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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, December 31, 2011

The Skinny: Isles 4, Oilers 1

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick
Game 36
Isles 4, Oilers 1
John Tavares was named the game's first star for the second straight game and Matt Moulson added a goal and two assists as the Islanders completed a sweep of the Alberta teams as they defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 in front of 13,807 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  The win continues the Islanders' home-ice dominance over the Western Conference as they are 14-1-7 since November 2009 in home-ice games against the West. 

The Scoring:
1st Period
03:44NYI PPG - John Tavares (13) - ASST: P. Parenteau (25) AND M. Moulson (13)
12:58EDM Sam Gagner (4) - ASST: C. Potter (10) AND A. Sutton (3)
17:55NYI Matt Moulson (17) - ASST: J. Tavares (18) AND K. Okposo (9)
2nd Period
03:19NYI PPG - PA Parenteau (7) - ASST: M. Moulson (14) AND F. Nielsen (12)
04:05NYI Matt Martin (4) Wrist - ASST: J. Bailey (8) AND M. Grabner (6)
3rd Period - NONE

The Skinny: 
Ken Morrow was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame prior to the game. PA Parenteau's assist gives him 25 on the season; he remains seven assists ahead of John Tavares for the team lead.  Parenteau now also has a team-leading 32 points; he is one point ahead of both John Tavares and Matt Moulson.  The Isles stopped Jordan Eberle's six game point streak (5-3-8) and held ex-mate Ryan Smyth without a point to end his three-game streak (2-1-3).  The Isles scored on three consecutive shots late in the first period and early in the second. Matt Martin was named the game's #3 star; in addition to his goal, Martin drew two penalties on Ben Eager that both resulted in power play goals for the Isles.

The Shots
The Oilers outshot the Islanders 11-7 in the first period and 10-6 in the second period but the Islanders rebounded to outshoot Edmonton 16-8 in the third period.  Each team finished with 29 shots.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 13-17-6 overall and are 7-9-3 at home.  It's the first time that the Islanders have won consecutive games on Coliseum ice since October 10-13-15.
The Oilers are 15-19-3 overall and 5-13-1 on the road. The Oilers end 2011 having dropped seven of eight.

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 28 saves as he recorded his second straight win for the first time since ending his Sharks career with three straight victories. Nabakov, making his fifth straight start, is now 4-8-0 on the season.
Devyn Dubnyk made 25 saves for the Oilers but drops to 4-9-0.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 2-3 on the power play; the Oilers were 0-4.  The Isles are 5-13 on the power play over the last five games after going just 1-22 in the previous seven games.
The Isles have killed 13-14 (92.9%) over the last seven games; it's the fewest times they have been shorthanded in a 7-game stretch since at least the mid-1980's.

Passing Hexy
Evgeni Nabokov records his 297th career win, passing Ron Hextall for 26th place on the all-time list.  He is just three 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
Assistant Coach Scott Allen: "You have to give a lot of credit to Matt Martin in joining those first two penalties."

They Tweeted It
@Schultz88 "I already posted the #NYIPB Goal of the Year nominees, but I think JT and MM just submitted an entry at the deadline."

The Coach
"He's playing extremely well," Isles coach Jack Capuano said of Tavares. "He's strong on the puck, and his skills speak for themselves. He's playing with a lot of desire and determination right now."

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led the Isles with 22:12; Corey Potter led Edmonton with 22:26.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders out-hit Edmonton 28-20.  Travis Hamonic had six hits while Matt Martin and Tim Wallace each had four.

Giving Up the Body
 The Isles also blocked 15 shots, led by four from Steve Staios, who returned the line-up for the first time since December 13th.

Puck Pursuit
The Isles were credited with 21 takeaways, with 14 players recording at least one.  Edmonton had only four.

Third Periods
The third period was scoreless; the Isles have been outscored 12-6 in the third period over the past nine 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 66-61.

Best v West
The Isles improve to 14-1-7 in their last 22 home games against the Western Conference (with their only regulation loss being on December 15th against Dallas).  The Islanders are 3-1-2 in home games against the West this season, with games remaining against Detroit, Nashville and Los Angeles.  Overall, this season the Isles are 5-2-4 vs. the West and 8-15-2 against the East.  Since the start of last season, Matt Moulson ranks 2nd among Eastern Conference players in goals against the Western Conference—only Steven Stamkos has more.

