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The Skinny on the Playoff Race

Updating for all of Saturday's results: Saturday's Games Rangers 3, Isles 2 (SO) Philadelphia 1, New Jersey 0 Washington 4, Tampa Ba...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Skinny: Isles 5, Columbus 2

"The Skinny"  

 By Eric Hornick
Game 42
Isles 5, Columbus 2
Matt Martin deflected home a Ryan Strome for the lead goal as the Isles scored three goals in the second period enroute to a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets before a crowd of 16,589 at Nationwide Arena. It's the Isles' first-ever regulation win at Nationwide.
It's the 28th win of the season for the Isles, who remain tied with Nashville for the NHL lead in wins.
The win gives the Isles a sweep of the back-to-back series and maintains their one point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated Montreal in overtime.

The Scoring:

1st Period
00:31    NYI       Nikolay Kulemin (7) ASST: Nick Leddy (13), Michael Grabner (1) 1 - 0 NYI          
04:22    CBJ      PPG - Jack Johnson (4) ASST: David Savard (9), Brandon Dubinsky (8) 1 - 1 Tie           
2nd Period
10:04    NYI       Matt Martin (6) ASST: Ryan Strome (22), Thomas Hickey (11)      2 - 1 NYI          
13:37    NYI       Anders Lee (10) ASST: Ryan Strome (23), Thomas Hickey (12)    3 - 1 NYI          
17:31    NYI       Brian Strait (1) ASST: Casey Cizikas (6), Cal Clutterbuck (5)         4 - 1 NYI          
3rd Period
03:33    CBJ      Nick Foligno (18) ASST: Ryan Johansen (24), Scott Hartnell (16) 4 - 2 NYI           
14:54    NYI       Kyle Okposo (9) ASST: Josh Bailey (8), Brian Strait (3)   5 - 2 NYI

The Skinny:
John Tavares was named to represent the Islanders in the All-Star Game, but was held pointless…In a total team effort, every Islander was on for a goal scored, and 15 Islanders were "+" players…Kyle Okposo scored his first goal in eight games while Brian Strait scored his first goal in 41 games (1/18/2014 vs Philadelphia) … Josh Bailey is 2-3-5 in his last seven games…An Islander defenseman earned a point on every goal…The 5 goals are the most that the Isles have ever scored in Columbus and matches the most that they have scored in the 19 games between the squads (5-7 loss on December 23, 2000)…Ryan Johansen extended his point streak to 10 goals while fellow All-Star Nick Foligno now has a point in seven games…The Blue Jackets had gone 6-1-1 in their previous eight home games…Nick Leddy played his 300th NHL game and set-up the first goal just 31 seconds into play; it was the earliest goal that the Isles have scored in a game this season…Ryan Strome earned two assists  for his 7th multi-assist game of the season and finished with a career-high 8 shots on goal.  Strome (21.183) is the youngest Islander to have eight shots in a game since Travis Hamonic (20.236 on April 9, 2011 vs Philadelphia); he is tied-6th in the NHL with his 7 multi-assist games…Columbus is 0-15-0 when trailing after two periods…The Isles improve to an NHL-best 6-1-0 on the back-half of back-to-backs…Anders Lee recorded his 4th game-winning goal of the season, tying Filip Forsberg for the NHL-rookie lead. Lee is tied-5th among rookies with his 10 goals.

The Standings
·         ISLES       28-13-1=57 points (22 ROW)
·         Pittsburgh 25-10-6=56 points (23 ROW)
Both teams next play on Tuesday as the Isles visit the Rangers and the Penguins host Minnesota. It is the only remaining game for each club before the Isles and Penguins face each other at the Coliseum on Friday.

The Isles retain the Division lead this late in the season, for the first time since February 18, 1990:
Patrick Division
NY Islanders
NY Rangers
New Jersey
The Road Trip
The Isles are 4-2-0 on their franchise-record-tying 7-game road trip with one game to play:
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
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. 

Comparable Records
The Isles are 28-13-1 thru 42 games.  The Isles were 14-21-7 through 42 games and 14-22-7 through 43 games last season, when they did not record their 28th win until they defeated Carolina, 5-4, on March 25th (28-35-9).

