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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Skinny: Minnesota 5, Isles 4

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Game 28
Minnesota 5, Isles 4
Former Islander Nino Niederreiter broke a 4-4 tie with 4:33 to play for his 12th goal of the season as the Minnesota Wild rallied from 3-0 and 4-1 deficits to defeat the Islanders 5-4 before a sellout crowd of 18,904 at the Xcel Energy Center. It's the second consecutive game that the Isles grabbed a 3-0 lead, but lost in regulation.
The Islanders remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Scoring:
08:31    NYI       Michael Grabner (2) ASST: Anders Lee (2), Griffin Reinhart (1)     1 - 0 NYI          
17:15    NYI       PPG - Brock Nelson (13) ASST: Nick Leddy (9), John Tavares (14) 2 - 0 NYI        
17:47    NYI       Matt Martin (3) ASST: Thomas Hickey (9), Lubomir Visnovsky (6) 3 - 0 NYI         
09:01    MIN      PPG - Jason Pominville (6) ASST: Ryan Suter (13), Mikko Koivu (8) 3 - 1 NYI      
17:17    NYI       Josh Bailey (4) ASST: Mikhail Grabovski (6), Calvin de Haan (5)  4 - 1 NYI          
02:51    MIN      Mikko Koivu (5) ASST: Jason Zucker (4)             4 - 2 NYI          
11:03    MIN      Erik Haula (3) ASST: Ryan Carter (8), Jared Spurgeon (6)            4 - 3 NYI          
11:48    MIN      Thomas Vanek (3) ASST: Zach Parise (12), Ryan Suter (14)         4 - 4 Tie           
15:27    MIN      Nino Niederreiter (12) ASST: Thomas Vanek (13), Ryan Suter (15) 5 - 4 MIN

The Skinny:
Michael Grabner has scored a goal in consecutive games. …The Isles have led at some point of every game but one …Niklas Backstrom played in his 400th NHL game while the Isles' Brock Nelson played in his 100th…Nelson's team-leading 13th goal gave him 50 points in his first 100 NHL games; it was his 8th power play goal, which is good for a share of the NHL lead.. John Tavares had an assist for his team-leading 25th points.  His 147-193-340 career totals exactly match Pierre Turgeon's totals with the Isles… It's the first time since October 2009 that the Wild have erased a 3-goal lead to win at home … Griffin Reinhart earned his first NHL assist on Grabner's goal; five different Islander defensemen had assists…Thomas Vanek's goal was his first at even-strength this season; he has had 7 multi-point games in 31 career games against the Isles... Jiggs McDonald filled in for Howie Rose tonight; the Isles suffered only their second regulation loss in the last 19 games (14-2-3) that Jiggs has called…Minnesota native Nick Leddy recorded an assist for the third straight game while Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville each extended point streaks to five straight games…The Isles have outscored their opponents 33-22 in the first period and 3-0 in overtime, but have been outscored 29-26 in the second period and 28-23 in the third period.
Elias Says
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that this is the 1st time the Wild have ever erased a 3-goal deficit to win in regulation and that it is the 7th time this season an NHL team has erased a 3-goal deficit to win.

The Injuries:
Keith Ballard left the game in the second period and was taken to a local hospital after a collision with Matt Martin… Jaroslav Halak served as the back-up goalie (upper body).

The Lost Leads:
The Isles have lost consecutive games after holding 3-0 in both of them.  Prior to these games, it had been a long time without allowing the opponent to come back from that deficit:
·         Last time Isles had a 3-goal lead and didn't win:  March 13, 2012 -- Isles led Caps 3-0 and 4-1, but lose 5-4 in a shootout
·         Last time Isles had a 3-goal lead and lost in regulation: November 26, 2008 – Isles lead Pittsburgh 3-0 late in the second period, but fall 5-3.
·         Last time Isles had a 3-goal first period lead and lost in regulation: January 22, 2002 -- Isles led the Rangers 4-1 before the game was 9 minutes old but fall 5-4.

Comparable Records
The Isles are 19-9-0 thru 28 games; it's the first time in franchise history that the Isles have won 19 of their first 28 games.  The Isles were 8-15-5 through 28 games and 8-16-5 through 29 games last season, when they did not win their 19th game until January 16th (19-23-7).

