By Eric Hornick
Isles 2, Calgary 1
Jaroslav Halak set an Islander franchise record with his 33rd win of the season and narrowly missed his 5th shutout of the season as the Islanders defeated the Calgary Flames 2-1 before a sellout crowd of 16,170 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Cal Clutterbuck, who had a goal disallowed earlier in the third period when the officials rules that there had been incidental contact with Calgary goaltender Karri Ramo hit the empty net with 42 seconds to play to give the Isles a 2-0 lead. That turned out to be the winning goal when Josh Jooris scored for Calgary 21 seconds later.
The Islanders regain the Metropolitan Division lead by two points over the Rangers, and extend their lead to five points over the Penguins and eight points over the Capitals.
With their 41th win of the season (and points 83 and 84), the Isles guarantee themselves their first above NHL-.500 full season since 2006-07. It's the most wins the Isles have had in a season since they won 42 games in 2001-02.
Ryan Strome had opened the scoring with his 14th goal of the season.
The Isles are 21 games over NHL .500 for the first time since the then-Stanley Cup champion Islanders finished the 1983-84 season with a 50-26-4 record.
11:39 NYI PPG - Ryan Strome (14) ASST: John Tavares (35), Travis Hamonic (20) 1 - 0 NYI
19:18 NYI EN - Cal Clutterbuck (6) ASST: Nikolay Kulemin (12), Thomas Hickey (19) 2 - 0 NYI
19:39 CGY Josh Jooris (11) ASST: Joe Colborne (18), Kris Russell (20) 2 - 1 NYI
The Isles are 10-6-1 since the All-Star break… The Isles have scored first in 10 of their last 12 games… Jack Capuano recorded his 159th win as Islander coach; he is 2nd in wins to Al Arbour and now has more wins that Terry Simpson (81) and Peter Laviolette (77) did as Isles coaches, combined – they are 3rd and 4th on the win list… Nikolay Kulemin has three assists in the last two games…John Tavares' assist was his 64rd point, tying Nicklas Backstrom, Jacob Voracek and the injured Patrick Kane for the NHL lead with 64 points…The Isle have now won 23 one-goal games this season, tying the franchise record…The Strome power play goal was the first allowed by the Flames since January 27th
The Penalty Shot
Calgary's Michael Ferland was awarded a penalty shot in the first period when the referees ruled he was fouled on a breakaway by Johnny Boychuk. Halak stopped the penalty shot; it was the third that he has faced in his career (and he has stopped two of them). It was the first penalty shot against the Isles since Evgeni Nabokov stopped Buffalo's Thomas Vanek on January 14, 2012. Islander goalies have stopped 35 of 49 opponent penalty shots all-time, including 7 straight.
Tired vs. Rested
· The Isles are 7-1-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not. This will next happen on March 13th vs Ottawa.
· The Isles are 1-3-0 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not. This will next happen again on March 10th vs the Rangers.
· The Isles are 7-0-0 when both teams played the night before. This will next happen again on Saturday vs. Carolina.
The Isles have five back-to-back sets remaining; in two of the five their second game opponent will also play the night before.
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
· ISLES 41-20-2=84 points / 63 games (34 ROW) Beat Calgary 2-1
· NY Rangers 38-16-6=82 points / 60 games (35 ROW) Idle
· Pittsburgh 35-17-9=79 points / 61 games (32 ROW) Idle
· Washington 33-20-10=76 points / 63 games (30 ROW) Lost @ Carolina 3-0
· ISLES: Saturday vs. Carolina, Tuesday @ Dallas, Thursday @ Nashville, Saturday @ Florida
· NY Rangers: Saturday @ Philadelphia, Monday vs. Nashville, Wednesday @ Detroit
· Pittsburgh: Sunday vs. Columbus, Wednesday @ Colorado, Friday @ Anaheim, Saturday @ Los Angeles
· Washington: Sunday vs. Toronto, Tuesday @ Columbus, Thursday Vs Minnesota, Saturday Vs Buffalo
Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 18 of their 31 home dates this season. The 18 sellouts are the most for the Isles since they also had 21 full houses at the Old Barn in 2001-02. The Isles have drawn at least 15,000 fans 22 times this season.
Month for the Fans:
February is the busiest home month in Islander history, as they play ten home games this month. The Isles have played ten home games three previous times (January 1980, December 1999 and December 2000) but all were in 31-day months.