Most wins in first 42 games:
·         28-5-9 in 1978-79
·         28-13-1 in 2014-15
·         27-13-2 in 1983-84
·         26-10-6 in 1976-77
·         26-8-8 in 1980-81
·         25-12-5 in 1981-82
·         25-16-1 in 1984-85

Most points in first 42 games:
·         65 in 1978-79
·         60 in 1980-81
·         58 in 1976-77
·         57 in 2014-15
·         56 in 1983-84
·         55 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 two 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.
6 streaks of at least 3 games -- First time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had at least six winning streaks of at least three games.

The Shots:
Isles                 16-11-13=40
Columbus         4-8-6=18
The Isles have held their last 13 opponents to under 30 shots, their last 11 opponents to 26 shots or fewer and their last six opponents to 23 shots or fewer; it's the first time that they have done any of these in at least 27 years.
Hot Shots:
The Isles have outshot their last 11 opponents 377-242 and have outshot their last 13 opponents 451-295. On this six game road trip, the Isles have outscored their opponents by a 184-130 margin.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 1,371-1,128 for a +243 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 2,677 shots this year.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 28-13-1 overall; 14-4-0 at home and 14-9-1 on the road.  
Columbus is 18-19-3 overall; 9-10-2 at home and 9-9-1 on the road.  

By Division
The Isles are 12-2-0 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 12-2-0 against the Met Division.  They are 7-0-0 at home and 5-2-0 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
Chad Johnson made 16 saves to improve to 6-5-0 on the season. It is his first win since a shootout win in Pittsburgh on November 21st.  He is 3-0-0 in his career against Columbus.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves but falls to 15-12-2 on the season. He is 10-3-0 in his career against the Isles; it's the first time he's allowed more than three goals to the Isles.

22-Win Club
Halak is the 12th goalie in Islander history to win at least 22 games in a season:
Player               22-win seasons
Chico Resch                 5
Billy Smith                    4
Rick DiPietro                 4
Roland Melanson          2
Jaroslav Halak              1
Kelly Hrudey                 1
Glenn Healy                  1
Evgeni Nabokov           1
Tommy Salo                 1
Ron Hextall                   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.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-6 on the power play, while Columbus was 1-3. 
The power play is 0-13 in the last three games after going 7-20 (35%) in the previous four games.
The penalty kill is 26-28 (92.9%) over the last 11 games.
The Isles are 15-5-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 13-8-1 when they do not.  The Isles are 11-9-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 17-4-1 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 22-4-1 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 15-9-1 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 146-133-40 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 319
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 146
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74
They Said It
Brian Strait on his goal: "It was going to fall to somebody. It was funny. It felt like it was in the air a minute and a half. It felt like I was the only one who knew where it was. I just tried to get some wood on it. When you throw it on net, sometimes good things happen."
Chad Johnson: "I felt good the last three games, just kind of got some unlucky bounces and just couldn't get the two points. For me, it was just good to get the win. Tonight felt good and I just want to build off it."

They Tweeted It
@ScottRBrooks #isles with a super balanced attack: One goal from each line and one from a d-man.
@Ceetar You know who has more wins than the New York Islanders? No one, that's who. #isles
@enjoy1634 See you Tuesday @NYRangers  #Isles #WeAreIslanders #battleforNY
@nickhirshon Can proudly report the #YesYesYes chant was heard in Columbus, Ohio, tonight. #isles #cbj
@ tbone31592 Johnson plays well, gets a three goal second in support & FOR THE TWENTY-EIGHTH TIME THIS SEASON: I. BELIEVE. THAT. WE. JUST. WON!!! #ISLES

The Coach
"We came out from start to finish, really had our legs under us, moved the puck and played well. Breakouts were good, entries were good. We just gained momentum as the game went on."

Counting tonight, 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 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 Friday vs. Pittsburgh and next Saturday in Montreal.

