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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 5 Carolina 6, Isles 3 Carolina Wins Series 4-1 School is out. Jack D...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Skinny: Washington 3, Isles 2 (SO)

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Game 60
Washington 3, Isles 2 (SO)
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the only goal of the shootout as the Washington Capitals defeated the Isles3-2 before a sellout crowd of 18,506 at Verizon Center.

Ryan Strome had tied the game for the Isles with 48 seconds to play with a 6th attacker goal.  That goal ended up earning the Isles their 80th point of the season.  It's the first time in the Tavares era that the Isles have reached the 80 point mark.
The Islanders lead the Metropolitan Davison by four points over the idle Rangers and over the Capitals Pittsburgh is in fourth place in the Metro, five points behind the Islanders.  The Isles spent the afternoon with the most points in the East but Montreal retook the conference lead with a win over Columbus on Saturday night.  The Habs have 81 points.

The Isles remain 20 games over .500 for the first time in the post-Cup era (they finished the 1983-84 season with a 50-26-4 record).

The Scoring:
1st Period
07:41    NYI       Travis Hamonic (4) ASST: John Tavares (32), Josh Bailey (18)     1 - 0 NYI          
19:19    WSH     Matt Niskanen (3) ASST: Nicklas Backstrom (46), Karl Alzner (12) 1 - 1 Tie           
2nd Period
3rd Period
14:26    WSH     Eric Fehr (17) ASST: Brooks Laich (8)     2 - 1 WSH        
19:12    NYI       Ryan Strome (13) ASST: Anders Lee (12), John Tavares (33)       2 - 2 Tie           
OT Period
The Shootout:
ROUND            Washington Capitals            New York Islanders
1                      Evgeny Kuznetsov (G/GDG) Frans Nielsen (NG)
2                      Nicklas Backstrom (NG)        John Tavares (NG)
3                      Alex Ovechkin   (NG)           Ryan Strome (NG)

The Skinny
The Isles are 8-5-1 since the All-Star break…The Isles have scored in first in eight of their last nine games … John Tavares extended his point streak to five games (4-7-11) with two assists…The Isles defense scored their 27th goal of the season; it was Hamonic's first goal in 32 games…Strome's goal was the Isles' first last-minute of the game tying goal this season.  The Isles had been outscored 8-0 in last minutes of all periods since the All-Star break prior to Strome's tally.

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
·         ISLES           39-19-2=80 points / 60 games (32 ROW)  Lost to Washington 3-2 (SO)
·         NY Rangers  35-16-6=76 points / 57 games (33 ROW)  Idle
·         Washington  33-17-10=76 points / 60 games (31 ROW) Beat Isles 3-2 (SO)
·         Pittsburgh     33-17-9=75 points / 59 games (30 ROW)  Beat St .Louis

Upcoming Schedule:
·         ISLES:  Sunday vs. Vancouver, Tuesday vs. Arizona, Friday vs. Calgary, Saturday vs. Carolina
·         NY Rangers: Sunday vs. Columbus, Tuesday vs. Calgary, Thursday vs. Arizona, Saturday @ Philadelphia
·         Washington: Sunday @ Philadelphia, Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh, Friday @ Carolina
·         Pittsburgh: Sunday vs Florida, Wednesday @ Washington

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 15 of their 26 home dates this season. The 15 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 18 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 seventh game of a stretch in which the Isles will play 9 of the final 11 February games at home.  The Isles are 5-1-1 in this stretch (4-1-0 at home and 1-0-1 on the road).

What a Season:
The Isles are 39-19-2 thru 60 games.  Only the 1981-82 team had more wins through 60 games.  It's the first time since the 2006-07 season (40-30-12) that the Isles have won at least 39 games in a season.

