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The Skinny: Isles 3, Washington 1

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 30 Isles 3, Washington 1 Andrew Ladd and John Tavares scored goals in the first 1:34 of the 2nd ...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Skinny: Chicago 4, Isles 1

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Game 72
Chicago 4, Isles 1
Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa each scored twice as the Chicago Blackhawks became the fourth straight opponent to hold the Isles to one goal, defeating the Islanders 4-1 before 22,080 at the United Center.
Nikolay Kulemin had the only goal for the Islanders, who have lost four straight for the first time in over a year.

The Scoring:
1ST PERIOD
07:01    CHI       Jonathan Toews (22) ASST: Duncan Keith (32), Patrick Sharp (23)           1 - 0 CHI          
16:04    CHI       Jonathan Toews (23) ASST: Niklas Hjalmarsson (13), Johnny Oduya (4) 2 - 0 CHI
2ND PERIOD
13:55    CHI       Marian Hossa (20) ASST: Jonathan Toews (35)                                         3 - 0 CHI        
3RD PERIOD
00:57    CHI       Marian Hossa (21) ASST: Patrick Sharp (24), Jonathan Toews (36)           4 - 0 CHI          
05:29    NYI       Nikolay Kulemin (13) ASST: Tyler Kennedy (7), Frans Nielsen (28)            4 - 1 CHI

The Skinny
John Tavares was held pointless for the fourth straight game for the first time this season but remains the NHL's leading scorer with 72 points… The Isles have lost four straight games, and scored only one goal in each game; it's the first time that the Isles have lost four straight games, scoring one goal or fewer in each, since a five game streak November 4-13, 2010 (0-4-1) and the first time that they have lost four games in regulation, scoring one goal or less since March 26-April 1, 2006…Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp all went +4 for Chicago, while John Tavares and Josh Bailey each went -4.  It's the first time since April 18, 2006 that two Islander forwards were -4 or worse in the same game (Alexei Yashin and Jason Blake) and the first time that either Bailey or Tavares had gone -4 in a game…This was the Isles' final game of the season outside of the Eastern Time Zone…This was only the fifth time this season that the Isles either led (2x) or trailed (3x) 4-0 at any point…The Isles did not score in the first two periods for the third straight game…The Isles are 2-5-2 in their last 9 games…Toews is the first opponent to have at least 4 points and go +4 or better against the Isles since Jiri Tlusty did so for Carolina (2-2-4, +4) on February 11, 2013.  The last Blackhawk to do it against the Isles was Tony Amonte on November 8, 1997…It's the first time in his career that Toews has had a 4 point/+4 game.

The Big 3
The Isles are 35-15-4 in the 54 games that they have had Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic all in the lineup.  They are 8-10-0 in the 18 games that one or two have been missing.

Most Times Scoring the First Goal of a Game as a Rookie (last 25 seasons)
1.     Alex Ovechkin – 12 (2005-06)
2.     Teemu Selanne – 10 (1992-93)
3.     Anders Lee -9 (2014-15)

It's Magic
The Isles magic number for clinching a playoff spot remains 16.  Any combination of points won by the Islanders and/or lost by Ottawa will clinch a playoff spot for the Isles. 

Tired vs. Rested
There have been 23 occasions this season that the Isles, their opponent, or both had played the night before.  The Isles are 14-3-0 against an opponent playing on back-to-back nights but are 1-5-0 when the Isles are playing on the back-end of back-to-backs against a rested opponent.
·         The Isles are 7-1-0 when both teams played the night before. This will also happen on March 29th vs. Detroit and April 11th vs Columbus.
·         The Isles are 7-2-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not. This also will happen on March 21st in New Jersey, March 24th vs. Minnesota, April 4th vs Buffalo
·         The Isles are 1-5-0 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not. This will not happen again this season.

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
·         NY Rangers  44-17-7=95 points / 68 games (41 ROW)  Idle
·         ISLES           43-25-4=90 points / 72 games (36 ROW)  Lost 4-1 @ Chicago
·         Pittsburgh     39-21-10=88 points / 70 games (36 ROW) Lost 2-0 @ New Jersey
·         Washington  38-23-10=86 points / 71 games (34 ROW)  Idle

Upcoming Schedule:
·         NY Rangers: Sunday vs. Florida, Wednesday vs. Chicago, Saturday at Carolina, Sunday vs. Anaheim, Tuesday vs. Los Angeles
·         ISLES: Tuesday at Chicago, Saturday at New Jersey, Tuesday vs. Minnesota
·         Pittsburgh: Thursday at Dallas, Saturday at Arizona, Tuesday vs. St. Louis
·         Washington: Thursday at Minnesota, Saturday at Winnipeg

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 21 of their 35 home dates this season. The 21 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 26 times this season.

