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The Skinny: Isles 5, Pittsburgh 4

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 82 Isles 5, Pittsburgh 4    On to the Playoffs! Simon Holmstrom scored the winning goal with 5:3...

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Skinny: Isles 3, Flames 1

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick
Game 35
Isles 3, Flames 1
John Tavares scored a highlight reel goal for the winning score and the Islanders had one of their best all-around efforts of the season as they defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1 in front of 14,819 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  The win continues the Islanders' home-ice dominance over the Western Conference as they are 13-1-7 since November 2009 in home-ice games against the West.

The Scoring:
1st Period 01:11 CGY Tim Jackman (1) - ASST: T. Kostopoulos (5) AND B. Morrison (7)

2nd Period 03:04 NYI Andrew MacDonald (3) - ASST: P. Parenteau (23) AND J. Tavares (17)

3rd Period 03:20 NYI John Tavares (12) - ASST: K. Okposo (8)
19:17 NYI EN - Brian Rolston (4)  ASST: P. Parenteau (24) AND F. Nielsen (11)

The Skinny: 
The Isles improved to 3-14-3 when allowing the first goal and to 2-11-2 when they trail after 20 minutes. Tim Jackman's goal was his first in 62 games; Brendan Morrison recorded his 600th point on the play.  Flames coach (and former Islander captain) Brent Sutter has 99 wins with the Flames.  Andrew MacDonald now leads all Islander defensemen in goals (3); the Isles have won all three games that he has scored in this season, and five straight dating back to last season. MacDonald's goal ended a 92:34 scoring drought for the Isles.  PA Parenteau's two assists give him 24 on the season, tying him for 12th place in the NHL; he is seven assists ahead of John Tavares for the team lead.  Parenteau now also has a team-leading 30 points; he is one point ahead of Tavares and two points ahead of Matt Moulson. Blake Comeau had two shots on goal in 11:35 in his return to Long Island.

The Shots
The Flames outshot the Islanders 9-8 in the first period but the Islanders rebounded to outshoot Calgary 14-9 in the second period.  Each team had 12 shots in the third period.  For the game, the Isles outshot Calgary 34-30.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 12-17-6 overall and are 6-9-3 at home.  It's the Islanders' first regulation victory since December 6th, and raises their record to 3-6-1 in their last 10. 
The Flames are 18-16-4 overall and 8-11-2 on the road. The loss breaks a four-game Flame winning streak.

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 29 saves as he records his first win in his last 11 starts (1-8-0 with two no decisions). Nabakov, making his fourth straight start, is now 3-8-0 on the season.
Miikka Kiprusoff made 31 saves for the Flames but drops to 17-12-2.

Hammer Time
Travis Hamonic was +3 for the Isles; he had a +4 game against the Rangers late last season – the only prior time that he was at least +3.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-1 on the power play; the Flames were 0-2.  The Isles are 3-9 on the power play over the last four games after going just 1-22 in the previous seven games.
The Isles have killed 36-42 (85.7%) over the last 15 games.  The Isles have been shorthanded only ten times over the last six games; it's the fewest times they have been shorthanded in a 6-game stretch since at least the mid-1980's.

Rare Trip to the Sin Bin
Matt Moulson was assessed a double minor for roughing when he went after Calgary's Lee Stempniak, who had shouldered Kyle Okposo in the head.  Moulson had only one minor penalty prior to tonight.

Catching Hexy
Evgeni Nabokov records his 296th career win, tying Ron Hextall for 26th place on the all-time list.  He is four wins shy of becoming the 26th goalie in NHL history with 300 career wins. Among current NHL goalies, only Martin Brodeur, Nikolai Khabibulin and Roberto Luongo have more career wins.

They Said It
"To be honest, the Tavares line dominated us," said Brendan Morrison. "Whoever they played against, they dominated. It's pretty much the reason they won the game."

They Tweeted It
@BComptonNHL A thing of beauty there by Tavares to give #Isles a 2-1 lead.

The Coach
Ninety-one (Tavares) tonight was real strong; it was a highlight goal that he got,"

Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald led the Islanders with 22:15; Jay Bouwmeester led all players with 25:45.

The Islanders out-shot Calgary 34-30; 16 different Islanders had at least one shot, including five from John Tavares.  The Isles out-hit the Flames 28-15; 12 different Isles had at least one, including seven from Matt Martin and five from Travis Hamonic.  The Isles also blocked 19 shots, led by five from Andrew MacDonald.

Third Periods
The Islanders outscored Calgary 2-0 in the third period, reversing a recent trend that had seen the Isles outscored 12-4 in the third period over the prior seven games.  The Isles have been outscored 41-21 overall in the third period (31-18 excluding empty nets); the 21 goals scored are the fewest of any team in the third period.  In the first two periods, the Isles have been outscored 65-57.

Back-to-Back-to-Back-to-Back Empties
The Isles clinched the game on the Rolston empty-netter.  It was the fourth straight game that had an empty-netter. The Isles have scored three empty-net goals and have allowed a league-leading 10. The Isles allowed only ten empty-netters all last season.

Best v West
The Isles improve to 13-1-7 in their last 21 home games against the Western Conference (with their only regulation loss being two weeks ago against Dallas).  The Islanders are 2-1-2 in home games against the West this season, with games remaining against Edmonton, Detroit, Nashville and Los Angeles.  Overall, this season the Isles are 4-2-4 vs. the West and 8-15-2 against the East.

