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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Skinny: Isles 3, Ottawa 2 (OT)

“The Skinny”  

By Eric Hornick

Game 25
Isles 3, Ottawa 2 (OT)

Another day. Another hero.  Thomas Hickey’s centering pass deflected in off the skate of Ottawa’s Cody Ceci for the winning goal 3:06 into overtime to give Jaroslav Halak his 10th straight win as the Islanders extended their home winning streak to seven games with a 3-2 victory over Ottawa before a crowd of 13,888 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

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 12 of their last 14(12-2-0) for the first time in 24 years, and have won 18 times in the first 25 games for the first time in franchise history.  The Isles lead the entire NHL with 18 victories and are one point behind Tampa Bay for the NHL lead in points.

It’s the first time that the Isles are 11 games over NHL .500 since they ended the 2001-02 season with a 42-28-8-4 record.

The Scoring:

1st Period
10:04    OTT      Mike Hoffman (8) ASST: Mika Zibanejad (4), Alex Chiasson (6)    1 - 0 OTT          

2nd Period
18:26    NYI       Brock Nelson (11) ASST: Kyle Okposo (17)        1 - 1 Tie           

3rd Period
01:07    NYI       Ryan Strome (5) ASST: Thomas Hickey (7), Brian Strait (2)          2 - 1 NYI          
11:14    OTT      Clarke MacArthur (9) ASST: Mark Stone (6), Kyle Turris (12)         2 - 2 Tie           

OT Period
03:06    NYI       Thomas Hickey (2) ASST: Matt Donovan (1), Brock Nelson (11)   3 - 2 NYI

The Skinny:
Thomas Hickey’s goal was his 7th career goal; 2 of the 7 goals have come in overtime. Hickey also recorded his first multi-point game of the season and the fourth of his career… It was the 12th goal by the Isles’ defense this season;  the Isles had only 23 goals from defensemen last season … Brock Nelson took over the club lead in goal with 11, breaking a tie with John Tavares…Nelson and Kyle Okposo now each have 22 points, one behind Tavares’ 23… Okposo extended his club lead with his 17th assist; it was his 172nd career assist, passing Duane Sutter and Alexei Yashin for 20th place on the all-time Isles list… Jaroslav Halak has won a career-best 10 straight starts, allowing just 13 goals.  The 10 straight wins ties Billy Smith’s club record for consecutive victories, which was set in 1982…The Isles are 9-0-0 on Coliseum ice vs. US-based teams, but this was their first win in three tries this season vs. a Canadian squad.  It’s only the Isles’ 2nd win in their last nine home games vs Canadian teams…Casey Cizikas had a goal disallowed at the end of the second period when video review confirmed that the puck entered the net a fraction of a second after the expiration of the period.

The Injuries
The Isles lost two players due to injury. Travis Hamonic and Cal Clutterbuck both left the game in the third period. 

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

(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 17-5-2 36 points
ISLES       18-7-0 36 points

The Isles and Penguins have been tied at the end of play each of the last 11 days; both teams are idle until Thursday, when the Isles visit Ottawa and the Penguins host Vancouver.

Comparable Records
The Isles are 18-7-0 thru 25 games; it’s the first time in franchise history that the Isles have won 18 of their first 25 games.  The Isles were 8-14-3 through 25 games and 8-15-3 through 26 games last season, when they did not win their 18th game until January 12th (18-22-7).

Most wins in first 25 games:
·         18-7-0 in 2014-15
·         17-3-5 in 1978-79
·         17-7-1 in 1987-88
·         16-8-1 in 1983-84

Most points in first 25 games
·         39 in 1978-79
·         36 in 2014-15
·         35 in 2001-02
·         35 in 1980-81
·         35 in 1987-88

Fort Never Lose
The Isles have won 7 straight games at home for the first time since December of 2003.  It is the longest streak in the NHL this season. The Isles have not had a longer winning streak at home since they won 9 straight games at home during the 1989-90 season.