What a Season:
The Isles are 43-25-4 thru 2 games, representing their most wins since 1983-84 (50). 
The Isles have won more than 43 games only six times in their history:
·         1981-82           54
·         1978-79           51
·         1983-84           50
·         1980-81           48
·         1977-78           48
·         1976-77           47
·         2014-15           43

Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 23-12-0 on Coliseum ice, representing their most home win since 2010 (when they finished 23-14-4).
The Isles have lost four straight at the Coliseum, all in regulation, for the first time since February 3-11, 2013.  (The Isles also had a 4-game "home" streak last season, but that included the Yankee Stadium game.)

Road Warriors
The Isles are 20-13-4 on the road and have earned at least a point in 7 of their last 8  (4-1-3). 

Streakers
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, 6-1-0 and 4-2-3 before losing their last four.

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       10-15-14=39 
Chicago 16-5-9=30
The Isles have outshot 37 of their last 43 opponents and 54 of their 72 opponents this season.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 2,436 - 2,015 for a +421 shot differential.  

Biggest Differential, Season
·         +421 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 2,774 shots this year.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 43-25-4 overall; 23-12-0 at home and 20-13-4 on the road.  
Chicago is 42-21-6 overall, 22-9-5 at home and 20-12-1 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 19-5-1 in Division games and are 24-20-3 in games against other divisions. They are 10-10-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-6-1 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 19-5-1 against the Met Division, and are 12-3-1 in their last 16 division matchups.  They are 11-3-0 at home (outscoring opponents 54-36) 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 March 21st in New Jersey.

In the Nets
Michael Neuvirth made 26 saves but falls to 7-19-4 on the season (1-2-1 as an Islander). He is 0-2-0 in his career against Chicago.
Corey Crawford made 38 saves to improve to 29-14-5 on the season. He is 3-0-1 in his career against the Isles. 

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play, while Chicago was 0-1.  The Isles failed to score on a 5-minute major assessed to Chicago's Andrew Shaw for head-butting.  Shaw also received a game misconduct.
The power play is 4-24 (16.7%) in the last 7 games.  The Isles have not scored 2 PP goals in a game since January 4th.
The penalty kill has killed 44 of 48 (91.7%) in the last 18 games; the Isles allowed two goals to Vancouver on February 22nd and two goals to Carolina on February 28th but blanked their other 16 opponents. The Isles have killed all 21 opponent power plays this month (7 games); in their last 8 road games, the Isles have killed all 18 opponent power plays.
The Isles are 24-10-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 19-15-3 when they do not.  The Isles are 15-16-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 28-9-4 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 36-7-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-18-2 when they do not. 

One Goal Games
The Isles are 25-7-4 in games decided by a single goal including 12-7-0 in regulation. They are 6-1 in games decided in overtime and are 7-3 in shootouts.  Six games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter.  The Isles are 3-3 in those games. 
The 25 wins are a new franchise record – in 2007-08, 23 of Isles' 35 wins were by 1 goal.

First Goal (and Second Goal)
The Isles are 26-14-3 when they score first and are 17-11-1 when they allow the opening goal.  However, the Isles are 13-0-1 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal.  The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win four times this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO), Pittsburgh on January 16th, Philadelphia on February 5th and Toronto on March 9th)

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 161-145-43 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 349
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 161
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Frans Nielsen: "We put ourselves behind the eight ball right away … for some reason we weren't ready tonight."

They Tweeted It
@_treefingers This fan is remaining optimistic. Get some rest and show up against the Devils. Let's go #Isles
@chipper39  We shall meet again #Blackhawks #Isles

The Coach
A couple of costly mistakes in the first period and we weren't able to generate any momentum on the (5 minute power play).

Back-to-Backs
The Isles are 9-4-1 in the front-end and 8-6-0 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 seven sets, are 0-1-1 in one set, and have been swept once.
The remaining back-to-back sets are March 28-29 (Anaheim and Detroit) and April 10-11 (at Pittsburgh, vs Columbus).

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 25:21 of ice-time; Duncan Keith led Chicago in ice-time with 20:49. 
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-1), Travis Hamonic (20-7-2), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-6-1), 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 20:48. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (26-23-4), 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 (0-2-0). 

In the Circle
The Islanders won 26 of 59 draws (44%).  Casey Cizikas won 9 of 15 for the Isles but his teammates won only 17 of 44; Jonathan Toews won 13 of 17 for Chicago.  The Isles won only 15 of 38 draws in the first two periods before winning 11 of 21 in the third period. The Isles won 1 of 3 draws on the power play and lost both draws on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Chicago 38-18.  Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with 7 hits.
Matt Martin, who had 3 hits, leads the NHL with 350 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 298.  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) and needs just 7 hits to have the three highest totals and 25 hits to set a new NHL record:

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 12 blocked shots; Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with 4.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 63-54 (including 47-29 in the second and third periods). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Casey Cizikas led the Isles with a +10 even-strength Corsi rating; he was also on-ice for a team-leading 75% of Corsi For events.  Jonathan Toews led Chicago with a +14 rating.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 387 career points; he is 81 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 26 times this season and the Isles are 15-10-1 in those games.  Prior to this season the Isles were 40-89-22 in the 151 games in which Tavares was scoreless. (Thanks hockey-reference.com)

All-time Winners
The Islanders fall to 24 games over all-time NHL .500 (1448-1424-454 in 3,326 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.

