By Eric Hornick
Isles 5, Toronto 4
Michael Grabner scored a pair of shorthanded goals 48 seconds apart in the first period and Anders Lee scored a pair of tying goals 4:28 apart in the third period but it was newly-minted Assistant Captain Lubomir Visnovsky who scored in overtime as the Islanders defeated the Maple Leafs 5-4 before a crowd of 13,922 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. It's the Isles' first home win since a January 20th shootout victory over the Flyers.
6:53 TOR Phil Kessel (32) Snap shot - ASST: Tyler Bozak (21), James van Riemsdyk (24) 1 - 0 TOR
15:53 NYI SHG - Michael Grabner (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Casey Cizikas (8) 1 - 1 Tie
16:41 NYI SHG - Michael Grabner (11) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE 2 - 1 NYI
8:50 TOR Paul Ranger (3) Wrist shot - ASST: James van Riemsdyk (25), Phil Kessel (35) 2 - 2 Tie
11:26 TOR Dion Phaneuf (6) Snap shot - ASST: Tyler Bozak (22), James van Riemsdyk (26) 3 - 2 TOR
12:52 NYI PPG - Anders Lee (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Josh Bailey (17), Calvin de Haan (9) 3 - 3 Tie
13:54 TOR Joffrey Lupul (18) Wrist shot - ASST: Nazem Kadri (27), Carl Gunnarsson (11) 4 - 3 TOR
17:20 NYI Anders Lee (2) Tip-in - ASST: Ryan Strome (4), Travis Hamonic (9) 4 - 4 Tie
1:55 NYI Lubomir Visnovsky (3) Snap shot - ASST: NONE 5 - 4 NYI
The win snaps a 6-game home winless streak (0-5-1; including 0-4-1 in their last five games at the Coliseum)… The Isles are 4-10-5 in their last 19 home games…Phil Kessel and Michael Grabner, who were the only two players to score five goals during the Olympics, combined for the game's first three goals… Kessel's goal was his 52nd over the last two seasons, tying John Tavares for the second highest total behind Alex Ovechkin….Thomas Hickey played in his 100th NHL game (all for the Isles) while Nikolai Kulemin played in his 400th NHL game…Anders Lee, who scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game of last season, scored his first two goals in his first NHL game of this season…The Isles improve to 10-4-2 with Ryan Strome in the lineup…James van Riemsdyk assisted on the first three Leafs goals…With Radek Martinek scratched and Frans Nielsen on injured reserve, 24 year-old Josh Bailey appeared in his 385th game, more than any other Islander dressed today… The 19 days between games is the longest in-season stretch in Islander history (18 days in the 1998 Olympic break)…The Isles finished their abbreviated February schedule with a 2-2-0 record; they are 10-9-1 since the start of 2014… The Isles allowed three third period goals; it is the 20th time this season they have allowed 3 goals in a period…The Isles have scored 7 shorthanded goals on the season; only Carolina (9) and Calgary (8) have more…11 of Michael Grabner's 81 goals as an Islander have come shorthanded; only Boston's Brad Marchand (12) has scored more SH goals than Grabner over the last four seasons…Lubomir Visnovsky scored the fourth overtime goal of his career (and first as an Islander); The Isles are 9-8 in extra time this season, including 3-4 in games decided by an overtime goal.
Michael Grabner scored twice in a 48 second span in the first period; both goals were shorthanded.
Grabner is the first Isle since:
· Mike Sillinger (1/22/2008 at Carolina) to score two shorthanded goals in a game
· Ziggy Palffy (4/17/1999 at Pittsburgh) to score two shorthanded goals in a period
· Ziggy Palffy (4/17/1999 at Pittsburgh) to score two shorthanded goals on a single opponent's power play
Grabner tied an Islander record for SH goals in a period and in a game; he also tied the NHL record for shorthanded goals in a period.
It's the second time this season the Isles have scored two SH goals in a game (also scoring twice at MSG on December 20th) but the first time since March 2, 2000 vs Ottawa (3 shorthanded goals) that the Isles have scored at least SH goals in a game on Coliseum ice.
It's (Very) Early But…
Anders Lee has three goals in his first three NHL games. Only four players in Isles history have averaged more than .500 goals per game: Mike Bossy, Pierre Turgeon, Pat LaFontaine and Zigmund Palffy
The Isles have outshot their last five opponents and have been outshot only twice in the last 15 games.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 23-30-8 overall, 9-14-8 at home (including 0-1-0 at Yankee Stadium) and 14-16-0 on the road. The Isles are 2-6-1 in their last 9 games.
