By Eric Hornick
Isles 3, Rangers 0
Anders Lee sparked a three-goal second period with his 11th goal of the season and Jaroslav Halak made 27 saves for his 4th shutout of the season as the Islanders moved into first place in the Eastern Conference and recorded their first shutout at Madison Square Garden in over 39 years with a 3-0 blanking of the Rangers before a sellout crowd of 18,006.
It's the 29th win of the season for the Isles, who remain tied with Nashville for the NHL lead in wins and move one point ahead of Tampa Bay, who lost to Boston, for the conference lead.
The Isles are a season-high 16 games over NHL-.500. It's the first time that the Isles are at least 16 games over NHL .500 since the defending Stanley Cup Champions ended the 1983-84 season with a record of 50-26-4.
The win also maintains the Isles' one point lead in the Metropolitan Division over the Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated Minnesota.
08:49 NYI Anders Lee (11) ASST: Calvin de Haan (10), Travis Hamonic (7) 1 - 0 NYI
16:31 NYI Nikolay Kulemin (8) ASST: NONE 2 - 0 NYI
19:19 NYI SHG - Frans Nielsen (9) ASST: Johnny Boychuk (16) 3 - 0 NYI
Anders Lee has scored 6 goals in the last 12 games; it was the fourth time that he has opened the scoring in a game (tops on the team)... When Halak made it stand up, it also gave Lee his 5th game-winning goal of the season, tops among all NHL rookies; Lee has scored the winner in four of the last 12 games...Halak records only the second shutout for an Islander at the Garden; Billy Smith blanked the Rangers 3-0 on December 17, 1975 -- which was 14,272 days ago! It was Halak's 4th shutout of the season and 34th of his career…Frans Nielsen's shorthanded was his 1st of the season and 13th of his career, tying Shawn Bates for 6th place on the all-time list. (Anders Kallur's 19 shorties remains the record.)…The Isles have scored 7 shorthanded goals this season, tops in the NHL, but this was the first on the road…The Isles are 13-0-0 when Nikolay Kulemin records a point…The Isles snapped Rick Nash's four game point streak…The 44 shots were the most allowed by the Rangers this season…The Rangers suffered their first loss of 2015 and are 13-2-0 in their last 15…The Isles improve to 20-5-1 against the Eastern Conference; they were 23-23-8 vs. the East last season…John Tavares was held pointless for the second straight game, but the Isles improved to 12-4-0 when Tavares is pointless, including 11-1-0 in the last 12.
Brian Strait played in his 100th NHL game for the Isles while Marty St. Louis played in this 1,100th and Mark Staal played in his 500th game for the Rangers.
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
· ISLES 29-13-1=59 points (23 ROW) Beat NYR 3-0
· Pittsburgh 26-10-6=58 points (24 ROW) Beat Minnesota 7-2
· Washington 23-11-8=54 points (22 ROW) Idle
· NY Rangers 24-12-4=52 points (22 ROW) Loss to Isles 3-0
Schedule through All-Star Break:
· Isles: Vs Pittsburgh Fri, @ Montreal Sat, Vs Philadelphia Mon
· Pittsburgh: @Islanders Fri, Vs NY Rangers Sun, @Philadelphia Tue, Vs Chicago Wed
· Washington: Vs Philadelphia Wed, @Nashville Fri, @Dallas Sat, Vs Edmonton Tue
· NY Rangers: @Boston Thu, @Columbus Fri, @ Pittsburgh Sun, Vs Ottawa Tue
The Isles retain the Division lead this late in the season, for the first time since February 18, 1990:
The Road Trip
The Isles complete their franchise-record-tying 7-game road trip with a 5-2-0 record:
31-Dec-14 @ Winnipeg (Won 5-2)
2-Jan-15 @ Calgary (Won 2-1)
4-Jan-15 @ Edmonton (Lost 5-2)
6-Jan-15 @ Vancouver (Lost 3-2)
9-Jan-15 @ New Jersey (Won 3-2 OT)
10-Jan-15 @ Columbus (Won 5-2)
13-Jan-15 @ New York (Won 3-0)
23 of the remaining 39 games will be at home.
