By Eric Hornick
Isles 2, Columbus 0
Evgeni Nabokov made 41 saves for his third shutout of the season and 58th of his career as the Islanders blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 before a crowd of 15,008 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Cal Clutterbuck and Travis Hamonic scored for the Islanders, who improve to 3-9-1 in their last 13 home games (including 3-8-1 in their last 12 games at the Coliseum).
13:26 NYI Cal Clutterbuck (10) Snap shot - ASST: Frans Nielsen (28), Johan Sundstrom (1) 1 - 0 NYI
19:08 NYI PPG - Travis Hamonic (2) Snap shot - ASST: Calvin de Haan (11) 2 - 0 NYI
It was The Isles' third shutout of the season but first on Coliseum ice. Their last home shutout came exactly 52 weeks ago (3/24/13 vs Florida)…It was Nabokov's eighth shutout as an Islander… The Isles are 6-14-5 in their last 25 home games… Travis Hamonic now has 12 career goals, including four power play tallies. Each of the four PP goals have come in a different season….Hamonic was the Isles' most experienced defensemen in today's game (Hamonic 240, Carkner 225, Hickey 109, deHaan 45, Donovan 43, Czuczman 1); The six Isles had 643 games of combined experience, which was 187 games fewer than Lubomir Visnovsky, who missed the games with an injury…Johan Sundstrom recorded his first NHL point, when he assisted on Cal Clutterbuck's goal…Clutterbuck has reached double-digits in goals in each of his five full NHL seasons…The Isles wore their black alternate jerseys for the 7th and final time this season (2-3-2). The Isles went 8-11-5 all-time in their black jersey, which will not be worn again…The Isles improve to 8-4-6 in games that they score the first two goals…Cal Clutterbuck has scored 3 goals in the last five games (all of which were won by the Isles); the Isles are 7-2-1 when Clutterbuck scores a goal.
Travis Hamonic had not scored a goal since the last week of October, but his end-to-end goal evoked memories of Bob Bourne's legendary goal in the 1983 Playoffs against the Rangers. Watch Bourne's goal here: http://video.islanders.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=6601
Blue Jackets 6-16-17=41
It's only the third time in the last 15 games that the Isles have been outshot.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 27-35-9 overall, 11-18-8 at home (including 0-1-0 at Yankee Stadium) and 16-17-1 on the road. The Isles are 6-11-2 in their last 19 games.
Columbus is 36-29-6 overall; they are 19-13-3 at home and 17-16-3 on the road. The Blue Jackets have lost three of 4, but are 19-10-2 since the start of 2014.
The Isles are 7-15-3 in Division games and are 20-20-6 in games against other divisions. They are 9-6-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 7-6-1 vs. Central Division, and 4-8-2 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles have losing records against every division opponent except Washington (1-1-1 with one to play) and Columbus (1-1-1 with one to play). They are 0-3-0 against Carolina, 1-2-0 against New Jersey, 2-3-0 against New York, 1-3-0 against Philadelphia, and 1-2-1 against Pittsburgh.
This was the first of 12 consecutive games against Eastern Conference opponents to end the regular season.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 41 saves and improves to 13-14-6 on the season with his third shutout. Nabokov also gets his save percentage over .900 (.902) as he blanks the Islanders for the fourth time in his career.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves for Columbus but falls to 27-19-4 on the season. Bobrovsky, who has played 18 straight games, falls to 9-2-0 against the Islanders in his career.
The Islanders were 1-4 on the power play while Columbus was 0-6.
The Isles are 16-8-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 11-27-5 when they do not. The Isles are 11-19-4 when they allow at least one power play goal and 16-16-5 when they do not.
The Isles were 9-75 in the last 19 games on the power play and have allowed ten power play goals in 42 times short over the last ten games.
Columbus is 0-35 in the last nine games on the power play.
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 13-100 in their last 26 games.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 23-10-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 4-25-6 when they do not.
The Isles are 12-9-7 when they score first and are 15-26-2 when they allow the opening goal. The Isles have allowed the first goal in 24 of their last 33 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 (266) and wins (111).
Most games coached (Islanders):
1. Al Arbour 1,500
2. Jack Capuano 266
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 111
3. Terry Simpson 81
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It
Travis Hamonic: "Things haven't necessarily gone in pretty easily for me this season, so it's nice to see the ice kind of open up. Honestly I was just trying to hit [Ryan Strome] on the left side of the ice. We've had some success early on in the period doing that. That was our route, and it seems like the defenseman kind of overplayed both sides of the ice and protected the walls a little bit too much. Fortunate to keep skating and it was a pretty big relief to get that one in."
They Tweeted It
@morrellsports Great win by the #Isles. Awesome goal by Hamonic and congrats to Nabokov for the shutout!
@Jordan_Lyn Travis Hamonic goes coast to coast and snipes Bob. You're off the case!
"Your goaltender is obviously your best penalty killer. He made some big saves for us. We mismanaged the puck in the neutral zone a few times … but he was there for us."
The Isles are now 6-8-1 in the front-end and 6-7-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles have swept three back-to-backs: November 1st/2nd vs. Ottawa and Boston; January 6th/7th vs. Dallas and Toronto and January 20th/21st vs. Philadelphia and the Rangers.