This was the tenth game of a stretch in which the Isles will play 9 of the final 11 February games at home. The Isles are 7-2-1 in this stretch (5-2-0 at home and 1-0-1 on the road).
The Isles are 9-4-1 in February, tying the second-highest win total for February in franchise history. The Isles went 12-1-1 in February 1982.
The Isles have drawn 142,738 fans to their 9 home games this month.
What a Season:
The Isles are 41-20-2 thru 63 games. Only the 1981-82 team had more wins through 63 games. It's the first time since the 2001-02 season (42-28-8-4) that the Isles have won at least 40 games in a season and only the second time in the Post-Cup era.
Most wins in first 63 games:
· 42-14-7 in 1981-82
· 41-20-2 in 2014-15
· 40-13-10 in 1978-79
· 39-22-2 in 1983-84
· 38-14-11 in 1977-78
· 38-16-9 in 1976-77
· 36-17-10 in 1980-81
Most points in first 63 games:
· 91 in 1981-82
· 90 in 1978-79
· 87 in 1977-78
· 85 in 1976-77
· 84 in 2014-15
· 82 in 1980-81
· 80 in 1983-84
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 23-8-0 on Coliseum ice; it's only the fourth time in club history that the Isles have won at least 23 of their first 31 home games (26-3-2 in 1981-82, 24-2-5 in 1977-78, and 24-2-5 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, 6-1-0, 1-4-0, and are 8-2-1 in their last 11.
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.
· 6 streaks of at least 4 games -- First time in the Post-Cup era that the Isles have had at least six winning streaks of at least four games. The Isles had seven separate winning streaks of at least four games in their 1983-84 defense of the Stanley Cup.
· 8 streaks of at least 3 games -- First time in the Post-Cup era that the Isles have had at least eight winning streaks of at least three games. The Isles had nine separate winning streaks of at least three games in their 1983-84 defense of the Stanley Cup.
The Isles have outshot 30 of their last 34 opponents. They fell one shot shy of reaching 40 shots for the 16th time this season. The Isles lead the NHL with 15 games with at least 40 shots.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 2,138-1,755 for a +383 shot differential.
Biggest Differential, Season
· +383 THIS SEASON
· +307 in 1976-77
· +254 in 1986-87
· +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 2,783 shots this year.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 41-20-2 overall; 23-8-0 at home and 18-12-2 on the road.
Calgary is 33-25-4 overall; 17-12-3 at home and 16-13-1 on the road.
The Isles are 19-3-1 in Division games and are 22-17-1 in games against other divisions. They are 9-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 5-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 8-4-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met and 24-21-7 against other Divisions.
Metropolitan Hockey Club, Inc.
The Isles are 19-3-1 against the Met Division, and are 12-1-1 in their last 14 division matchups. They are 11-1-0 at home (outscoring opponents 50-29) and 8-2-1 on the road. The Isles are 7-1 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 3-1 on the road.
The Isles' next division game will be on Saturday vs. Carolina.
In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves and improves to 33-13-0 on the season. He is 6-5-1 in his career against Calgary.
Karri Ramo made 37 saves but falls to 10-7-1 on the season. He is 1-3-0 in his career against the Isles.
Move over Billy, Ozzy and DiPi
Jaroslav Halak has established a new franchise record with 33 wins in a season.
Jaroslav Halak 33 in 2014-15
Rick DiPietro 32 in 2006-07
Billy Smith 32 in 1981-82
Chris Osgood 32 in 2001-02
The Islanders were 1-3 on the power play, while Calgary was 0-2.
The power play is 3-28 (10.7%) in the last 10 games. The Isles have not scored 2 PP goals in a game since January 4th.
The penalty kill has killed 20 of 22 (90.9%) in the last 9 games; both goals were scored by Vancouver on February 22nd..
The Isles are 22-9-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 19-11-2 when they do not. The Isles are 15-15-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 27-4-2 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 34-6-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-14-1 when they do not.
One Goal Games
The Isles are 23-5-2 in games decided by a single goal including 10-5-0 in regulation. They are 5-0 in games decided in overtime and are 7-2 in shootouts. Five games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter. The Isles are 3-2 in those games.
The Isles have tied the club record for 1-goal wins, which was set in 2007-08 when 23 of Isles' 35 wins were by 1 goal.
