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Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Skinny: Montreal 6, Isles 4

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Game 45
Montreal 6, Isles 4

The Montreal Canadiens scored goals in the first two minutes of each period and built a 6-2 lead enroute to a 6-4 victory over the Islanders before a sellout crowd of 21,287 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Thomas Plekanec led Montreal with four points, on two goals and  two assists, as the Canadiens snapped the Isles' four game win streak.

The Isles lead the Metropolitan Division by three points over the idle Penguins but fell one point behind Tampa Bay, who defeated Colorado 3-2 in a shootout.

The Scoring:
1st Period
01:56    MTL      PPG - P.K. Subban (10) ASST: Andrei Markov (18), Tomas Plekanec (18) 1 - 0 MTL        
2nd Period
00:10    MTL      Dale Weise (6) ASST: Tomas Plekanec (19), Max Pacioretty (16) 2 - 0 MTL          
10:52    NYI       Kyle Okposo (14) ASST: John Tavares (24), Josh Bailey (12)       2 - 1 MTL         
14:16    MTL      PPG - Tomas Plekanec (12) ASST: Andrei Markov (19), Max Pacioretty (17) 3 - 1 MTL     
16:19    NYI       Nikolay Kulemin (9) ASST: Brock Nelson (15), Josh Bailey (13)    3 - 2 MTL         
3rd Period
00:52    MTL      Alex Galchenyuk (11) ASST: Brendan Gallagher (14), David Desharnais (16) 4 - 2 MTL     
11:16    MTL      David Desharnais (7) ASST: NONE        5 - 2 MTL         
13:43    MTL      Tomas Plekanec (13) ASST: Andrei Markov (20), Dustin Tokarski (1)        6 - 2 MTL         
14:50    NYI       Anders Lee (12) ASST: Ryan Strome (24)            6 - 3 MTL         
17:26    NYI       PPG - John Tavares (20) ASST: Frans Nielsen (15), Kyle Okposo (29)      6 - 4 MTL

The Skinny:    
Kyle Okposo scored the first Islander goal, giving him five goals in two games…The Isles allowed six goals for the first time since December 11th in St. Louis… Josh Bailey had two assists while John Tavares had a goal and an assist, giving each player five points in the last two games... The Isles fell to 14-5-0 when allowing the first goal…The Isles lost for the first time all season when Nikolay Kulemin records a point (13-1-0)…Max Pacioretty extended his point streak to seven games, but his goal streak ended at six…Frans Nielsen and Anders Lee each extended point streaks to three games…The Habs improve to 19-1-0 when leading after two periods and 17-1-1 when scoring first.  It was only the 8th game all season that Montreal led after 1 period (6-1-1)…Teams have almost identical records vs. Eastern Conference opponents as Isles fall to 21-6-1 while Montreal improves to 20-6-2…The Canadiens have outscored their opponents 56-37 in the third period…John Tavares joins Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Billy Harris as the only Islanders to have at least 20 goals in each of his first six NHL seasons…Montreal has sold out 430 consecutive home games…Dale Weise's goal was the second that the Isles have allowed in the first 10 seconds of a period this season.  Jordan Eberle scored 8 seconds into the 2nd period for Edmonton.

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
·         ISLES           30-14-1=61 points (24 ROW)  Lost 6-4 to Montreal
·         Pittsburgh     26-11-6=58 points (24 ROW)  Idle
·         Washington  24-13-8=56 points (23 ROW)  Lost 5-4 to Dallas
·         NY Rangers  25-13-4=54 points (23 ROW)  Idle

Schedule through All-Star Break:
·         Isles:  Vs Philadelphia Mon
·         Pittsburgh: Vs NY Rangers Sun, @Philadelphia Tue, Vs Chicago Wed
·         Washington: Vs Edmonton Tue
·         NY Rangers: @ Pittsburgh Sun, Vs Ottawa Tue

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

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out their last four home games, six of the last seven and ten of their nineteen home dates this season. The ten 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 30-14-1 thru 45 games.  The Isles were 16-22-7 through 45 games and 17-22-7 through 46 games last season, when they did not record their 30th win until they defeated Florida, 4-2 on April 1st  (30-35-10).

Most wins in first 45 games:
·         30-14-1 in 2014-15
·         30-6-9 in 1978-79
·         29-14-2 in 1983-84
·         28-10-7 in 1976-77
·         27-10-8 in 1980-81
·         26-13-6 in 1981-82
Most points in first 45 games:
·         69 in 1978-79
·         63 in 1976-77
·         62 in 1980-81
·         61 in 2014-15
·         60 in 1983-84
·         58 in 1981-82

Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 15-4-0 on Coliseum ice, tying the club record for most wins through 19 home games (15-0-4 in 1978-79).  They have had more than 30 points through 18 home games only once: 15-0-4 for 34 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, and 4-0-0 before losing tonight.

