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Friday, December 12, 2014

The Skinny: St. Louis 6, Isles 3

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
 
Game 29
St. Louis 6, Isles 3
Alexander Steen scored two goals, including a tie-breaking goal early in the third period as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Islanders 6-4 before a crowd of 18,028 at Scottrade Center. The Blues scored four goals in the third period (including an empty net goal); the Isles have allowed 11 third period goals in the last three games, all losses.

The Islanders remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Scoring:

1st Period
05:58    STL PPG - Alex Steen (6) Slapshot: Kevin Shattenkirk (20), Vladimir Tarasenko (14) 1 - 0 STL      
14:18    STL Barret Jackman (1) Slapshot - ASST: Alexander Steen (12), Maxim Lapierre (5) 2 - 0 STL       
 
2nd Period
16:03    NYI John Tavares (12) Wrist shot - ASST: Kyle Okposo (20)        2 - 1 STL          
19:54    NYI Mikhail Grabovski (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Frans Nielsen (11)   2 - 2 Tie           
 
3rd Period
04:32    STL Alexander Steen (7) Wrist shot - ASST: T.J. Oshie (6), Barret Jackman (7)  3 - 2 STL 
15:47    STL T.J. Oshie (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Patrik Berglund (5), Alex Pietrangelo (14) 4 - 2 STL 
17:48    STL PPG - Paul Stastny (7) Wrist shot - ASST: David Backes (6), T.J. Oshie (7)  5 - 2 STL           
18:16    NYI Kyle Okposo (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Matt Donovan (3)          5 - 3 STL          
18:56    STL EN - Jaden Schwartz (10) Tip-in - ASST: Kevin Shattenkirk (21), Jori Lehtera (17) 6 - 3 STL

The Skinny:
This was the first game all season in which the Isles scored at least one goal but never had the lead… John Tavares had a goal for his team-leading 26th point.  It was his 148th goal and 341st point, breaking ties with Pierre Turgeon in both categories. … Jiggs McDonald filled in for Howie Rose tonight; the Isles suffered only their third regulation loss in the last 20 games (14-3-3) that Jiggs has called… The Isles have outscored their opponents 33-24 in the first period and 3-0 in overtime, but have been outscored 29-28 in the second period and 32-24 in the third period… Mikhail Grabovski's goal was his first in the last 11 games while Kyle Okposo broke a 16-game goalless streak…Grabovski is the second Islander to beat a goaltender in the final 10 seconds of a period (Josh Bailey vs. Carolina).  St. Louis went 5 for 7 on the power play in the two games against the Isles…Alex Steen finished with three points; he is 5-13-18 in 17 games against the Isles…TJ Oshie also had a three point game for St. Louis…In 7 of the Isles' 10 losses they have allowed at least three goals in a period… Kevin Shattenkirk and Barret Jackman both went +3, Brock Nelson and the Blues' Jay Bouwmeester each went -3.
 
First Times in a Long Time
·         The Isles have allowed at least five goals in three consecutive games for the first time since December 9-13, 2010.
·         The Isles have allowed at least 17 goals in a 3-game span for the first time since October 30-November 4, 2010.
·         The Isles have allowed at least three third period goals in the third period for the first time since March 16-21, 2013.

Comparable Records
The Isles are 19-10-0 thru 29 games.  The Isles were 8-16-5 through 29 games and 8-17-5 through 30 games last season, when they did not win their 19th game until January 16th (19-23-7).
Most wins in first 29 games:
·         19-7-3 in 1976-77
·         19-10-0 in 2014-15
·         18-4-7 in 1978-79
·         18-9-2 in 1983-84
·         18-9-2 in 1987-88
Most points in first 29 games:
·         43 in 1978-79
·         41 in 1976-77
·         39 in 1980-81
·         38 in 2014-15
·         38 in 1977-78
·         38 in 1983-84
·         38 in 1987-88

Streakers
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 have lost their last three.

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          8-14-6=28
St. Louis   9-8-16=33

The Isles have been outshot in three consecutive games after outshooting 10 of last 11 opponents. 

Home and Road
The Islanders are 19-10-0 overall, 10-3-0 at home and 9-7-0 on the road.
St. Louis is 19-8-2 overall; 11-3-1 at home and 8-5-1 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 8-2-0 in Division games and are 11-8-0 in games against other divisions. They are 5-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 2-5-0 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 third of four consecutive games against the Western Conference's Central Division.  The Isles are 0-3-0 in this stretch.

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 27 saves but suffers his second straight loss.  He is 14-6-0 on the season.
Jake Allen made 25 saves to improve to 9-3-1 on the season.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-3 on the power play while St. Louis was 2-2. 
The power play is 4-16 (25.0%) in the last four games after going 2-14 (14.3%) in the previous five games.
The penalty kill is 6-12 (50%) during the three-game losing streak.  The Isles have allowed 10 goals in 24 times short over the last eight games (58.3% penalty kill).
The Isles are 11-5-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-5-0 when they do not.  The Isles are 7-9-0 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 15-4-0 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)
·         29 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 (and Second Goal)
The Isles are 11-7-0 when they score first and are 8-3-0 when they allow the opening goal.  However, the Isles are 0-3-0 when they allow the first two goals.

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 137-130-39 behind the Islander bench.

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 306
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
Kyle Okposo: "We played hard tonight. It was a better effort than the last two games…but we need to get two points at the end of the day. It's nice to score…I was squeezing my stick a little tight… Chicago is a good test (Saturday); it will be a good rebound game for us to see what we are made of.
Brock Nelson: "We're trying to dig ourselves out of where we are …need to continue to focus on what we need to do…Not the result we wanted."