The Isles also had 7 consecutive road games in 1981-82 (when they went 1-5-1), 2000-01 (2-3-2), and 2009-10 (3-2-2).
Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out their last three home games, five of the last six and nine of their eighteen home dates this season. 108,146 fans enjoyed Islander hockey in 7 home dates (15,449 average) at the Coliseum in December. The 9 sellouts are the most for the Isles since they had 12 full houses at the Old Barn in 2007-08.
The Isles are 29-13-1 thru 43 games. The Isles were 14-22-7 through 43 games and 15-22-7 through 44 games last season, when they did not record their 29th win until they defeated New Jersey, 2-1 in a shootout, on March 29th (29-35-10).
Most wins in first 43 games:
· 29-5-9 in 1978-79
· 29-13-1 in 2014-15
· 27-14-2 in 1983-84
· 26-10-7 in 1976-77
· 26-9-8 in 1980-81
· 25-12-6 in 1981-82
· 25-17-1 in 1984-85
Most points in first 43 games:
· 67 in 1978-79
· 60 in 1980-81
· 59 in 1976-77
· 59 in 2014-15
· 56 in 1983-84
· 56 in 1981-82
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 14-4-0 on Coliseum ice, tying the club record for most wins through 18 home games (14-0-4 in 1978-79 and 14-4-0 in 1984-85). They have had more than 28 points through 18 home games only once: 14-0-4 for 32 points in 1978-79.
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, 7-1-1, 0-2-0, before winning their last three games.
Winning Streaks (Season)
2 streaks of at least 5 games -- First time since the 1987-88 season that the Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games.
4 streaks of at least 4 games -- First time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had four winning streaks of at least four games.
7 streaks of at least 3 games -- First time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had at least seven winning streaks of at least three games.
Rangers 9-12- 6=27
The 27 shots were the most that the Isles allowed on any game on the road trip.
The Isles have held their last 14 opponents to under 30 shots and their last 12 opponents to 27 shots or fewer; it's the first time that they have done this in at least 27 years.
It's the first time since January 4th-6th, 2014 that the Isles have had at least 40 shots in consecutive games.
The Isles have outshot their last 12 opponents 421-269 and have outshot their last 14 opponents 495-322. On this seven game road trip, the Isles outshot their opponents by a 228-157 margin.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 1,415-1,155 for a +260 shot differential. The club record for differential for a season is +307 in 1976-77. The Isles have had only two other seasons over +150: (+254 in 1986-87 and +152 in 1975-76).
Isles had 2,537 shots on goal last season, most since a franchise-record 2,616 in 1992-93. Isles are currently on pace for a record-breaking 2,698 shots this year.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 29-13-1 overall; 14-4-0 at home and 15-9-1 on the road.
The Rangers are 24-12-4 overall; 13-6-3 at home and 11-6-1 on the road.
The Isles are 13-2-0 in Division games and are 16-11-1 in games against other divisions. They are 7-3-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 4-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 5-3-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met.
Metropolitan Hockey Club, Inc.
The Isles are 13-2-0 against the Met Division. They are 7-0-0 at home and 6-2-0 on the road. The Isles are 6-0 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 2-0 on the road.
In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 27 saves to improve to 23-8-0 on the season. He is 9-4-0 in his career against the Rangers, including two shutouts.
Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves over the first two periods but falls to 20-9-3 on the season. He is 29-14-5 in his career against the Isles, but has allowed nine goals in five periods of play (5.40 GAA) against the Isles this season.
Cam Talbot stopped all 12 shots he faced in the third period.
Halak is the 10th goalie in Islander history to win at least 23 games in a season:
Player 22-win seasons
Chico Resch 5
Rick DiPietro 4
Billy Smith 3
Jaroslav Halak 1
Ron Hextall 1
Roland Melanson 1
Evgeni Nabokov 1
Tommy Salo 1
Chris Osgood 1
Dwayne Roloson 1
The club record for wins in a season is 32, shared by Billy Smith, Chris Osgood and Rick DiPietro.