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.
5 streaks of at least 4 games -- First time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had five 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.

The Shots:
Isles                 7-15-9=31
Montreal           6-16-13=35
It's the first time in the last 16 games that the Isles have been outshot, the first time in the last 15 games they've allow at least 30 shots and the first time in 13 games they have allowed at least 28 shots.
The 15 consecutive games in which the Isles outshot opponents was a franchise record.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 1,481-1,214 for a +267 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 2,699 shots this year.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 30-13-1 overall; 15-4-0 at home and 15-10-1 on the road.  
Montreal is 28-13-3 overall; 14-5-2 at home and 14-8-1 on the road.  

By Division
The Isles are 14-2-0 in Division games and are 16-12-1 in games against other divisions. They are 7-4-1 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 14-2-0 against the Met Division, including seven straight wins.  They are 8-0-0 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 but falls to 24-9-0 on the season, including 21-5-0 in his last 26 games.   Three of his five losses in that span have been against his former teams (2 to St. Louis and 1 to Montreal) He is 4-1-0 in his career against Montreal.
Chad Johnson made two saves after replacing Halak after the final Montreal goal.
Dustin Tokarski made 27 saves as he improves to 5-3-1 on the season. He is 1-0-0 in his career against the Isles.

Just Call Him Cy Halak
Halak's 24-9 (and 0) record would not only make him an NHL All-Star, it would also make him a candidate for the Cy Young Award.  The only pitcher in the last 45 years to finish with a 24-9 record was Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, who did win the Cy Young that season.

24-Win Club
Halak is the 7th goalie in Islander history to win at least 24 games in a season:
Player               24-win seasons
Chico Resch                 3
Rick DiPietro                 3
Billy Smith                    2
Jaroslav Halak              1
Ron Hextall                   1
Roland Melanson          1
Chris Osgood               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 1-3 on the power play, while Montreal was 2-4.
The power play is 2-20 (10%) in the last six games after going 7-20 (35%) in the previous four games.
The penalty kill has allowed 4 goals in six times short over the last two games (33.3%) after killing 27-29 (93.1%) over the prior 12 games.
The Isles are 16-6-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 14-8-1 when they do not.  The Isles are 12-10-0 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 24-5-1 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 14-5-0 when they allow the opening goal.  However, the Isles are 12-0-0 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal.  The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win twice this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO) and Pittsburgh on January 16th)
Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 148-134-40 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 322
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 148
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Johnny Boychuk: "We have to be ready off the puck drop and not give them those goals. Eventually that was a decisive factor in the game as well as the penalty kill."
John Tavares: "We came out really flat in the third. There were five or six minutes that really killed us. We played hard after that, once we got down but it's just unfortunate that we made it a tough night on our goaltender."

They Tweeted It
@nlnfoxco Don Cherry calls Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas, and Cal Clutterbuck the best 4th line in history. History! #isles
@TriState_Sports Gotta LOVE these Islanders. Zero quit in these boys. #Isles #YesYesYes
@THERobertL 1st Islander to 20 goals. Congratulations, John! RT @NYIslanders The #Isles goal is credited to @91Tavares for his 20th of the season!
@IslesWild Special teams the difference maker in this #isles #habs game... You know like the same way it is in the post season...Must improve
@miczahn The first two minutes of every period has been brutal for the #Isles. Galchenyuk finishes off the rebound and beats Halak. #Isles trail 4-2.

The Coach
"We mismanaged the puck.  I talked about 17 giveaways after two periods; you're not going to win many hockey games like that, especially (against) a quick team like that that comes in transition with the defense that they have, you know, you've got to make it a 200-foot game. We made it a short track for them tonight. We made it a half-court game and you're not going to win like that."

With the loss tonight, the Isles are 7-1-0 in the front-end and 6-2-0 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 three sets.
The next back-to-back set is February 7th in Boston and February 8th in Buffalo.

