The Isles' win Sunday afternoon lowered the magic number to 6. Montreal's OT Loss Sunday night lowered it to 5. Here's w...
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The Skinny: Isles 4, Montreal 3
By Eric Hornick
Isles 4, Canadiens 3
Rick DiPietro earned his first career relief win as the Isles scored four times in the second period enroute to a 4-3 victory over the Isles before 9,928 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The win stops a 4-game winless streak (0-3-1)
Evgeni Nabokov started for the third straight game for the Islanders but left after 7:55 with a groin injury. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow. After DiPietro replaced Nabakov in nets, the first shot he faced hit the post but the period ended scoreless, with the Isles outshooting Montreal 11-10.
A Second of Firsts
The first half of the second period was full of firsts… all positive from an Islander perspective. PA Parenteau cashed in a Peter Budaj giveaway for the game's first goal just 41 seconds into play. It was the first time in the last six home games the Isles have opened the scoring. Only 2:20 later, Jay Pandolfo scored his first goal of the season (and 100th of his NHL career); Matt Martin earned his first assist of the season on the play. Then at 9:08, Mark Streit became the first Islander defensemen to score an even-strength goal, with Martin matching his career high with his second assist/point of the game.
The Canadiens came back with two goals as Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole both tallied, however just 37 seconds later Matt Moulson's shot from the point was deflected into the goal by Montreal's PK Subban to give the Isles a 4-2 lead after two periods. The goal extended Moulson's goal streak to three games and his point streak to five games.
Gionta Gets the Habs Close…but Isles Hold On
Brian Gionta brought the Canadiens within one with a power play goal with 4:18 to play, however the Canadiens could not find the equalizer. 4-3 Final.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 5-8-3 overall and 5-4-1 at home. The Isles have not gone pointless in consecutive home games this season.
The Canadiens are 8-8-3 overall and 5-4-0 on the road. The loss breaks a four-game point streak for Montreal (3-0-1)
In the Nets
Nabokov made 2 saves before leaving with an injury. DiPietro made 24 saves in relief to earn the victory as he improves to 2-1-2. It was DiPietro's first win against Montreal since February 24, 2007--17 days before his collision with Montreal's Steve Begin.
Peter Budaj, who had allowed only three goals in seven periods entering the second period, suffered the defeat and drops to 1-2 on the season. Budaj made 26 saves.
Breaking His Own Club Record
Rick DiPietro recorded his 2nd assist of the season. His 19 assists/points are both career club records for an Islander goalie. He is one of two goalies in the NHL with two assists this season; Ottawa's Craig Anderson is the other.
The Islanders were 0-3 on the power play while the Canadiens were 1-4. The Isles are 9-53 on the power play and are 46-57 on the penalty kill this season. They are 2-20 in the last seven games on the power play and 15-21 in the same stretch on the penalty kill.
They Said It
PA Parenteau: "We have a lot of talent and a lot of character…that's going to show up down the road."
They Tweeted It
@Jesse Spector: "DiPietro robs Subban, though the best chance of the sequence belonged to Cammalleri."
Head of the Class
John Tavares assisted on Moulson's goal for his 137th career point, breaking a tie with Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks as the Avs were shut out tonight. No other player in that draft is anywhere close. Tavares has scored 8 of the Islanders' 35 goals this season (22.9%).
It's the third straight game that Tavares has assisted on a Moulson goal. Tavares has earned an assist on five of Moulson's goals this season.
The Hit Leader
Matt Martin added 3 hits to maintain his league lead over Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck, who had five hits tonight. Martin has 72 hits while Clutterbuck has 69. The Isles have played two fewer games than the Wild.
Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald led the Islanders with 26:11. PK Subban led all players with 27:01.
The Isles have been outscored 10-1 in the third period over the last five games (including three empty net goals against). The Isles have been outscored 21-8 overall in the third period (15-6 if you exclude empty nets). In the first two periods, the Isles have now outscored their opponents 27-26.
91 to Go
The Isles have scored 9,909 goals in their history (excluding 39 shootout winners), leaving the club 91 shy of 10,000.
Chasing .500 (from the Wrong Side)
The win improves the Islanders' all-time record to 1318-1316-424 in 3,058 games. The Isles' all-time record has been .500 or better since they were 178-178-83 on January 16, 1978. It's the second time in two seasons that the Isles have won a game when a loss would have dropped them to all-time .500. They also did so last December 16th vs Anaheim.
