By Eric Hornick
Penguins 6, Isles 3
James Neal scored two goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to defeat the Islanders 6-3 in front of 15,638 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The loss is the Islanders first in regulation time in seven games (4-1-2).
N.Y. Islanders, Ullstrom 2 (Reese, Bailey), 4:04.
N.Y. Islanders, Jurcina 2 (Streit, Okposo), 12:16 (pp)
Pittsburgh, Sullivan 5 (Vitale, Niskanen), 14:28
Pittsburgh, Neal 16 (Malkin), 19:31
N.Y. Islanders, Okposo 4 (Grabner, Hamonic), 2:54
Pittsburgh, Neal 17 (Kunitz, Sullivan), 8:44 (pp)
Pittsburgh, Dupuis 9 (Kennedy, Picard), 15:58
Pittsburgh, Cooke 7 (Kennedy, Niskanen), 1:04
Pittsburgh, P.Martin 1 (Malkin, Kunitz), 10:10
Matt Moulson was held without a shot for the 2nd time this season; his point scoring streak ended at six straight games (8-3-11). Steve Sullivan now has 10 goals in 21 career games against the Isles; he now has 271 career goals –one more than Bobby Orr. James Neal now leads the NHL with 9 PP goals. Paul Martin's goal was his first in 79 games. Jurcina now has six career power play goals; three of the six have come as an Islander.
The Isles had the game's first seven shots and outshot Pittsburgh 13-11 in the first period. The Penguins outshot the Isles 15-10 in the middle period and 5-4 in the third.
Rare Regulation Loss When Scoring First
The Isles are now 7-2-3 when scoring the first goal. Their only previous regulation loss when scoring the first goal was on October 22nd in Florida.
As Seen on MSG+
The Penguins have now won 5 straight over the Islanders, matching the club record set form 1995 to 1996, and equaled in 2010.
Defense Getting Offensive
An Islander defenseman scored for the fourth straight game; they had scored only three times in the first 23 games. It's the first time since March 10-17, 2007 that the Islanders have had a defenseman score in four consecutive games (Marc-Andre Bergeron had three of those goals; Drew Fata had the other).
Home and Road
The Islanders are 9-12-6 overall and 6-7-3 at home. The Isles finish their homestand 1-1-1.
The Penguins are 17-9-4 overall and 9-7-2 on the road. The win breaks a two-game Penguin losing streak; they have not gone three games without a point this season.
The Islanders are 2-5-2 against the Atlantic Division this season. They are 0-3-1 against Pittsburgh, 0-0-1 against Philadelphia, 1-1-0 against New Jersey and 1-1-0 against the Rangers.
Since the start of the 2008-09 season, the Isles are 5-26-10 against the Penguins and Flyers.
In the Nets
Al Montoya made 25 saves. He is now 5-4-3 on the season with 2.43 goals against and a .920 save percentage. Montoya has appeared in eight straight games, going 3-2-2 with 1 "save. It was the first time Montoya has allowed 6 goals as an Islander and the first time that he has allowed four goals or more in any career start at the Coliseum.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves for Pittsburgh as he improves 15-6-2 on the season, including four wins over the Isles. It was his 199th career victory. He is 17-4-4 in his career against the Isles.
The Islanders were 1-7 on the power play while the Penguins were 1-3. The Isles have scored on the power play in five of the last six games (7-29 24.1%). It's only the second time all season that the Isles have had at least seven power plays (8 vs. NYR on 10/15). The Isles have killed 19-22 (86.4%) over the last seven games. The Penguins goal came on a 5-on-3; it was the 3rd goal allowed by the Isles in that situation this season.
They Said It
Travis Hamonic "He hits himself in the forehead with his own stick and he goes down and is bleeding… next thing you know, five-minute major and you're kicked out of the game"
They Tweeted It
(from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette) @emptynetters: Wow. Brutal call against Hamonic. FIve minutes for elbowing? Horrible.
Jack Capuano: "The game really changed after that call. I thought that we were playing pretty well to that point …. (Pittsburgh) got the victory tonight because we were second to all loose pucks…give them credit."
The Hit Leader
Matt Martin, playing his 100th NHL game, had four hits to extend his NHL-leading total to 121. He is the 162nd Islander to appear in 100 games.
Leading Ice Men
With Hamonic ejected in the second period, Mark Streit led all players with 27:20 but was -3; Paul Martin played 25:33 to lead the Pens.
The Isles allowed the only two goals of the third period but have outscored the opposition 6-5 in the third period over the last seven games. The Isles have been outscored 31-14 overall in the third period (25-12 excluding empty nets). In the first two periods, the Isles have been outscored 51-47.
64 to Go
The Isles have scored 9,936 goals in their history (excluding 39 shootout winners), leaving the club 64 shy of 10,000.
2 Over .500
The Islanders drop to two games over all-time NHL .500 (1322-1320-427 in 3,069 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.
Score 3, but Lose
The Isles have scored 24 goals the last seven games (4-1-2) after scoring only 15 in the previous nine games (1-6-2). The Isles have scored 35 goals in their nine wins (3.89 per game) and 27 goals in their other 18 games (0-12-6; 1.50 per game). In their 12 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 11 goals (0.92 per game). The Isles had been shutout in each of their last three regulation defeats.
Disappointing the Big Crowd
The Isles are 2-5-0 this season with home crowds over 14,000. The team should be getting used to the bigger crowds, as attendance is up 31.7% through sixteen home dates, as compared to last season.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 31 of 53 (58%) face-offs. Josh Bailey won 6 of 9 and Marty Reasoner won 7 of 10 for the Isles.
Kyle Okposo had a goal and an assist for his 2nd multi-point game of the season. Six different Penguins had two points in the game.
Nino Niederreiter (concussion symptoms), Micheal Haley (healthy) and Rick DiPietro (groin) were scratched. Andrew MacDonald, Jay Pandolfo, Marc Eaton, Evgeni Nabokov, and Mark Katic are on injured reserve. The Isles have lost 114 man-games to injury so far this season. Kevin Poulin dressed as the back-up goaltender for the third straight game.
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 191 games since joining the team. Travis Hamonic has now played 89 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.
Season Series Stats
The Penguins lead the season series four games to none (eight points to one). The Isles will not play the Penguins in any of the next 48 games; the teams will finish the season series with a home-and-home in late March.
20 years ago tonight: December 10, 1991. Ray Ferraro and Brett Hull traded hat tricks as the Islanders and Blues played a 7-7 tie at the Coliseum. It's the only 7-7 tie in Isles history. Ferraro's (natural) hat trick, his first as an Islander, came in a span of 4:43 of the second period. Steve Thomas tied the game for good with 17 seconds to play.
Overall, the Isles are 8-7-2 on this date.
On The Farm
Bridgeport also had a 2-0 lead tonight that they could not protect, dropping a 4-2 decision to Portland. Scott Howes and Jeremy Colliton had goals for Bridgeport. The Sound Tigers are 11-10-3-1 and visit Springfield at 3pm on Sunday.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13th ISLANDERS AT MONTREAL 7:30PM
[MSG+2 (Islanders Game Night at 7:00pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]
[MSG+2 (Islanders Game Night at 7:00pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The Islanders will look for their fourth straight victory over the Canadiens as the Isles visit Montreal. The Islanders last won four straight over Montreal in the 1993-94 season, as Ron Hextall recorded all four victories. The Isle won the only meeting this season, holding on for a 4-3 victory on November 17.
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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