By Eric Hornick
Columbus 5, Isles 4 (SO)
Cam Atkinson scored the winning goal in the shootout as the Columbus Blue Jackets deprived the Isles of earning home ice in their opening round series with Washington with a 5-4 shootout victory in the final regular season game ever to be played at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. A sellout crowd of 16,170, the 27th of the season, witnessed the Isles fail to hold 3-1 and 4-3 leads in the third period and a 1-0 lead in the shootout.
John Tavares skated off the ice in possession of the NHL scoring lead, but two late points by Jamie Benn, including a second assist in the final 9 seconds of Dallas' win with Nashville gave Benn the Art Ross Trophy.
The Isles will face the Capitals in the first round of the playoffs beginning on Wednesday.
19:50 CBJ PPG - Cam Atkinson (22) ASST: Boone Jenner (8), David Savard (25) 1 - 0 CBJ
11:02 NYI Kyle Okposo (18) ASST: Josh Bailey (26), Nikolay Kulemin (16) 1 - 1 Tie
02:52 NYI Eric Boulton (2) ASST: Tyler Kennedy (8), Nick Leddy (26) 2 - 1 NYI
03:47 NYI John Tavares (38) ASST: Kyle Okposo (33), Nick Leddy (27) 3 - 1 NYI
09:37 CBJ Brandon Dubinsky (13) ASST: Kevin Connauton (12), Cody Goloubef (9) 3 - 2 NYI
11:11 CBJ Alexander Wennberg (4) ASST: Marko Dano (13), Scott Hartnell (32) 3 - 3 Tie
15:36 NYI Nikolay Kulemin (15) ASST: John Tavares (48), Lubomir Visnovsky (15) 4 - 3 NYI
18:25 CBJ Scott Hartnell (28) ASST: Artem Anisimov (20), Jack Johnson (32) 4 - 4 Tie
John Tavares (G), Mark Letestu (NG), Kyle Okposo (NG), Ryan Johansen (NG), Nikolay Kulemin (NG), Alexander Wennberg (G), Cal Clutterbuck (NG), Cam Atkinson (G)
The Isles were 6-0 in shootouts prior to Christmas, but lost six of their last seven shootouts, including the last five.
The Isles were 41-20-2 in their first 63 games, but finished the regular season 6-8-5 in the last 19… John Tavares finished with a career high 86 points, including at least one point in six straight games and a goal in three straight games…Tavares' goal was his 400th NHL point…Tavares finished with over a point per game for the 2nd straight season; prior to Tavares no Islander since Ziggy Palffy had done that…The Isles have at least 22 wins both at home and on the road for the first time since the 1983-84 season, when they won 28 at home and 22 on the road… Anders Lee played in his 100th NHL game…The Isles had a season-high 52 shots; it is their most on Coliseum ice since October 25, 2008 (60 vs. Carolina)...Columbus ends their season with a franchise-record 13-game point streak (12-0-1)…Kulemin's goal was the 99th of his NHL career…The Isles have allowed 8 goals in the last 10 seconds of a period this season (none into an empty net)…Brandon Dubinsky's goal gave him a season-ending 8-game point streak…Six goals were scored in the wild third period; the Isles scored 91 third period goals and allowed 87 this season…The Isles finished 13-12-4 on weekends (Saturday/Sunday); they were 34-16-3 during the week…Nick Leddy's two assists gives him 100 career assists…In the 9 years that the shootout has been in place, the Isles have played a shootout in the season finale 5 times…The Isles are 23-12-7 in home finales and 22-13-7 in season finales.
Points That Got Away
This was the 6th time this season that the Isles had a 2-goal lead at any point but did not win (0-3-3):
· 12/6 St. Louis – Led 3-0, Lost 6-4
· 12/9 Minnesota- Led 3-0 and 4-1, Lost 5-4
· 12/27 @ Buffalo- Led 3-0, Lost 4-3 SO
· 2/16 Vs NY Rangers –Led 2-0, 3-1 and 5-3, Lost 6-5
· 4/2 @ Columbus – Led 3-1, Lost 4-3 SO
· 4/11 Vs Columbus – Led 3-1, Lost 5-4 SO
Career Years (excluding rookies, and others with limited prior NHL experience)
A number of Isles had career years in 2014-15:
· Johnny Boychuk established new career highs in goals (9) assists (26) and points (35)
· Josh Bailey established a new career high in points (41)
· Casey Cizikas established new career highs in goals (9) and points (18)
· Jaroslav Halak established new career highs in games(59), minutes (3550) and wins (38).
· Travis Hamonic established a new career high in assists (28) and points (33) and matched a career high in goals (5)
· Thomas Hickey established a new career high in assists (20) and matched a career high in points (22)
· Nick Leddy established a new career high in goals (10) and matched a career high in points (37)
· Matt Martin matched career highs in both goals (8) and points (14)
· Brock Nelson went 20-22-42, establishing new highs in all three categories.