44 to Go
The Isles have scored 9,956 goals in their history (excluding 41 shootout winners), leaving the club 44 shy of 10,000.

Over .500
The Islanders end 2011 one game over all-time NHL .500 (1326-1325-427 in 3,078 games).  The Isles have twice this season been one game below .500. 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.

Good Time to Get Going
This was the 2nd game of a five-game stretch against teams currently not holding a playoff spot (and the Isles are 2-0-0).  Each of the next two games (at Carolina and at Anaheim) is also against a team that is currently in last place in its division.

The Isles have scored 44 goals over the last 16 games (8-6-2) 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 had two points for the second consecutive game to give him 152 career points; he is six 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 on Thursday and is expected to miss the next month.)

Friends, Friends, Friends
Moulson has 17 goals this season; John Tavares has earned assists on 11 of them.  He has now been on-ice for 41 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 27 of them, dating back to Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa.  Moulson is now 13 goals away from a third consecutive 30-goal season; no Islander since Ziggy Palffy has accomplished that feat.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 25 of 50 (50%) face-offs. Frans Nielsen was the Islanders' best, winning 9 of 14.  The Isles had 21 defensive zone face-offs and only 11 offensive-zone face-offs.

Welcome Back Steve
Steve Staios returned after missing seven games with a concussion.

Missing Men
Al Montoya (concussion), Micheal Haley (hand) and Mike Mottau were scratched.   David Ullstrom, Jay Pandolfo, Rick DiPietro, and Mark Katic are on injured reserve.  The Isles have lost 174 man-games to injury so far this season.  Anders Nilsson dressed as the back-up to Nabokov for the fifth straight game.

Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 200 games since joining the team. He is the 93rd skater in Islander history to appear in 200 games. 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 98 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 (skaters)
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 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 six meetings on Long Island since, including once by shootout.  The six games match the Islanders' longest current home winning streak as they have also won the last six games against Colorado.

Happy Anniversary
9 years ago tonight (12-31-02):  Jason Blake scored 1:36 into overtime for the game's only goal as the Islanders blank the Sabres 1-0 in Buffalo.  
Overall, the Isles are 12-7-1 on this date, having gone 6-0-1 in their last seven New Year's Eve games.

As Seen on MSG
The Isles have killed their last 32 penalties on New Year's Eve in those last seven games.  Going back an eighth game (a 1-0 loss), the Isles have killed 35 straight on New Year's Eve.

Auld Lang Syne
This was the final game of 2011.  The Isles were 32-37-13 in 2011, including 13-17-6 so far this season.  The Isles end the calendar year with a 17-20-6 mark at the Coliseum, including 7-9-3 in the 2011-12 campaign. The 32-37-13 mark for the year represented the Isles' best calendar year since 2007.

Auld Lang Syne II
The Islanders had three players score at least 30 goals in 2011: Grabner and Moulson each had 36 while John Tavares scored 31. The Isles last had at least three players with 30 goals in a calendar year in 1993: Pierre Turgeon (53), Steve Thomas (40), Benoit Hogue (36) and Derek King (35) were the four players who did it that year.

The Isles finish December with a record of 6-6-2. The 14 points are the most that the Islanders have recorded this season and their most in any December since 2007. The Isles are 219-226-64 in 509 all-time December games.  They have earned 502 points in December, second only to the 529 that they have earned in March.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 1-8-0-0 in their last nine games after falling 3-2 in Norfolk on Friday.  Bridgeport is 12-16-3-1 on the season.  The Sound Tigers visit Wilkes Barre-Scranton for a 5:00 game on New Year's Eve.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 6:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The Islanders open up 2012 with the first game of a three-game road trip as the visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.  It's the first meeting of the season between the teams.  The Isles and Canes will play three times in January and then conclude their season series on February 18th. 
Carolina has dominated the season series in the last three seasons.  The Isles have won only twice in that span (2-9-1), with one win in overtime and the other in a shootout.  Carolina has won the last six meetings, including once in overtime – the Isles have been outscored 25-10 in the six games.
Cam Ward, who was credited with a goal on December 26th against New Jersey, has nine of Carolina's ten wins against the Isles over the last three seasons.

And Finally…
Have a happy and safe new year!  THANKS FOR READING!

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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