In the 15 sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points three times, 3 points once, 2 points five times, 1 point twice and no points on four occasions.
The Isles' next back-to-back set is on April 1st against Florida and April 2nd at Ottawa. Six of the Isles' final eight games will be played as part of three back-to-back sets.
Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led the Isles with 24:05 of ice-time; James Wisniewski led Columbus with 26:36.
The Isles are 15-17-6 when MacDonald leads in ice-time, are 12-13-3 when Hamonic leads, are 0-1-0 when Okposo leads, are 0-1-0 when Strait leads, are 0-2-0 when Tavares leads and are 0-1-0 when Vanek leads.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 25 of 57 draws (44%), including only 4 of 17 in the first period. Kyle Okposo won 8 of 12 for the Isles; Ryan Johansen won 13 of 21 for Columbus.
The Isles out-hit Columbus 27-26; Matt Martin led the Isles with seven hits, giving him 307 hits on the season. Martin leads the NHL in hits by a wide margin. It is the second time in his career that he has recorded 300 hits.
Mike Halmo fought former Islander Blake Comeau in the third period. The Isles have received 30 fighting penalties this season: Martin (10), Boulton (8), Carkner (6), McDonald (2), Hamonic (2), Halmo (1) and Okposo (1).
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 12 blocked shots, including a team-high five blocks for Calvin deHaan.
The Race to 1,400?
The Islanders once again go one game over all-time NHL .500 (1398-1397-448 in 3,243 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.
Thomas Hickey is the Islanders' reigning ironman. He has played 72 consecutive regular season games, and is the only Islander to have played in every game this season.
John Tavares is on injured reserve. Michael Grabner missed his fourth straight game with a concussion; Brian Strait missed his first game with a broken hand while Lubomir Visnovsky also missed the game with an upper body injury; Matt Donovan and Matt Carkner replaced them in the lineup. Eric Boulton and Radek Martinek were also scratched. The Isles announced after the game that Boulton had signed a 1-year contract and will return to the team next season.
The Isles have lost 174 games this season due to injury.
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 686
2. Roberto Luongo 370
3. Evgeni Nabokov 348
4. Nikolai Khabibulin 333
17. Rogie Vachon 355
18. Evgeni Nabokov 348
19. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 333
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 124
2. Roberto Luongo 66
3. Evgeni Nabokov 58
4. Tomas Vokoun 51
5. Henrik Lundqvist 50
16 Turk Broda 62
17 John Ross Roach 58
17 Evgeni Nabokov 58
19 Clint Benedict 57
Career Goals as an Islander
15 Mariusz Czerkawski 145
16 John Tavares 136
17 Jason Blake 127
27 Trent Hunter 99
28 Kyle Okposo 99
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 82
37 Frans Nielsen 82
39 Wayne Merrick 81
39 Dave Scatchard 81
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 Frans Nielsen 165
24 Zigmund Palffy 163
25 Kyle Okposo 155
26 David Volek 154
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 436
31 Jason Blake 426
34 Wayne Merrick 411
35 Jean Potvin 402
36 David Volek 396
37 Josh Bailey 395
37 Bert Marshall 392
39 Kyle Okposo 389
40 Travis Green 388
41 Anders Kallur 383
42 Randy Wood 381
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
22 Jason Blake 258
22 Steve Thomas 258
24 Kyle Okposo 254
25 David Volek 249
26 Frans Nielsen 246
27 Ray Ferraro 238
Season Series Stats
The Blue Jackets still lead the season series, 2 games to 1 (and 4 points to 3). The final meeting of the season will be on April 6th in Columbus.
The Isles improve to 5-8-4 all-time against the Jackets, but this was only their second regulation win (and their first in over 7 years. Rick DiPietro blanked Columbus on December 23, 2006.
19 years ago tonight (March 23, 1995): The Rangers outshot the Islanders 37-15 but Steve Thomas scored the game's only goal, midway through the third period, as Tommy Soderstrom blanked the Blueshirts 1-0 at a sold-out Coliseum.
The Isles had won two Stanley Cups before they had ever won on this date. However, the Isles are 7-4-1 in their last 12 games on March 23rd and are 7-6-4 all-time on this date.
On The Farm
Bridgeport dropped a 2-1 decision in a shootout to St. John on Saturday and then fell 4-2 to Portland on Sunday. Bridgeport is 1-7-1-1 in their last ten games and 27-31-2-5 on the season.
The Sound Tigers are now off until Saturday when they visit Hartford.
TUESDAY, MARCH 25th –ISLANDERS AT CAROLINA 1:00PM
[MSG-Plus (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
[MSG-Plus (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
The Islanders begin a 2-game road trip on Tuesday as they face the Carolina Hurricanes.
The teams have met three times this season, and the Hurricanes have used a different goaltender in each game, each of which was won by Carolina by a single goal.
The Isles are 0-5-1 in their last six games against Carolina.
While the Sound Tigers will be away this coming weekend, there will be college hockey in Bridgeport as the NCAA Regional Finals are played. Good luck to my alma mater, Union College, as they look to repeat their 2012 feat of winning the regional in Bridgeport to get them to the Frozen Four. Union faces Vermont and Quinnipiac plays Providence in Friday's regional semi-finals.
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