By Eric Hornick
Isles 3, Detroit 0
The Islanders exploded for three goals in a 5:58 span in the first period and Evgeni Nabokov recorded his 56th career shutout as the Islanders blanked the Red Wings 3-0 before a sellout crowd of 20,066 at Joe Louis Arena. It's the Isles' fourth straight win at The Joe, where they have not lost since 2003.
10:57 NYI Kyle Okposo (12) Wrist shot - ASST: John Tavares (26), Thomas Vanek (13) 1 - 0 NYI
15:07 NYI Michael Grabner (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Josh Bailey (9), Frans Nielsen (17) 2 - 0 NYI
16:55 NYI Casey Cizikas (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Matt Martin (3), Colin McDonald (2) 3 - 0 NYI
Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen each extended point streaks to four games; Thomas Vanek and Josh Bailey each extended point streaks to three games….In a total team effort, nine Islanders recorded points and 14 Isles were "+" players… The Isles have outscored the opposition 6-1 over the first periods of the last five games and are now even in the first period (26-26) on the season… The Isles have scored at least three goals in a period six times this season, including four times on the road…The Isles have earned points in four of the five games since Evgeni Nabokov returned to action (2-1-2). Nabby has a 1.96 GAA and a 92.8 save percentage in that stretch… The win keeps the Isles within nine points of third place in the Metropolitan Division…The Isles have scored 14 goals since John Tavares last scored (in Phoenix)… It's only the Isles second win this season by at least three goals (2-10)…Detroit has been shutout four times this season, all at home.
What a First Period!
The Isles got goals from three different lines in the first period. It was the first time all season that the Isles had scored three goals in the first period and the first time since October 13, 2011 (vs. Tampa) that the Isles held a 3-goal lead after 20 minutes. The Isles had not held a 3-goal lead in any game since leading Nashville 3-0 on November 12th.
The Isles now have four players who have scored at least 12 goals this season. John Tavares has 13 goals, as does Thomas Vanek (9 in an Islander jersey). Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo each have 12. The Islanders reach the break as the only team in the Eastern Conference with four players with at least 12 goals.
Two of the most popular Islanders in the Post-Cup era are now tied in assists. John Tavares recorded career assist 163, tying Ziggy Palffy for 22nd all-time in Isles history. Palffy played 331 games for the Isles; Tavares has played 329. Ziggy added another 221 assists after leaving the Isles, finishing with 384.
Red Wings 6-11-6=23
The Isles have had only 60 shots in the last three games (2-1-0). It's their fewest shots in any 3-game period since having 59 from December 23-27, 2010 (also went 2-1-0).
The 42 shots for the two teams combined are the fewest in any Islander shutout since they blanked Buffalo 6-0 on October 11, 2003, outshooting the Sabres 24-13 in Rick DiPietro's first shutout.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 11-20-7 overall, 5-7-7 at home and 6-13-0 on the road. The Isles are 3-2-2 in their last seven games and are 3-1-0 in their last four on the road.
The Red Wings are 17-13-9 overall; they are 6-10-6 at home and 11-3-3 on the road. Detroit is 2-5-2 in their last nine games and their 16 losses/loser points at home lead the NHL. The Wings have sold out 124 consecutive games.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for his 56th career shutout and first of the season. Nabokov is 7-6-5 on the season and 10-17-2 in his career against the Red Wings.
Petr Mrazek made 16 saves but falls to 1-2-0.
The Islanders were 0-1 while the Red Wings were 0-1.
The Isles are 6-5-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 5-15-3 when they do not. The Isles are 4-14-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 7-6-4 when they do not.
The Islander special teams have improved as of late. The power play is 2-8 (25%) over the last 4 games while the Isles have killed 11 of 13 (84.6%) over the last five games while scoring two shorthanded goals.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 11-4-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 0-16-5 when they do not.
Helps to Score First
The Isles are 8-5-5 when they score first and are 3-15-2 when they allow the opening goal.
Second to The One
Jack Capuano is now 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (233) and wins (95).
Most games coached (Islanders):
1. Al Arbour 1,500
2. Jack Capuano 233
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 95
3. Terry Simpson 81
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It
Evgeni Nabokov: "You have to figure out for yourself how to win"
John Tavares: "We understood how we could make things difficult for them, and make it coming up the ice, it would be tough for them to get back in it."
They Tweeted It
@MikeBlazowski #isles probably played their most complete game of the season, tons of secondary scoring, good D and solid goaltending for 60 mins
@katiescee If we can just win like this for the rest of the season we should be okay #isles
"We competed hard and the way we wanted to. We got some timely goals, nice goals. We played pretty hard against a pretty good team."
The Isles are 4-5-0 in the front-end and 2-5-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.
In the nine sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points once, 3 points once, 2 points three times, 1 point once and no points on three occasions.
The next back-to-back set will be December 28th (vs. New Jersey) and December 29th (at Minnesota).
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 288 career points; he is 62 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks. No other player from that draft is anywhere close. Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player from that draft.
Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald played 23:53 to lead the Isles for the 25th time this season. Niklas Kromwell led the Red Wings with 26:44 of ice-time.
The Isles are 8-12-5 when MacDonald leads them in ice-time and 3-8-2 when Hamonic leads them.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 20 of 46 draws. Frans Nielsen won 4 of 6 for the Isles; Joakim Andersson won 10 of 16 for Detroit.