The Islanders were 0-1 on the power play, while the Rangers were 0-1, and allowed the Nielsen shorthanded goal.
The power play is 0-14 in the last four games after going 7-20 (35%) in the previous four games.
The penalty kill is 27-29 (93.1%) over the last 12 games.
The Isles are 15-5-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 14-8-1 when they do not. The Isles are 11-9-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 18-4-1 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 23-4-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-9-0 when they do not.
One Goal Games
The Isles are 18-3-1 in games decided by a single goal including 7-3-0 in regulation. They are 5-0 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 16-9-1 when they score first and are 13-4-0 when they allow the opening goal. However, the Isles are 12-0-0 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. Capuano is 147-133-40 behind the Islander bench. Among the 9 New York teams, only the Giants' Tom Coughlin and the Yankees' Joe Girardi have led their respective teams longer than Capuano.
Most games coached (Islanders):
1. Al Arbour 1,500
2. Jack Capuano 320
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 147
3. Terry Simpson 81
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It
John Tavares: "It's a big win. Certainly it's going to make a lot of people on Long Island happy [Wednesday] morning. We're excited about beating them. It's a lot of fun. The rivalry has been great and you enjoy it. Obviously they've been playing well and the top of our division is real tight, so just a big game."
Travis Hamonic: "If you're going to look at pure mathematics, if you shoot the puck more you're going to score more goals. I know that sounds childish to say, but it's probably going to work out. For us that's obviously part of our game plan."
They Tweeted It
@ralphmacchio Was there at MSG for a NY @NHL showdown - another impressive @NYIslanders sweet victory! #shutout
@john_schweigh Is that right? 1st shutout by the #Isles at MSG since 1975? Wow. (It's right!)
@cubano_mufasa We can now say with certainty that the Islanders are New York's best sports team. #isles
@J_Barrett5 Yes chant breaks out in Penn Station #isles
@Jwmlb1 #isles dominated on all facets of the game. Halak was spectacular and the defense was very solid. #newera #TakingNewYork
"It's about getting the two points. To play a team that is playing so well, and for them to come off the trip they came off, it gives the guys confidence that they can play against veteran teams, good hockey teams….This was a big game with a lot of media attention, and I thought we played well."
The Isles are 6-1-0 in the front-end and 6-1-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles have swept 5 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 Friday vs. Pittsburgh and next Saturday in Montreal.
Leading Ice Men
Johnny Boychuk led all Isles with 22:35 of ice-time; Dan Boyle led the Rangers in ice-time with 21:55.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (11-3-0), Travis Hamonic (9-1-1), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-4-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-2-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).
Kyle Okposo led all Isles forwards with 18:46 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (14-12-1), Kyle Okposo (11-0-0), 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 32 of 59 draws (54%). John Tavares won 10 of 16 and Ryan Strome won 7 of 9 for the Isles; Derick Brassard won 12 of 20 for the Rangers. The Isles won 13 of 18 draws (72%) in the first period but then won only 19 of 41 (46%) the rest of the way. The Isles won 1 of 2 draws on the power play but lost all 4 draws on the penalty kill.
The Isles out-hit the Rangers 28-25. Matt Martin and Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with six hits each.
There were no fights. The Isles have been involved in nine fights this season: Martin (6), 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 23 blocked shots, including four from Casey Cizikas.
For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 72-64 (including 31-21 in the second period), which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).
Brock Nelson led the Isles with a +9 even-strength Corsi rating and was also on-ice for a team-leading 66% of Corsi For events. JT Miller (+13) led the Rangers.
Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 353 career points; he is 64 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.
The Islanders improve to 22 games over all-time NHL .500 (1434-1412-451 in 3,297 games). It's the first time that the Isles have been 22 games over since March 28, 2009.
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 295 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 95 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Matt Carkner and Lubomir Visnovsky are on injured reserve. Mikhail Grabovski (injured),. Matt Donovan and Eric Boulton were scratched.
