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"The Skinny" … on the Openers By Eric Hornick The NHL released the schedule for the 2016-17 season on Tuesday.  It'...

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Skinny: Los Angeles 3, Isles 2

"The Skinny"  

 By Eric Hornick
 
Game 75
Los Angeles 3, Isles 2
Anze Kopitar deflected home Andrej Sekara's shot for the winning goal with 4:23 to play as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Islanders 3-2, disappointing yet another sellout crowd of 16,170 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Frans Nielsen and Johnny Boychuk scored for the Isles, the latter on a power play.

Pittsburgh lost 5-2 in Carolina so the Isles maintain their two point lead over Pittsburgh in the battle for second place in the Metropolitan Division.  Washington beat New Jersey 3-2 in overtime to climb within one point of Pittsburgh and three points of the Isles.  Both the Caps and Pens have a game in hand.

The Scoring:

1ST PERIOD
NONE
 
2ND PERIOD
05:31    NYI       Frans Nielsen (13) ASST: Nikolay Kulemin (15), Travis Hamonic (25) 1 - 0 NYI      
10:37    LAK      Nick Shore (1) ASST: Dustin Brown (16), Alec Martinez (13)         1 - 1 Tie           
 
3RD PERIOD
01:55    LAK      SHG - Tyler Toffoli (22) ASST: Jeff Carter (29), Jake Muzzin (29)  2 - 1 LAK         
03:31    NYI       PPG - Johnny Boychuk (8) ASST: Ryan Strome (31), Josh Bailey (23) 2 - 2 Tie    
15:37    LAK      Anze Kopitar (16) ASST: Andrej Sekera (20), Alec Martinez (14)    3 - 2 LAK

The Skinny
The Isles are 3-6-3 in their last 12 games…The Isles did score twice for the first time in five home games;  they had tied a club record for failing to score at least twice in four consecutive home games, originally set January 13-19, 2009.  Jonathan Quick is 10-1-1 in his last 12 road games; this was his 400th NHL games…The Isles did set a franchise record as they killed both King power plays.  The Isles have not allowed a power play goal in 11 straight games, breaking a club record that was set in the 1977-78 season…Nick Shore's goal was his first in the NHL…Tyler Toffoli now leads the NHL with five shorthanded goals; it was the first shorthanded goal allowed by the Isles at home this season…Anze Kopitar extended his point streak to five games with the winning goal… Both Kyle Okposo and John Tavares were -3 tonight.

Imperfect Circle
This was the final regular season weekday home game in Coliseum history.  The Isles defeated Los Angeles 3-2 on October 12, 1972 in the first weekday regular season home game.  The Isles were 461-361-126 in weekday regular season home games at the Coliseum.

The Big 3
The Isles are 36-16-5 in the 57 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.

Hamonic's assist allowed him to join Boychuk in the 30 point club.  It's the first time that the Isles have had 2 defensemen with at least 30 points since Adrian Aucoin and Roman Hamrlik did so in 2002-03.  Leddy has 29 points.

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)
       Mike Hoffman -9 (2014-15)

Most Shutouts in a Season by an Islander
7 – Chico Resch (1975-76)
5- Jaroslav Halak (2014-15), Rick DiPietro (2006-07 and 2003-04), Tommy Salo (1998-99 and 1996-97), and Ron Hextall (1993-94),

Most Goals by an Islander in the 2000's
·         Jason Blake -40 (2006-07)
·         Matt Moulson-36 (2011-12)
·         Miroslav Satan -35 (2005-06)
·         Mariusz Czerkawski-35 (1999-2000)
·         Michael Grabner-34 (2010-11)
·         John Tavares-34 (2014-15)

It's Magic
The Isles magic number for clinching a playoff spot was reduced to 9 by Boston's overtime loss to Anaheim.  Any combination of points won by the Islanders and/or lost by Boston will clinch a playoff spot for the Isles. 

