By Eric Hornick
Minnesota 2, Isles 1 (SO)
On a night that the Isles honored Pat LaFontaine, who scored the latest overtime goal in franchise history, the son of the man who ended the shortest overtime in franchise playoff history (JP Parise) scored the tying goal and then the only goal of the shootout as the Minnesota Wild, behind those Zach Parise tallies, rallied for a 2-1 shootout win over the Isles before yet another sellout crowd of 16,170 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
John Tavares scored the Isles' only goal late in the second period, a split-second after the Isles' only power play of the game expired. It was Tavares' 34th goal and his 74th point, tying Sidney Crosby for the NHL point lead.
Pittsburgh lost to St. Louis in overtime so the Isles maintain their two point lead over Pittsburgh in the battle for second place in the Metropolitan Division.
19:36 NYI John Tavares (34) Wrist shot - ASST: Kyle Okposo (31), Anders Lee (16) 1 - 0 NYI
11:45 MIN Zach Parise (29) Wrist shot - ASST: Jason Pominville (33), Mikko Koivu (32) 1 - 1 Tie
The Isles are 3-5-3 in their last 11 games…The Isles led both games against the Wild after 40 minutes, but won neither…The Isles have been held to 1 goal in each of their last four home games (tying a club record for failing to score at least twice in four consecutive home games, originally set January 13-19, 2009), and in 5 of their last six games overall. It's the first time since November 2010 that the Isles have scored 1 goal or fewer five times in a six-game span…This was the Isles' first extra-time loss at home this season, after six consecutive wins; the Isles have not allowed an overtime goal at the Coliseum in their last 14 games (5 overtime wins, 5 shootout wins, 4 shootout losses)…The Isles finish the season 6-6-2 against Central Division foes…The Wild have won 10 straight road games (all by Dubnyk); both are franchise records...Dubnyk joins Carey Price and Jimmy Howard as the only active goalies to have won 10 straight road games… Parise's goal was the first allowed by the Isles in 130:52 and the first allowed by Jaro Halak in 131:43.
Frans Nielsen (NG), Zach Parise (G), Kyle Okposo (NG), Mikko Koivu (NG), John Tavares (NG)
Kyle Okposo assisted on John Tavares' goal for his 300th NHL point (116-184-300). He is the 18th player to record 300 points as an Islander.
The Big 3
The Isles are 36-15-5 in the 56 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)
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)
The Isles magic number for clinching a playoff spot was reduced to 10. Any combination of points won by the Islanders and/or lost by Boston will clinch a playoff spot for the Isles.
Tired vs. Rested
This was the 25th time 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 also will happen 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 46-19-7=99 points / 72 games (42 ROW) Lost to Los Angeles 4-2.
· ISLES 44-25-5=93 points / 74 games (37 ROW) Lost (SO) to Minnesota 2-1.
· Pittsburgh 40-22-11=91 points / 73 games (37 ROW) Lost (OT) to St. Louis 2-0.
· Washington 39-24-10=88 points / 73 games (35 ROW) Idle
· NY Rangers: Thursday at Ottawa, Saturday at Boston, Sunday vs. Washington, Tuesday at Winnipeg
· ISLES: Thursday vs. Los Angeles, Saturday vs. Anaheim, Sunday vs. Detroit
· Pittsburgh: Thursday at Carolina, Saturday vs. Arizona, Sunday vs. San Jose
· Washington: Thursday vs. New Jersey, Saturday vs. Nashville, Sunday at NY Rangers, Tuesday vs. Carolina
Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 22 of their 36 home dates this season, including each of the last six dates. The 21 sellouts are the most for the Isles since the 1980s. The Isles have drawn at least 15,000 fans 27 times this season.
What a Season:
The Isles are 44-25-5 thru 74 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 23-12-1 on Coliseum ice, representing their most home wins since 2010 (when they finished 23-14-4).