Most wins in first 28 games:
·         19-9-0 in 2014-15
·         18-4-6 in 1978-79
·         18-7-3 in 1976-77
·         18-9-1 in 1983-84
·         18-9-1 in 1987-88

Most points in first 28 games:
·         42 in 1978-79
·         39 in 1980-81
·         39 in 1976-77
·         38 in 2014-15

The Isles won their first four games, lost their next two games, won the two games after that, lost the next three games, went 13-2-0 in their next 15 and are 0-2-0 in last 2.
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          11-1-7=19
Minnesota  3-12-15=30
The Isles, who scored on their only shot in the second period, were held to a season-low 19 shots.  The Isles have been outshot in consecutive games after outshooting 10 of last 11 opponents.  Minnesota has allowed the fewest shots in the NHL by a wide margin.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 19-9-0 overall, 10-3-0 at home and 9-6-0 on the road.
Minnesota is 15-10-1 overall; 9-3-1 at home and 6-7-0 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 8-2-0 in Division games and are 11-7-0 in games against other divisions. They are 5-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 2-4-0 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. 

Central Time Zone
This was the second of four consecutive games against the Western Conference's Central Division.  The Isles are 0-2-0 in this stretch.

In the Nets
Chad Johnson made 25 saves in his 1st career appearance against Minnesota.  Johnson falls to 5-4-0 on the season; he has allowed 18 goals in his last four starts (1-3-0).
Niklas Backstrom made 15 saves to improve to 4-2-1 on the season and 5-2-1 in his career against the Isles.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 1-5 on the power play while Minnesota was also 1-5. 
The power play is 4-13 (30.8%) in the last three games after going 2-14 (14.3%) in the previous five games.
The Isles are 11-5-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-4-0 when they do not.  The Isles are 7-8-0 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 15-3-0 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)
·         28 games (2014-15; current)
·         24 games (1983-84; 16-8-0 before tying St. Louis in game 25)

One Goal Games
The Isles are 12-2-0 in games decided by a single goal including 4-2-0 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 11-7-0 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 137-129-39 behind the Islander bench.

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 305
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 137
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Thomas Hickey: "We got what we deserved tonight. Things don't go your way when you don't work for it. Out-played, out-competed, out-executed. We were on our heels for 40 minutes and left the goalie out to dry. It's unacceptable."
Josh Bailey: "I think that starts with all our players… Our team defense needs to be cleaned up in our own zone."

They Tweeted It
@McLocks What a pretty little goal by Josh Bailey. #Isles
@Russostrib Scandella another penalty...hit to the head on Brock Nelson.....He got fined for that last week
@nycneil  Sure hope that @mnwild Ballard is ok and returns quickly after a very scary injury @NYIslanders Martin clearly didn't intent that result
@RALPH_RE 44-20! Face off stats that is. Minn 44- Isles 20. Still wonder why we lost tonight? #isles
@BoredJason All I can say is.... I can't wait for Thursday vs Blues and Saturday at home vs the Blackhawks! Shake it off stay focused & let's win #isles

The Coach
"He have to do a better job clearing in front…For me, it's how hard you want to battle in the greasy area…It came down to a will to defend.  That where they scored the goals…Face-offs have been terrible, it's not just the centers…it's the wingers winning the line of scrimmage. It's one area of the game that we have to pick up." 

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
Nick Leddy led the Isles with 23:05 of ice-time; Ryan Suter, in his first game back from the mumps, led Minnesota with 29:08.
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 (2-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-2-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (0-1-0).
Brock Nelson led the Isles forwards with 19:06 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (9-8-0), Kyle Okposo (7-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Casey Cizikas (1-0-0). 