Toronto is 32-22-7 overall; they are 21-10-1 at home and 11-12-6 on the road. The Leafs are 11-2-2 in their last 15 games.
The Isles are 6-14-3 in Division games and are 17-16-5 in games against other divisions. They are 8-5-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-5-1 vs. Central Division, and 3-6-1 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles have losing records against every division opponent except New Jersey (1-1-0 with three to play) and Washington (1-1-1 with one to play). They are 0-3-0 against Carolina, 0-1-1 against Columbus, 2-3-0 against New York, 1-3-0 against Philadelphia, and 1-2-1 against Pittsburgh.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves and improves to 11-12-5 on the season. Nabokov is 7-2-2 in his career against Toronto.
Jonathan Bernier made 30 saves for Toronto; he is 22-16-6 on the season.
The Islanders were 1-4 while the Leafs were 0-4 and allowed two shorthanded goals to Michael Grabner.
The Isles are 15-7-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-23-4 when they do not. The Isles are 10-16-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 13-14-5 when they do not.
The Isles 3-10 in the last two games on the power play after going 0-30 in their prior seven games. The Isles have killed 42 of 46 (91.3%) over the last 15 games.
Feast or Famine
The Isles PP went 10-33 in the first 10 games, before going 7-79 in the next 24 games. They rebounded to go 11-32 in the following 11 games but are only 7-65 in their last 16 games.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 20-7-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 3-23-5 when they do not.
The Isles are 10-8-6 when they score first and are 13-22-2 when they allow the opening goal. The Isles have allowed the first goal in 17 of their last 23 games.
Second to The One
Jack Capuano became the 2nd coach in Islander history to win 100 games in Toronto on January 7th and became the 2nd coach in Islander history to coach 250 games on January 27th against Boston. He is 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (256) and wins (107).
Most games coached (Islanders):
1. Al Arbour 1,500
2. Jack Capuano 256
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 107
3. Terry Simpson 81
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It
Anders Lee: "Getting around the paint and in the goalies eyes is something I've always tried to do. I've got the body to do it and that's my job out there."
They Tweeted It
@fredrick_dietz After this performance I can hear a lot of opposition coaches saying "Remember the Halmo".
@tbone31592 Boulton gets a KO, Lee with two goals, Grabs with two goals and Lubo nets the winner in OT!
@colormelauren I was so impressed by @leeberr09 tonight! Hope I get a chance to see him play with the #isles at a game soon.
"(The call-ups) were a big factor in why we won the game tonight. Lee's as advertised, a big guy who goes to the net… Halmo was great, a good energy guy for us who finished a lot of checks tonight and made some skill plays. Strome made a nice play on the power play too."
The Isles are 6-6-0 in the front-end and 5-5-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles have swept three back-to-backs: November 1st/2nd vs. Ottawa and Avs; January 6th/7th vs. Dallas and Toronto and January 20th/21st vs. Philadelphia and the Avs.
In the twelve sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points three times, 3 points once, 2 points four times, 1 point once and no points on three occasions.
The Islanders next play back-to-back when they host New Jersey and Florida on Saturday and Sunday.
Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led the Isles with 23:27 of ice-time; Dion Phaneuf led Toronto with 24:47.
The Isles are 15-16-6 when MacDonald leads in ice-time, are 8-10-2 when Hamonic leads, are 0-1-0 when Okposo leads, are 0-2-0 when Tavares leads and are 0-1-0 when Vanek leads.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 27 of 61 draws (44%). Josh Bailey won 11 of 20 draws for the Isles; Tyler Bozak won 17 of 25 for Toronto.
The Isles out-hit Toronto 23-13; Mike Halmo had 4 hits in his NHL debut, as did Colin MacDonald to co-lead the Isles. Matt Martin missed the game with an injury; his 275 hits lead the NHL by a wide margin. He had now recorded at least 200 hits in four straight seasons.
Eric Boulton fought Tim Gleason in the second period. Among active players, only George Parros (155) and Chris Neil (147) have been in more NHL fights than Boulton (138). The Isles have been involved in 22 fights this season: Martin (8), Boulton (6), Carkner (5), McDonald (2), and Okposo (1).
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 19 blocked shots. Calvin deHaan led the way with six blocks; Andrew MacDonald added one and leads the NHL with 193.
Two Over All-Time .500
The Islanders improve to two games over all-time NHL .500 (1394-1392-447 in 3,233 games). The Isles have been 1-under all-time .500 after six games this season and have gone 4-0-2 in the following game.
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.