First Goal (and Second Goal)
The Isles are 25-12-2 when they score first and are 16-8-0 when they allow the opening goal. However, the Isles are 13-0-0 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal. The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win three times this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO), Pittsburgh on January 16th, and Philadelphia on February 5th)
Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 159-140-41 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 340
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 159
3. Terry Simpson 81
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It
Jaro Halak: "I wasn't chasing any record. I just wanted to win the game. … I wanted to have a shutout. I got a win so that was a good thing."
John Tavares "Obviously we would have loved to get a shutout for him, that would have been real special, but he played solid again, and to do something like that is obviously very significant and he deserves that."
They Tweeted It
@NoahRiddle16 JT should win the Hart this year. No way there is anyone more valuable to his team! #isles
@Scudpat Comgrats to jaro halak on the #isles franchise record for wins
@salutexbravery #Isles giving @zeeker11 a win for his birthday even though he couldn't play. As well as gaining solo possession of 1st again. Great gift
@TomHickling3 Solid win for the boys tonight #isles
@mattliguori great spot for the postgame and its none other than RYAN STROME joining shannon tonight!!!!! YESYESYES (Thanks for joining us!)
"We knew it was going to be a tight game and we got one early. (On the penalty shot, Jaro) he makes a big save, and what that does is it gives you a lift."
Including tonight, the Isles are 8-3-1 in the front-end and 8-3-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles have swept 5 sets of back-to-backs, are 1-1-0 in five sets and are 0-1-1 in one set.
This back-to-back set concludes Saturday (5pm) vs Carolina.
Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 26:05 of ice-time; Dennis Wideman led Calgary in ice-time with 30:24.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-0), Travis Hamonic (18-2-2), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-6-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-3-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Kyle Okposo (0-1-0), Brian Strait (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).
John Tavares led Isles forwards with 18:58 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (24-19-2), Kyle Okposo (12-1-0), Ryan Strome (1-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0), Anders Lee (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Casey Cizikas (1-0-0), and Josh Bailey (0-1-0).
In the Circle
The Islanders won 26 of 50 draws (52%). John Tavares won 12 of 20 for the Isles while Brock Nelson won 6 of 9; Mikael Backlund won 7 of 13 for Calgary. The Isles won only 15 of 31 draws in the first two periods but won 11 of 19 in the final 20 minutes. The Isles won 2 of 3 draws on the power play and 2 of 3 draws on the penalty kill.
The Isles out-hit Calgary 32-25. Matt Martin and Colin McDonald led the Islanders with 5 hits each.
Martin leads the NHL with 314 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 266. It's the third time in his career Martin has recorded at least 300 hits; he has the two highest totals in NHL history (since 2005):
Most hits, season:
1. Matt Martin, NYI 374 in 2011-12
2. Matt Martin, NYI 359 in 2013-14
3. Cal Clutterbuck, Min 356 in 2009-10
There were no fights in the game. The Isles have been involved in 14 fights this season: Martin (9), Hamonic (3), Lee (1), Strome (1) and 11 of the 14 have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 18 blocked shots; Calvin deHaan and Frans Nielsen led the Isles with 3 each.
For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 65-57, including 23-16 in the second period. The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Thomas Hickey, Brock Nelson and Nikolay Kulemin led the Isles with +12 even-strength Corsi ratings; Nelson was on-ice for a team-leading 77% of Corsi For events. Joe Colborne led Calgary with a +6 rating.
Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 379 career points; he is 78 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.
This Team is Deep!
John Tavares has been held pointless 21 times this season and the Isles are 15-6-0 in those games. Prior to this season the Isles had won only 40 of the 151 games in which Tavares was scoreless.
The Islanders improve to 27 games over all-time NHL .500 (1446-1419-451 in 3,316 games). It's the first time since January 2, 2009 that the Isles have been +27 all-time.
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 315 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 116 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Kyle Okposo, Casey Cizikas, Eric Boulton and Mikhail Grabovski are on injured reserve. Brian Strait and Matt Donovan was scratched.
The Isles have lost 231 games this season due to injury/illness.
