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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...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Devil of a streak

The Devils have held the Isles to exactly 1 goal in five straight games. 

3/4/2012 Vs New Jersey 1 0 W
3/8/2012 @ New Jersey 1 5 L
3/10/2012 Vs New Jersey 1 2 L
4/3/2012 @ New Jersey 1 3 L
1/19/2013 Vs New Jersey 1 2 L 

They are the first opponent to have a streak like that against the Isles since Carolina in 1998-1999.

It's the 5th time in Isles history that an opponent has held the Isles to one goal or less in at least 5 straight games.

Philadelphia did it in a club record 6 games (10/13/73-11/3/74).  The first game of that streak marked both Al Arbour and Denis Potvin's Islander debuts
The Rangers (in the first 5 games they ever played: 10/21/72-2/10/73) , North Stars (1/13/73-12/26/73) and Hurricanes (11/28/98-10/30/99) all had five game streaks against the Isles.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick 

Last Time First (Place)

If the Islanders defeat the Devils on Thursday, they will have at least a share of the Division lead.  If they do so in regulation, they will have first place all to themselves.

The Isles had a share of the Division lead after their win over Toronto last week, but if they earn a share of first Thursday (with an OT/SO win), it would be the latest in a season that they have shared first since 10/22/2010, when they were 4-1-2.  (Scott Gordon would not win another game, and the Isles would fall to 4-12-5 before they would win again.)

If the Isles win in regulation, they will have first place all to themselves for the first time in the Tavares era.

You have to go back to the early days of the 2007-08 season to find the last time.
(After games of Oct 12 2007)
Atlantic GP       W        L          OTL     GF       GA       Pts
NYI       5          3          2          0          13        17         6
PHI       3          2          1          0          14         9          4
NYR     4          2          2          0           9          7          4
PIT       3          1          2          0           8         11         2
NJD      4          1          3          0          7          11         2

The Isles actually spent three days (Oct 10-12) all alone in first place, after a 2-1 win over the Rangers on October 10th.  They played on October 11th, but lost 8-1 to Toronto. 

However, to find the Isles in first place by themselves this late in the season, you have to go back to December of 2006.  Viktor Kozlov's 4-goal game at MSG on December 3, 2006 put the Islanders into 1st place, one point ahead of the Devils and the Rangers.  The Isles held first place for the next two days as well.  Thus, December 5, 2006 is the last time this late in the season that the Isles have been in first place.

(After the games of Dec 5, 2006)
Atlantic Division W-L-OT Pts GF GA

NY Islanders 14-10-3 31 81 75

New Jersey 14-9-2 30 62 66

NY Rangers 13-10-4 30 88 87

Pittsburgh 11-11-4 26 77 83

Philadelphia 8-15-4 20 68 102

The Isles have not been in first place after Christmas in any season since the 1995 lockout campaign.  They opened that season 2-0-1 and had the divisional lead by themselves as late as January 28 and in a tie on January 29.

To get there on Thursday, it would probably be helpful to score more than one goal.  The Devils have held the Isles to exactly one goal in five straight games (although the Isles won the first game, 1-0).

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

The Skinny: Isles 4, Pittsburgh 1

"The Skinny"

 By Eric Hornick
Game 6
Isles 4, Penguins 1
Evgeni Nabokov came within 69 seconds of his 53rd career shutout and the Isles got goals from four different players to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 before a sellout crowd of 18,657 at CONSOL Energy Center.   It's the first time since 2002 that the Isles have won consecutive games in The Steel City. The Isles are now 2-1-1 on this five-game road trip and sit alone in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division, while Pittsburgh is winless at home (0-2-0).

The Scoring:
1st Period
16:01    NYI       C. Cizikas (1) Wrap-around - ASST: NONE          1 - 0 NYI
2nd Period
06:46    NYI       M. Grabner (4) Snap - ASST: M. Streit (2) AND M. Reasoner (1)   2 - 0 NYI          
15:22    NYI       PPG - J. Tavares (2) Snap - ASST: M. Moulson (3) AND F. Nielsen (4)     3 - 0 NYI          
17:15    NYI       PPG - M. Moulson (4) Wrist - ASST: B. Boyes (3) AND F. Nielsen (5)       4 - 0 NYI
3rd Period
P. Dupuis (2) Backhand - ASST: C. Kunitz (3) AND S. Crosby (3)
4 - 1 NYI
The Skinny:  The Isles are only the 2nd team in the Eastern Conference to reach 20 goals…Cizikas' goal was his first NHL goal… Pittsburgh had scored first in every game prior to this one, allowing only one first-period goal… The Pens have been outscored 11-2 in the second period this season... John Tavares has goals in consecutive games for the first time since last March…The Isles dominated the special teams, going 2-2 on the power play and killing nine minutes of Penguin power plays…Travis Hamonic, who suffered an ankle injury in Winnipeg on Sunday, played over 25 minutes just 48 hours later…The Isles are above NHL .500 thru six games for only the second time in the last eight seasons (3-1-2 in 2010-11)…Sidney Crosby assisted on the Penguins goal, giving him 67 points (20-47-67) in 37 games against the Isles… Frans Nielsen had his second multi-assist game of the season; it was the 5th for the Isles, with John Tavares owning
the other three… Reasoner's assist was his first since December 15, 2011…