Tired vs. Rested
There have been 25 times this season that the Isles, their opponent, or both had played the night before.  The Isles are 15-3-1 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 8-2-1 when they are rested and their opponents are not. This will happen for the final time this season on 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  47-19-7=101 points / 73 games (43 ROW)  Beat Ottawa 5-1.
·         ISLES           44-26-5=93 points / 75 games (37 ROW)  Lost to Los Angeles 3-2.
·         Pittsburgh     40-23-11=91 points / 74 games (37 ROW) Lost to Carolina 5-2
·         Washington  40-24-10=90 points / 74 games (36 ROW)  Beat New Jersey 3-2 (OT)

Upcoming Schedule:
·         NY Rangers: Saturday at Boston, Sunday vs. Washington, Tuesday at Winnipeg, Thursday at Minnesota
·         ISLES: Saturday vs. Anaheim, Sunday vs. Detroit, Thursday at Columbus
·         Pittsburgh: Saturday vs. Arizona, Sunday vs. San Jose, Wednesday vs. Philadelphia
·         Washington: Saturday vs. Nashville, Sunday at NY Rangers, Tuesday vs. Carolina, Thursday at Montreal

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 23 of their 37 home dates this season, including each of the last seven dates. The 23 sellouts are the most for the Isles since the 1980s.  The Isles have drawn at least 15,000 fans 28 times this season.

What a Season:
The Isles are 44-26-5 thru 75 games, representing their most wins since 1983-84 (50). 
The Isles have won more than 44 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           44
 
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 23-13-1 on Coliseum ice, representing their most home wins since 2010 (when they finished 23-14-4).
The Isles are winless in six straight on Coliseum ice (0-5-1) and have scored just nine goals in those six games.

Road Warriors
The Isles are 21-13-4 on the road and have earned at least a point in 8 of their last 9 (5-1-3). 

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 going 1-5-1 in their last seven 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.
·         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                5-16-6=27 
Los Angeles   14-8-15=37
It was only the 19th time this season that the Isles have been outshot.
 
The Isles have outshot 39 of their last 46 opponents and 56 of their 75 opponents this season. The 56 times outshooting their opponent is the highest total in the NHL this season.
 
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 2,531 - 2,110 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 (a total that they will pass on Saturday), most since a franchise-record 2,616 in 1992-93. The Isles need just 86 shots on goal to establish a new franchise record.

Shooting Percentage
The Isles scored on 9.5% of their shots before the All-Star Game (31-14-1 record); they have scored on only 7.5% of their shots since the break (13-12-4).

Home and Road
The Islanders are 44-26-5 overall; 23-13-1 at home and 21-13-4 on the road.  The Isles have at least 21 wins both at home and on the road for the first time since the 2001-02 season, when they won 21 at home and 21 on the road.
Los Angeles is 37-23-14 overall, 22-9-7 at home and 15-14-7 on the road.  The Kings, who swept all three games in the metro area, improve to 8-2-2 in their last 12 games.

By Division
The Isles are 20-5-1 in Division games and are 24-21-4 in games against other divisions. They are 10-10-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-6-2 vs. Central Division, and 8-5-0 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 20-5-1 against the Met Division, and are 13-3-1 in their last 17 division matchups.  They are 11-3-0 at home (outscoring opponents 54-36) and 9-2-1 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 April 2nd in Columbus.  Four of the Isles' last five games are against division foes.

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves but falls to 35-16-2 on the season. He is 6-7-2 in his career against Los Angeles.
Jonathan Quick made 25 saves to improve to 33-19-12 on the season. Quick, who through the first period had lowered his goals against average against the Isles to 1.46, is 5-1-2 in his career against the Isles.  The Isles' goals in the second and third period pushed Quick's goals against vs. them up to 1.59, dropping him to 2nd place in career Goals Against Average vs. the Isles among active players. Who is first?  Jaroslav Halak (1.53).

Power Plays
The Islanders were 1-2 on the power play, while Los Angeles was 0-2. The Kings failed on a 1:34 5-on-3, but scored only the third shorthanded goal allowed by the Isles this season.

