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"The Skinny" … on the Openers By Eric Hornick The NHL released the schedule for the 2016-17 season on Tuesday.  It'...

Friday, May 03, 2013

The Skinny: Isles 4, Pittsburgh 3 (Series tied 1-1)

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
 
Game 2
Isles 4, Pittsburgh 3 [Series tied 1-1]
 
Kyle Okposo's game-winning goal was actually a shot that went a couple of feet wide.  However, it caromed in off Marc-Andre Fleury after coming off the end boards with 7:37 to play in regulation time as the Isles evened their Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series with a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins before a sellout crowd of 18,624 at Consol Energy Center. The series now moves to Long Island, where game 3 will be played in front of a national television audience at 12:00 on Sunday.

The Scoring:
1st Period
00:43    PIT       E. Malkin (1) Backhand - ASST: J. Iginla (3)        1 - 0 PIT           
03:19    PIT       PPG - S. Crosby (1) Wrist - ASST: J. Iginla (4) AND E. Malkin (3)             2 - 0 PIT           
07:04    NYI       PPG - M. Moulson (1) Wrist - ASST: J. Tavares (1) AND M. Streit (1)        2 - 1 PIT           
07:22    PIT       S. Crosby (2) Wrist - ASST: P. Dupuis (1) AND M. Eaton (2)        3 - 1 PIT           
 
2nd Period
05:12    NYI       C. McDonald (1) Backhand - ASST: K. Aucoin (1) AND D. Ullstrom (1)     3 - 2 PIT           
10:37    NYI       M. Martin (1) Wrist - ASST: J. Bailey (1) AND F. Nielsen (1)          3 - 3 TIE           
 
3rd Period
12:23    NYI       K. Okposo (1) Snap - ASST: M. Moulson (1) AND M. Streit (2)    4 - 3 NYI
 
The Series:
·         GAME 1: Pittsburgh 5, Islanders 0
·         GAME 2: Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 3
·         GAME 3: at NYI Sun May 5, 12:00 PM ET
·         GAME 4: at NYI Tue May 7, 7:00 PM ET 
·         GAME 5: at PIT Thu May 9, 7:00 PM ET
·         GAME 6: at NYI Sat May 11, TBD, if necessary 
·         GAME 7: at PIT Sun May 12, TBD, if necessary  

The Skinny:  
The Islanders have now won game two in each of their last three playoff series…Sidney Crosby returned for the first time since being injured in a game against the Islanders on March 30th; he scored twice in the first 7:22 to give him 35 goals in 69 career playoff games…The Islanders comeback started after Kyle Okposo was involved in the first fight of his NHL career; 14 seconds later Colin McDonald had cut the lead to 3-2…Crosby and Malkin scored in the same playoff game for the 10th time; the Penguins had won the previous 9 …The Penguins have now sold out 280 consecutive regular season/playoff games… This was the latest the Islanders have played a game since they were eliminated by Montreal on May 24, 1993… Jarome Iginla had two assists for the second straight game…The 18 skaters used by Jack Capuano had combined for six playoff goals entering tonight (with three coming by Brad Boyes)… Mark Streit had two assists; the last Islander with multi-assist game was Tom Poti on 4-14-2007 in Buffalo.

The Series:
·         #1 Pittsburgh - #8 Islanders Tied 1-1
·         #2 Montreal - #7 Ottawa Tied 1-1
·         #3 Washington leads #6 NY Rangers 1-0
·         #4 Boston leads #5 Toronto 1-0
·         #1 Chicago leads #8 Minnesota 1-0 Game 2 on Friday night (late)
·         #2 Anaheim - #7 Detroit Tied 1-1
·         #6 San Jose leads #3 Vancouver 1-0. Game 2 on Friday night (late)
·         #4 St. Louis leads #5 Los Angeles 2-0

Ghost of David Volek
The Islanders stopped a 14-game losing streak in playoff games that they allowed three goals or more.  It's the first time since April 28, 2002 (5-3 win over Toronto) that the Isles won a playoff game allowing 3 or more goals.
It's the first time that they Isles allowed 3 goals in a road playoff win since May 14, 1993, when David Volek eliminated the Penguins at 5:16 of overtime in game 7.  (The Isles had lost 15 straight road playoff games when the allowed 3+ goals)

A Rare 4-3 Playoff Win in Regulation
This was the 10th time in Islander history that they won a playoff game by a 4-3 score.  However, six of the nine previous wins (including the last five) has come in overtime.  The last time the Isles won a game 4-3 in regulation was on April 17, 1977 in Buffalo.  This was the 206th game played since that 1977 win.

The Shots:      
Isles          20-14-8=42
Penguins  12-13-8=33
 
The 42 shots were the most that the Isles had in a playoff game since they had 44 against Toronto on April 23, 2002 and was the most against the Penguins in a playoff game since April 22, 2010, when Ottawa had 43.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 135-107 in 242 all-time playoff games.  They are 77-38  at home and 58-69 on the road.
The Penguins are 153-132 in 285 all-time playoff games. They are 83-61 at home and 70-71 on the road.