The Isles are winless in five straight on Coliseum ice (0-4-1) and have scored just one goal in each of the last four home games (0-3-1).
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).
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, 4-2-3, and 0-4-0 before going 1-0-1 in their last two 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 Isles have outshot 39 of their last 45 opponents and 56 of their 74 opponents this season.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 2,504 - 2,073 for a +431 shot differential.
Biggest Differential, Season
· +431 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 they could beat as early as Thursday), 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 44-25-5 overall; 23-12-1 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.
Minnesota is 42-25-7 overall, 21-11-5 at home and 21-14-2 on the road. The Wild improve to 24-6-2 in their last 32 games, all of which have been started by Devan Dubnyk.
The Isles are 20-5-1 in Division games and are 24-20-4 in games against other divisions. They are 10-10-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-6-2 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 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 31 saves; he is 35-15-2 on the season and 2-2-4 in his career against Minnesota.
Devan Dubnyk made 37 saves to improve to 33-11-3 on the season (32-6-4 with Minnesota). He is 2-2-0 in his career against the Isles.
The Islanders were 0-1 on the power play, while Minnesota was also 0-1. However, for the second straight game the Isles scored right after their power play expired.
The power play is 4-26 (15.4%) in the last 9 games. The Isles have not scored 2 PP goals in a game since January 4th.
The penalty kill has killed 46 of 50 (92.0%) in the last 20 games; the Isles allowed two goals to Vancouver on February 22nd and two goals to Carolina on February 28th but blanked their other 18 opponents. The Isles have killed all 23 opponent power plays this month (10 games); in their last 9 road games, the Isles have killed all 19 opponent power plays.
The Isles have matched a franchise record by going 10 games without allowing a power play goal which was set February 18- March 7, 1978.
The Isles are 24-10-1 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 29-9-5 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 7-18-3 when they do not.
One Goal Games
The Isles are 25-7-5 in games decided by a single goal including 12-7-0 in regulation. They are 6-1 in games decided in overtime and are 7-4 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 27-14-4 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 162-145-44 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 351
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 deserved to win the game. Their goalie played well, he gave them a chance to win, but so did [Jaroslav Halak]... We just have to score on our chances."
They Tweeted It
@DavidSethCohen1 Awesome meeting one of my childhood hero's #PatLaFontaine at the @NYIslanders game tonight. Welcome home #16! #NHL
@subtleserpeant Thank you @NYIslanders for thirty plus years of memories at the barn. Though I hoped for a better last memory, it is trumped by others.
@CB3inNYC It doesn't get much better then tonight, still ear to ear @CiC16foundation #isles
@Hombo3 Last ever #isles regular season game with my dad tonight...Thanks for 20 great years of #isles games dad! I'll never forget them!!!
@ScottmCharles Parise on NVMC, "Its always a fun rink to play at when they get the good crowds. It is a loud rink, there is a lot of history here." #Isles
"It was one of our better efforts. Their goalie made two or three phenomenal saves. We could have been up by a couple."
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 26:24 of ice-time; it was the most that he has played as any game as an Islander and the most that he has played in any game in the last 3 seasons (Career high is 27:59 for Chicago, vs. Edmonton, on 1/2/2012). Ryan Suter led Minnesota in ice-time with 32:04; Suter played 33:14 vs. the Isles last season and those are the two highest ice-times vs. the Isles in the last three seasons.
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 (0-3-1), 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 23:24. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (26-23-5), 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 36 of 57 draws (63%). Casey Cizikas won 9 of 10 and John Tavares won 11 of 15 for the Isles; No Wild player won more than he lost. The Isles won 33 of 51 draws in regulation and 3 of 6 in overtime. The Isles won 2 of 3 on the power play but lost 2 of 3 draws on the penalty kill.
The Isles out-hit Minnesota 28-23. Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with 5 hits.
Matt Martin, who had 3 hits, leads the NHL with 358 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 311. Martin now has the three highest totals in NHL history (since 2005) and needs just 17 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. Matt Martin, NYI 358 in 2014-15
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 18 blocked shots; Thomas Hickey had 5.
