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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...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Skinny: Isles 3, Devils 2

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick
Game 21
Isles 3, Devils 2
Michael Grabner broke a 2-2 tie with a shorthanded goal with 14 minutes to play as the Islanders earned a split of the home-and-home series with a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils before 16,014 at the Prudential Center.  It was the Isles' first road victory since March 22nd in Tampa (0-8-2). The victory was in doubt in the final seconds, when Zach Parise was ruled to have used a distinct kicking motion in an attempt to tie the game with 2.1 seconds to play.

The Scoring:

First Period

Second Period
2-1 11:59 EV NYI  J.BAILEY(2)-- B.ROLSTON

Third Period
3-2 5:51 SH NYI M.GRABNER(7) unassisted
3-2 Final.
The Skinny:
Grabner's winner, off an Ilya Kovlachuk giveaway, was the Isles' first shorthanded goal of the season; the Isles tallied 15 times shorthanded last season (which led the NHL). It was one of about a half-dozen breakaway attempts for Grabner in the two games.  Moulson's goal stopped a scoreless streak of 115:33.  Larsson's goal extended his point streak to five straight games (1-4-5); he is the 2nd NHL rookie to have a five-game point streak this season.

A Good Formula
The Isles scored first and led in both intermissions.  The Isles are 5-1-2 when they score first, 4-0-3 when they lead after one, and a matching 4-0-3 when they lead after two.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 6-11-4 overall and 1-5-2 on the road.
The Devils are 12-9-1 overall and 5-4-1 at home.  The Devils have not allowed a power play goal at home this season; they are the 3rd team since expansion to go thru the first ten home games of the season without allowing a power play goal.

In the Nets
Al Montoya made 24 saves as he improved to 3-3-1 on the season despite a 2.20 GAA and a 92.9 save percentage.  The Isles have scored ten goals in Montoya's three wins and one goal (total) in Montoya's three regulation losses.  Montoya improves to 15-9-6 in his first 30 NHL career decisions.  His 92.9% save percentage places him in the Top 10 in the NHL this season.
Marty Brodeur made 23 saves for the Devils; he is now 48-26-6 in his career against the Isles.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play while the Devils were 0-3.  The Isles are 1-19 in the last six games and 3-36 in the last 12 games on the power play.  It was the first time in the last six games that the Isles did not allow a power play goal (17-22). 

Even Series
Each team scored three times in the home/home and each team had 49 shots on goal.  In fact, the shots on goal were even in both games.  It's the first time since January 24-26-29, 2002 that the shots were even in consecutive Islander games.

They Said It
Michael Grabner on the winning goal: "It was best that I didn't have much time to think about it. I got the puck pretty low so I just shot it, but I still have to find a way to score on at least one of the other chances I had."

They Tweeted It
@TGFireAndIce (Devils' beat writer Tom Gulitti): DeBoer on Grabner breakaways (he had 6 last 2 days by my count): "He had too many for sure."

The Hit Leader
Matt Martin was held hitless but maintains his league lead over Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck.  Martin has 95 hits while Clutterbuck has 84. The Isles have played one fewer game than the Wild.

Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald led all players with 26:24; Mac Donald has played over 26 minutes four times in the past six games after not having done so previously this season.  Kovalchuk led the Devils with 23:41.

Third Periods
Each team scored in the third period; it was the Isles 3rd goal in the third period on the road this season. The Isles have been outscored 16-2 in the third period over the last ten games (including three empty net goals against).  The Isles have been outscored 27-9 overall in the third period (20-6 if you exclude empty nets).  In the first two periods, the Isles have been outscored 37-32.

85 to Go
The Isles have scored 9,915 goals in their history (excluding 39 shootout winners), leaving the club 85 shy of 10,000.

Back to .500
After dropping below .500 for about 22 hours, the win improves the Islanders' all-time record to NHL .500 (1319-1319-425 in 3,063 games).   It was the first time that the Isles' all-time record had been below .500 since they were 177-178-83 prior to their victory on January 16, 1978.

It was the first shorthanded goal for either team in an Islander game this season.  The Isles are 9-2-1 in the last twelve games in which they have tallied shorthanded.  Dallas, Boston and the Rangers are the other NHL teams that have not allowed a shorthanded goal this season.

41 in 21
The Isles have scored 41 goals in the first 21 games, which is their fewest goals thru 21 games in club history.  The Isles have scored 23 goals in their six wins (3.83 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 21 Games
·         41 – 2011-12
·         44 – 2010-11
·         44 – 2000-2001
·         45 – 1999-2000

In the Circle
The Islanders won 28 of 52 (54%) face-offs.  John Tavares had another big day in the circle, as he won 13 of 20; he won 30 of 40 draws in the home-and-home. Tavares, who won 47.5% of his draws as a rookie and 52.5% last season, has won 55.3% of his draws so far this year.

Missing Men
Marty Reasoner and Nino Niederreiter were scratched. Marc Eaton, Evgeni Nabokov, and Mark Katic are on injured reserve.  The Isles have lost 75 man-games to injury so far this season.

Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 185 games since joining the team. Travis Hamonic has now played 83 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles. 

Season Series Stats
The season series is even at one game each (two points to two).  The Isles' win ends a 5-game Devils winning streak over the Isles, with the Isles going 0-3-2 over that stretch.   The teams will now not see each other until March 4th, when the Isles will play three consecutive games against the Devils.

Happy Anniversary
30 years ago tonight: November 26, 1981.   Bryan Trottier recorded his 9th career hat trick as the Islanders pounded the Blues 9-2.   
Trottier's trick is one of four that the Isles have turned on this date (Bossy-1983, Reichel-1997, Blake-2005). Overall, the Isles are 8-6-1 on this date.

On The Farm
Jeremy Colliton scored his 5th goal of the season and Anders Nilsson made 34 saves, but the Sound Tigers dropped a 2-1 decision in a shootout in Manchester Saturday night.  The Sound Tigers are 10-7-2-1 and trail Connecticut for the division lead by two points.  The Sound Tigers host the back-end of the home-and-home series with Manchester on Sunday.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 6:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The Islanders continue their road trip on Tuesday when they face the Sabres for the first time this season.
The Islanders won last season's series 3 games to 1 (six points to three) and swept both games in Buffalo, including a 7-6 overtime victory on February 13th in Al Montoya's Islander debut.  Michael Grabner had a hat trick in that game; he potted six goals and one assist against Buffalo last season.
The Islanders won both games at the then-HSBC Arena last season; they will be looking for their first three-game winning streak in Buffalo since 12/31/02- 2/27/04.
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

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