The Isles have lost 154 games this season due to injury/illness.
All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
· 155 goals (14th all-time, 5 behind Pat Flatley and 13 behind Ziggy Palffy)
· 199 assists (14th all-time and 50 behind Tomas Jonsson)
· 354 points (14th all-time and 15 behind Stefan Persson)
· 393 games played (39th among Islander skaters all-time, 3 behind David Volek and 9 behind Jean Potvin)
Kyle Okposo has:
· 108 goals (23rd all-time, 8 behind Ray Ferraro and 10 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish)
· 183 assists (17 all-time, 10 behind Pierre Turgeon and 16 behind John Tavares)
· 291 points (21st all-time, 1 behind Duane Sutter and 4 behind Mariusz Czerkawski)
· 433 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Josh Bailey and 17 behind Scott Lachance)
Frans Nielsen has:
· 94 goals (32nd all-time, 1 behind Mikko Makela and David Volek and 5 behind Trent Hunter)
· 182 assists (18th all-time, 1 behind Kyle Okposo, 11 behind Pierre Turgeon and 17 behind John Tavares)
· 276 points (23rd all-time, 10 behind Ed Westfall and 15 behind Kyle Okposo)
· 489 games played (25th among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Ed Westfall and 19 behind Rich Pilon)
Michael Grabner has:
· 84 goals (tied-37th all-time with Tomas Jonsson and 3 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has:
· 437 games played (31st among Islander skaters all-time, 13 behind Scott Lachance and 22 behind Trent Hunter)
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 2 games to 0 (and 3 points to 0).
The Islanders have won five of their last six games on Broadway. It's the first time since the 2003-04 season that the Rangers did not record a single win on home ice vs. the Isles.
This was the final Manhattan meeting of the season between the squads, but the Rangers are the only opponent to visit Long Island three times this season: January 27th, February 16th and March 10th. The Isles are winless in their last four games (0-2-2) against the Rangers at home, including 0-1-2 at the Coliseum.
14 years ago tonight (2001) – Mariusz Czerkawski scored two goals and Tim Connolly added four assists as the Isles earned a split of a home-and-home series with a 6-5 win over Pittsburgh on Bill Torrey night.
Czerkawski scored the Isles' first two goals but each was answered by a tally by Mario Lemieux.
The Isles built a 5-3 lead early in the third period; Mark Parrish later offset former Islander Martin Straka's second goal of the game.
It was the only 4-assist game of Connolly's career, and came nearly four months before his 20th birthday. This made it one of only six 4-assist games by an NHL player before his 20th birthday since 1987.
The sell-out crowd wildly cheered the Torrey ceremony, which was highlighted by all alumni and staffers wearing Torrey's trademark, a bow tie. "I've worn them since I was a kid," Torrey said at a news conference. "I don't like wearing ties at all. I can't spill anything on these, and when I'm done with them, I can just fold them up and put them in my pocket.
Also on this date: (2007) – Miroslav Satan scored the tying goal with 0.7 seconds to play but Scott Gomez scored in overtime as the Devils defeated the Isles 2-1.
Also on this date: (1981) – Mike Bossy scores three power play goals and then adds an empty net, giving him 45 goals in the first 46 games as the Isles beat Pittsburgh.
All-time, the Isles have played eight January 13th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 4-2-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm
Kael Mouillierat scored the overtime winner on Sunday as the Sound Tigers edged Hartford, 4-3. Bridgeport is 18-15-3-1 on the season, and are in 9th place in the Eastern Conference. The Sound Tigers will visit Providence on Friday before returning home to host Syracuse on Saturday and Sunday.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 16th—PITTSBURGH AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders finally return home for their first home game of 2015 as they face the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final time in regular season play on Coliseum ice.
The Isles lead the season series 2 games to 1; after Pittsburgh won the first meeting at the Consol Energy Center in October, the Isles swept a home-and-home series from the Penguins in November.
The teams will also meet in Pittsburgh on the final Friday of the regular season.
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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