For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 72-65 (including 32-9 in the first period). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Nick Leddy led the Isles with a +10 even-strength Corsi rating; Casey Cizikas was on-ice for a team-leading 67% of Corsi For events. Charlie Coyle led Minnesota with a +4 rating.
Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 389 career points; he is 83 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)
The Islanders remain 25 games over all-time NHL .500 (1449-1424-455 in 3,328 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.
Nikolay Kulemin and Brock Nelson are the Islanders' reigning ironmen. Kulemin has played 142 consecutive games (68 for Toronto and 74 for the Isles) while Nelson has played 127 consecutive Islander games. John Tavares is the only other Islander to have played every game this season.
Mikhail Grabovski is on injured reserve. Lubomir Visnovsky missed the game with an injury; Calvin deHaan returned to the line-up, replacing Matt Donovan. Michael Grabner, Colin McDonald and Eric Boulton were also scratched.
The Isles have lost 262 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)
· 424 games played (35th among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Greg Gilbert and 2 behind Jason Blake)
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)
· 442 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 8 behind Scott Lachance and 17 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 22 behind John Tavares)
· 294 points (20th all-time, 1 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 6 behind Kyle Okposo)
· 520 games played (21st among Islander skaters all-time, 10 behind Pat LaFontaine and 12 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)
· 468 games played (29th among Islander skaters , 2 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 9 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
Minnesota wins the season series 2 games to 0 (and 4 points to 1).
The teams have had a very streaky relationship in their all-time series. Minnesota won the first three games, the Isles won the next three games, the Wild won the following five games (one in OT), the Isles won four games after that (one in a SO), before Minnesota won the last three (one in a SO).
It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 24th
2 years ago tonight (2013) - Andrew MacDonald scored a first period power play goal and that stood up long enough for the Isles to add two empty net goals in the final 31 seconds as the Isles broke a three-game losing streak with a 3-0 shutout win over the Florida Panthers.
The win moved the Isles within two points of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves to record his third shutout of the season and 55th of his career, passing Islander foes Bernie Parent and Ed Giacomin for 19th place in NHL history.
The win pushed the Islanders once again go over all-time NHL .500 (1361-1360-435 in 3,156 games).
"We needed a win," John Tavares said. "Games are starting to quickly tick down and we need the wins. There's not too many home games left and we haven't been very consistent over the season here. You've got to finish on a good note. Our fans deserved it. We needed it and it's good to finish it the right way and get ready for a big road trip."
The Isles improved to 14-15-3 on the season, which just 16 games to play in the lockout-shortened season. The Isles would go 10-2-4 in those 16 games to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in the Tavares era.
Also on this date: (1973) – Ed Westfall broke a 2-2 tie, beating Flyer netminder Michel Belhemeur for the winning tally with 7:57 to play, as the Isles defeated Philadelphia 3-2. It was the Isles' final win of their inaugural season, as they improved to 12-58-5 with three games to play.
Also on this date: (1990) -- this one doesn't really count, because It Happened at the (Northlands) Coliseum. Pat LaFontaine scored two goals to give him 51 goals on the season in his only 50 goal campaign as an Islander as the Isles tie Edmonton 5-5.
All-time, the Isles have played nine March 24th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 3-3-3 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 24-33-6-1, following a 7-1 victory over Binghamton on Sunday. Bridgeport visits Syracuse Friday and Binghamton Saturday before hosting Hershey on Sunday (3pm).
THURSDAY, MARCH 26th – LOS ANGELES AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG (Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
[MSG (Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles entertain the Stanley Cup Champions as the Los Angeles Kings visit the Coliseum on Thursday.
The Isles defeated Los Angeles 2-1 in a shootout on November 6th; the Isles have won 3 of the last 5 games between the teams.
This is 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.
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 $19,000 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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