Blake Comeau and Mike Mottau are the only Islander regulars (besides Nino, who has played only two games) who have yet to record a point.
35 in 16
The Isles have scored 35 goals in the first 16 games, which is just one fewer than they scored in the same span last season. The Isles have scored 20 goals in their five wins (4.00 per game) and 15 goals in their other 11 games (0-8-3; 1.36 per game).
Four is a Magic Number
The Isles have won 13 straight home games in which they have scored at least 4 goals (including 1 in overtime), dating back to a 6-4 loss to Ottawa on January 11th. They are 20-1 in their last 21 games when scoring at least 4 (including two in OT and three in SOs); the one loss in that stretch was in last season's finale in Philadelphia.
Streit's goal was the Isles first at even-strength from their defensemen this season, after getting 15 of them last season and 20 two seasons ago. Mark Streit and Andrew MacDonald each have one power play goal for the Isles.
Young Habs Defense
Battling several injuries to their backline, Montreal dressed only one defenseman with over 100 games of NHL experience (Josh Georges). Travis Hamonic was the only defender the Isles dressed with fewer than 100 games of experience.
How Many Shots?
The Isles had 33 shots on goal for the second straight game. They have had either 33, 34 or 35 shots in seven of their last eight home games.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 24 of 53 (45%) face-offs. Frans Nielsen was the Isles' best, winning 9 of 17.
Nino Likes to Hit
Nino Niederreiter played 9:32 in his second NHL game of the season. He had 4 hits and one shot on goal, matching what he had on Tuesday.
Like The Stat Line
Matt Martin had two assists/points (matching career highs), and was +2. He also had 4 shots, 3 hits, and two blocked shots.
Mark Eaton, Kyle Okposo and Al Montoya were scratched. The Isles have two players on injured reserve: Rhett Rakhshani and Mark Katic. The Isles have lost 59 man-games to injury so far this season.
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 180 games since joining the team. Travis Hamonic has now played 78 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.
As Seen on MSG Plus
Each team had two Swiss-born players in the lineup (Streit and Niederreiter for the Isles; Raphael Diaz and Yannick Weber for Montreal). It's the first time in NHL history that four Swiss-born players had appeared in the same game.
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series one game to none (two points to zero). The teams will next meet December 13th in Montreal. The Isles have won three straight over Montreal for the first time since 2002-03. (The Isles have not won four straight games from Montreal since 1992-93.)
27 years ago tonight: November 17, 1984. Mike Bossy had the hat trick as the Isles pound the Rangers 10-4 at the Coliseum. The Isles have not scored 10 goals in any of the 2,085 games they have played since.
Overall the Islanders are now 7-9-2 on this date, including an 8-1 victory over Ottawa in 1993 that featured a Pierre Turgeon hat trick.
On The Farm
Bridgeport has been off since Sunday. They begin a 3-game in 3-day weekend on Friday in Hartford against the Connecticut Whale. The Sound Tigers are 8-6-1-0 and just one point out of first place in the North Division. David Ullstrom has scored in six straight games to take the team lead with 10 goals. Justin DiBenedetto (9-4-13) continues to lead Bridgeport in points, while Casey Cizikas (3-8-11) and Tim Wallace (4-7-11) continue to contribute offensively; defenseman Dylan Reese also has seven assists. Anders Nilsson is off to a solid start in nets with a 5-2 record and a 2.86 GAA; his five wins rank 2nd among AHL rookies.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH BOSTON AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 6:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The Islanders conclude their home stand on Saturday against the Stanley Cup Champion Bruins.
It's Ed Westfall Night and the Isles will honor their first Captain and long-time broadcaster by inducting him into the team's Hall of Fame. It's the first of four nights this season in which the Isles will honor one player per decade of the team's NHL history. (Ken Morrow will be next, representing the 1980s on New Year's Eve afternoon).
As announced earlier on Thursday http://islanders.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=601951, Westfall will then reunite with Jiggs McDonald to call the second period of the game on MSG+; the pair teamed for 15 years, including the final three Stanley Cup seasons. Howie Rose and Butch Goring will call the first and third period.
It's the second meeting of the season between the teams; the Bruins jumped all over the Isles last week in Boston for a 6-2 win. The Bruins are red-hot, although they needed a shootout on Thursday night to defeat Columbus for their seventh straight win.
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