Most wins in first 60 games:
·         40-14-6 in 1981-82
·         39-19-2 in 2014-15
·         39-11-10 in 1978-79
·         37-12-11 in 1977-78
·         35-16-9 in 1976-77
·         36-22-2 in 1983-84
·         34-16-10 in 1980-81

Most points in first 60 games:
·         88 in 1978-79
·         86 in 1981-82
·         85 in 1977-78
·         80 in 2014-15
·         79 in 1976-77
·         78 in 1980-81
·         74 in 1983-84 & 1975-76

Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 21-7-0 on Coliseum ice; it's only the fourth time in club history that the Isles have won at least 21 of their first 28 home games (23-3-2 in 1981-82, 21-2-5 in 1977-78, and 21-2-5 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, 0-3-0, and are 7-2-1 in their last 10.

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 Shots:
Isles              6-7-18-1=32
Washington  4-10-7-6=27
The Isles have outshot 27 of their last 31 opponents.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 2,023-1,676 for a +347 shot differential.

Biggest Differential, Season
·         +347 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 2,767 shots this year.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 39-19-2 overall; 21-7-0 at home and 18-12-2 on the road.  
Washington is 33-17-10 overall; 17-7-5 at home and 16-10-5 on the road.  The Caps have won four straight games for the first time this season.
The Isles are tied for the NHL in both overall wins and road wins.

By Division
The Isles are 19-3-1 in Division games and are 20-16-1 in games against other divisions. They are 9-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 5-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 6-3-0 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
Chad Johnson made 25 saves; he is 7-7-1 on the season. He is 1-1-1 in his career against the Caps.
Braden Holtby made 30 saves and improves to 29-12-9 on the season. He is 7-1-2 in his career against the Isles. 
Move over Billy, Ozzy and DiPi
Halak has tied the franchise record with 32 wins in a season.
Player               Wins
Jaroslav Halak  32 in 2014-15
Rick DiPietro     32 in 2006-07
Billy Smith        32 in 1981-82
Chris Osgood   32 in 2001-02
Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-1 on the power play, while Washington was also 0-1. 
The power play is 10-49 in the last 17 games (20.4%) but only 6-33 (18.2%) in last 12.
The penalty kill is in the midst of their best stretch since early January, having killed all 14 penalties in the last six games.
The Isles are 21-9-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 18-10-2 when they do not.  The Isles are 15-14-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 25-4-2 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 33-6-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-13-1 when they do not. 

One Goal Games
The Isles are 22-5-2 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 club record for 1-goal wins in 23, set in 2007-08 when 23 of Isles' 35 wins were by 1 goal.

First Goal (and Second Goal)
The Isles are 23-12-2 when they score first and are 16-7-0 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 157-139-41 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 337
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 157
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
John Tavares: "It's better than losing in regulation and certainly was a big game. "It's going to be a fight right until the end. They're a good team. They're one of the better teams we've played all year."

They Tweeted It
(Will return Sunday)

The Coach
(to Newsday's Arthur Staple): "(Hamonic) understands the system and the way we need him to play. When we put him on the power play, he understands he needs to shoot pucks. When you do those things, you build confidence, and he's playing with confidence right now."

Including today, the Isles are 7-3-1 in the front-end and 8-2-0 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 five sets.
This back-to-back set will conclude on Sunday at home vs. Vancouver (6pm).

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 25:17 of ice-time; Matt Niskanen led Washington in ice-time with 25:37. 
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-0), Travis Hamonic (16-2-2), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-5-0), 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 21:12 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (22-18-2), 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 34 of 72 draws (48%).  Brock Nelson won 12 of 20 for the Isles; Nicklas Backstrom won 18 of 27 for Washington. The Isles won only 8 of 23 draws in the second period but won 26 of 49 in the other 45 minutes. The Isles won all 3 draws on the power play but lost 2 of 3 draws on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Washington 41-29.  Matt Martin led the Islanders with 10 hits.
Martin also fought Tom Wilson (for the second time this season) in the third period. 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 27 blocked shots; Brian Strait led the Isles with 6.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 75-67, including 38-19 in the third period. The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with a +15 even-strength Corsi rating; Colin McDonald was also on-ice for a team-leading 69% of Corsi For events.  Andre Burakovsky (+10) led Washington.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 377 career points; he is 77 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 20 times this season and the Isles are 15-5-0 in those games.  Prior to this season the Isles had won only 40 of the 151 games in which Tavares was scoreless.

