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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'...

Saturday, April 05, 2014

The Skinny: Washington 4, Isles 3 (SO)


"The Skinny"  

 By Eric Hornick
Game 77
Washington 4, Isles 3 (SO)
In a game the Washington Capitals desperately needed in their longshot chance to make the playoffs, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the only goal of the shootout as the Caps defeated the Islanders 4-3 before a near-capacity crowd of 16,008 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  The shootout loss ends the Isles' three-game win streak, but the Isles do extend their season-high point streak to seven games (5-0-2).  Washington snapped a 4-game winless streak (0-3-1).
The Scoring:
1st Period
12:55 NYI Cal Clutterbuck (12) Wrist shot - ASST: Casey Cizikas (10), Michael Grabner (14) 1 - 0 NYI        
2nd Period
02:36 WSH Evgeny Kuznetsov (3) Snap - ASST: Marcus Johansson (34), Troy Brouwer (18) 1 - 1 Tie        
04:16 NYI John Persson (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Travis Hamonic (14), Calvin de Haan (13) 2 - 1 NYI    
09:55 NYI PPG - Frans Nielsen (24) Snap shot - ASST: Josh Bailey (26), Matt Donovan (12) 3 - 1 NYI       
12:45 WSH Nicklas Backstrom (15) Wrist shot - ASST: Alex Ovechkin (25), John Carlson (24) 3 - 2 NYI    
15:01 WSH Joel Ward (23) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE      3 - 3 Tie           
3rd Period
NONE
OT Period
NONE
The Shootout:
Frans Nielsen (NG), Evgeny Kuznetsov (G), Ryan Strome (NG), Mikhail Grabovski (NG), Brock Nelson (NG)
Washington is 10-10 in the shootout; the Isles are 7-6.  The 20 shootouts for the Caps tie the NHL record, set by Phoenix in 2009-10 and tied by Minnesota is 2011-12.

The Skinny:  
Cal Clutterbuck had seven shots on goal for the first time as an Isles (his career high is 8)…John Persson became the 341st player in Islander history to score a goal…Josh Bailey is 10-10-20 in 35 career April games.  Bailey also extended his career-best assist total to 26 and is one point shy of his career high in points (35 in 2009-10)… The Isles allowed three goals in a period for the 25th time this season; the Isles have now allowed an NHL-high 98 second period goals this season, including nine to Washington…The Isles held Alex Ovechkin to one assist; Ovechkin remains at an NHL-best 49 goals and an NHL-low -35 rating… Playing without John Tavares, the Isles are 9-5-3 since the Olympic break… The Isles are 18-9-5 with Ryan Strome in the lineup…Frans Nielsen tied David Volek on the all-time point list (249). With his next point he will become the 25th player in Islander history to record 250 points…This was the 29th time this season that Washington has allowed a goal in the first two minutes after scoring a goal. (h/t Katie Carerra of the Washington Post).
The Injuries:
Both Michael Grabner and Calvin deHaan left the game with injuries.  deHaan returned to the bench for the start of the third period but played only 50 seconds before leaving the game about five minutes into the third period.

The Shots:
Isles            17-8-11-2=38
Washington 8-9-8-4=29

Youth Movement
With Michael Grabner ready to play, Johan Sundstrom was returned to Bridgeport before the game. The Isles dressed nine rookies: Kevin Czuczman, Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan, Mike Halmo, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Anders Nilsson, Ryan Strome, and John Persson. 
When both Grabner and deHaan were injured during the game, the Isles recalled both Johan Sundstrom and Scott Mayfield from Bridgeport.
 
Home and Road
The Islanders are 31-35-11 overall, 13-18-9 at home (including 0-1-0 at Yankee Stadium) and 18-17-2 on the road. The Isles are 7-2-2 in their last 11 games.
Over the last two seasons, the Isles are 23-29-12 (58 points in 64 games) at home and 32-23-6 (70 points in 60 games) on the road.  This will be the Isles' worst record at home for a full season since 2000-01, when they finished with 26 points.
Washington is 35-30-13 overall; they are 20-13-6 at home and 15-17-7 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 9-15-4 in Division games and are 22-20-7 in games against other divisions. They are 11-6-4 vs. the Atlantic Division, 7-6-1 vs. Central Division, and 4-8-2 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles do not have a winning record against every division opponent. They are 1-3-0 against Carolina, 1-1-1 (with one to play) against Columbus, 2-2-0 (with one to play) against New Jersey, 2-3-0 against New York, 1-3-0 against Philadelphia, 1-2-1 against Pittsburgh, and 1-1-2 against Washington.
This was the seventh of 12 consecutive games against Eastern Conference opponents to end the regular season.  The Isles have started this stretch 5-0-2.

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves; he is 14-14-8 on the season. Nabokov is 2-5 in the shootout this season.
Braden Holtby made 35 saves for Washington and improves to 20-15-4 on the season.  He is 6-1 in the shootout this season.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 1-3 on the power play while Washington was 0-5. 
The Isles are 18-8-5 when they score at least one power play goal and 13-27-6 when they do not.  The Isles are 14-19-4 when they allow at least one power play goal and 17-16-7 when they do not. 
The Isles are 13-94 in the last 25 games on the power play and have allowed 14 power play goals in 65 times short over the last 16 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 17-119 in their last 32 games.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 25-10-4 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-25-7 when they do not. 

Comeback Kids
The Isles are 15-9-8 when they score first and are 16-26-3 when they allow the opening goal.  The Isles have allowed the first goal in 26 of their last 39 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 (272) and wins (115).

