The Isles' win Sunday afternoon lowered the magic number to 6. Montreal's OT Loss Sunday night lowered it to 5. Here's w...
Sunday, December 04, 2011
The Skinny: Isles 5, Dallas 4
By Eric Hornick
Isles 5, Stars 4
Matt Moulson scored four goals while John Tavares and PA Parenteau each had three assists as the Islanders defeated the Dallas Stars 5-4 before 14,423 at American Airlines Center. The Isles complete a road trip in which they earned points in all four games (3-0-1).
Matt Moulson is the first Islander since Viktor Kozlov (2006) to score four goals in a game, the first to do so against Dallas since Keith Tkachuk (1996) and the first in the NHL this season. He now has a goal in four straight games, matching his career high; he also matched a career high with seven shots on goal. Tavares' three assists gives him five assists in two nights. Tavares remains tied with PA Parenteau for the team lead in points (21). Dylan Reese's goal was the third of his career, and first since April of 2010. Reese's goal was the 4th by the Islanders defensemen this season, and only the second at even strength.
After the Isles outshot the Stars 10-9 in the first period, the Stars turned the totals around by outshooting the Isles 12-9 in the second period and 13-8 in the third for a 34-27 edge.
Reese and Moulson scored goals 3:09 apart, but in between Dallas scored three times (all in a 2:03 span). Molulson's last two goals both came within a minute of Dallas getting the first goal of the season from one of their players to tie the game.
Deep in the Heart of Texas
Moulson is the first Islander to record a hat trick in Texas. Niklas Andersson, way back in 1996, is the only other Islander to have a hat trick against the Stars since they moved from Minnesota, but that game was played at the Coliseum. It's the 170th hat trick in Islander history and second this season (Tavares).
Head of the Class
John Tavares' three assists give him 142 career points, two more than Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks. No other player in that draft is anywhere close.
For the fourth straight game, the Isles scored first and led after one period. The Isles are 7-1-3 when they score first and 6-0-4 when they lead after one period. Moulson has scored the first goal four times this season; only two NHL players (Mike Richards and Thomas Vanek) have done it more often—each doing it five times.
Nailing it Down
The Isles won all three games on the trip that they led after two periods and are 6-0-3 this season when leading after two.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 8-11-5 overall and 3-5-3 on the road. It's the first time that the Isles have earned a point in four consecutive road games since December 16, 2009-January 6, 2010 (also 3-0-1).
The Stars are 15-10-1 overall and 9-4-1 at home.
The Isles have points in four straight games for the first time since last March, when they had a seven-game streak (4-0-3).
In the Nets
Rick DiPietro started, and made 17 saves in two periods before leaving with a groin injury. It's the second time in his career that he has won a game that he started playing two periods or less (1-3-11 at Calgary).
Al Montoya made 13 saves in a perfect third period.
Andrew Raycroft made 22 saves for Dallas.
One-Goal Wins and Losses
All four games on the trip were one-goal games. The Isles are 5-1-5 in one-goal games this season, with the sole regulation loss coming on Black Friday against New Jersey (0-1). It's only the 2nd regulation loss for Dallas in 11 one-goal games this season (8-2-1).
4 is a Magic Number
The Isles have earned points in every game this season that they have scored at least four goals (5-0-1).
The Islanders were 1-3 on the power play while the Stars were 0-2. The Isles are 4-11 on the power play over the last three games after going 3-36 in the previous dozen games. The Isles have killed 12-13 over the last four games.
They Said It
Matt Moulson: "They really gave me some good chances, all I had to do was sweep it into an open net. The win's the biggest part. Score as many goals as you want, but the win's the most important thing."
They Tweeted It
@RealKenDick: "John Tavares has now cracked the Top 50 in franchise scoring. His 142 points equal Mike Peca's #Isles total!"
The Hit Leader
Matt Martin led the Isles with five hits and extended his league lead over Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck. Martin has 109 hits while Clutterbuck has 94.
Leading Ice Men
Mark Streit led all players with 25:14; Stephane Robibas led the Stars with 21:53.
Paying the Price
Four Islander defensemen had at least four blocks; Steve Staios led the way with six.
The third period was scoreless. The Isles outscored the opposition 4-3 in the third period on the road trip. The Isles have been outscored 29-12 overall in the third period (23-10 if you exclude empty nets). In the first two periods, the Isles have been outscored 44-40.
74 to Go
The Isles have scored 9,926 goals in their history (excluding 39 shootout winners), leaving the club 74 shy of 10,000.
2 Over .500
The Islanders are now two games over all-time NHL .500 (1321-1319-426 in 3,066 games). They have been below NHL .500 for only 1 day since they were 177-178-83 prior to their victory on January 16, 1978.
Offense Gets Going
The Isles scored 14 goals in four games on the road trip after scoring only 15 in the previous nine games (1-6-2). The Isles have scored 30 goals in their eight wins (3.75 per game) and 22 goals in their other 16 games (0-11-5; 1.38 per game). In their 11 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 8 goals (0.73 per game).
In the Circle
The Islanders won 29 of 55 (53%) face-offs. Marty Reasoner won 7 of 9 for the Isles while Steve Ott won 11 of 19 for the Stars.
Micheal Haley(healthy) and Andrew MacDonald (foot) was scratched. Jay Pandolfo, Marc Eaton, Evgeni Nabokov, and Mark Katic are on injured reserve. The Isles have lost 86 man-games to injury so far this season.
Rough Night for the Trainers
Nino Niederreiter was injured on his first shift when he was hit high by Mark Fistric. Nino has concussion-like symptons and will be evaluated Sunday. Michael Grabner and Rick DiPietro both suffered groin injuries and did not return.
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 188 games since joining the team. Travis Hamonic has now played 86 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.
The Isles are now 2-0-0 on the back-end of back-to-backs. The Isles will next play back-to-backs on December 22nd (at New York) and December 23rd (vs. Toronto).
Back in the Race
With seven points in four games, the Isles have climbed within six points of 8th place in the Eastern Conference. The Isles still hold games-in-hand against every non-division leader in the Conference except the Rangers.
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series one game to none (two points to none). It's the Isles' first win in the last five games against Dallas (0-2-2) but the Isles are now 6-2-3 in their last 11 against the Stars. Dallas will be at the Coliseum on Thursday December 15th.
5 years ago tonight: December 3, 2006. Viktor Kozlov scored 25 goals in his one season as an Islander. Four of them came on this date as the Islanders defeated the Rangers 7-4 at Madison Square Garden in a battle for first place in the Atlantic. Brendan Shanahan had a hat trick that night for the Rangers
Overall, the Isles are 7-8-2 on this date, including another Matt Moulson hat trick game: December 3, 2009 in a 4-1 win in Atlanta.
On The Farm
Casey Cizikas scored the winning goal with 6:27 to play and Kevin Poulin made 35 saves as the Sound Tigers earned a split of their home-and-home series with a 3-1 win over Albany. The Sound Tigers host Hershey on Sunday afternoon.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6th TAMPA BAY AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 6:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The Islanders, riding a season-high four game point streak return home to begin a three-game homestand against Tampa on Tuesday. This will be the third meeting of the season between the two teams, with each holding a home-ice victory. John Tavares had 2 goals and 2 assists in the Coliseum meeting, while the Isles managed only 17 shots in a 4-1 defeat in Tampa Bay.
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