By Eric Hornick
Isles 5, Carolina 3
Brock Nelson scored two goals and added two assists while John Tavares (3 assists) and Johnny Boychuk (1-2-3) each had three point games as the Isles built 3-0 and 5-1 leads as they defeated Carolina 5-3 before a sellout crowd of 18,680 at PNC Arena in Raleigh.
17:06 NYI PPG - Johnny Boychuk (1) Slapshot - ASST: Kyle Okposo (1), John Tavares (1) 1 - 0 NYI
18:54 NYI Brock Nelson (1) Wrist shot - ASST: John Tavares (2), Johnny Boychuk (1) 2 - 0 NYI
07:38 NYI PPG - Brock Nelson (2) Deflected - ASST: Johnny Boychuk (2), John Tavares (3) 3 - 0 NYI
01:25 CAR PPG - Nathan Gerbe (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Justin Faulk (1), Andrej Sekera (1) 3 - 1 NYI
05:11 NYI Mikhail Grabovski (1) Snap shot - ASST: Ryan Strome (1), Brock Nelson (1) 4 - 1 NYI
12:19 NYI Travis Hamonic (1) Snap shot - ASST: Brock Nelson (2), Ryan Strome (2) 5 - 1 NYI
14:20 CAR Chris Terry (1) Slapshot - ASST: Andrej Sekera (2), Riley Nash (1) 5 - 2 NYI
18:26 CAR PPG - Eric Staal (1) Snap shot - ASST: Elias Lindholm (1), Jiri Tlusty (1) 5 - 3 NYI
Boychuk is the fifth defenseman in the last six years to score the first goal of the season for the Isles; Michael Grabner scored the Isles first two goals last season…Boychuk finished with three points, becoming
the first only the 2nd Islander defenseman [Doug Crossman (10/5/89 @ Minnesota)] to have a 3-point game in his Isles debut… Jaroslav Halak is the sixth different Islander to start the last seven season openers (Rick DiPietro-Joey MacDonald-Dwayne Roloson-Al Montoya-Evgeni Nabokov-Evgeni Nabokov)…. The Isles improve to 11-21-10 on Opening Night while Carolina falls to 8-19-8 (including Hartford)…It's only the second time in Isles history that they have won consecutive Opening Nights (1980 and 1981)… The Isles also win their first road game of the season for the third consecutive year as they improve to 12-22-8 in road openers. It's the first time the Isles have ever won their first road game in three consecutive seasons…. . With 3 assists tonight (matching his career high), John Tavares passes Ed Westfall for 16th place on all-time #isles list. Tavares now has 25 points (13-12-25) in 19 games against Carolina – his most points against any opponent… Ryan Strome had two assists/points, matching his rookie high… Including three straight wins to end last season, the Isles have won four straight games (all on the road)…It's the first time since the franchise moved to Carolina that the Isles have scored at least five goals in consecutive games against the Hurricanes; they did so in the final two games against Hartford (1/24/97 and 4/11/97).
Big Night for Brock
Brock Nelson did not have a multi-goal or multi-assist game as a rookie. Tonight, he had both, going 2-2-4… He is the
first second Islander to have 4 points in a season opener, joining since Mike Comrie (10/5/2007 @ Buffalo) and his 4 points has him tied with Pascal Dupuis (PIT) and Joe Colborne (CLG) for the NHL scoring lead… In the Tavares era, an Islander has recorded four points in a game twelve times but this is only the fourth time it was not Tavares himself: Moulson (twice), Bailey, Nelson.
Johnny Boychuk had 3 points; no Islander defenseman has had four in a game since Chris Campoli did so on 10/18/07 in Washington. Boychuk matched his career high in goals (1) and assists (2) while recording the first three-point game of his career.