The Shots:
Isles          7-10-7=24
Penguins   8-11-19=38
Home and Road
The Islanders are 3-2-1 overall, 1-1-0 at home and 2-1-1 on the road.  The Isles have earned at least a point in four of the last five games (3-1-1).
Pittsburgh is 3-3-0 overall, 0-2-0 at home and 3-1-0 on the road.

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 37 saves; he is 3-1-1 on the season. Nabokov is 10-2-0 in his career against the Penguins.
Marc Andre-Fleury played the first two periods, stopping 13 shots.  He has allowed 13 goals over seven periods in his last three games vs. the Isles.  Tomas Vokoun stopped seven shots in the third period.

Power Plays
The Isles went 2-2 on the power play while Pittsburgh was 0-3.  The Isles had only 1:50 of PP time while Pittsburgh had 9:00.  It's the first time since January 3, 2012 (2-2 vs. Carolina) that the Isles have converted multiple power plays without a failure.

Special Special Teams
The Isles are 6-20 on the power play (30.0%) and 19-20 on the penalty kill (95.0%). It's the first time in over 25 years that the Isles have allowed only one power play goal in the first six games.

They Said It
NBCSN's Brian Engblom on Michael Grabner:  "That guy's fast even when he's gliding."

They Tweeted It
@thelnino25: @zeeker11 congrats to your first NHL goal ! Well deserved ! #greatguy
@emptynetters: About as down and terse of a Bylsma post-game presser as I've ever seen.

The Coach
"We had a total team effort. I thought we worked hard. I'm sure nobody gave us much of a chance against a really good hockey team, but you know what, I thought systematically we were a little more structured."

This was the fourth game of a 5-game road trip.  The Isles are 2-1-1 on the trip, and will play Thursday in New Jersey before returning to the Coliseum on Super Bowl Sunday. The Isles will also play five consecutive road games to end the regular season.

Long Streaks Continue
The Penguins have not been shutout at home since March 12, 2011 but that pales in comparison to their streak vs. the Isles.  The Islanders came within 69 seconds of blanking the Penguins for the first time since January 9, 1986 and for the first time in Pittsburgh since February 2, 1985.  That 1985 shutout is the Islanders' only regular season shutout win ever in Pittsburgh (113 games); the teams played a scoreless tie in Pittsburgh in 1980.  The Isles also own a playoff shutout in Pittsburgh: Game 7 in 1975 (Chico Resch).

Pittsburgh has sold-out 256 consecutive games at home, including every game in the history of the CONSOL Energy Center.

First Times in a Long Time
The Isles have scored 21 goals in the last five games (4.2 goals per game); it's the most goals that they have scored in any five-game period since scoring 21 in a five-game stretch in February 2011.
The Isles have scored 22 goals in the first six games this season (3.67 goals per game); it's the most goals that have scored thru six games since they tallied 26 times in the first six games in October 2001. 
It's the Isles first win by at least three goals in Pittsburgh since December 31, 2003 (6-1 with Garth Snow in nets).

Too Early for the P Word?
This is the 16th time in Islander history that they have scored at least 22 goals in the first six games.  They made the playoffs in 14 of the other 15 seasons.

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 210 career points; he is 55 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks.  No other player in that draft is anywhere close.  Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player in that draft.

Friends, Friends, Friends
Matt Moulson has four goals this season; John Tavares has earned an assist on two of them.  Tavares has now been on-ice for 64 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 42 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa. 

107 NHL Goals
Moulson has 107 career goals (101 as an Islander).  While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 entry draft, only 17 have more goals.

Road Warrior
Moulson now has four goals in the last four games, all on the road. Scoring on the road is nothing new for Moulson; 23 of his 36 goals last season also came on the road.  Only Steven Stamkos (24) had more.

Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald led the Isles with 26:12; Kris Letang led Pittsburgh were 23:46.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 31 draws; the Penguins won 41.  Marty Reasoner won 9 of 15 for the Isles; Evgeni Malkin won 8 of 13 for Pittsburgh.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders were out-hit 20-14.  Matt Martin and Colin McDonald each had five to lead the Islanders. There were no fights, leaving the Isles' season total at three, however Colin McDonald was ejected after drawing a major boarding penalty late in the second period.

All-time Winners
The Islanders improve to three games over all-time NHL .500 (1350-1347-433 in 3,130 games).  The Isles twice last season fell one game below .500. Prior to that, they had not been below NHL .500 since they were 177-178-83 prior to their victory on January 16, 1978.

Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 252 games since joining the team.  Moulson's streak is the longest for an Islander in the Post-Cup era and the 4th longest in club history.  Billy Harris played in the first 576 games in Islander history; that figure still stands as the club record.

Three other Islanders, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares and Mark Streit, also played in every game last season.  Tavares extended his streak to 165 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 88.

Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History 
1. Billy Harris 576 
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Denis Potvin 262
4. Matt Moulson 252
Howie's Count
Here's a number that Howie Rose likes to refer to from time-to-time. Casey Cizikas is the third player to score his first goal as an Islander this season, joining Brad Boyes and Keith Aucoin. 324 players in Islander history have now scored a goal.

Missing Men
Casey Cizikas replaced Eric Boulton.  Radek Martinek took the warm-up in case Travis Hamonic could not play but ended by a scratch as did Joe Finley. Josh Bailey and Jesse Joensuu remain suspended after suffering injuries in Europe. Lubomir Visnovsky has not yet reported.  

List Time
Career Wins, Active Goalies
Career Wins
21. Sean Burke 324
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 312
Career Goals as an Islander
Benoit Hogue
Ed Westfall
Matt Moulson
Anders Kallur
Trent Hunter
Mikko Makela
David Volek

Travis Green
Butch Goring
John Tavares
Tomas Jonsson
Wayne Merrick
Dave Scatchard

Career Assists as an Islander – active players
John Tavares
Mark Streit
Frans Nielsen
Kyle Okposo


Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
Eric Cairns
Alan Kerr
Frans Nielsen
Brad Dalgarno


Arron Asham
Roman Hamrlik
Josh Bailey
Gord Dineen
Jeff Norton
Kyle Okposo
Steve Thomas
Blake Comeau
Andre St. Laurent

Pierre Turgeon
Matt Moulson
Jude Drouin
John Tavares
Brad Isbister
Brendan Witt
Sean Bergenheim
Mark Streit
Miroslav Satan

Career Points as an Islander
Mark Parrish
Jean Potvin
Garry Howatt
Anders Kallur
John Tavares
Marty McInnis

Lorne Henning
Matt Moulson
Randy Wood
Frans Nielsen
Claude Lapointe
JP Parise
Shawn Bates
Jude Drouin
Dave Scatchard
Miroslav Satan
Kyle Okposo
Oleg Kvasha
Mark Streit
Alan Kerr
Roman Hamrlik
Season Series Stats
The Islanders lead the season series 1-0-0 and two points to none.  The Isles have won three straight over the Penguins for the first time since 2007. The teams will also meet on February 5 and March 22 at the Coliseum, and March 10 and March 30 in Pittsburgh.

Happy Anniversary
13 years ago today (1-29-00):  Mathieu Biron scores the winning goal in overtime as the Islanders defeat San Jose in the Shark Tank 3-2. It's the second straight win for Roberto Luongo—the only time he won consecutive games as an Islander.  (Evgeni Nabokov gave up two early goals in that game and was replaced by Steve Shields for San Jose)
All-time, the Isles are 7-4-4 on this date, even though they have never won at home (0-3-3).  With tonight's win, the Isles are 7-1-1 on the road on this date.
On The Farm
Nino Niederreiter and Matt Donovan represented the Sound Tigers at this weekend's AHL All-Star Break. Niederreiter recorded an assist in the All Star Game while Donovan blistered a shot at over 98 MPH in the Skills Competition. Bridgeport, who is 19-19-2-2 resumes play on Thursday against Providence.

Up Next
[MSG+2 (Pre-game show at 6:30PM), WRHU (88.7FM)]

The road trip concludes on Thursday night in New Jersey with the second of five meetings this season between the Isles and the Devils.  The Devils won on Opening Night by a 2-1 score and have not been beaten in regulation time this season (3-0-2).
The Isles, who have scored 21 goals in five games since their Opening Night loss, have scored exactly one goal in each of the last five games against the Devils (1-4-0).
And oh, did I mention that an Islander regulation win would give them sole possession of first place in the Atlantic?  I just did.

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 January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick