By Eric Hornick
Devils 2, Isles 1
David Clarkson scored the winning goal midway through the third period
as the Devils spoiled the Islanders' season opener, 2-1, before a sellout crowd
of 16,170 at the Nassau Coliseum. It's the 10th time in the last
twelve seasons that the Isles have sold out the home opener.
14:01 EV N.J 19 T.ZAJAC(1) 17 I.KOVALCHUK(1) 7 H.TALLINDER(1)
7:12 PP NYI3 T.HAMONIC(1)40 M.GRABNER(1)21 K.OKPOSO(1)
8:17 EV N.J23 D.CLARKSON(1)26 P.ELIAS(1)21 M.TEDENBY(1)
The Skinny: Marty Brodeur
extended his own NHL record by starting the season opener for the 18th straight season. The Isles have used
five starting goaltenders (Rick DiPietro-Joey MacDonald-Dwayne Roloson-Al
Montoya-Evgeni Nabokov) in the last five openers. Travis Hamonic matches his career high in
power play goals in a season; he now has three career PP goals (one in each
season). It was his 50th career point.
The 19 shots are the fewest for the Islanders in a season
opener since they had 18 in Washington on October 9, 2003.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 0-1-0 overall, 0-1-0 at home and 0-0-0 on the road. All-time,
the Isles are 24-12-4 in home openers and 9-21-10 in their first game of the
regular season. The Isles are 2-5-2 when they play the season opener at home.
New Jersey is 1-0-0 overall, and 1-0-0 on the road.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov stopped 26 shots but loses his first season opener as an
Martin Brodeur made 18 saves as he
defeated the Islanders for the 50th time in his career (50-27-6) He
has now won 657 NHL games.
The Isles went 1-4 on the power play while New Jersey was 0-2. Six of the eight goals that the Isles have scored
in their last four openers have come on the power play. Ilya Kovalchuk played all four minutes of the
two New Jersey power plays.
They Said It
Matt Moulson: "Our goal was to make the playoffs, and obviously that
didn't happen. We'll come back next
season with that goal and figure out what's going to get us there."
@StapeNewsday: "Just got a text from Jack Capuano: "Out of
surgery, feeling much better."
With Jack Capuano out ill, Doug Weight handled the post-game press
conference: "Nabby looked in control tonight. I've played a lot of hockey against Evgeni. He's a confident individual.
He brings it every night and I knew he'd have a good game tonight. He looked
quick and agile. I think he was a little screened on that second one. That was
a tough break." (Video showed it was
even a tougher break; the puck deflected off the skate of Islander defenseman
Andrew MacDonald led the Isles with 27:13; Ilya Kovalchuk led New
Jersey with 24:37.
Lots of Ice
Kyle Okposo played 23:43; among Islander forwards only John Tavares
(25:31) played more. It's the most ice
time for Okposo in a game since he played 28:20 in the 2009-10 season finale.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 30 draws; the Devils won 21. Newcomer Keith Aucoin won 8 of 10 for the
Isles; Travis Zajac won 8 of 15 for the Devils.
The Islanders were out-hit 23-19. Newcomer Joe Finley led the Isles with three.
There were no fights in the game
The Isles, who led the NHL in blocked shots last year with 1,364,
blocked 16 shots. Andrew MacDonald led
the way with 5.
The Isles are winless since 2007 on Opening Night (0-3-2). With Anaheim
and Chicago both winning today, the Isles now have the longest active Opening
Night winless streak.
Who are the
Sevenplayers made their
first appearance as Islanders: Matt Carkner, Keith Aucoin, Colin McDonald, Brad
Boyes, Eric Boulton, Brian Strait and Joe Finley. One other: Thomas Hickey made the opening
night roster but did not dress.
More O from D
In addition to getting a power play goal from Hamonic, eight of the
Islanders' 19 shots came from defensemen.
It's Been a
This was the Islanders' first game in exactly 41 weeks (287 days) and
their first Coliseum tilt in 289 days.
With the loss, the Islanders are now one game over all-time NHL .500 (1347-1346-432
in 3,125 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 247 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 161 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have
each played in 83.
Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
Billy Harris 576
Bob Nystrom 301
Denis Potvin 262
4. Matt Moulson 247
Casey Cizikas, Radek Martinek and Thomas Hickey were scratched. Josh
Bailey and Jesse Joensuu remain suspended after suffering injuries in Europe.
Lubomir Visnovsky has not yet reported.
Career Wins, Active
1. Martin Brodeur657
2. Roberto Luongo339
3. Nikolai Khabibulin328
4. Evgeni Nabokov312
5. Miikka Kiprusoff311
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov312
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 311
Career Goals as an
25 Trent Hunter 99
26 Matt Moulson 97
27 Mikko Makela 95
27 David Volek 95
32 Travis Green 92
33 Butch Goring 87
34 Tomas Jonsson 84
34 John Tavares 84
36 Wayne Merrick 81
36 Dave Scatchard 81
Career Assists as an Islander – active players
1 John Tavares 118
1 Mark Streit 118
3 Frans Nielsen 113
4 Kyle Okposo 94
Career Games as an
51 Brad Dalgarno 321
52 Frans Nielsen 320
53 Steve Webb 316
53 Ray Ferraro 316
53 Richard Park 316
59 Arron Asham 300
59 Roman Hamrlik 300
61 Josh Bailey 291
62 Gord Dineen 287
63 Jeff Norton 282
64 Steve Thomas 275
65 Kyle Okposo 272
66 Blake Comeau 261
66 Andre St. Laurent 261
72 Brad Isbister 247
72 Brendan Witt 247
72 Matt Moulson 247
75 Sean Bergenheim 246
76 John Tavares 244
77 Miroslav Satan 243
78 Bryan Berard 242
79 JP Parise 240
80 Mark Streit 239
81 Adrian Aucoin 235
Career Points as an
34 Anders Kallur 211
35 John Tavares 202
36 Marty McInnis 198
44 Matt Moulson 170
44 Shawn Bates 170
46 Jude Drouin 169
47 Dave Scatchard 168
48 Frans Nielsen 167
49 Miroslav Satan 166
50 Kyle Okposo 162
51 Oleg Kvasha 158
52 Alan Kerr 154
53 Roman Hamrlik 153
54 Mark Streit 151
The Devils lead the season series 1-0-0 and two points to zero. New Jersey is the only team that will visit
the Coliseum three times this season. Since moving to New Jersey, the Devils have faced the Islanders four
times on opening night, and New Jersey has won all four games. The teams will next meet on January 31st at the Prudential Center.
35 years ago tonight (1-19-78): Billy
Smith stopped 23 shots and recently-acquired Wayne Merrick had the winning goal
as the Isles blanked the St. Louis Blues 3-0 in St. Louis.
Overall, the Isles are 8-9-3 on this date.
On The Farm
Kevin Poulin made 24 saves and rookie Scott Campbell had the winning
goal as the Sound Tigers defeated Binghamton 4-2 Saturday night. Bridgeport has
won two straight and improved to 19-16-2-2. The Sound Tigers host Springfield
on Sunday afternoon.
JANUARY 21st TAMPA BAY AT ISLANDERS 1:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 12:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The season-opening homestand concludes with an MLK Day matinee, as the
Islanders host Tampa Bay. The Lightning
defeated Washington 5-3 in their opener; former Islander Eric Brewer scored
twice (after scoring only once all last season). Vinny Lecavalier is scheduled to play in his
1,000th NHL game. This is the first of three meetings this season
between the teams; they split four games last season, with the home team
winning all four. Both Islander wins last season were by a 5-1 score.
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.