In the Circle
The Islanders won only 20 of 64 draws (31%).  No Islander won more than he lost; Mikko Koivu won 22 of 30 and Mikael Grunlund won 12 of 15 for Minnesota.
The Isles won only 5 of 19 (26%) in the first period and only 7 of 25 (28%) in the third period.  The Isles also won only 2 of 7 draws on the power play and 1 of 7 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles were out-hit 17-14.  Matt Martin led the Isles with four hits. 
Matt Martin fought Kyle Brodziak in the 2nd period.  The Isles have been involved in eight fights this season: Martin (5), Hamonic (2), Lee (1). This was the first fight in a game against an opponent not in the Metropolitan Division.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 25 blocked shots, including 4 from Thomas Hickey.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Wild finished with a total Corsi advantage of 70-41 (including 51-21 over the final two periods, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks). The Isles had only 1 attempt in an 11 minute stretch of the third period in which Minnesota scored three times to tie the score.
Anders Lee led the Isles with a +3 even-strength Corsi. Lee also had a team-leading 58% of Corsi For events. Jonas Brodin (+13) led Minnesota.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 340 career points; he is 59 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 fall to 16 games over all-time NHL .500 (1424-1408-450 in 3,282 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 Brock Nelson are the Islanders' reigning ironmen.  Leddy has played 280 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 80 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Eric Boulton, Matt Carkner, Travis Hamonic, Johnny Boychuk, and Casey Cizikas are all on injured reserve. Lubomir Visnovsky and Josh Bailey returned to the lineup; Cory Conacher and Matt Donovan were healthy scratches.
The Isles have lost 112 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.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         147 goals (tied-14th all-time with Pierre Turgeon and 13 behind Pat Flatley)
·         193 assists (tied-15th all-time with Pierre Turgeon and 56 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         340 points (tied-14th all-time with Pierre Turgeon and 29 behind Stefan Persson)
·         378 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 3 behind Randy Wood, 5 behind Anders Kallur and 10 behind Travis Green)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         91 goals (35th all-time, 1 behind Travis Green and 2 behind Greg Gilbert & Garry Howatt)
·         179 assists (18th all-time, 2 behind Ed Westfall, 14 behind Pierre Turgeon and 14 behind John Tavares)
·         270 points (23rd all-time, 7 behind Kyle Okposo and 16 behind Ed Westfall)
·         475 games played (27th among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Gerry Hart, 4 behind Radek Martinek and 18 behind Ed Westfall)
Kyle Okposo has:
·         104 goals (26th all-time, 1 behind Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue and 12 behind Ray Ferraro)
·         174 assists (20th all-time, 1 behind Kenny Jonsson, 5 behind Frans Nielsen and 7 behind Ed Westfall)
·         278 points (22nd all-time, 8 behind Ed Westfall and 12 behind Alexei Yashin)
·         418 games played (35th among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Dave Langevin, 6 behind Josh Bailey, 7 behind Greg Gilbert and 8 behind Jason Blake)
Michael Grabner has:
·         84 goals (tied-37th all-time with Tomas Jonsson and 3 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has:
·         424 games played (33rd among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Greg Gilbert, 2 behind Jason Blake and 26 behind Scott Lachance)

Season Series Stats
The Wild lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0).  The teams will meet again on March 24th on Long Island.
It's the second straight season that the game between these teams in Minnesota has ended by a 5-4 score, with the winning team erasing a 3-0 deficit.  The Isles did that last year.
The Isles fall to 3-5-1 in St. Paul; seven of the nine games have been decided by one goal.

25 years ago tonight (1989) – Of all the hundreds of games the Isles and Rangers have played, one of the most memorable did not have a single goal scored in it.  Mark Fitzpatrick and John Vanbiesbrouck battled to a scoreless tie.
The Rangers outshot the Isles 33-26, but neither team could score.  Fitzpatrick, who extended his shutout streak to 136:45, recorded his third career shutout, all in a four-game period.
It was the first time the Islanders had ever blanked the Rangers at the Coliseum in regular season play.
Fitzpatrick told Newsday's Mark Herrmann: "Zero-zero games don't happen all the time. It was great to play in one.  It was probably the best hockey game I've seen this year."
Islander winger Don Maloney noted: "For my money, that was the type of hockey you can see in the playoffs. Everybody got their money's worth." Four months later the teams would meet in the playoffs.
Each team had some great scoring chances, none finer than the 2-on-0 the Isles had late in the game that was broken up on a (penalized) stick slash by Tomas Sandstrom.
Also on this date: (2003) – Radek Martinek scored the game-winning goal early in the third period as the Isles rallied for a 5-2 win over Tampa Bay. Garth Snow made 29 saves for the win.
All-time, the Isles have played nine December 9th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 3-5-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
Bridgeport is 12-9-2-1 on the season, after splitting a home-and-home with Lehigh Valley.  Bridgeport plays again on Friday in Wilkes-Barre before returning home to host Hartford on Sunday at 3pm.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 7:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles will look to break their two-game losing streak in a difficult place, as they face the Blues in St. Louis. The Isles are 0-3-1 in their last 4 against the Blues, including Saturday's 6-4 loss, and have lost three straight in St. Louis since a 6-3 win on December 6, 2005.

 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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