By Eric Hornick
Montreal 3, Isles 1
For the second straight night and third time this week, the Isles ran into a hot goaltender and scored only once. Carey Price made 35 saves and the Canadiens scored two goals in a 2:15 span as they defeated the Islanders 3-1 before the 21st sellout crowd of the season (16,170) at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Montreal sweeps the three games between the teams this season; they are the only Eastern Conference team that the Isles failed to beat this season.
The Isles now trail the Rangers by 3 points in the Metropolitan Division, and the Rangers still have four games in hand.
00:58 MTL Tomas Plekanec (20) ASST: Alex Galchenyuk (22), PA Parenteau (10) 1 - 0 MTL
03:13 MTL SHG - Max Pacioretty (34) ASST: Lars Eller (10) 2 - 0 MTL
17:42 NYI PPG - Josh Bailey (15) ASST: NONE 2 - 1 MTL
19:35 MTL EN - Lars Eller (11) ASST: Brendan Gallagher (22) 3 - 1 MTL
John Tavares was held pointless for the third straight game for the first time this season but remains the NHL's leading scorer with 72 points…The Isles have lost four straight at home for the first time this season; since opening the season by going 17-4-0 at home, the Isles are 6-8-0 in their last 14 at home… The Isles have lost three straight games, and scored only one goal in each game; it's the first time that the Isles have lost three straight games, scoring one goal or fewer in each, since November 4-10, 2010…. Lars Eller's empty netter prevented the Isles from dropping three straight games, all by a 2-1 score, for the first time in their history…
Max Pacioretty is 6-3-9 in nine career games at the Coliseum…Josh Bailey is 3-3-6 in the last seven games.
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)
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. Ottawa fell back to 10th place in the East with Florida's win tonight, but can finish with one more point than the Panthers.
Tired vs. Rested
This was the 23rd time 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 43-17-7=93 points / 67 games (40 ROW) Beat Buffalo 2-0
· ISLES 43-24-4=90 points / 71 games (36 ROW) Lost to Montreal 3-1
· Pittsburgh 39-19-10=88 points / 68 games (36 ROW) Lost to Boston 1-0
· Washington 36-23-10=82 points / 69 games (33 ROW) Idle
· NY Rangers: Sunday vs. Florida, Wednesday vs. Chicago, Saturday at Carolina, Sunday vs. Anaheim
· ISLES: Tuesday at Chicago, Saturday at New Jersey
· Pittsburgh: Sunday vs. Detroit, Tuesday at New Jersey, Thursday at Dallas, Saturday at Arizona
· Washington: Sunday vs. Boston, Monday at Buffalo, 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 43-24-4 thru 71 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.)
The Isles are 20-12-4 on the road and have earned at least a point in 7 straight road games (4-0-3). The franchise record for consecutive road games with a point is 8, which the Isles will attempt to equal Tuesday in Chicago.
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 three.
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 36 of their last 42 opponents and 53 of their 71 opponents this season.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 2,397-1,985 for a +412 shot differential.
Biggest Differential, Season
· +412 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 2,768 shots this year.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 43-24-4 overall; 23-12-0 at home and 20-12-4 on the road.
Montreal is 43-19-7 overall, 22-8-5 at home and 21-11-2 on the road.
The Isles are 19-5-1 in Division games and are 24-19-3 in games against other divisions. They are 10-10-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-5-1 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 27 saves but falls to 7-18-4 on the season (1-1-1 as an Islander). He is 5-4-1 in his career against Montreal, despite a 2.08 GAA against Les Habitants.
Carey Price made 35 saves to improve to 38-14-4 on the season. He is 9-3-3 in his career against the Isles.
The Islanders were 1-5 on the power play, while Montreal was 0-4. The Habs' winning goal was scored with Montreal shorthanded; it was only the second shorty allowed by the Isles this season.
The power play is 4-22 (18.2%) in the last 6 games. The Isles have not scored 2 PP goals in a game since January 4th.
The penalty kill has killed 43 of 47 (91.5%) in the last 17 games; the Isles allowed two goals to Vancouver on February 22nd and two goals to Carolina on February 28th but blanked their other 14 opponents. The Isles have killed all 20 opponent power plays this month (7 games); in their last 7 road games, the Isles have killed all 17 opponent power plays.
The Isles are 24-10-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 19-14-3 when they do not. The Isles are 15-16-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 28-8-4 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 7-17-2 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 17-10-1 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 161-144-43 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 348
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
John Tavares: "It was another one of those nights…we just have to find a way…It's disappointing."
Johnny Boychuk (on the Power Play): "We have to simplify, get pucks to the net, instead of being a little bit too cute."
They Tweeted It
@IslesWild This is a good team they will find their way. #isles Rather now then 5 weeks from now
@BSchaum313 We'll get back on track boy. We're not gonna let them take the season from us !-my dad #isles
@Islanders1932 Really bad timing for the #isles. I don't think they could have run into a hotter streak of goaltenders. Price was unbelievable tonight
@JillianSakovits #Canadiens Carey Price w 35 saves in win over #Isles to match career-best 38th W of the season. #Islanders with just 1 win in last 5 games.
"We played pretty well…but the shorthanded goal came back to haunt us. I thought Matt Donovan did a really good job for us."
Including tonight, 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 24:14 of ice-time; PK Subban led Montreal in ice-time with 28:43.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-1), Travis Hamonic (20-6-2), 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 23:55. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (26-22-4), 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 35 of 65 draws (53%). Frans Nielsen won 6 of 10 for the Isles; David Desharnais won 9 of 15 for Montreal. The Isles won 19 of 29 draws in the offensive zone but only 16 of 36 in the defensive and neutral zones. The Isles won 7 of 11 draws on the power play and 3 of 6 draws on the penalty kill.
The Isles out-hit Montreal 36-22. Matt Martin led the Isles with 6 hits while Brian Strait and Michael Grabner added 5.
Matt Martin leads the NHL with 347 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 291. 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 10 hits to have the three highest totals and 28 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 9 blocked shots; Frans Nielsen and Calvin deHaan led the Isles with 2.
For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 72-45 (including 25-12 in the 1st period and 24-12 in the third period). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Matt Martin and Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with a +11 even-strength Corsi rating; Martin was also on-ice for a team-leading 76% of Corsi For events. Alex Galchenyuk led Montreal with a +5 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 25 times this season and the Isles are 15-9-1 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 fall to 25 games over all-time NHL .500 (1448-1423-454 in 3,325 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 139 consecutive games (68 for Toronto and 71 for the Isles) while Nelson has played 124 consecutive Islander games. John Tavares is the only other Islander to have played every game this season.
Mikhail Grabovski and Nick Leddy missed the game with injuries; Frans Nielsen and Matt Donovan returned to the line-up (Donovan had been scratched in 30 straight games), replacing Ryan Strome (ending his consecutive game streak at 92 games) and Lubomir Visnovsky. Colin McDonald and Eric Boulton were also scratched.
The Isles have lost 254 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)
· 421 games played (36th among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Dave Langevin, 4 behind Greg Gilbert and 5 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)
· 439 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 11 behind Scott Lachance and 20 behind Trent Hunter)
Frans Nielsen has:
· 97 goals (29th all-time, 2 behind Trent Hunter and 4 behind Anders Kallur)
· 196 assists (16th all-time and 21 behind John Tavares)
· 293 points (20th all-time, 2 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 5 behind Kyle Okposo)
· 517 games played (21st among Islander skaters all-time, 13 behind Pat LaFontaine and 15 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)
· 465 games played (29th among Islander skaters , 5 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 12 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
Montreal sweeps the season series 3 games to 0 (and 6 points to 0).
The Isles are 1-5-1 in their last seven games vs. Montreal, and have been outscored 22-12 in that span.
It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 14th
28 years ago tonight (1987) – Pat LaFontaine scored the winning goal 1:01 into overtime as the Islanders rallied from 2-0, 3-1 and 6-2 deficits for a 7-6 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Kelly Hrudey was chased after allowing 2 goals on 3 shots (one to Gord Mark, the first of his three career goals) and was replaced by Billy Smith.
The Isles cut the deficit to 3-2 by the end of the first period, but Craig Adams scored twice and Craig Wolanin once in the middle session, to give New Jersey a 6-2 stranglehold going to the third.
Yet somehow, the Isles got out of it. Devils penalties certainly helped as the Isles had four power plays in the third period, and converted on three of them. Bryan Trottier got the Isles on the board at 8:19 of the period and Neal Coulter scored 3:53 later to make it 6-4.
Mike Bossy then brought the Isles within one at 13:36 with his 38th goal of the season; it was the 573rd goal of his majestic career. Nobody knew it at the time, but it was also the final one he would score in the NHL. His final NHL game would be one week later, against the Rangers.
The Devils took back-to-back penalties late in the third period, and Mikko Makela tied the game with just 11 seconds to play. The Isles outshot New Jersey 20-2 in the third period.
LaFontaine then scored the winning goal in overtime; the first of four regular season overtime goals that he scored as an Islander. Five weeks later in Washington he would score an even more meaningful overtime goal.
"It's on the border of the ridiculous", Mike Bossy told the NY Times' Robin Finn. "It's nice to win, but why wait until the third period when you're down so far that it is almost become a meaningless game?"
With the win, the Isles remained alone in second place in the Patrick Division, and improved to a ridiculous 31-1-3 all-time against the Kansas City-Colorado-Devils franchise at the Coliseum.
The Isles and Devils have not played a game in which 13 goals were scored between them since then.
Also on this date: (2010) Blake Comeau recorded the first three-assist game and set a career high with 27 points as the Isles defeated Toronto 4-1. Nikolai Kulemin scored just 57 seconds into play, to give Toronto the lead. However, Tim Jackman tied the game just 1:54 later, and Richard Park gave the Isles a lead with a shorthanded tally. Frans Nielsen and Matt Moulson added the other Islander goals. Trevor Gillies recorded his first NHL point on the Park goal, leaving him 662 points behind Clark Gillies on the all-time Isles list.
All-time, the Isles have played ten March 14th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 3-5-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 22-30-6-1 following a 4-2 loss to Lehigh Valley on Saturday. Bridgeport hosts Syracuse on Sunday (3pm).
TUESDAY, MARCH 17th— ISLANDERS AT CHICAGO 8:30PM
[MSG+2 (Pre-game at 8:00), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
[MSG+2 (Pre-game at 8:00), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles venture out of the Eastern Time Zone for the final time this season, as they visit the Blackhawks in Chicago.
The Isles will look to sweep the season series vs. Chicago. Back on December 13th, the Isles, who had lost their three previous games, rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficit for a 3-2 win over Chicago. Kyle Okposo and Lubomir Visnovsky scored 51 seconds apart in the third period for the winning margin.
The Isles are 8-2-2 in their last 12 games against the Hawks, but that includes a 0-2-1 record in their last three games in The Windy City.
Note that both this game and the game in New Jersey on Saturday 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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