The Islanders dressed nine players who were not on last season's opening night 23-man roster, including seven off-season acquisitions: Goaltenders Jaroslav Halak and Chad Johnson, Defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy and Forwards Cory Conacher, Mikhail Grabovski, and Nikolay Kulemin. Those seven players are joined on the Opening Night roster by Cal Clutterbuck (who was on IR for the opener last season) and Ryan Strome.
Reinhart Makes His NHL Debut
Griffin Reinhart was on the Isles' season-opening 23-man roster last season but never dressed for a game. He debuted tonight, playing 16:51 (including 2:28 shorthanded). It was the second straight debut night for a Reinhart; brother Sam made his NHL debut for Buffalo last night.
Reinhart was one of six Islander first round picks in the line-up, joining Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey, John Tavares, Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome. Additionally, Nick Leddy (Minnesota) and Thomas Hickey (Los Angeles) were first round picks by other organizations. Two other former first round picks, Michael Grabner (Vancouver) and Calvin deHaan (Islanders) are on injured reserve.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 1-0-0 overall, 0-0-0 at home and 1-0-0 on the road.
Carolina is 0-1-0 overall; they finish 0-1-0 at home and 0-0-0 on the road.
The Isles are 1-0-0 in Division games and are 0-0-0 in games against other divisions. They are 0-0-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 0-0-0 vs. Central Division, and 0-0-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves as he wins in his Islander debut.
Cam Ward made 21 saves for Carolina but falls to 17-4-3 in his career against the Isles. It's only his second regulation loss in his last 17 decisions against the Isles (13-2-2).
The Islanders were 2-3 on the power play while Carolina was 2-5.
The Isles are 1-0-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 0-0-0 when they do not. The Isles are 1-0-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 0-0-0 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 1-0-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 0-0-0 when they do not.
The Isles are 1-0-0 when they score first and are 0-0-0 when they allow the opening goal.
Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history.
Most games coached (Islanders):
1. Al Arbour 1,500
2. Jack Capuano 278
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 119
3. Terry Simpson 81
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It
Brock Nelson: "Last year was a good learning curve… just need to be confident and execute."
John Tavares: "We worked on the power play hard… Johnny (Boychuk) came in and just fit in right away. His shot is really heavy."
Johnny Boychuk: "We're fast and skilled, and we worked extremely hard."
They Tweeted It
@D_Kurt_Green #isles ice time oddity. Fourth line center Casey Cizikas lead all forwards in ice time. Loving all Fwds had more than 10 mins tonight. (He's right, twice. Cizikas played 18:36, which was the third-highest total of his career, including 6:35 while shorthanded).
@Kevin_LaF 3 goals is too many goals to allow for me to be comfortable, but scoring 5? That's really, really nice. #isles
@Teri_Serrano Great win for the #Isles tonight! Really liked what I saw really excited more than normal for this year
CSN New England's @HackswithHaggs Another PP goal created by Johnny Boychuk's clapper from the point. Goal & 2 assists for JB55 after he rarely got PP time for Bs
"(Jaroslav Halak) was good. Especially in the first, he made some grade A saves. (Brock Nelson) started the way he ended off (last season)."
This is the first of 16 sets of back-to-backs this season. The Isles are 1-0-0 in the front-end and 0-0-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.
Leading Ice Men
Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with 23:11 of ice-time while Andrej Sekera led Carolina with 22:08.
The Isles are 1-0-0 when Johnny Boychuk leads the team in ice time.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 26 of 59 draws (44%). Frans Nielsen won 7 of 13 for the Isles; Eric Staal won 15 of 25 for Carolina.
The Isles out-hit Carolina 32-25. Matt Martin, the NHL hit leader in each of the last three seasons, led the Isles with seven hits.
There were no fights in the game.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 13 blocked shots; three players shared the team lead with two.
For the Corsi Crowd
Johnny Boychuk (+8) and Nick Leddy (+7) led the Isles in even-strength Corsi, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).
Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 318 career points; he is 55 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks. No other player in that draft is anywhere close. Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player in that draft.
The Islanders improve to seven games over all-time NHL .500 (1406-1399-450 in 3,255 games).
