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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Skinny: Isles 1, Philadelphia 0 (SO)

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Game 21
Isles 1, Philadelphia 0 (shootout)

Steve Mason faced 46 shots and stopped them all, and even that was not enough to defeat the surging Islanders.  Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored shootout goal and Jaroslav Halak was perfect in both the game and the shootout as the Isles defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 before a crowd of 12,409 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

With the win, the Isles remain tied with the Penguins for first place in the Metropolitan Division (although Pittsburgh has a game in hand).  The Isles have won nine of their last ten (9-1-0), matching their best streak in 32 years,  and have won 15 times in the first 21 games for the first time in franchise history.

It's the first time that the Isles are 9 games over NHL .500 since they ended the 2006-07 season with a 40-30-12 record.

The Scoring:
The Shootout:
ROUND            ISLANDERS                                                      PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
1                      Kyle Okposo     (NG)                                         Scott Laughton (NG)
2                      Frans Nielsen    (Goal/Game Deciding Goal)       Claude Giroux   (NG)
3                      John Tavares    (Goal)
Frans Nielsen is now 37/65 in all-time shootout attempts.  His 56.9% success rate is the best among active NHLers with at least 20 attempts.  With his goal, he tied the NHL record for career shootout goals (37) shared by Brad Boyes, Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu.  Each of the other three players has attempted at least 17 more shootout attempts than Nielsen.

Nielsen also ties Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane for the NHL record of 16 Game Deciding Goals.

Nielsen and Kyle Okposo (stopped today after scoring in his last six attempts) are both 4/5 in the shootout this season. Anaheim's Jakob Silfverberg (4/6) is the only other player in the NHL with four shootout goals this season.

The Isles improve to 62-41 all-time in shootouts.  Only Pittsburgh (63-34) has more shootout wins.

The Isles have won seven consecutive shootouts, matching the franchise record that was set in 2006.  Five of those wins have come this season, making the Isles the only NHL team with 5 shootout wins.  The Isles and Minnesota Wild are the only teams in the NHL who have not been beaten this season in either overtime or the shootout.

The Skinny:
The Isles held NHL leading scorer Jakub Voracek to just one shot, after holding Sidney Crosby to 0 shots and 1 shot in the home-and-home series with Pittsburgh. ..The Isles improve to 7-2-0 in games tied after 2 periods …Tavares' goal was his first in the last ten regular season games against Pittsburgh… Montreal (16 wins in 23 games) is the only team in the entire NHL with more wins than the Isles, who are the only other team with at least 15…The Isles have now gone 108:11 without allowing a goal…This was only the second Isles game to go to a shootout in a scoreless tie.  On February 7, 2012, the Isles won a shootout in Philadelphia, behind 45 saves from Evgeni Nabokov….Jaroslav Halak is the 4th NHL goalie with at least three shutouts this season (Marc-Andre Fleury and Henrik Lundqvist (4 each), Darcy Kuemper (3).

Last Time First!
The Isles maintain at least a share of first place this late in the season for the first time since 2006.

(After the games of Dec 5, 2006)
Atlantic Division   W-L-OT  Pts                                                                              
NY Islanders     14-10-3 31                                                        
New Jersey       14-9-2   30                                                        
NY Rangers      13-10-4 30                                                        
(After tonight)
Metropolitan Division
Pittsburgh 14-4-2 30 points
ISLES       15-6-0 30 points
Halak and History
Jaroslav Halak has won seven straight games, allowing just eight goals. 
·         He is the first Isles to win 7 straight starts since Rick DiPietro 2/11/06-3/4/06  (he had a loss in relief in that span)
·         He is the first Isles to win 7 straight decisions since Chris Osgood 12/23/02-1/11/03 (he had a no-decision in a start in which he was pulled trailing 2-0)
·         He is the first Isles to win 7 straight appearances since Mark Fitzpatrick (12/16/89 - 1/17/90  -- won 8 straight, all complete games) 

Halak is the first Islander goalie to have three shutouts by the end of November since Chris Osgood did so in 2001.