The Isles were out-hit 30-18. Colin MacDonald led the Isles with four hits, while Matt Martin extended his NHL-leading total to 183 with three hits.
There were no fights. The Isles have been involved in 13 fights this season: Martin (6), Boulton (4), and Carkner (3), while the Red Wings have had only 4.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 11 blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald was one of three Isles with two, extending his NHL-leading total to 131.
Back To All-Time .500
The Islanders regain all-time NHL .500 (1382-1382-446 in 3,210 games). The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 above all-time NHL .500 and have not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978.
John Tavares is the reigning Islanders' ironman. Tavares has now played in
245 246 consecutive games, which is the fifth-longest streak in Islander history.
Frans Nielsen (168) and Kyle Okposo (151) also have streaks of at least 150 consecutive games.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1. Billy Harris 576
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Matt Moulson 284
4. Denis Potvin 262
5. John Tavares
6. JP Parise 240
Lubomir Visnovsky and Radek Martinek remain on injured reserve. Peter Regin was scratched for the third straight game while Colin McDonald and Aaron Ness replaced Eric Boulton and Matt Carkner in the lineup. The Isles have lost 89 games this season due to injury.
Nobody Beats the Viz
The Isles were 19-12-4 last season and are 3-3-2 this season with Lubomir Visnovsky in the lineup. They were 5-5-3 last season and are 8-17-5 this season without him in the lineup.
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 679
2. Roberto Luongo 364
3. Evgeni Nabokov 342
4. Nikolai Khabibulin 333
17. Rogie Vachon 355
18. Evgeni Nabokov 342
19. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 333
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 124
2. Roberto Luongo 65
3. Evgeni Nabokov 56
4. Tomas Vokoun 51
18 Clint Benedict 57
19 Evgeni Nabokov 56
20 Bernie Parent 54
20 Ed Giacomin 54
Career Goals as an Islander
15 Mariusz Czerkawski 145
16 Jason Blake 127
17 John Tavares 125
18 Duane Sutter 121
Career Assists as an Islander
20 Jean Potvin 167
21 Jeff Norton 166
22 Zigmund Palffy 163
22 John Tavares 163
24 David Volek 154
25 Frans Nielsen 153
26 Mariusz Czerkawski 150
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
24 Eddie Westfall 493
25 Radek Martinek 476
25 Gerry Hart 476
27 Mariusz Czerkawski 470
33 Wayne Merrick 411
34 Frans Nielsen 405
35 Jean Potvin 402
36 David Volek 396
37 Bert Marshall 392
38 Travis Green 388
39 Anders Kallur 383
40 Randy Wood 381
41 Josh Bailey 365
42 Kyle Okposo 357
43 Dave Scatchard 347
47 Butch Goring 332
47 Oleg Kvasha 332
49 Bruno Gervais 331
49 Ziggy Palffy 331
51 Shawn Bates 330
52 John Tavares 329
53 Eric Cairns 327
Career Points as an Islander
17 Mariusz Czerkawski 295
18 Duane Sutter 292
19 Alexei Yashin 290
20 John Tavares 288
21 Ed Westfall 286
27 Kenny Jonsson 232
28 Greg Gilbert 231
29 Benoit Hogue 229
29 Trent Hunter 229
31 Frans Nielsen 225
32 Matt Moulson 223
33 Mikko Makela 219
34 Kyle Okposo 218
35 Mark Parrish 214
Season Series Stats
The Isles win the season series two games to one (and four points to three).
The Isles have won their last four trips to Detroit and have not lost at Joe Louis Arena since November 28, 2003. They are 7-1-1 in their last nine games against the Wings overall.
35 years ago tonight: December 23, 1978. Bryan Trottier became the first Islander to score five goals in a game and set an NHL record with six points in the second period as the Islanders pounded the Rangers 9-4. Trottier finished with a club record eight points. The Isles scored 7 goals in the second period, setting club records for goals, assists (13) and points (20) in a period.
Overall, the Isles are 15-11-2 on this date.
On The Farm
Dallas Jackson scored the winning goal with 93 seconds to play as Bridgeport edged Albany 4-3 in a penalty-filled game at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon. Kenny Reiter made 12 saves for the win as Bridgeport held Albany to 15 shots. Bridgeport is 12-14-1-3 on the season and is off until Thursday when they host Hartford.
Mike Halmo leads Bridgeport with 12 goals; Anders Lee leads current Sound Tigers in both assists (13) and points (24). Ryan Strome still leads both the team and the AHL assists (24) and still leads the team in points (33).
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28th —NEW JERSEY AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
Following the Christmas break, the Isles begin a set of three games in four days to close out 2013 when they entertain the Devils on Saturday.
It will be the first meeting of the teams since the Isles prevailed in a six-round shootout on Opening Night.
This will be the first of three Devils visits to the Coliseum this season. It is the second straight season that New Jersey is the only opponent to visit Long Island three times.
The Isles have won three straight overall from the Devils for the first time since winning six straight from 4/8/2007 – 1/16/2008.
The Isles will be looking to snap a seven-game home winless streak (0-3-4), which matches their longest home winless streak since late in the 1998-99 season; the Isles also went 7 straight games without a home win in January/February 2008.
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