils 32-27, with Matt Martin and Travis Hamonic each tallying 7. Bryce Salvador led the Devils with 5.
They Said It
Mark Streit: "There are a lot of good things we did, and I think over a period of time, we were the better team, we just couldn't score. We have to keep our heads up and play tomorrow as hard as we did today."
They Tweeted It
@KatieStrangESPN: Asked GM Garth Snow if he is contemplating sending Nino Niederreiter back to junior team Portland Winterhawks of WHL; he said "No"
The Hit Leader
Matt Martin added 7 hits to maintain his league lead over Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck.Martin has 95 hits while Clutterbuck has 84. The Isles have played two fewer games than the Wild.
Leading Ice Men
Mark Streit led all players with 24:50.Mark Fayne led the Devils with 22:59.
Neither team scored in the third period. The Isles have been outscored 15-1 in the third period over the last nine games (including three empty net goals against).The Isles have been outscored 26-8 overall in the third period (20-6 if you exclude empty nets).In the first two periods, the Isles have been outscored 36-30.
88 to Go
The Isles have scored 9,912 goals in their history (excluding 39 shootout winners), leaving the club 88 shy of 10,000.
Under .500 for First Time in a Long Time
The loss drops the Islanders' all-time record below NHL .500 (1318-1319-425 in 3,062 games).The Isles' all-time record had been .500 or better since they were 178-178-83 on January 16, 1978.
The Isles stopped a scoreless streak at 142:22 on Wednesday, and scored three times in 17:52 of the first period.They now have a scoreless streak (including Wednesday's overtime) of 104:05.The club record is 186:31, set in 2006-07.
The Isles have been shut out 6 times in the first 20 games and five times in their first 12 games at home.It's the first time in club history that they have been shutout four times in a calendar month and the first time they have been blanked three times in a calendar month at home.The 5 home shutouts is one shy of the club record of 6, which was set in 1972-73.
38 in 20
The Isles have scored 38 goals in the first 20 games, which is their fewest goals thru 20 games in club history.The Isles have scored 20 goals in their five wins (4.00 per game) and 18 goals in their other 15 games (0-11-4; 1.20 per game).In their 11 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 8 goals (0.73 per game).
Fewest Goals, First 20 Games
·38 – 2011-12
·41 – 2010-11
·42 – 2000-2001
·43 – 1999-2000
In the Circle
The Islanders won 35 of 57 (50%) face-offs.John Tavares had a big day in the circle, as he won 17 of 20. Tavares, who won 47.5% of his draws as a rookie and 52.5% last season, has won 54.7% of his draws so far this year.
Penalty Shot Stats
Grabner's penalty shot was the 17th in the NHL this season (shooters are 8-17).The Isles had earlier successfully defended two as Nabakov stopped Kopecky and DiPietro stopped Kane.It was the Isles' third against New Jersey: Marty Brodeur stopped Dave Scatchard in 2001 and Kyle Okposo in 2008.The Isles have scored on 13 of the 49 penalty shots that they have been awarded in their history.This was the third time that the Isles were shutout in a game they were awarded a penalty shot (12/8/82 at Detroit – Gillies/Micalef and 3/31/06 vs Pittsburgh – Bergenheim/Caron).
Haley's First Bout
Micheal Haley, playing his second game of the season for the Isles, fought Cam Janssens in the first period. It was the Isles' 9th fight of the season and Haley's 9th career NHL bout.
Marty Reasoner and Nino Niederreiter were scratched. Marc Eaton, Evgeni Nabokov, and Mark Katic are on injured reserve.The Isles have lost 72 man-games to injury so far this season.
Blake Comeau was claimed off waivers by Calgary on Friday and made his Flames debut Friday night in St. Louis.Comeau finished his Islander career with 56 goals and 65 assists in 261 games.With Bailey's departure, Frans Nielsen has played the most career games of any current Islander skater.Nielsen appeared in his 257th game today.
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 184 games since joining the team. Travis Hamonic has now played 82 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.
Season Series Stats
The Devils lead the season series one game to none (two points to none).This was the first of a home-and home series.The Devils have won 5 straight over the Islanders, with the Isles going 0-3-2 over that stretch.
This was the 12th time that the Devils have shut out the Islanders.Marty Brodeur played in the first 11, earning ten shutouts himself (Mike Dunham made a brief appearance in the other).The Devils are one of three teams that have blanked the Isles a dozen times: New York and Philadelphia have also done so.
The Isles had won their prior three Black Friday home games, defeating Pittsburgh in 2006 and 2009 and the Devils last season.
39 years ago tonight: November 25, 1972. Ron Stewart scores as the Islanders tied Pittsburgh 2-2.At 40 years, 136 days, Stewart is the oldest goal scorer in Islander history.
Overall, the Isles are 4-8-3 on this date.
On The Farm
Tim Wallace scored two goals and Matt Donovan was +4 as Bridgeport bombed the Connecticut Whale, 6-2 on Friday night.Five of Wallace's eight goals this season have come against the Whale (the Rangers' farm team) The Sound Tigers are 10-7-2-0 and trail Connecticut for the division lead by a single point.The Sound Tigers begin a home-and-home series when they visit the Monarchs on Saturday.
The Isles wore their third jersey for the second straight game.The Isles are 0-1-1 in their third jerseys this season.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26TH ISLANDERS AT NEW JERSEY 1:00PM [MSG+2 (Islanders Game Night at 12:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]
For the first time this season, the Isles will play on back-to-back days as the Isles conclude a home-and-home series with New Jersey at the Rock.The Isles will be facing the NHL's best penalty-killing team for a second straight game.The Devils have killed 79 of 84 overall and all 36 opposition power plays at The Rock.
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since January 21, 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