The Isles are 9-1-0 in the last 10. This is the first time since 1989-90 that the Isles have won at least 9 of 10 (they had a 9-game win streak from December 31, 1989-January 19, 1990) and matches their best record in any 10-game stretch since the final 10 games of their fifteen game winning streak in 1982.

Remember That Second Period Issue?
Isles have now outscored the opposition 9-2 in second periods over the last seven games. The Isles have allowed only 2 second period goals in the last nine games.

Home or Road…Does It Really Matter?
The Isles are now 7-2-0 at home and 8-4-0 on the road.  It's the first time that the Isles are at least 4 games over .500 both at home and on the road at the same time since they ended the 2001-02 season with a 21-13-5-2 record at home and a 21-15-3-2 record on the road.

Comparable Records
The Isles are 15-6-0 thru 21 games; it's the first time in franchise history that the Isles have won 15 of their first 21 games.  The Isles were 8-10-3 through 21 games and 8-11-3 through 22 games last season, when they did not win their 15th game until January 6th (15-22-7).

Most wins in first 21 games:
·         15-6-0 in 2014-15
·         14-4-3 in 1976-77
·         14-3-4 in 1978-79
·         14-6-1 in 1987-88

November to Remember!
The Isles are 9-2-0 this November, which has three games remaining: a home-and-home series with Washington and a home game with New Jersey.  The 9 wins are their most in any November since they went 9-4-0 in 1987 and they need one more victory for their first 10-win November since 1983.

The Isles won their first four games, lost their next two games, won the two games after that, lost the next three games and are 9-1-0 in last 10.
The Isles have had three winning streaks of at least four games this season.  They had only two such streaks in the prior four seasons COMBINED.
The Shots:
Isles             12-15-16-3=46
Philadelphia    6-10-4-1=21
The 46 shots ties a season high (11/11 vs Colorado).  It's the most shots the Isles have had in a game in which they were shutout (excludes shootout) since being blanked on 53 tries by Florida's Craig Anderson on March 2, 2008.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 15-6-0 overall, 7-2-0 at home and 8-4-0 on the road.
The 7-2-0 start matches the Isles' best home start since they opened 8-1-0 at the Coliseum in 1984-85.
Philadelphia is 8-9-3 overall; 6-3-2 at home and 2-6-1 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 6-1-0 in Division games and are 9-5-0 in games against other divisions. They are 3-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 2-2-0 vs. Central Division, and 4-1-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
This was the third of six consecutive division games.  The Isles are 3-0-0 in this stretch.
The Isles did not win their sixth divisional game last season until February 4th (6-14-3). 

Playing the East
This was the sixth of 11 consecutive games against the Eastern Conference.  The Isles are 5-1-0 in this stretch, which includes upcoming home/home series with Washington and Ottawa and a home game with New Jersey.

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves to improve to 10-4-0 on the season.  He has won seven straight starts, allowing just eight goals.  He is 5-2-0 in his career against Philadelphia, with two shutouts. Halak is now one game shy of matching his career-best winning streak (eight games for St. Louis from February 23-March 11, 2012).
Steve Mason made 46 saves and is credited with his 24th career shutout. Mason is 4-6-2 on the season. 

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-3 on the power play while Philadelphia was 0-2.
The Isles have killed 25 of 27 over the last nine games after they allowed 6 power play goals in 14 times short over the previous five games.
The power play is 6-36 (16.7%) over the last ten games.
The Isles are 9-3-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 6-3-0 when they do not.  The Isles are 5-5-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 10-1-0 when they do not. 

Three is (Usually) a Magic Number
The Isles are 12-1-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 3-5-0 when they do not. 

One Goal Games
The Isles improve to 9-1-0 in games decided by a single goal including 3-1-0 in regulation. They are 1-0 in games decided in overtime and are 5-0 in shootouts.  Two games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter.  The Isles are 1-1 in those games.

