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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, December 27, 2014

The Skinny: Buffalo 4, Isles 3 (SO)

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick

Game 35
Buffalo 4, Isles 3 (SO)
The Buffalo Sabres scored goals on 3 consecutive shots over a 5:12 span of the third period to rally from a 3-0 deficit to force overtime and then Tyler Ennis scored the only goal of the shootout as the Sabres defeated the Isles 4-3 before a crowd of 19,070 at First Niagara Center.  The Isles are 4-1-1 in their last six games. 
The Islanders remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division, and climb within two points of the first place Pittsburgh Penguins.  Pittsburgh lost to Washington 3-0 tonight.

The Scoring: 

1ST PERIOD
04:33 NYI Nick Leddy (6) Slapshot - ASST: Kyle Okposo (22), Josh Bailey (6) 1 - 0 NYI

2ND PERIOD
11:56 NYI John Tavares (14) Backhand shot - ASST: NONE 2 - 0 NYI
15:05 NYI John Tavares (15) Wrist shot - ASST: Josh Bailey (7), Kyle Okposo (23) 3 - 0 NYI

3RD PERIOD
06:39 BUF Nicolas Deslauriers (4) Wrist - ASST: Drew Stafford (13), Josh Gorges (5) 3 - 1 NYI
10:01 BUF SHG - Zemgus Girgensons (10) Wrist: Nicolas Deslauriers (8), Josh Gorges (6) 3 - 2 NYI
11:51 BUF Chris Stewart (5) Backhand- ASST: Drew Stafford (14), Patrick Kaleta (2) 3 - 3 Tie

OT PERIOD
NONE

The Shootout:
ROUND BUFFALO SABRES NEW YORK ISLANDERS
1 Matt Moulson (NG) Kyle Okposo (NG)
2 Tyler Ennis (G/GDG) Frans Nielsen (NG)
3 Zemgus Girgensons (NG) John Tavares (NG)

The loss ends the Isles' 9-0 streak in extra time to start the season.  The Isles were the FIRST team in NHL history to open a season by winning their first nine games that went beyond 60 minutes and had tied the NHL record for anytime during a season.  

The Skinny:
John Tavares had his second multi-goal game of the season to retake the goal-scoring lead from Brock Nelson (15 to 14).  He shares the Isles point lead with Kyle Okposo, whose two assists also give him 31 points… Leddy's goal was the 15th by the Isles' defense this season, but only their seventh in the last 27 games.  Leddy leads the defense with six goals….Zemgus Girgensons' shorthanded goal was the first allowed by the Isles since April 1 vs Florida…Kevin Poulin is 3-3 in all-time NHL shootouts….Sabres improve to 7-3 in extra time, including 6-1 in shootouts…Buffalo is 11-6-1 since a 3-13-2 start -- ironically the turnaround started with the first game Rick Jeanneret did for the Sabres this year.

The Lost 3-0 Leads:
This was the third time this season (all in December) that the Isles lost a game when they had a 3-0 lead (12/6 vs St. Louis and 12/9 at Minnesota).  

It's the first time Buffalo has won a game in which they trailed by three goals since March 19, 2008 vs. Tampa Bay and only the second time in franchise history the Sabres have erased a 3-0 third period deficit to win (4/2/2003 vs Atlanta).  It's the fourth time this season that an NHL team has rallied from a 3-0 third period deficit to win, with two of the four occurring vs. the Isles.  (Thanks Elias Sports Bureau!)

Most Wins by New Years
26 in 83/84 
24 in 80/81 
24 in 78/79 
23 in 14/15 with 2 to play

Comparable Records
The Isles are 23-11-1 thru 35 games.  The Isles were 9-19-7 through 35 games and 10-19-7 through 36 games last season, when they had only 23 wins at the end of February (23-30-8).

Most wins in first 35 games:
23-11-1 in 2014-15
24-4-7 in 1978-79
24-9-2 in 1983-84
22-7-6 in 1980-81
22-8-5 in 1976-77

Most points in first 34 games:
55 in 1978-79
50 in 1980-81
50 in 1983-84
49 in 1976-77
47 in 1981-82
47 in 2014-15

Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 13-4-0 on Coliseum ice, one shy of the club record for most wins through 17 home games (14-3-0 in 1984-85).  They have had more than 26 points through 17 home games three times: 13-0-4 for 30 points in 1978-79, 12-1-4 for 28 points in 1977-78 and 14-3-0 for 28 points in 1984-85.

Streakers
The Isles have had a season of streaks, going 4-0-0 to open the season and then (in succession) 0-2-0, 2-0-0, 0-3-0, 13-2-0, 0-3-0, and 4-0-0 before going 0-1-1 in the last two.

