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The Skinny: Isles 4, New Jersey 1 - Isles clinch a Playoff Spot!

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 81 Isles 4, New Jersey 1    They're in! Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Kyle Palmieri scored goals 4...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Skinny: Montreal 3, Isles 1

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick

Game 34
Montreal 3, Isles 1
Andrei Markov and Brendan Gallagher scored second period goals as the Montreal Canadiens rallied from a 1-0 deficit for a 3-1 victory over the Islanders before a sellout crowd of 16,170 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  The loss snapped the Isles' four game winning streak.
The Islanders remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division, just three points behind the first place Pittsburgh Penguins.  Pittsburgh lost in Tampa Bay 4-3 tonight.

The Scoring:

1st Period
12:04    NYI       Kyle Okposo (8) ASST: John Tavares (16), Lubomir Visnovsky (8) 1 - 0 NYI        
2nd Period
06:10    MTL      Andrei Markov (5) ASST: P.K. Subban (15)         1 - 1 Tie           
11:27    MTL      Brendan Gallagher (10) ASST: Sergei Gonchar (5), Alex Galchenyuk (15) 2 - 1 MTL          
3rd Period
18:49    MTL      David Desharnais (5) ASST: Lars Eller (5), Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (9)  3 - 1 MTL
The Skinny:
John Tavares' assist was his team-leading 29th point…Despite the loss, the
Isles have allowed only 9 goals in their last five games … The loss is only the 2nd for the
Isles in their last 12 home games (10-2-0)...Kyle Okposo's goal was on one of his seven
shots; he has 15 shots in the last two games… Carey Price appeared in his 398th game
for Montreal, breaking a time with Ken Dryden for third place on the all-time list. He
recorded his 198th NHL win…Sergei Gonchar assisted on the winning goal; he is
18-49-67 in 80 career games vs. the Isles and leads all active defenseman in points 
vs the Isles…Andrei Markov scored the first Montreal goal in his 800th NHL game
(all with Montreal).
Cy Young:
 The Isles' 23-11 (and -0) record sounds more like a baseball pitcher than a hockey team.
  Only two pitchers in the last 45 years have ended a season with a 23-11 record: 
Jim Palmer did so in 1977 and Steve Carlton did so in 1982 (and yes they both did
 win the Cy Young Award!).

Most Wins by Christmas
·         24 in 83/84 
·         23 in 80/81 
·         23 in 14/15
·         21 in 76/77 
·         21 in 78/79 

Comparable Records
The Isles are 23-11-0 thru 34 games.  The Isles were 9-19-6 through 34 games and 9-19-7 through 35 games last season, when they had only 23 wins at the end of February (23-30-8).

Most wins in first 34 games:
·         23-11-0 in 2014-15
·         23-4-7 in 1978-79
·         23-9-2 in 1983-84
·         22-8-4 in 1976-77
·         21-7-6 in 1980-81

Most points in first 34 games:
·         53 in 1978-79
·         48 in 1976-77
·         48 in 1980-81
·         48 in 1983-84
·         46 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.

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 losing tonight.
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 Isles have had four winning streaks of at least four games this season.  It's the first time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had four winning streaks of at least four games.
The Isles have had five winning streaks of at least three games this season; it's the first time that they have ever done that before Christmas.

The Shots:
Isles       14-9-15=38
Montreal   3-9-9=21   
Montreal did not have a shot on goal in the first 13 minutes of the game. The Isles have outshot Detroit, Tampa Bay, and Montreal 118-60 over the last three games and have outshot their last five opponents 192-113.    

It is the first time since December 19-22, 2007 that the Isles have allowed 60 shots or fewer over a 3-game stretch. The Isles have outshot each of those three opponents by at least 14 shots, marking the first time that they have done that since October 19-24, 2002.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 23-11-0 overall, 13-4-0 at home and 10-7-0 on the road.
Montreal is 22-11-2 overall; 13-4-1 at home and 9-7-1 on the road.  Montreal has won 5 of their last six.

By Division
The Isles are 9-2-0 in Division games and are 14-9-0 in games against other divisions. They are 7-3-0 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
Chad Johnson made 18 saves but falls to 5-5-0 on the season with his third straight loss.  It was his first career start vs. Montreal.
Carey Price made 37 saves and improves to 19-9-1 on the season. Price is 8-3-3 in his career against the Isles.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play while Montreal was 0-2. 
The power play is 1-17 (5.9%) in the last six games after going 4-13 (30.8%) in the previous three games.
The penalty kill is 8-9 (88.9%) over the last five 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 11-7-0 when they do not.  The Isles are 9-9-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 14-2-0 when they do not. 

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

Two Column Team
The Isles are the only NHL team without an overtime or shootout loss this season and have established a club record by going the first 33 games of the season without an overtime/shootout loss or tie:
·         34 games (2014-15; current)
·         30 games (1998-99; 12-18-0 before tying Anaheim in game 31)

One Goal Games
The Isles are 15-2-0 in games decided by a single goal including 6-2-0 in regulation. They are 3-0 in games decided in overtime and are 6-0 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 11-8-0 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 141-131-39 behind the Islander bench.

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 311
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: "It's disappointing to end a good stretch. We didn't have that extra gear that we usually do. We really didn't generate a whole lot of great chances. We didn't seem to get those second and third opportunities."
Kyle Okposo: "I thought we ran out of gas."