First Goal
The Isles are 8-5-0 when they score first and are 7-1-0 when they allow the opening goal.  (League stats credit the goal awarded for winning the shootout as scoring first)

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 133-126-39 behind the Islander bench and will coach his 300th game on Friday in Washington.

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 298
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 133
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74
They Said It
John Tavares: "We just kept going at him. I think that's all you can do is just stay with it and we felt we were playing well. We felt like we were getting better as the game went on and obviously that's always a good sign. It takes past 65 minutes, you just stay with it and we're confident in our shooters and our goaltender's been a heck of a player over the past couple of weeks. We feel comfortable in any situation."

They Tweeted It
@BruceBeck4NY What a start by @NYIslanders ! 15 and 6! Best start ever according to @ehornick ! Best team in New York right now too! 
@OVentbrel789 So is it time to make the decision to keep the #Movember staches for good @NYIslanders ?
@cbuckser We've waited a long time for this. As much as I hate them, shootouts are part of the game, and we're great at them. #Isles
@palffynyi16 The record obviously is impressive,but it's HOW we are playing especially at home,been dominating everyone. PHI,PIT,COL,SJ,TB,DAL
@ross_goldman A world where my 3 month old son only knows the islanders as a 15-6 1st place team is a world I'm happy to be a part of #isles

The Coach
"No matter what the score is or what the adversity that we're facing throughout our game or how the momentum's going, we're just going to continue to play that we know how to play. I think our structure was good tonight. We did some good things. I really liked our third period, the way we managed the puck."

The Isles are 4-0-0 in the front-end and 3-1-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. 
The next set of back-to-backs will be next weekend, when the Isles will visit Washington on Friday at 5pm and host New Jersey on Saturday.

Leading Ice Men
Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with 27:18 of ice-time while Sean Couturier, a forward, led Philadelphia with 24:57.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (8-2-0), Travis Hamonic (4-1-0), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) and John Tavares (1-2-0).
John Tavares led Islander forwards with 22:25 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (9-6-0), Kyle Okposo (4-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), and Casey Cizikas (1-0-0).

In the Circle
The Islanders won 32 of 66 draws (48%). John Tavares won 15 of 25 for the Isles; Claude Giroux won 18 of 31 for Philadelphia.
After winning only 4 of 17 draws in the first period, the Isles won 28 of 49 the rest of the way.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Philadelphia 30-11.  Cal Clutterbuck had seven hits to lead the Isles.  No Flyer had more than 2.
Matt Martin fought Wayne Simmonds in the second period. It was only the fifth fight of the season for the Isles: Martin (3), Hamonic (2). All five fights have come in games against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 10 blocked shots; Nikolay Kulemin led the Isles with three.

For the Corsi Crowd
Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk (+19 each) led the Isles in even-strength Corsi, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks). Lubomir Visnovsky had a team-leading 79% of Corsi For events.  Every Islander had a positive even-strength Corsi; no Flyers had a better rating than +1.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 335 career points; he is 58 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.

All-time Winners
The Islanders improve to 15 games over all-time NHL .500 (1420-1405-450 in 3,275 games).  It's the first time since October 27, 2010 that the Isles have been 15 games over all-time NHL .500.
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 Brock Nelson are the Islanders' reigning ironmen.  Leddy has played 273 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 73 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Thomas Hickey's streak ended when he missed today's game due to illness.  He had played 103 consecutive regular season games.

Century Club
Thomas Hickey is part of a select group of Islander defensemen who have played at least 100 consecutive regular season games:
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 12/19/2011- 3/2/2014 164 (**)
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 11/24/2010– 2/4/2012 113 (*)
10.Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110
11.Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104
12. Thomas Hickey 4/26/2013- 11/22/14 103
(*) Start of NHL career.
(**) Entire career with Islanders

Missing Men
Eric Boulton, Michael Grabner and Matt Carkner are on injured reserve. Matt Donovan and Brian Strait replaced Thomas Hickey and Calvin deHaan (both ill) in the line-up; Cory Conacher were scratched.
The Isles have lost 77 games this season due to injury/illness, and have had at least four injured players for 13 of their 19 games. 