Winning Streaks (Season)
At least 2 streaks of 5 games -- First time since the 1987-88 season that the Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games.
At least 4 streaks of 4 games -- First time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had four winning streaks of at least four games.
At least 5 streaks of 3 games -- First time Isles have ever done that before Christmas.

The Shots:
Isles       9-10-14-3=36
Buffalo  10-7-6-3=26

The Isles have outshot Detroit, Tampa Bay, Montreal and Buffalo 154-86 over the last four games and have outshot their last six opponents 228-139.
The Isles have outshot each of those four opponents by at least 10 shots, marking the first time that they have done that since at least 1987.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 23-11-1 overall, 13-4-0 at home and 10-7-1 on the road. 
Buffalo is 14-19-3 overall; 10-8-2 at home and 4-11-1 on the road.  

By Division
The Isles are 9-2-0 in Division games and are 14-9-1 in games against other divisions. They are 7-3-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 3-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 4-1-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles did not win their ninth divisional game last season until March 29th (9-15-3); they finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met.  

In the Nets
Kevin Poulin made 23 saves in his first NHL appearance in 11 months.
Jhonas Enroth made 33 saves to improve to 11-11-2 on the season. Enroth is 1-3-0 in his career against the Isles.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play, allowing their first shorthanded goals of the season, while Buffalo was 0-3.  
The power play is 1-19 (5.3%) in the last seven games after going 4-13 (30.8%) in the previous three games.
The penalty kill is 11-12 (91.7%) over the last six games after allowing 7 goals in 15 times short (53.3%) in the previous three games.  
The Isles are 12-4-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 11-7-1 when they do not.  The Isles are 9-9-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 14-2-1 when they do not.  

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 18-4-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 5-7-0 when they do not.  

They Were a Two Column Team
The Isles are the last NHL team to suffer an overtime or shootout loss this season, Tonight's shootout loss ends the club record 34 game streak of beginning the season without an overtime/shootout loss or tie:
34 games (2014-15; 21-13-0 before losing in a shootout tonight)
30 games (1998-99; 12-18-0 before tying Anaheim in game 31)

One Goal Games
The Isles are 15-2-1 in games decided by a single goal including 6-2-0 in regulation. They are 3-0 in games decided in overtime and are 6-1 in shootouts.  Four games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter.  The Isles are 3-1 in those games.

First Goal (and Second Goal)
The Isles are 11-8-1 when they score first and are 12-3-0 when they allow the opening goal.  However, the Isles are 11-0-0 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal.

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history and was behind the bench for his 300th game on November 28th in Washington. Capuano is 141-131-40 behind the Islander bench.

Most games coached (Islanders):
1. Al Arbour 1,500
2. Jack Capuano 312
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 141
3. Terry Simpson 81
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
John Tavares: "These are two points we should have held. Certainly it's frustrating when you give up a three goal lead like that. Especially because I didn't think we did a whole lot wrong except for the breakdowns that led to the goals."
Kevin Poulin: "They scored one and they regained life a little bit. We should've closed the door."

They Tweeted It 
@aiavarone Time for some perspective. #isles gained a point on Pitt and are closer to 1st than 3rd in the Metro.  Let's all just pray that Halak is OK
@miczahn #Isles are home Monday 12/29/14. Then go on a 7-game road trip. Don't come back to NVMC until 1/16/15 against #Pens. Quite the stretch.
@MJDeMarco94  Halak: 18-6 2.24 GAA .919 SV%  Other: 5-5-1 3.50 GAA .868 SV% #Isles
@JMUJONMAC With the Metro Division tightening up, the #Isles remaining games against the Pens, NYR and Caps should be unreal. Will determine everything

The Coach
"We outshot them 14-6 in the third period and they got three goals…the shorthanded goals was a big goal for them.  We had some chances…but we have to get back to the drawing board with a few guys…I thought (Poulin) played extremely well, particularly in the first two periods.

Back-to-Backs
The Isles are 5-1-0 in the front-end and 5-1-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  The Isles have swept 4 sets of back-to-back this season and are 1-1-0 in two sets.
The next set of back-to-backs will be on January 9th in New Jersey and January 10th in Columbus.

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 22:49 of ice-time; Nikita Zadarov led Buffalo with 26:26.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (10-2-0), Travis Hamonic (5-1-1), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (1-3-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-2-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).
John Tavares led the Isles forwards with 21:15 of ice-time.  Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (11-10-1), Kyle Okposo (8-0-0), Ryan Strome (1-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Casey Cizikas (1-0-0).  