Ironmen
Nikolay Kulemin and Brock Nelson are the Islanders' reigning ironmen.  Kulemin has played 140 consecutive games (68 for Toronto and 72 for the Isles) while Nelson has played 125 consecutive Islander games. John Tavares is the only other Islander to have played every game this season. 

Missing Men
Mikhail Grabovski is on injured reserve. Nick Leddy, Lubomir Visnovsky and Jaroslav Halak missed the game with injuries; Ryan Strome returned to the line-up replacing Michael Grabner. Colin McDonald and Eric Boulton were also scratched. Kevin Poulin served as the back-up goalie.
The Isles have lost 258 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         169 goals (12th all-time and 15 behind Billy Harris)
·         218 assists (15th all-time, 31 behind Tomas Jonsson and 41 behind Billy Harris)
·         387 points (13th all-time and 56 behind Billy Harris)
·         422 games played (tied- 35th among Islander skaters all-time with Dave Langevin, 3 behind Greg Gilbert and 4 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 11 behind Frans Nielsen)
·         298 points (18th all-time, 33 behind Ziggy Palffy and 35 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         440 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 10 behind Scott Lachance and 19 behind Trent Hunter)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         97 goals (29th all-time, 2 behind Trent Hunter and 4 behind Anders Kallur)
·         197 assists (16th all-time and 21 behind John Tavares)
·         294 points (20th all-time, 1 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 4 behind Kyle Okposo)
·         518 games played (21st among Islander skaters all-time, 12 behind Pat LaFontaine and 14 behind Tomas Jonsson)
 Josh Bailey has:
·         133 assists (32nd all-time, 5 behind Greg Gilbert, 6 behind Mark Streit, and 7 behind Steve Thomas)
·         214 points (tied-34th all-time with Mark Parrish)
·         466 games played (29th among Islander skaters , 4 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 11 behind Gerry Hart)
Michael Grabner has:
·         89 goals (36th all-time, 3  behind Travis Green and 4 behind Garry Howatt & Greg Gilbert)

Season Series Stats
The teams split the season series 1 game to 1 (and 2 points to 2). 
The Isles are 8-3-2 in their last 13 games against the Hawks, but that includes a 0-3-1 record in their last four games in The Windy City.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 17th
25 years ago today (1990) – Brent Sutter scored three goals for his 6th career hat trick as the Islanders celebrated St. Patrick's Day and broke a 14-game winless streak with a 5-3 matinee win over the Rangers.
The Isles had a share of first place early in the streak but were 0-11-3 in their last 14 heading into this game and needed a victory in this game to avoid tying the franchise record 15 game winless streak.
After Darren Turcotte and Randy Wood traded first period goals, the Isles took command of the game with three second period tallies.  Pat LaFontaine scored his 49th goal of the season and after Kris King (the NHL executive and not the current Isles radio broadcaster) re-tied the game, Pat Flatley and Sutter's first goal gave the Isles a 4-2 advantage.
Mike Gartner scored just past the midway point of the third to make it a 1-goal game but Sutter's two goals, the latter in an empty net, cemented the win.
"We knew something was going to happen. We were so close for so long," Pat LaFontaine told Newsday's Mark Herrmann "I always feel that if things don't go your way, good things are bound to come your way sooner or later."
The win moved the Isles within two points of the third place Penguins.
The Isles would go 0-3-2 in their next five, but would make the playoffs with wins in their final two games, and a whole lot of help.

Also on this date: (1981) – Anders Kallur scored twice, including a shorthanded tally with 5:41 to play, as the Isles rallied for a 3-3 tie with the Canadiens.  The third period was punctuated by a brawl between the squads that erupted with a Bobby Nystrom-Rod Langway fight. 122 penalty minutes were assessed from the fracas, including 24 each for Montreal's Keith Acton and the Isles' Lorne Henning.
All-time, the Isles have played five March 17th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 3-1-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 22-31-6-1, including 1-12-1-0 in their last 14, following a 2-0 loss to Syracuse on Sunday.  Bridgeport heads to Springfield on Friday before returning home to face Providence on Saturday and Binghamton on Sunday (3pm).

Up Next
SATURDAY, MARCH 21st - ISLANDERS AT NEW JERSEY 7:00PM
[MSG+2 (Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]

The Isles look to break their four game losing streak by completing a four-game sweep of the season series with New Jersey. 

The Isles have won the previous three games, but it has not been easy, winning 3-1 in November at the Coliseum (in a game that the Devils dominated the third period), rallying from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 win at the Coliseum in a shootout in December, and winning 3-2 on a John Tavares overtime goal in January.
Going back to last season, the Isles have won the last five games vs. the Devils, representing their longest win streak vs. New Jersey since a 6-game win streak 
from April, 2007 to January, 2008.

Note that this game will air on MSG+2.

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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