They Tweeted It
@JakeAsman The pass by John Tavares to set up Okposo on the Isles first goal tonight was beautiful. My goodness.
@palffynyi16 The PK looks better as they actually pressed the puck tonight. Hope to see that continue. #isles
@AnEvanHess On the bright side, #Isles PK looked pretty good tonight, esp. in 3rd.  Turning a corner there?
@robertAbooey At Islander game with my kids at Nassau Coliseum. Place is jamming. Feels like 1980

The Coach
"We had some guys who were way off on their game…Our power play didn't give us any momentum whatsoever…we're going to have to change some personnel and move things around."

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
Calvin deHaan led all Isles with 22:27 of ice-time; Andrei Markov led Montreal with 25:33.  Every Islander saw at least 10 minutes of ice-time for the fourth straight game.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (10-2-0), Travis Hamonic (5-1-0), 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 20:03 of ice-time.  Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (11-10-0), 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 28 of 55 draws (51%).  Casey Cizikas won 6 of 9 for the Isles; Manny Maholtra won 6 of 9 for Montreal.   
The Isles won 20 of 36 (56%) draws in in the first and third periods but only 8 of 19 (42%) in the middle period.  The Isles won 2 of 3 draws on the penalty kill but lost all four draws on the power play.
It's the first time this season that the Isles have won a majority of face-offs in four straight games.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Montreal 24-7.  Travis Hamonic led the Isles with seven hits, matching Montreal's total. 
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 18 blocked shots, including four from Frans Nielsen.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 70-48, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).  Every Islander was on-ice for at least as many attempts as he allowed.
John Tavares led the Isles with a +15 even-strength Corsi while Ryan Strom was on-ice for a team-leading 77% of Corsi For events. Nathan Beaulieu and Alex Galchenyuk (+5) led Montreal.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 344 career points; he is 60 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 18 games over all-time NHL .500 (1428-1410-450 in 3,288 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 286 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 86 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Matt Carkner and Michael Grabner are on injured reserve. Matt Donovan, Eric Boulton and Brian Strait were scratched as was Jaroslav Halak.  Kevin Poulin was recalled from Bridgeport, dressed as the emergency backup, and was returned to the Sound Tigers after the game.
The Isles have lost 130 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         149 goals (14th all-time and 12 behind Pat Flatley)
·         195 assists (14th all-time and 54 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         344 points (14th all-time and 25 behind Stefan Persson)
·         384 games played (41st among Islander skaters all-time and 4 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, 12 behind Kyle Okposo and 15 behind Ed Westfall)
·         481 games played (25th among Islander skaters all-time and 12 behind Ed Westfall)
Kyle Okposo has:
·         107 goals (23rd all-time and 9 behind Ray Ferraro)
·         176 assists (19th all-time, 4 behind Frans Nielsen and 5 behind Ed Westfall)
·         283 points (22nd all-time, 3 behind Ed Westfall and 7 behind Alexei Yashin)
·         424 games played (34th among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Greg Gilbert, 2 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:
·         429 games played (31st among Islander skaters all-time and 21 behind Scott Lachance)

Season Series Stats
Montreal leads the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0). 
The Isles are 7-5-1 in their last 13 games against the Habs, but are only 3-3-1 in the last seven on Coliseum ice.
The teams will meet again on January 17th in Montreal and March 14th at the Coliseum.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on DECEMBER 23rd
36 years ago tonight (1978) -  Bryan Trottier helped re-write the Islander, and National Hockey League record books as he became the first Islander to score five goals in a game as the Isles scored a franchise record seven goals in the second period enroute to a 9-4 win over the Rangers. The Isles also recorded 13 assists and 20 points in the middle session, establishing franchise records that stand today but it was Trottier's individual effort that stands apart. 
Trottier recorded a franchise record eight points; six of those points came in the second period as he became the only player in National Hockey League history to have a six-point period.  Only one player in NHL History has ever had more than eight points in a game (Darryl Sittler, 10).
Of course Trottier had help from his friends as Mike Bossy scored two goals and added three assists while Clark Gillies chipped in with four second period helpers.  Gillies' 4 assists earned him a share of the NHL record for assists in a period; the record was broken by Dale Hawerchuk in 1984.
The win extended the Isles winning streak to three, and their point streak to six straight games.
"Yeah, it was my best game ever", Trottier told Newsday's Pat Calabria.  "It was the type of game you cherish and think about for a long time."  Trottier's fifth goal was awarded after a scoring change some 15 minutes after the game was completed.  By then, the Rangers were history, and so was Trottier's night.

Also on this date: (1972) – The Isles broke their franchise record 15 game winless streak with a 4-2 win over Minnesota. Brian Spencer scored the winning goal with six minutes to play in the only Isles win in a 28-game stretch (they would lose their next 12 games).  Both Minnesota goals were scored by a man who would have his say in Islander history a few years later: JP Parise.

All-time, the Isles have played twenty December 23rd games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 10-8-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers hit the Christmas break with a 13-11-3-1 record.  Bridgeport is back in action on Friday when they host Providence.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders last saw the Buffalo Sabres in the final game of last season, when Brock Nelson scored the tying goal late in regulation and the only goal in the shootout for a season-ending 4-3 shootout win.
The teams meet for the first time this season on Saturday night at First Niagara Center.  There will be two familiar faces behind the Sabre bench, as head coach Ted Nolan is assisted by Islander legend Bryan Trottier.
The Isles are 3-0-2 in the last five games against Buffalo. 

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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