All-time Winners
The Islanders remain 26 games over all-time NHL .500 (1444-1418-451 in 3,313 games).  It's the first time that they have been +26 all-time since December 23, 2003.   
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 312 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 113 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Kyle Okposo, Casey Cizikas, Eric Boulton and Mikhail Grabovski are on injured reserve.  Calvin deHaan replaced Lubomir Visnovsky in the lineup. Matt Donovan was scratched.
Kael Mouellierat made his NHL debut; he played 9:07 and was -1.  No Islander wearing #48 has ever scored an NHL point. (Kael is the 4th to do so)
The Isles have lost 219 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         165 goals (13th all-time and 3 behind Ziggy Palffy)
·         212 assists (15th all-time, 37 behind Tomas Jonsson and 47 behind Billy Harris)
·         377 points (13th all-time and 66 behind Billy Harris)
·         410 games played (37th among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Wayne Merrick and 13 behind Dave Langevin)
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 18 behind Josh Bailey)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         96 goals (27th all-time and 4 behind Trent Hunter)
·         194 assists (16th all-time and 16 behind John Tavares)
·         290 points (tied-21st all-time with Alexei Yashin and 2 behind Duane Sutter)
·         507 games played (24th among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Rich Pilon and 3 behind Mick Vukota)
Michael Grabner has:
·         88 goals (36th all-time and 4 behind Travis Green)
Josh Bailey has:
·         454 games played (30th among Islander skaters and 5 behind Trent Hunter)

Season Series Stats
The season series ends 2 games to 2 (Washington earned 6 points to the Isles' 5).
The home team won all four games of this year's series, and three of the four games were decided in extra time.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 21st
7 years ago tonight (2008) – Miroslav Satan scored the only goal of the game at 5:37 of the third period and Rick DiPietro made it stand up for his third shutout of the season as the Isles blanked Tampa Bay 1-0.
Sean Bergenheim and Rico Fata earned assists on the Satan goal; it was the only assist of Fata's NHL career.
It was the Isles 6th straight win; they have not won six straight games in a single season since. The Isles also extended their point streak to seven games (6-0-1).
"It was a great play by [Bergenheim]," Satan told Newsday's Greg Logan. "He basically tied up two guys and then did a spin-a-rama and gave me the puck. I was flying full speed, so it was pretty easy for me to use my speed and set up the shot. I had enough time to look at him and kind of freeze him and pick the spot."
Tampa had a shot to tie when Vincent Lecavalier blistered a shot over DiPietro's glove, however the puck hit the left post and bounced into the crease behind Di Pietro, where he laid on it.
"He hit me in the back," DiPietro said. "I was fortunate."
Also on this date: (2009) – Yann Danis made 40 saves and became the first Islander other than Rick DiPietro to record a shutout since 2003 as the Isles blanked New Jersey 4-0.
All-time, the Isles have played fourteen February 21st games at the Coliseum and finish with an 8-6-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 21-24-5-1 following a brawl-filled 4-3 loss to Hershey on Saturday. Bridgeport hosts Norfolk on Sunday.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 5:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders begin a four-game homestand to close out February as they entertain the Canucks.  Vancouver has been in the NY-area since Thursday, when they rallied to defeat the Rangers in a shootout. New Jersey defeated the Canucks on Friday. 
Vancouver defeated the Isles at the end of their West Coast trip in January by a 3-2 score, but the Isles have earned points in 8 of their last 9 home games against the Canucks (4-1-2 with 2 ties).  The 10th most recent home game was in 1998 – Garth Snow was in nets for a 6-2 Canuck win.

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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