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 21:59 of ice-time; Jack Johnson led Columbus in ice-time with 23:42.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (10-3-0), 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 18:23 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (14-12-1), Kyle Okposo (10-0-0), 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 25 of 51 draws (49%).  John Tavares won 10 of 15 for the Isles; Brandon Dubinsky won 11 of 15 for Columbus. The Isles won 10 of 15 draws (67%) in the first period but then won only 15 of 36 (42%) the rest of the way. The Isles won 7 of 11 draws on the power play and 2 of 4 draws on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles were out-hit 41-27.  Matt Martin led the Isles with five hits. 
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 16 blocked shots, including three from Calvin deHaan.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 62-43 (including 24-13 in the first period), which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).
Brock Nelson led the Isles with a +14 even-strength Corsi rating and was also on-ice for a team-leading 82% of Corsi For events. Brandon Dubinsky (+7) led Columbus.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 353 career points; he is 66 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 21 games over all-time NHL .500 (1433-1412-451 in 3,296 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 294 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 94 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Matt Carkner and Lubomir Visnovsky are on injured reserve. Cal Clutterbuck replaced Mikhail Grabovski (injured) in the lineup. Matt Donovan and Eric Boulton were scratched. 
The Isles have lost 151 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)
·         392 games played (tied-39th among Islander skaters all-time with Bert Marshall, 4 behind David Volek and 10 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)
·         432 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Josh Bailey and 18 behind Scott Lachance)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         93 goals (Tied-32nd all-time with Greg Gilbert & Garry Howatt, 2 behind Mikko Makela and David Volek and 6 behind Trent Hunter)
·         182 assists (18th all-time, 1 behind Kyle Okposo, 11 behind Pierre Turgeon and 17 behind John Tavares)
·         275 points (23rd all-time, 11 behind Ed Westfall and 16 behind Kyle Okposo)
·         488 games played (25th among Islander skaters all-time, 5 behind Ed Westfall and 20 behind Rich Pilon)
Michael Grabner has:
·         84 goals (tied-37th all-time with Tomas Jonsson and 3 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has:
·         436 games played (31st among Islander skaters all-time, 14 behind Scott Lachance and 23 behind Trent Hunter)

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0). 
It's only the second time the Isles have ever won in Columbus (2-7-2) with the first win coming courtesy of a Josh Bailey overtime goal in 2010.  The Isles had been outscored 16-5 in their last three games in Columbus. 
This was the Isles first win in regulation in the state of Ohio since March 27, 1977, when the Isles beat the Cleveland Barons 6-3.  Denis Potvin scored twice for the Isles while Lorne Henning had three assists.
The teams will meet again at the Coliseum on February 14th before playing in Columbus on April 2nd.  Columbus is also the opponent for the 1,665th and final regular season game in Nassau Coliseum on April 11th.

38 years ago tonight (1977) – Bryan Trottier scored the earliest power play goal in franchise history, just 16 seconds into play, and Bobby Nystrom became the only Islander to record a hat trick against Bernie Parent as the Isles beat up on Philadelphia 8-3.
At the time, Trottier's goal was also the fastest goal at the start of the game and the start of a period in franchise history.  Trottier holds those marks today, as well, with a goal just 5 seconds into a 1984 contest in Boston.
Defenseman Pat Price had three assists for the Isles in one of the most productive games of his career.
It was the third career hat trick for Nystrom, and his second against the Flyers.  With the win the Isles moved within three points of the first place Flyers, and still held three games in hand.
The decisiveness of the game surprised not only the Flyers' Jim Watson, who told Newsday's Tim Moriarty: "I was totally embarrassed" and the Isles' Bob Bourne, who noted: "I knew we could win, but I never thought it would be like that.  Never ever." but it also surprised some of the audience of the nationally-televised contest.

Also on this date: (2012) - Matt Moulson scored twice and added an assist as the Islanders pounded Detroit 5-1.  Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for his 299th career victory.
All-time, the Isles have played nine January 10th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 5-3-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
Kael Mouillierat scored his 10th goal of the season, but it wasn't enough as Bridgeport fell to 17-15-3-1 on the season with a 3-1 loss in Albany.  The Sound Tigers complete their 3-games-in-3-days weekend on Sunday afternoon in Hartford.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]

You could make the argument that this is the biggest Islander-Ranger regular season game at Madison Square Garden since Pierre Turgeon reached the 50-goal mark with an overtime winner on April 2, 1993 and I wouldn't argue with you. The first place Islanders and the surging Rangers (13-1-0 in their last 14) meet for only the second time this season on Tuesday night.

The Islanders have won four of their last five games on Broadway, and scored at least five goals in three of them, including a 6-3 victory back on October 14th.  
This is 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.
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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