In the Nets
After allowing three goals on the first nine Penguin shots, Evgeni Nabokov stopped the final 24 Pittsburgh shots to improve his career playoff record to 41-39.  Nabokov, who played his 82nd game, has played in more game than any goalie participating in this year's playoffs; among active goalies only Martin Brodeur has played in more games (205).
Marc-Andre Fleury made 38 saves for Pittsburgh as his playoff record falls to 44-33.  Only Tom Barrasso (56) has more playoff wins as a Penguin.  Fleury has more wins than any goalie participating in this year's playoffs; among active goalies only Martin Brodeur has more wins (113).

Power Plays
The Islanders were 1-4 while the Penguins were also 1-4. For the series the Isles are 1-8 while Pittsburgh in 3-8. During the five games of the regular season against each other, the Islanders were 2-18 while the Penguins were 3-14.
Pittsburgh won all seven face-offs on their power play, which is something Coach Capuano commented about in his post-game interview.

Playoff Experience
Jack Capuano is only the sixth coach to lead the Islanders into the playoffs.

Most playoff wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 123
2.     Terry Simpson 9
3.     Peter Laviolette 4
4.     Jack Capuano 1
5.     Ted Nolan 1
6.     Steve Stirling 1

Most playoff games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 209
2.     Terry Simpson 20
3.     Peter Laviolette 12
4.     Steve Stirling 5
5.     Ted Nolan 5
6.     Jack Capuano 2
Of the six, only Peter Laviolette (0-2) was not 1-1 after two playoff games as an Islander coach.

They Said It
Kyle Okposo: "We came out and we didn't let the first period frustrate us... We just kept coming at 'em and coming at 'em and we didn't give up all night."

They Tweeted It
@StapeNewsday #Isles won 5 games on road this regular season when they trailed by 2 goals... This is 6 in 26 games away from home.

The Coach
"We had our legs going. After the first period, we had 20 shots on net. You could tell we were playing our game. Our guys are relentless. It only takes a couple shots to get back in the game. I knew if we continued to play the way we did in the first period, we would get on the score board and have some kind of success throughout the game."

Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald played 24:52 to lead the Isles for the 2nd straight game.  Kris Letang led Pittsburgh with 29:07; he has played a series-high 54:27.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 23 of 69 draws and have won 55 of 131 draws in the series.  John Tavares won 15 of 24 and has won 25 of 41 in the series.  Jussi Jokinen won 7 of 8  (14 of 20 in series) for Pittsburgh.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders out-hit the Penguins 31-28.  Travis Hamonic led the Isles with six hits; David Ullstrom added five.  Before being credited with the winning goal, Kyle Okposo fought Matt Niskanen in the first fight of the series.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 13 blocked shots.  Andrew MacDonald led the way with four blocks for the second straight game.

Missing Men
With Bridgeport's season over, the Isles have 35 players on the roster. 
Matt Carkner and David Ullstrom replaced Thomas Hickey and Marty Reasoner. Jesse Joensuu, Radek Martinek, Eric Boulton, Anders Lee, and Joe Finley were also scratched as were "black aces" Ryan Strome, Johan Sundstrom, Brock Nelson, Calvin DeHaan, Matt Donovan, Aaron Ness, John Persson and Anders Nilsson.

All-time Playoff Series
·         1975: Islanders won the series 4 games to 3.
·         1982: Islanders won the series 3 games to 2.
·         1993: Islanders won the series 4 games to 3.
·         2013: Series tied 1 game to 1.

Looking back to 1993
This series marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 series between the teams.  The Isles won game 1 (3-2; Ray Ferraro's 9th goal of the post-season gave the Isles the lead for good) on May 2nd before the Penguins evened the series on a Tom Barrasso shutout on May 4th.

Happy Anniversary
May 3rd has been a very good day in Islander history.  They have played seven playoff games on this date, and won them all.
30 years ago tonight (5-3-83):  Mike Bossy scored the first of two hats in the Conference finals against Pete Peeters and the Boston Bruins as the Isles pounded Boston 8-3.

Also: (1977) Billy Harris scored 3:58 into overtime to give the Isles a 4-3 win at the Forum in Montreal to cut Montreal's lead to three games to two; (1979) "JD gambled, but he lost" was Bob Lawrence's radio call as Bobby Nystrom scored at 3:40 of overtime to even the series with the Rangers at 2 games each.
All-time, the Isles are 7-0 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on this date.

Up Next
SUNDAY, MAY 5th PITTSBURGH AT ISLANDERS (12:00PM)
[NBC (Channel 4), WRHU (88.7FM]
The Islanders will look to grab the lead in the series as they play game three of the series at the Coliseum before a national television audience.
For the first 30 years, the Coliseum was "Fort Never Lose" in the playoffs as the Islanders went 77-32 on home ice. However, the Isles have not won a playoff games at the Coliseum since winning all three of their home games against the Maple Leafs in 2002.  Since then, the Isles have played three playoff series but are 0-6 in their home games.
This will be the first Islander game to be televised nationally over the air since May 16, 1993 in Montreal and the first time that NBC will nationally televise an Islander game (over the air) since May 11, 1975 vs. Philadelphia. (The Isles have appeared numerous times in regional games, but not in a full national broadcast in the interim)
 
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

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