Frans Nielsen (190 games) and Matt Martin (121 games) both had ironman streaks end as they missed the game with injuries. Andrew MacDonald is the Islanders' reigning ironman. He has played 162 consecutive games, and is one of only two Islanders to have played in every game this season. Thomas Hickey played in his 62nd consecutive game.
Andrew MacDonald has the 4th longest consecutive game streak for a defenseman in Islander history:
1. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979 262
2. Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220 (*)(**)
3. Gerry Hart 3/1/1975-11/22/1977 198
4. Andrew MacDonald 12/19/11- CURRENT 162
5. Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136 (**)
6. Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134 (*)
7. Mark Streit 10/8/2011-4/26/2013 130
8. Travis Hamonic 2/24/2012-1/12/2014 117
9. Travis Hamonic 11/24/2011– 2/4/2012 113 (*)
10. Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110
11. Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104
(*) Start of NHL career.
(**) Entire career with Islanders
John Tavares (injured in Olympics) and Frans Nielsen (injured in final game before Olympics) are on injured reserve; Matt Martin missed the games with a lower body injury. Matt Carkner and Radek Martinek were scratched for the sixth and eighth straight game respectively.
The Isles have lost 151 games this season due to injury.
Career Wins, Active Goalies
17. Rogie Vachon 355
19. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 333
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
17 John Ross Roach 58
18 Clint Benedict 57
18 Evgeni Nabokov 57
20 Bernie Parent 54
20 Ed Giacomin 54
Career Goals as an Islander
15 Mariusz Czerkawski 145
16 John Tavares 136
17 Jason Blake 127
27 Trent Hunter 99
28 Kyle Okposo 96
29 Mikko Makela 95
29 David Volek 95
31 Randy Wood 94
32 Greg Gilbert 93
32 Garry Howatt 93
34 Travis Green 92
35 Butch Goring 87
36 Tomas Jonsson 84
37 Michael Grabner 81
37 Wayne Merrick 81
37 Dave Scatchard 81
40 Marty McInnis 79
41 Miroslav Satan 78
41 Frans Nielsen 78
43 Claude Lapointe 76
Career Assists as an Islander
16 Ed Westfall 181
17 John Tavares 179
18 Kenny Jonsson 175
19 Alexei Yashin 171
20 Duane Sutter 171
21 Jean Potvin 167
22 Jeff Norton 166
23 Zigmund Palffy 163
24 Frans Nielsen 161
25 David Volek 154
26 Mariusz Czerkawski 150
27 Kyle Okposo 147
28 Travis Green 145
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
24 Eddie Westfall 493
25 Radek Martinek 479
26 Gerry Hart 476
29 Scott Lachance 450
30 Frans Nielsen 427
31 Jason Blake 426
34 Wayne Merrick 411
35 Jean Potvin 402
36 David Volek 396
37 Bert Marshall 392
38 Travis Green 388
39 Josh Bailey 385
40 Anders Kallur 383
41 Randy Wood 381
42 Kyle Okposo 379
43 John Tavares 350
44 Dave Scatchard 347
Career Points as an Islander
16 Ziggy Palffy 331
17 John Tavares 315
18 Mariusz Czerkawski 295
24 David Volek 249
25 Kyle Okposo 243
26 Frans Nielsen 239
27 Ray Ferraro 238
Season Series Stats
The Isles win the season series 2 games to 1 (and 4 points to 3). The Isles are 5-1-1 in their last seven games against the Leafs and have scored 33 goals in the seven games.
7 years ago tonight (February 27, 2007): Trent Hunter scored the overtime goal and Rick DiPietro made 29 saves as the Isles defeated Philadelphia 6-5.
All-time, the Isles are 9-6-2 on this date including 6-1-2 in their last nine games.
On The Farm
Bridgeport won six straight games (all in regulation) over the Olympic break and are 25-24-1-4 on the season.
Anders Lee leads Bridgeport (and is 2nd among AHL rookies) with 22 goals. Ryan Strome leads the team (and all AHL rookies) in assists (36); he also leads the Sound Tigers (and is 2nd among all AHL rookies) in points (49). Of course both players are now with the Isles.
Bridgeport begins a three-game in three-day weekend in Providence on Friday.
SATURDAY, MARCH 1st – NEW JERSEY AT ISLANDERS 1:00PM
[MSG-Plus (Isles Pre-game at 12:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
The Isles and Devils meet for the third time this season as the Isles begin a rare set of back-to-back home games.
It's the third of five meetings between the teams this season; the teams split games earlier this season with both teams winning on the road – the Isles earned an Opening Night shootout win in New Jersey while the Devils defeated the Isles 2-1 on December 28th.
The Isles have won four of the last six games between the teams.
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