The Isles, who are 10-2-0 this season on Coliseum ice, won only 13 games at home last season (13-19-9).  When the Isles made the playoffs in the 2013 lockout season, they went 10-11-3 at home.

Most wins, first 12 home games:
·         11 in 1984-85
·         10 in 2014-15
·         9 in 1978-79
·         9 in 1982-83
·         9 in 1986-87

Most points, first 12 home games
·         22 in 1984-85 (11-1-0)
·         21 in 1978-79 (9-0-3)
·         20 in 2014-15 (10-2-0)

Home and Home
This is the fifth (and final) time this season that the Isles will play the same opponent in consecutive games.  The Isles swept Carolina in October before splitting with Tampa Bay, sweeping Pittsburgh and splitting with Washington in November.  It’s the first time the Isles have played a home-and-home with Ottawa since November 2008; the Isles swept that pair of games.

Top 10
Jaroslav Halak, the reigning NHL First Star, has won 10 straight games, tying Billy Smith’s club record. Halak is also the first goalie in Islander history to win 10 straight starts.

Halak’s Streak:
5-Nov-14          @         Anaheim            3          2          Wot
8-Nov-14          @         Arizona              1          0          W
11-Nov-14         Vs        Colorado           6          0          W
14-Nov-14         @         Florida              4          3          Wso
18-Nov-14         Vs        Tampa Bay        5          2          W
22-Nov-14         Vs        Pittsburgh         4          1          W
24-Nov-14         Vs        Philadelphia       1          0          Wso
26-Nov-14         Vs        Washington       3          2          Wot
29-Nov-14         Vs        New Jersey        3          1          W
2-Dec-14          Vs        Ottawa              3          2          Wot

Smith’s Streak:
23-Jan-82         Vs        New York          6          1          W
26-Jan-82         Vs        Pittsburgh         9          2          W
30-Jan-82         Vs        Minnesota         4          2          W
2-Feb-82           Vs        Washington       7          6          W  (in relief of Rollie Melanson)
4-Feb-82           @         Washington       5          2          W
7-Feb-82           @         Buffalo              7          3          W
13-Feb-82         Vs        Philadelphia       8          2          W
16-Feb-82         Vs        Pittsburgh         6          2          W
20-Feb-82         Vs        Colorado           3          2          W
23-Feb-82         Vs        Chicago            5          1          W

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 12-2-0 in last 14.

The Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games this season.  It’s the first time since the 1987-88 season that the Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games.

The Shots:
Isles       9-6-9-4=28
Ottawa   5-6-7-0=18

The Isles have out-shot nine of their last 10 opponents.  The 18 shots are the fewest the Isles have allowed in 128 games; Tampa Bay also had 18 on March 14, 2013.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 18-7-0 overall, 10-2-0 at home and 8-5-0 on the road.
Ottawa is 10-9-5 overall; 5-2-3 at home and 5-7-2 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 8-2-0 in Division games and are 10-5-0 in games against other divisions. They are 4-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 2-2-0 vs. Central Division, and 4-1-0 vs. the Pacific Division.

The Isles did not win their eighth divisional game last season until March 25th (8-15-3); they finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met. 

Playing the East

This was the tenth of 11 consecutive games against the Eastern Conference.  The Isles are 8-2-0 in this stretch, which concludes on Thursday in Ottawa.

In the Nets

Jaroslav Halak made 16 saves and improves to 13-4-0 on the season with his 10th straight win. He is 4-5-2 in his career against the Sens.

Craig Anderson made 25 saves for Ottawa; he is 5-5-4 on the season and 6-5-3 in his career against the Islanders. 

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play while Ottawa was 0-1.

The Isles have killed 31 of 36 over the last 13 games after they allowed 6 power play goals in 14 times short over the previous five games.  (The Isles killed only 1 of 4 in two games vs. Washington, but killed 30 of the other 32).

The power play is 4-23 (17.4%) over the last seven games.