The Isles have not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978 and have finished every season since 1977-78 over all-time NHL .500.
Nick Leddy and Thomas Hickey are the Islanders' reigning ironmen. Leddy has played 253 consecutive games, while Hickey has played 84 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Lubomir Visnovsky, Michael Grabner, Calvin deHaan, and Matt Carkner are all out injured. Eric Boulton, Colin McDonald and Matt Donovan were scratched.
The Isles have lost 4 games this season due to injury.
All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
· 136 goals (16th all-time, 9 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 11 behind Pierre Turgeon)
· 182 assists (16th all-time, 11 behind Pierre Turgeon)
· 315 points (17th all-time, 16 behind Ziggy Palffy, 18 behind Tomas Jonsson and 25 behind Pierre Turgeon
· 351 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 30 behind Randy Wood)
Frans Nielsen has:
· 85 goals (36th all-time, 2 behind Butch Goring and 7 behind Travis Green)
· 169 assists (21st all-time, 2 behind Alexei Yashin & Duane Sutter and 6 behind Kenny Jonsson)
· 254 points (25th all-time, 1 behind Kyle Okposo, 4 behind Jason Blake & Steve Thomas)
· 448 games played (30th among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Scott Lachance and 11 behind Trent Hunter)
Kyle Okposo has:
· 99 goals (Tied-27th all-time with Trent Hunter, 2 behind Anders Kallur and 6 behind Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue)
· 156 assists (25th all-time, 7 behind Ziggy Palffy, 10 behind Jeff Norton and 11 behind Jean Potvin)
· 255 points (24th all-time, 3 behind Jason Blake & Steve Thomas)
· 391 games played (39th among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Bert Marshall and 5 behind David Volek)
Michael Grabner has:
· 82 goals (38th all-time, 2 behind Tomas Jonsson, 3 behind Frans Nielsen and 5 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has:
· 407 games played (35th among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Wayne Merrick and 15 behind Dave Langevin)
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0).
It's the Isles' second straight win over Carolina after going 0-5-1 in the previous six against the Canes.
It Happened at the Coliseum:
15 years ago today (1999): In the only home opener ever played on a Sunday, the Isles made Butch Goring a winner is his first home game behind the Islander bench, as they defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-2.
"I feel tremendous," Goring told Newsday's Alan Hahn. "It's a very emotional win for me."
The Isles outshot the Avs 31-16 in the game, including 12-2 in the first period. Mats Lindgren, Tim Connolly, Mariusz Czerkawski and Claude Lapointe scored for the Isles, making a winner out of Felix Potvin. It was the first NHL goal for Connolly and it became a rare victory for the Isles over Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy.
Also on this date: (2007) Bryan Berard broke a 1-1 tie with a second period power play goal as the Isles defeated the Rangers 2-1. Rick DiPietro finished with 36 saves, besting Henrik Lundqvist.
All-time, the Isles have played five October 10th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 3-2-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm
Bridgeport opens their season on Saturday night as they entertain the St. John's Ice Caps.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11th—CAROLINA AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders begin their 43rd and final Nassau Coliseum season when they entertain Carolina in the back-end of the home-and-home.
It's the back-end of a season-opening home and home series, and the second of four meetings this season with Carolina.
This is only the second time the Isles are opening a season with a home-and-home series and they will be looking to mimic the result in 2007, when they swept a pair of games from Buffalo. That 2007-2008 season was the last time the Isles opened the season 2-0-0; it has happened only four other times: 1976-77, 1980-81, 1987-88 and 2001-02.
The Isles are 24-12-5 all-time in home openers, but 0-2-3 in the last five seasons. Their last home opener victory was in 2008 against St. Louis. The only current Isles who played in that game are Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen. It's the 14th consecutive Saturday home opener for the Isles, who have opened on a weekend day at the Coliseum every year since 1987.
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 & on his blog www.nyiskinny.com.
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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