All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
· 165 goals (13th all-time, 3 behind Ziggy Palffy and 19 behind Billy Harris)
· 214 assists (15th all-time, 35 behind Tomas Jonsson and 45 behind Billy Harris)
· 379 points (13th all-time and 64 behind Billy Harris)
· 413 games played (36th among Islander skaters all-time, 9 behind Dave Langevin, 12 behind Greg Gilbert and 13 behind Jason Blake)
Kyle Okposo has:
· 113 goals (24th all-time, 3 behind Ray Ferraro and 5 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish)
· 185 assists (18th all-time, 8 behind Pierre Turgeon and 9 behind Frans Nielsen)
· 298 points (18th all-time, 33 behind Ziggy Palffy and 35 behind Tomas Jonsson)
· 436 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 14 behind Scott Lachance and 21 behind Josh Bailey)
Frans Nielsen has:
· 96 goals (29th all-time, 3 behind Trent Hunter and 5 behind Anders Kallur)
· 194 assists (16th all-time and 19 behind John Tavares)
· 290 points (tied-21st all-time with Alexei Yashin, 2 behind Duane Sutter, 5 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 8 behind Kyle Okposo)
· 509 games played (tied-22nd with Mick Vukota and 5 behind Dave Lewis)
Josh Bailey has:
· 130 assists (tied-33rd all-time with Trent Hunter and 1 behind Jason Blake)
· 208 points (39th all-time, 3 behind Anders Kallur and 5 behind Jean Potvin & Garry Howatt)
· 457 games played (30th among Islander skaters, 2 behind Trent Hunter and 13 behind Mariusz Czerkawski)
Michael Grabner has:
· 88 goals (36th all-time, 4 behind Travis Green and 5 behind Garry Howatt & Greg Gilbert)
Season Series Stats
The Isles win the season series 2 games to 0 (and 4 points to 0).
The Flames were the opposition for the very first regular season game in Islander history (October 7, 1972) and this was their final trip to Long Island.
The Isles are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games against the Flames and are 4-1-0 in their last five home games against Calgary.
It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 27th
36 years ago tonight (1979) – Clark Gillies recorded his first hat trick in over two years, and to make it more special it came against Montreal Canadien legend Ken Dryden as the Isles pounded the three-time champions 7-3. "It was a bad defeat; a poor game for us", Dryden told Newsday's Tim Moriarty.
Mike Bossy assisted on all three Gillies goals and finished with four assists in all as he extended his point streak to 12 games. (The 4 assists also tied the club record at the time; Bossy holds the club record with a 6 assist game in 1981.)
The game was tied 1-1 after twenty minutes but Denis Potvin scored a power play just 1:25 into the middle period to give the Isles the lead Gillies and Bobby Nystrom sandwiched goals around a Mario Tremblay tally to give the Isles a 4-2 lead after two periods.
The Isles blew the game open in the third, on a pair of goals by Gillies and one by Billy Harris. Gillies' second goal of the period completed his hat trick with 1:19 to play. Rejean Houle added a goal for Montreal in the final minute.
The game came one day after Al Arbour ceded control of practice to Bert Marshall. "I don't know what he was trying to do, but I'll say one thing. He looked pretty grumpy from where I was standing", Gillies told Newsday's Pat Calabria. Arbour's grumpiness was due to the Isles performance the preceding night at Madison Square Garden, when they were held without a shot in a period for the first time in their history. That same game had produced a memorable injury to the Rangers' Ulf Nilsson – an injury that inspired a chant that is heard in the Garden today.
The 7 goals matches the most goals that the Islanders have ever scored against Montreal.
Also on this date: (2007) On the day the Islanders announced that they had acquired Ryan Smyth, Jason Blake scored a first period hat trick and Trent Hunter scored a pair of goals, including one in overtime, as the Isles beat Philadelphia 6-5.
All-time, the Isles have played twelve February 27th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 6-4-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm
Bridgeport has lost seven straight games to fall to 21-26-5-1 on the season. The Sound Tigers lost 5-3 in Springfield on Friday night and will have a rematch with the Falcons in Springfield on Saturday.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28th— CAROLINA AT ISLANDERS 5:00PM
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 4:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 4:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The homestand concludes on Saturday as the Isles look to sweep the season series as they host the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Isles have won the last four games vs. Carolina overall and have outscored the Canes 13-7 in winning all three games this season.
The Isles will be looking for their 42nd victory of the season; the Isles have reached the 42-win mark by the end of February only once in their history (1981-82).
This game will conclude an 18-game in 33 day stretch for the Islanders, dating back to the All-Star break. After this game, the Isles will have only18 games remaining in the regular season, and they will be played in a 42 day span.
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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