The power play is 5-28 (17.9%) in the last ten games.  The Isles have not scored 2 PP goals in a game since January 4th.

The penalty kill has killed 48 of 52 (92.3%) in the last 21 games; the Isles allowed two goals to Vancouver on February 22nd and two goals to Carolina on February 28th but blanked their other 19 opponents. The Isles have killed all 25 opponent power plays this month (11 games), and 28 straight overall; in their last 9 road games, the Isles have killed all 19 opponent power plays.

The Isles have broken the franchise record (10 games without allowing a power play goal) which was set February 18- March 7, 1978.

The Isles are 24-11-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 20-15-4 when they do not.  The Isles are 15-16-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 29-10-5 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 37-7-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-19-3 when they do not. 

One Goal Games
The Isles are 25-8-5 in games decided by a single goal including 12-8-0 in regulation. They are 6-1 in games decided in overtime and are 7-4 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 27-15-4 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 162-146-44 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 352
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
 
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 162
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
John Tavares: "We're trying to get the results we want. We had a tough start… I have to be better. Guys look to me. We as a group just have to stay with it and keep working away. "
Travis Hamonic: ""It's certainly a big weekend in here coming up, but we're not hitting panic buttons, we're not freaking out."

They Tweeted It
@KristenP24 Definitely a disappointing loss tonight but i'm glad my dad & i got to see one last game at the Coliseum #Isles #TheOldBarn #43years
@jkreiser77nhl @LAKings complete 3rd sweep of NYC-area teams by beating #Isles. 2nd in 2 years. Only 2 other teams (NSH, ANA) have done it once ... ever.
@justin_paley Thank you @MSGNetworks for the @NYIslanders hat at tonight's game #isles #msgplus
@DavePolaski My 55th & final game at @Nassau_Coliseum results in 3-2 #Isles loss to Kings. So many great memories here.

The Coach
"We played a really good team battling for a playoff spot...Guys work extremely hard to win every game at home and we've lost four or five straight games at home."

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
Nick Leddy led all Isles with 23:03 of ice-time. Drew Doughty led Los Angeles in ice-time with 27:00

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 (4-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-4-1), 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 (26-24-5), 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 (1-2-0). 

In the Circle
The Islanders won 21 of 51 draws (41%).  No Islanders won more than he lost; Nick Shore won 8 of 9 for Los Angeles.  The Isles won 7 of 14 draws in the first period but only 14 of 31 draws in the second and third periods. The Isles won 3 of 4 on the power play and 2 of 5 draws on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Los Angeles 42-29.  Matt Martin led the Isles with 9 hits while Cal Clutterbuck added six.
Matt Martin leads the NHL with 367 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 317. Martin now has the three highest totals in NHL history (since 2005) and needs just 8 hits to set a new NHL record:

Most hits, season:
1.    Matt Martin, NYI 374 in 2011-12
2     Matt Martin, NYI 367 in 2014-15           
3.    Matt Martin, NYI 359 in 2013-14
4.    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 21 blocked shots; Johnny Boychuk led the way with 5.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Kings finished with a total Corsi advantage of 65-56.  The Isles have more attempted in the second period (30) than the first and third period combined. The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Ryan Strome led the Isles with a +3 even-strength Corsi rating; he was also on-ice for a team-leading 57% of Corsi For events.  Justin Williams led Los Angeles with a +15 rating.
The Isles did not have an attempt in the first six minutes of the game and also had two other stretches of over five minutes without an attempt.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 389 career points; he is 80 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 27 times this season and the Isles are 15-11-1 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 (1449-1425-455 in 3,329 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 143 consecutive games (68 for Toronto and 75 for the Isles) while Nelson has played 128 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. Lubomir Visnovsky missed the game with an injury; Matt Donovan, Michael Grabner, Colin McDonald and Eric Boulton were scratched.
The Isles have lost 264 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         170 goals (12th all-time and 14 behind Billy Harris)
·         219 assists (15th all-time, 30 behind Tomas Jonsson and 40 behind Billy Harris)
·         389 points (13th all-time and 54 behind Billy Harris)
·         425 games played (tied-34th among Islander skaters all-time with Greg Gilbert and 1 behind Jason Blake, and 18 behind Kyle Okposo)
Kyle Okposo has:
·         114 goals (24th all-time, 2 behind Ray Ferraro and 4 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish)
·         186 assists (18th all-time, 7 behind Pierre Turgeon and 10 behind Frans Nielsen)
·         300 points (18th all-time, 31 behind Ziggy Palffy and 33 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         443 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 7 behind Scott Lachance and 16 behind Trent Hunter)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         98 goals (29th all-time, 1 behind Trent Hunter and 3 behind Anders Kallur)
·         197 assists (16th all-time and 22 behind John Tavares)
·         295 points (tie-19th all-time with Mariusz Czerkawski and 5 behind Kyle Okposo)
·         521 games played (21st among Islander skaters all-time, 9 behind Pat LaFontaine and 11 behind Tomas Jonsson)
 Josh Bailey has:
·         134 assists (32nd all-time, 4 behind Greg Gilbert, 5 behind Mark Streit, and 6 behind Steve Thomas)
·         215 points (35th all-time, 4 behind Mikko Makela and 8 behind Matt Moulson)
·         469 games played (29th among Islander skaters , 1 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 8 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 (Los Angeles earned 3 points to the Isles' 2). 
This was the only visit of the Kings to Long Island this season; the Kings were the opponent for the 2nd game in Coliseum history – on October 12, 1972 the Isles reached .500 (1-1-0) with a 3-2 win over Los Angeles.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 26th
27 years ago tonight (1988) – Three of the glory names in Edmonton Oiler history: Glenn Anderson, Jari Kurri, and Wayne Gretzky, all scored goals, but the Islanders won anyhow, defeating the Oilers 5-4. 
 
The win pushed the Islanders into first place in the Patrick Division, 1 point ahead of the idle Washington Capitals.
 
Mikko Makela had given the Islanders a 1-0 lead in the first period; after Anderson and Kurri scored for Edmonton, Denis Potvin tied the game with his 19th goal of the season and the 310th and final regular season goal of his Hall-of-Fame career.  (Potvin would add one more goal in the playoff series vs. New Jersey)
 
Mike Khrushelnyski gave Edmonton the lead in the second period, but Bob Bassen tied it midway through the session.
 
Pat LaFontaine and Brent Sutter then scored third period goals for the Isles, before Wayne Gretzky, playing in his final Islander-Oiler game scored a 6th attacker goal at 19:40 of the third period for the final score.
 
Also on this date: (1978) – Bob Nystrom scored two goals and added three assists as the Isles rallied from a 3-0 deficit for a 6-3 Easter Sunday win over Minnesota.  The game, which was rescheduled from a February blizzard, was only the third Sunday home game in Islander history; they wouldn't play another until 1990.
 
All-time, the Isles have played twelve March 26th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 6-6-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 24-33-6-1, heading into a three game in three day weekend.  Bridgeport visits Syracuse Friday and Binghamton Saturday before hosting Hershey on Sunday (3pm).

Up Next
SATURDAY, MARCH 28th – ANAHEIM AT ISLANDERS 1:00PM
[MSG+ (Pre-game at 12:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles play the final regular season afternoon game in Coliseum history as they entertain Anaheim on Saturday afternoon.
The Isles defeated Anaheim 3-2 in overtime on November 5th; it was only the Isles' 2nd win in their last seven games against the Ducks (2-4-1).

AND FINALLY…
Thanks so much to all those who have participated in our shirt sale based on the It Happened at the Coliseum theme.  We have now raised over $23,000 for Make-A-Wish® Metro NY.  If you would like to order, please visit bit.ly/IHATC.   For more about the project, see here: http://islanders.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=759550

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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