In the Circle
The Islanders won 23 of 64 draws (36%).  No Islander won more draws than they lost; Cody McCormick won 12 of 16 for Buffalo.   
The Isles won 10 of 24 (42%) draws in in the first period but only 13 of 40 (33%) in the rest of the game.  The Isles won 2 of 3 draws on the power play but only 2 of 5 draws on the penalty kill.
It's the first time in the last 5 games that the Isles have lost a majority of the face-offs.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles were outhit 28-18.  Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with three hits each.  
There were no fights. The Isles have been involved in eight fights this season: Martin (5), Hamonic (2), Lee (1), and all but one of the fights (Martin vs. Minnesota) have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Giving Up the Body 
The Isles were credited with 14 blocked shots, including three from Johnny Boychuk.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 66-47, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).
Frans Nielsen led the Isles with a +12 even-strength Corsi while Nielsen and Nikolay Kulemin were on-ice for a team-leading 71% of Corsi For events. Johan Larsson (+4) led Buffalo.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 346 career points; he is 62 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 remain 18 games over all-time NHL .500 (1428-1410-451 in 3,289 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.

Ironmen
Nick Leddy and Brock Nelson are the Islanders' reigning ironmen.  Leddy has played 287 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 87 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Matt Carkner, Michael Grabner and Jaroslav Halak are on injured reserve. Matt Donovan, Eric Boulton and Brian Strait were scratched.  Kevin Poulin was recalled from Bridgeport, and played in his first NHL game in 11 months.
The Isles have lost 133 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has: 
151 goals (14th all-time and 10 behind Pat Flatley)
195 assists (14th all-time and 54 behind Tomas Jonsson)
346 points (14th all-time and 23 behind Stefan Persson)
385 games played (41st among Islander skaters all-time and 3 behind Travis Green)
Frans Nielsen has:
91 goals (35th all-time, 1 behind Travis Green and 2 behind Greg Gilbert & Garry Howatt)
180 assists (18th all-time, 1 behind Ed Westfall, 13 behind Pierre Turgeon and 15 behind John Tavares)
271 points (23rd all-time, 14 behind Kyle Okposo and 15 behind Ed Westfall)
482 games played (25th among Islander skaters all-time and 11 behind Ed Westfall)
Kyle Okposo has:
107 goals (23rd all-time and 9 behind Ray Ferraro)
178 assists (19th all-time, 2 behind Frans Nielsen and 3 behind Ed Westfall)
285 points (22nd all-time, 1 behind Ed Westfall and 5 behind Alexei Yashin)
425 games played (tied-33rd among Islander skaters all-time with Greg Gilbert, 1 behind Jason Blake and 5 behind Josh Bailey)
Michael Grabner has:
84 goals (tied-37th all-time with Tomas Jonsson and 3 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has:
430 games played (31st among Islander skaters all-time and 20 behind Scott Lachance)

Season Series Stats
Buffalo leads the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 1).  
The Isles are 3-0-3 in the last six games against Buffalo.  
The teams will meet again on February 8th in Buffalo and in the penultimate home game, April 4th at the Coliseum.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on DECEMBER 27th
15 years ago tonight (1999) – Roberto Luongo made 34 saves for his only shutout as an Islander as the Isles blanked Boston 3-0.
After the game, Islander coach Butch Goring noted that Luongo is "mentally a lot better than I first anticipated. Roberto has impressed us in a lot of ways, but he still needs to work on a few areas. But he's shown that he's going to be a big part of this franchise's future."
Lindgren, Bill Muckalt and Niklas Andersson had the goals for the Isles, who won consecutive games for the first time that season.

Also on this date: (2003) – Mark Parrish scored the winning goal and Garth Snow made 20 saves as the Isles defeated Toronto 3-1.
All-time, the Isles have played six December 27th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 2-4-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers have won consecutive games out of the Christmas break behind shutouts from Kevin Poulin and David Leggio to improve to 15-11-3-1 on the season.  Bridgeport is back in action on Tuesday when they visit Worcester.

Up Next
MONDAY, DECEMBER 29th—WASHINGTON AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM 
[MSG+2 (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN] 
The Washington Capitals make their final regular season visit to the Coliseum as the Isles play their final home game before embarking on a 7-game road trip, which begins with four games in Canada.
This will be the 200th regular season meeting of the teams will; the teams will also meet February 21st in DC.  The Isles are 88-86-25 all-time against Washington.
The Isles are 6-2-6 in their last 14 games vs. Washington and are 1-1-0 this season vs the Caps.

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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