Big Crowd Goes Home Happy
The Isles improve to 3-5-0 this season with home crowds over 14,000.  The team should be getting used to the bigger crowds, as attendance is up 28.8% through nineteen home dates, as compared to last season.  It was the largest crowd to see the Flames on Long Island since the 2000-01 home opener (16,297). 

48 to Go
The Isles have scored 9,952 goals in their history (excluding 41 shootout winners), leaving the club 48 shy of 10,000.

Back to .500
The Islanders regain all-time NHL .500 (1325-1325-427 in 3,077 games).  It's the second time this season that the Isles have fallen below .500 only to regain it the next game. Prior to this season, they had not been below NHL .500 since they were 177-178-83 prior to their victory on January 16, 1978.

Time to Get Going
The win over Calgary is the first of five consecutive Islander games against teams currently not holding a playoff spot.  Each of the next three games (Edmonton, at Carolina and at Anaheim) is against a team that is currently in last place in its division.

The Isles have scored 40 goals over the last 15 games (7-6-2) after scoring only 15 in the previous nine games (1-6-2).  The Isles have scored 41 goals in their 12 wins (3.42 per game) and 37 goals in their other 23 games (0-17-6; 1.61 per game).  In their 17 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 21 goals (1.24 per game).

Head of the Class
John Tavares, who gave back an assist that he was erroneously given in New York last week, had two points to give him 150 career points; he is four points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks.  No other player in that draft is anywhere close. (Duchene suffered a knee injury in Colorado's game tonight; he will be re-evaluated tomorrow.)  Tavares is the 50th player in Islander history to record 150 career points.

Friends, Friends, Friends
Moulson has 16 goals this season; John Tavares has earned assists on 10 of them.  He has now been on-ice for 40 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 26 of them, dating back to Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa.  Moulson remains 14 goals away from a third consecutive 30-goal season; no Islander since Ziggy Palffy has accomplished that feat.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 32 of 66 (48%) face-offs. Marty Reasoner was the Islanders' best, winning 5 of 9.  The Isles had 28 offensive zone face-offs and only 16 defensive-zone face-offs.

Trailing Early
The Isles allowed a goal on the first shot for the seventh time this season.  The Isles are 2-3-2 when they allow a goal on the first shot.  It was also the fifth time that the Isles have allowed a goal in the first five minutes.  They are 1-4-2 in those situations this season.

Welcome Back Brian
Brian Rolston returned after missing four games and recorded his 339th career goal into an empty-net. He is 14th among active players in goals and breaks a tie with Phil Housley for 141st on the all-time list.

Missing Men
Al Montoya (concussion), Micheal Haley (hand) and Steve Staios (concussion) were scratched.   David Ullstrom, Jay Pandolfo, Rick DiPietro, and Mark Katic are on injured reserve.  The Isles have lost 168 man-games to injury so far this season.  Anders Nilsson dressed as the back-up to Nabokov for the fourth straight game.

Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 199 games since joining the team.  Moulson's streak is the longest for an Islander since Richard Park played in 221 games from October 2006- February 2009.  Travis Hamonic has now played 97 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles. 

List Time

Career Wins, Active Goalies
Career Goals, Active Players
13. Patrik Elias 348
14. Brian Rolston 339
15. Dany Heatley 336
Career Goals as an Islander
Marty McInnis
Miroslav Satan
Matt Moulson
Claude Lapointe
Alan Kerr
Brad Isbister
John Tavares
Jude Drouin
Career Games as an Islander
Steve Thomas
Frans Nielsen

Pierre Turgeon
Jude Drouin
Brendan Witt
Brad Isbister
Josh Bailey
Sean Bergenheim

Billy Carroll
Matt Moulson
Ralph Stewart
John Tavares
Tom Kurvers
Todd Bertuzzi
Mark Streit
Career Points as an Islander
Oleg Kvasha
Alan Kerr
Roman Hamrlik
John Tavares
Season Series Stats
The Islanders win the only meeting of the season between the teams.  The Isles are 5-1-0 since the lockout against the Flames, including 3-0-0 at the Coliseum.

Happy Anniversary
1 year ago tonight (12-29-10):  With the HBO cameras rolling, PA Parenteau scored the deciding goal in the shootout and Rick DiPietro made 37 saves as the Islanders ended Sidney Crosby's 25-game point streak and defeated the Penguins 2-1 at the Coliseum.
Overall, the Isles are 10-10-1 on this date, having won seven of their last eight on this date.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 1-7-0-0 in their last eight games after falling 2-1 in Norfolk on Wednesday; Bridgeport is 12-15-3-1 on the season.  The Sound Tigers play again in Norfolk on Friday before visiting Wilkes Barre-Scranton for a 5:00 game on New Year's Eve.

Up Next
[MSG (Islanders Game Night at 12:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The Islanders conclude their two-game homestand against the Alberta teams as they host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday in the only meeting of the season between the two teams.  Ken Morrow will be honored in pre-game ceremonies as he is inducted into the Islanders Hall of Fame.
The Isles have had lots of success on Coliseum ice against the Oilers; in fact Edmonton had not won here since 1999.  The Islanders have won all five meetings on Long Island since, including once by shootout.

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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