Leading Ice Men
Kyle Okposo led all Isles with 23:00 of ice-time; PK Subban led Montreal in ice-time with 27:10.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (12-3-0), 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), Kyle Okposo (0-1-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).
 Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (15-12-1), Kyle Okposo (11-1-0), 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 30 of 67 draws (45%).  No Islander won more than he lost; Thomas Plekanec won 15 of 24 for Montreal. The Isles lost more draws than they won in each of the three periods. The Isles won 2 of 4 draws on the power play but only 1 of 7 draws on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Montreal 42-21.  Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with eight hits while Matt Martin added six. 
Matt Martin fought Brandon Prust early in the first period. The Isles have been involved in ten fights this season: Martin (7), Hamonic (2), Lee (1), and eight of the ten have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 13 blocked shots; Travis Hamonic led the Isles with 3.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 70-60 (including 21-14 in the first period). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Kyle Okposo led the Isles with a +12 even-strength Corsi rating; Okposo was also on-ice for a team-leading 66% of Corsi For events. Christian Thomas (+11) led Montreal.
Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 358 career points; he is 68 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 22 games over all-time NHL .500 (1435-1413-451 in 3,299 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 297 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 97 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Matt Carkner and Lubomir Visnovsky are on injured reserve. Mikhail Grabovski (injured), Matt Donovan and Eric Boulton were scratched. 
The Isles have lost 160 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         156 goals (14th all-time, 4 behind Pat Flatley and 12 behind Ziggy Palffy)
·         203 assists (15th all-time and 46 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         359 points (14th all-time , 10 behind Stefan Persson and 84 behind Billy Harris)
·         395games played (39th among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind David Volek and 7 behind Jean Potvin)
Kyle Okposo has:
·         113 goals (23rd all-time, 3 behind Ray Ferraro and 5 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish)
·         184 assists (tied-17 all-time with Frans Nielsen, 9 behind Pierre Turgeon and 18 behind John Tavares)
·         297 points (19th all-time and 36 behind Ziggy Palffy)
·         435 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Josh Bailey and 15 behind Scott Lachance)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         94 goals (32nd all-time, 1 behind Mikko Makela and David Volek and 5 behind Trent Hunter)
·         184 assists (tied-17th all-time with Kyle Okposo, 9 behind Pierre Turgeon and 18 behind John Tavares)
·         278 points (23rd all-time, 8 behind Ed Westfall,12 behind Alexei Yashin and 14 behind Duane Sutter)
·         491 games played (25th among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Ed Westfall and 17 behind Rich Pilon)
Michael Grabner has:
·         85 goals (37th all-time, 2 behind Butch Goring and 7 behind Travis Green)
Josh Bailey has:
·         439 games played (31st among Islander skaters all-time, 11 behind Scott Lachance and 20 behind Trent Hunter)

Season Series Stats
The Canadiens lead the season series 2 games to 0 (and 4 points to 0). 
The Isles are 7-6-1 in their last 14 games against the Habs but are only 1-4-1 in the last six games.
The final meeting of the regular season between the teams will be at the Coliseum on March 14th.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on JANUARY 17th
11 years ago tonight (2004) – Cliff Ronning and Kenny Jonsson scored power play goals 1:42 apart as the Isles grabbed a 2-0 lead enroute to a 4-2 victory over Buffalo. Arron Asham and Adrian Aucoin each had a pair of assists; the Isles punished Sabre penalties by scoring three power play goals.
Ronning's goal was his first as an Islander and the 298th of his NHL career (he'd score two goals two nights later to reach the 300 goal mark). It came in his 1,100th NHL game.
Ronning's first goal as an Islander came while wearing a uniform that was not blue or white, but rather the alternative orange.  He told Newsday's Alan Hahn, ""I love these jerseys. They're bright. You can see everybody out there. I don't know, everyone says they're a little strange, but they're actually nice when you're out there."
Rick DiPietro made 27 saves to get back to the .500 mark, at 9-9-1 as the Islanders improved to 9-2-0-0 in their last eleven home games.  It was the first time they've done that since February/March, 1994.  The hot streak gave the Isles 16 Coliseum wins on the season, more than any other team in the NHL on home ice except Detroit.
Also on this date: (2000) – Marian Hossa scored with 1:03 to play in overtime as the Ottawa Senators spoiled a 41-save effort by Kevin Weekes with a 4-3 win.  Unlike the Isles' previous 46 overtime losses, this one earned a point – it was the first "loser point" in Isles history.
All-time, the Isles have played twelve January 17th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 4-6-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers allowed two goals in 11 seconds in the third period and fell 6-2 to the Syracuse Crunch. Bridgeport is now 18-16-4-1 on the season; the Sound Tigers host Syracuse again on Sunday.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 12:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders will look to head into the All-Star Break on a high note as they face the Philadelphia Flyers in a Martin Luther King Day matinee.
The teams met at the Coliseum in late November and the Isles dominated the game, outshooting Philly 46-21 but needed shootout goals from Frans Nielsen and John Tavares to emerge victorious 1-0.
The Isles have won consecutive games over Philadelphia (both in shootouts) and are 6-7-0 in the last 13 with Philadelphia (including 4-0 in shootouts).
The Isles are 3-7-1 in their last 11 Coliseum matchups with the Flyers but have won the last two – their first home winning streak against Philadelphia since 2007.
The teams will meet again in Philadelphia on both February 5th and April 7th.

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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