The Isles are 10-3-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-4-0 when they do not.  The Isles are 6-6-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 12-1-0 when they do not. 

Three is (Usually) a Magic Number
The Isles are 14-1-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 4-6-0 when they do not. 

Two Column Team
The Isles are the only NHL team without an overtime or shootout loss this season.
It’s the second time in club history that the Isles have gone this late into the season without an overtime/shootout loss or tie:
·         30 games (1998-99; 12-18-0 before tying Anaheim in game 31)
·         25 games (2014-15; current)
·         24 games (1983-84; 16-8-0 before tying St. Louis in game 25)

One Goal Games
The Isles are 11-1-0 in games decided by a single goal including 3-1-0 in regulation. They are 3-0 in games decided in overtime and are 5-0 in shootouts.  Three games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter.  The Isles are 2-1 in those games.

First Goal
The Isles are 10-5-0 when they score first and are 8-2-0 when they allow the opening 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 136-127-39 behind the Islander bench.

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 302
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 136
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Thomas Hickey: "I came around the net there and there's bodies going to the net and I just threw it blind, to be honest. Maybe it got a bounce off something, I'd have to see it again.  We talk about doing that; that's how a lot of goals are scored, just throwing it and getting lucky and have guys going there. A lucky bounce and a big point."

Jaroslav Halak: “Every game is a different challenge, every opponent. Tonight was a weird game. We got two points, but I'm sure everybody knows that we can play better. I know that we'll play better on Thursday."

They Tweeted It
#Isles are now 10-2-0 at home this season.  Compare past few years:
2013-14: 13-18-8
2012-13: 10-11-3
2011-12: 17-18-6
2010-11: 17-18-6  (Hey, this is my department!)

@JTALT96 The Coliseum was electric tonight. It was a ton of fun to be there. #LGI #isles #YES

@MikeDA44 Another OT Win for the #Isles. Unbelievable. #yesyesyes

@justin_paley Congratulations to @thomas_hickey14 on the overtime game winning goal vs @Senators

@ISLES_SEC_337 Honk Honk HonkHonkHonnnnnnk

The Coach
"We feel like we've got the depth that can do the job. You lose three of your top-four guys, that's tough on the back end. Guys stepped up and played pretty well.  "There's gonna be injuries, but it gives other guys an opportunity."

The Isles are 4-1-0 in the front-end and 4-1-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. 
The Isles will play only one set of back-to-backs in December.  They will visit Detroit on December 19th and then host Tampa Bay on December 20th.

Leading Ice Men
Thomas Hickey led the Isles with 24:18 of ice-time; Erik Karlsson led Ottawa with 28:59.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (9-2-0), Travis Hamonic (4-1-0), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (1-2-0), Thomas Hickey (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (0-1-0).

Kyle Okposo led the Isles forwards with 21:58 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (9-7-0), Kyle Okposo (6-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Casey Cizikas (1-0-0). 

In the Circle
The Islanders won 27 of 51 draws (53%).  Casey Cizikas won 9 of 12 for the Isles; No Senator won more than he lost.

The Isles won at least half of the draws in each period except overtime, where Ottawa won the only draw.  The Isles also won 53% of the draws in all three zones.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles were out-hit 27-22.  Matt Martin led the Isles with five hits.
There were no fights.  The Isles have been involved in seven fights this season: Martin (4), Hamonic (2), Lee (1). All seven fights have come in games against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 14 blocked shots, including 3 from Travis Hamonic.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 58-47, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks). The Senators had only four attempts on goal in the final 18 minutes of the second period.
John Tavares (+10) led the Isles in even-strength Corsi. Matt Donovan had a team-leading 65% of Corsi For events. Alex Chiasson (+9) led Ottawa.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 338 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 17 games over all-time NHL .500 (1423-1406-450 in 3,279 games).  It’s the first time since October 21, 2010 that they have been 17 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 277 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 77 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Eric Boulton, Michael Grabner and Matt Carkner are on injured reserve. Johnny Boychuk (3 games) and Lubomir Visnovsky (2 games) remain out with injuries. Cory Conacher was scratched.
The Isles have lost 94 games this season due to injury/illness.