They Tweeted It
@Weissler_2 Still not ready to press the panic button,Just cant let this skid get to 5 games. Should be a good test Saturday vs the Hawks at home #isles
@BobbyM222 Rather hit a bump in the road now then late Feb or March #isles #longseason
@islesnews Last time #isles lost 3 straight they won 13 out of their next 15.
@516NYIfans Glad to be coming home-let's get the #barn rocking this Sat. #beLIeve #picswiththecup #isles #NYI

The Coach
"I thought we battled back hard…but we really mismanaged the puck in the third.  In the third, we tried to be too individualistic…and when we did get chances, we didn't bury it…Too many turnovers from all four lines."

Back-to-Backs
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
John Tavares led all Isles with 21:52 of ice-time; Alex Pietrangelo led St. Louis with 22:15.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (9-2-0), Travis Hamonic (4-1-0), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (1-3-0), Thomas Hickey (2-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-2-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (0-1-0).
Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (9-9-0), 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 30 of 71 draws (31%).  John Tavares won 12 of 22 but his teammates won only 18 of 49; Jori Lehtera won 14 of 20 for St. Louis.
The Isles won only 9 of 21 (43%) in the first period and only 6 of 24 (25%) in the third period.  The Isles won 5 of 7 draws on the power play but only 1 of 4 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit St. Louis 26-14.  Matt Martin led the Isles with five hits. 
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 only 7 blocked shots, including 2 from Cal Clutterbuck.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 58-52, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).
Mikhail Grabovksi led the Isles with a +13 even-strength Corsi. Grabovski also had a team-leading 76% of Corsi For events. Alex Pietrangelo (+8) led Minnesota.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 341 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 15 games over all-time NHL .500 (1424-1409-450 in 3,283 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 281 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 81 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Matt Carkner, Travis Hamonic, Johnny Boychuk, and Casey Cizikas are all on injured reserve. Eric Boulton was activated from injured reserve and replaced Josh Bailey (injured) in the lineup; Cory Conacher and Griffin Reinhart were healthy scratches.
The Isles have lost 117 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:
·         148 goals (14th all-time and 13 behind Pat Flatley)
·         193 assists (tied-15th all-time with Pierre Turgeon and 56 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         341 points (14th all-time and 28 behind Stefan Persson)
·         379 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Randy Wood, 4 behind Anders Kallur and 9 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 13 behind John Tavares)
·         271 points (23rd all-time, 9 behind Kyle Okposo and 15 behind Ed Westfall)
·         476 games played (tied-26th among Islander skaters all-time with Gerry Hart, 3 behind Radek Martinek and 17 behind Ed Westfall)
Kyle Okposo has:
·         105 goals (tied-24th all-time with Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue and 11 behind Ray Ferraro)
·         175 assists (tied-19th all-time with Kenny Jonsson, 4 behind Frans Nielsen and 6 behind Ed Westfall)
·         280 points (22nd all-time, 6 behind Ed Westfall and 10 behind Alexei Yashin)
·         419 games played (35th among Islander skaters all-time, 3 behind Dave Langevin, 5 behind Josh Bailey, 6 behind Greg Gilbert and 7 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 Blues sweep the season series 2 games to 0 (and 4 points to 0).  It's the first time the Isles have allowed six goals in consecutive games to St. Louis since the 1991-92 season.
The Isles are 0-4-1 in their last 5 against the Blues and have lost four straight in St. Louis since a 6-3 win on December 6, 2005.

35 years ago tonight (1979) – Rookie Duane Sutter scored twice and fellow rookie Anders Kallur scored a spectacular shorthanded goal and added an assist as the Isles pounded the 4-time defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens 4-1.

Billy Smith made 30 saves as the Isles improved to 10-13-4 on the season as the Islanders held Canadien star Guy Lafleur pointless for the first time in 16 games.

Sutter's goals gave him five goals and eight assists in his first seven NHL games while Kallur's shorty had his teammates marveling at his skills. "The guys on the bench went crazy.  What a moved Anders put on that goalie", said John Tonelli (to Newsday's Tim Moriarty). Bob Lorimer, who had seen that move in practice, added "As soon as Anders shifted that puck, I knew he'd score. … He can make you look foolish."

Another Islander actually scored a fifth goal – a fan named Tony Giardina of Wantagh became the third fan in 12 games to win a car in the Isles' SCORE-O promotion.

Also on this date: (1982) – It was a big night for the Sutter brothers as they combined for two goals and five assists in a 7-1 trouncing of New Jersey.
All-time, the Isles have played nine December 11th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 6-2-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
Bridgeport is 12-9-2-1 on the season, heading into a Friday night game in Wilkes-Barre. The Sound Tigers return home to host Hartford on Sunday at 3pm.

Up Next
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 13th—CHICAGO AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG (Isles Pre-game at 7:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
(Note that this game is on MSG Network, not MSG+)

The Stanley Cup will be in the building as Clark Gillies celebrates his Locker Night and the Isles face the red-hot Chicago Blackhawks.   Chicago has won eight straight games (longest streak in the NHL) and on Thursday became the NHL first team to reach 20 wins.

Each of the last three games between the teams have ended in a 3-2 score; each of the last two Coliseum contests were won in overtime (Kyle Okposo, 1/2/14 and Patrick Sharp, 12/8/2011).

The Isles are 7-2-2 in the last 11 games against Chicago.

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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