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 272
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 115
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74
They Said It
Matt Martin: "We battled hard, and found a way to get a point…The competitive nature of us will keep us trying to win games…Every game's a tryout."

They Tweeted It
@BigRedDiva congrats @JohnPersson21 on your first NHL goal!! glad I was there to see it 💁 #isles
@RobbieDerschang Great stuff tonight from the team. Good to leave with a point #isles
@nightflyblog  Like a boss: @grabs40 signing for fans after game despite leaving the game injured. #isles
@mzahn21 #isles lose in the shootout.  Seven straight games with points. 5-0-2 in their last seven.  Still playing tough down the stretch.

The Coach
"I give our guys full marks against a real good team here. We held some big guys in check and overall it was a good effort."

Back-to-Backs
The Isles are now 7-8-2 in the front-end and 7-7-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  The Isles have swept four back-to-backs:  November 1st/2nd vs. Ottawa and Boston, January 6th/7th vs. Dallas and Toronto, January 20th/21st vs. Philadelphia and the Rangers and April 1st/2nd vs. Florida and Ottawa.
In the 16 previous sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points four times, 3 points once, 2 points five times, 1 point twice and no points on four occasions. 
This back to back set concludes in Columbus on Sunday. Six of the Isles' final eight games are being played as part of three back-to-back sets.

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led the Isles with 28:04 of ice-time while John Carlson led Washington with 30:07.
The Isles are 15-17-6 when MacDonald leads in ice-time, are 15-13-5 when Hamonic leads, are 1-0-0 when deHaan 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 32 of 62 draws (52%). Brock Nelson won 7 of 10 and Casey Cizikas won 12 of 20 for the Isles; Nicklas Backstrom won 10 of 18 for Washington.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Washington 38-31.  Matt Martin led the Isles with eight hits while Cal Clutterbuck and Anders Lee each had five hits. Martin now has 341 hits on the season and leads the NHL in hits by a wide margin; it is the second time in his career that he has recorded 300 hits. Clutterbuck now has 259 hits this season and is now in the top 5 in hits.
Mike Halmo fought Tom Wilson in the first period. The Isles have received 33 fighting penalties this season: Martin (10), Boulton (8), Carkner (8), McDonald (2), Halmo (2), Hamonic (2) and Okposo (1).

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 23 blocked shots, including a team-high six blocks for Travis Hamonic.

All-time Winners
The Islanders remain five games over all-time NHL .500 (1402-1397-450 in 3,249 games) with four games remaining in the current regular season. 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 not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978.
With their point tonight, the Isles are guaranteed to finish the regular season over all-time NHL .500 as they have every season since 1977-78.

Ironman
Thomas Hickey is the Islanders' reigning ironman.  He has played 78 consecutive regular season games, and is the only Islander to have played in every game this season. 

Missing Men
John Tavares is on injured reserve. Eric Boulton (hand), Brian Strait (broken hand), and Lubomir Visnovsky (upper body injury) are also injured. Kyle Okposo missed his fifth straight game with a lower body injury. Radek Martinek was scratched.
Michael Grabner returned to action for the first time since March 10th but was injured in the first period and did not return.
The Isles have lost 212 games this season due to injury. 

Career Wins, Active Goalies
Career Wins
17. Rogie Vachon 355
19. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 333
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
4. Tomas Vokoun 51
5. Henrik Lundqvist 50
Career Shutouts
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
36         Frans Nielsen   84
38         Michael Grabner 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   442
31         Jason Blake      426
34         Wayne Merrick  411
35         Jean Potvin       402
36         Josh Bailey      401
37         David Volek      396
38         Bert Marshall     392
39         Kyle Okposo    390
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
25         Frans Nielsen   249
27         Ray Ferraro       238
Season Series Stats
The Caps win the season series, 3 games to 1(and six points to four), winning both games this season at the Coliseum in extra time.
The Isles are an unusual 5-1-5 in the past three seasons against Washington.

Happy Anniversary

25 years ago tonight (4-5-87):  The Islanders end the regular season with a 9-5 win in Philadelphia. It's the most goals the Islanders have ever scored in Philadelphia.
All-time, the Isles are 8-5-1 on this date in regular season play, and are 1-2 in Stanley Cup Playoff action on this date.

On The Farm
Bridgeport lost to Wilkes Barre/Scranton on Friday and dropped a 4-3 decision in a shootout on Saturday.  Chris Langkow scored two power play goals for Bridgeport in the final 6 1/2 minutes to force the shootout.
The Sound Tigers are 1-11-1-2 in their last 15 games and 27-34-2-6 on the season.

Up Next
SUNDAY, APRIL 6th –ISLANDERS AT COLUMBUS 6:00PM
[MSG-Plus (Isles Pre-game at 5:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
The Isles conclude the back-to-back set with a 6pm tilt in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.
The Isles blanked Columbus 2-0 on March 23rd to improve to 5-8-4 all-time against the Jackets, but that was only their second regulation win (and their first in over 7 years).  Rick DiPietro blanked Columbus on December 23, 2006. 
The Isles have never beaten Columbus in regulation at Nationwide Arena, winning only by a Josh Bailey overtime goal in 2010.  Otherwise, they have one shootout loss and one tie in nine visits to Columbus.
The Isles did not win in their final two visits to Cleveland, either (a loss there on January 11, 1978 left them two games under all-time .500; a place they have not fallen since). The Isles' last regulation win in the state of Ohio came on the afternoon of March 27, 1977, when they defeated the Cleveland Barons 6-3. 

 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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