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-sixth among active goalies:
·         Martin Brodeur 124
·         Roberto Luongo 67
·         Evgeni Nabokov 59
·         Henrik Lundqvist 54
·         Pekka Rinne      34
·         Jaroslav Halak 33
·         Jonathan Quick 33
·         Marc-Andre Fleury 33
·         Ryan Miller        32

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         146 goals (15th all-time, 1 behind Pierre Turgeon and 14 behind Pat Flatley)
·         192 assists (16th all-time, 1 behind Pierre Turgeon and 57 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         338 points (15th all-time, 2 behind Pierre Turgeon and 31 behind Stefan Persson)
·         375 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 6 behind Randy Wood, 8 behind Anders Kallur and 13 behind Travis Green)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         90 goals (35th all-time, 2 behind Travis Green and 3 behind Greg Gilbert & Garry Howatt)
·         177 assists (18th all-time, 4 behind Ed Westfall, 15 behind John Tavares and 16 behind Pierre Turgeon)
·         267 points (23rd all-time and 8 behind Kyle Okposo and 19 behind Ed Westfall)
·         472 games played (27th among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Gerry Hart, 7 behind Radek Martinek and 21 behind Ed Westfall)
Kyle Okposo has:
·         104 goals (26th all-time, 1 behind Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue and 12 behind Ray Ferraro)
·         172 assists (20th all-time, 3 behind Kenny Jonsson, 5 behind Frans Nielsen and 9 behind Ed Westfall)
·         276 points (22nd all-time, 10 behind Ed Westfall and 14 behind Alexei Yashin)
·         415 games played (35th among Islander skaters all-time, 7 behind Dave Langevin, 8 behind Josh Bailey and 10 behind Greg Gilbert)
Michael Grabner has:
·         82 goals (38th all-time, 2 behind Tomas Jonsson and 5 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has:
·         423 games played (33rd among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Greg Gilbert, 3 behind Jason Blake and 27 behind Scott Lachance)

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 1).  The teams will meet again on Thursday in Ottawa before completing the season series on March 13th at the Coliseum.
The Isles have won 4 of the last 6 games between the teams (4-2-0), but only one of the four wins in that span have come in regulation.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on DECEMBER 2nd
19 years ago tonight (1995) – In their first game after dismissing General Manager Don Maloney, Islander captain Pat Flatley, who was playing in just his 13th game of the season, led a three goal first period splurge with his first goal of the season as the Isles defeated the Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils 4-1.
Todd Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist for the Isles, who chased Marty Brodeur after only one period.  It was Brodeur’s shortest start ever at the Coliseum and raised the Isles record to 6-15-3 on the season.
Maloney was replaced on an interim basis by his assistant Darcy Regier, but Coach Mike Milbury would be named the General Manager ten days later.
Also on this date: (1976) – Bert Marshall scored the 1,000th goal in franchise history but the Isles fell to Pittsburgh 4-2.
All-time, the Isles have played nine December 2nd games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 3-7-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

On The Farm
Bridgeport is 11-7-2-1 on the season after blanking Providence 3-0 on Sunday behind Kevin Poulin. The victory snapped a six-game winless streak for Bridgeport (0-4-2-0).  The Sound Tigers are off until Friday when they begin a 3-game-in-3-day weekend with a game in Hershey. Bridgeport will then visit Lehigh Valley on Friday before the Phantoms return the favor on Sunday at 3pm.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 7:00pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles will look to sweep the home-and-home series on Thursday, when they play the Sens in Ottawa. It figures to be an emotional night, as former Senator captain Daniel Alfredsson is expected to announce his retirement.

The Isles swept a pair of games in the Canadian capital last season and are 4-2-0 in their last six trips to the Canadian Tire Centre.

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.

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