Good Company for Halak
Jaroslav Halak became the 110th goalie in NHL history to record 150 wins with his shutout of Colorado on November 11th.  His shutout of Philadelphia on November 24th was his 33rd career shutout, making him the 50th goalie in NHL history to reach that total.

Halak's 33 shutouts also rank tied-fourth among active goalies:
·         Roberto Luongo 67
·         Evgeni Nabokov 59
·         Henrik Lundqvist 53
·         Jaroslav Halak 33
·         Pekka Rinne      33
·         Jonathan Quick 33
·         Marc-Andre Fleury 32
·         Ryan Miller        30

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         144 goals (16th all-time, 1 behind Mariusz Czerkawski, 3 behind Pierre Turgeon and 16 behind Pat Flatley)
·         191 assists (16th all-time, 2 behind Pierre Turgeon and 58 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         335 points (15th all-time, 5 behind Pierre Turgeon and 34 behind Stefan Persson)
·         371 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 10 behind Randy Wood and 12 behind Anders Kallur)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         90 goals (35th all-time, 2 behind Travis Green and 3 behind Greg Gilbert & Garry Howatt)
·         176 assists (18th all-time and 5 behind Ed Westfall)
·         266 points (23rd all-time and 6 behind Kyle Okposo and 20 behind Ed Westfall)
·         467 games played (28th among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 8 behind Gerry Hart)
Kyle Okposo has:
·         104 goals (26th all-time and 1 behind Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue and 12 behind Ray Ferraro)
·         169 assists (22nd all-time and 2 behind Duane Sutter & Alexei Yashin)
·         273 points (22nd all-time, 13 behind Ed Westfall and 17 behind Alexei Yashin)
·         411 games played (tied-35th among Islander skaters all-time with Wayne Merrick and 8 behind Josh Bailey)
Michael Grabner has:
·         82 goals (38th all-time, 2 behind Tomas Jonsson and 5 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has:
·         419 games played (34th among Islander skaters all-time, 3 behind Dave Langevin and 6 behind Greg Gilbert)

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 1).  The next meeting of the teams will be on January 19th and will represent Philadelphia's final regular season visit to the Coliseum.
The Isles have won consecutive games over Philadelphia (both in shootouts) and are 6-7-0 in the last 13 with Philadelphia (including 4-0 in shootouts).
The Isles are 3-7-1 in their last 11 Coliseum matchups with the Flyers and have earned consecutive home wins over Philadelphia for the first time since 2007.
The Isles are 4-2-0 in shootouts all-time against the Flyers.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on NOVEMBER 24th
13 years ago tonight (2001) – Mark Parrish recorded the hat trick and added an assist as the Islanders extended their win streak to four straight games with a 5-3 victory over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.  The victory kept the Isles in first place in the Atlantic Division.
With the game tied 1-1 nearing the midway point of the second period, Parrish and Michael Peca scored 21 seconds apart to break the deadlock.  Parrish would then add a shorthanded goal – the only shorthanded tally of his 722 game NHL career.  He would later complete his second hat trick of the season.

Also on this date: (2007) – Rick DiPietro made 20 saves and added an assist, while Richard Park scored the game-winning goal as the Islanders rallied for a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins before a sellout crowd.
All-time, the Isles have played nine November 24th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 6-1-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.  

On The Farm
Bridgeport played three games on the road last weekend and went 0-2-1-0 as they fell to 10-6-1-1 on the season.
The Sound Tigers begin another "3 in 3" weekend on Friday in Manchester.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles conclude the homestand with the traditional Thanksgiving Eve game against the Washington Capitals.
The Isles are 2-0-3 in their last five games against Washington, but lost in a shootout and in overtime last year.
If the game gets to overtime, the Isles need to be extra wary of Alex Ovechkin.  The Capitals' star has scored fifteen overtime goals in his career, including five against the Islanders.

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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