· John Tavares established career highs in both goals (38) and points (86)
· Games: Brock Nelson, Nikolay Kulemin and John Tavares with 82
· Goals: John Tavares with 38
· Assists: John Tavares with 48
· Points: John Tavares with 86
· Plus/Minus: Ryan Strome with +23
· Pen Mins: Matt Martin with 114
· PP Goals: John Tavares with 13
· SH Goals: Nikolay Kulemin with 3
· GW Goals: John Tavares with 8
· OT Goals: John Tavares with 4
· Shots: John Tavares with 228
· Shooting Percentage: John Tavares with 13.7%
· Average ice-time: Travis Hamonic with 21:47
· Face-off Percentages (minimum 300): John Tavares and Casey Cizikas with 52.2%
The Race for the Art Ross Trophy
Jamie Benn win the Art Ross with a 4-point game, giving him 87. John Tavares finished with 86 points while and Sidney Crosby had 84 points. Bryan Trottier (1978-79) remains the only Islander to win the Trophy, at least until next year!
The Big 3
The Isles are 39-18-6 in the 63 games that they have had Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic all in the lineup. They are 8-10-1 in the 19 games that one or two have been missing.
Nick Leddy had two assists tonight, giving the trio 105 points on the season. Leddy has 37 points, Boychuk has 35 and Hamonic has 33.
It's the first time that the Isles have had three defensemen with at least 30 points since Adrian Aucoin, Kenny Jonsson and Roman Hamrlik did so in 2001-02 and the first time that the Isles have had two defensemen with 35 points since Aucoin and Hamrlik did so in 2002-03.
Leddy and Boychuk have combined for 19 goals; they are the first pair of Isles defensemen to have 9 goals in a season since Aucoin (13) and Janne Niinimaa (9) did so in 2003-04.
Most Goals by an Islander in the 2000's
· Jason Blake -40 (2006-07)
· John Tavares-38 (2014-15)
· Matt Moulson-36 (2011-12)
· Miroslav Satan -35 (2005-06)
· Mariusz Czerkawski-35 (1999-2000)
· Michael Grabner-34 (2010-11)
Tired vs. Rested
This was the 28th time this season that the Isles, their opponent, or both had played the day before. The Isles are 17-3-2 against an opponent playing on back-to-back days 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 8-1-1 when both teams played the night before.
· The Isles are 9-2-1 when they are rested and their opponents are not.
· The Isles are 1-5-0 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.
FINAL Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
· NY Rangers 53-22-7=113 points (48 ROW)
· Washington 45-26-11=101 points (40 ROW)
· ISLES 47-28-7=101 points (40 ROW)
· Pittsburgh 43-27-12=98 points (38 ROW)
While the Isles and Capitals tied in point, and Regulation/Overtime Wins, Washington earned the higher seed because they earned 6 points in the season series (2-0-2) against the Isles while the Isles went 2-1-1 (5 points) vs. Washington.
Year of the Fan:
The Isles sold-out 27 of their 41 home dates this season, including each of the last eleven dates. The 27 sellouts are the most for the Isles since the 1980s. The Isles have drawn at least 15,000 fans 32 times this season.
What a Season:
The Isles finish 47-28-7, representing their most wins since 1983-84 (50).
The Isles have won at least 47 games for the 7th time in their history:
· 1981-82 54
· 1978-79 51
· 1983-84 50
· 1980-81 48
· 1977-78 48
· 1976-77 47
· 2014-15 47
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 25-14-2 on Coliseum ice, equaling their most home wins since 1984-85 (they finished 25-11-4-1 in 2003-04 and went 26-11-3 in 1984-85).
The Isles went 831-610-224 in 1,665 regular season games all-time at the Coliseum.
The Isles finish the season 22-14-5 on the road, including 6-2-4 in their last 12. The Isles have won at least 20 road games in consecutive seasons for the second time in franchise history (1981-82 and 1982-83).
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, 1-6-1 before going 3-1-2 in the final 6 games of the regular season.
The Isles have outshot 44 of their last 53 opponents and 61 of their 82 opponents this season. The 61 times outshooting their opponent is the highest total in the NHL this season.
The Isles have established a new franchise record in shots on goal with 2,771 and have allowed 2,321 shots on goal for a +450 shot differential.
Biggest Differential, Season
· +450 THIS SEASON
· +307 in 1976-77
· +254 in 1986-87
· +152 in 1975-76
Most Shots on Goal, Season
· 2771 2014-15
· 2616 1992-93 (84 games)
· 2537 2013-14
· 2511 1993-94 (84 games)
The Isles finished second to Chicago (2.777) in shots on goal, and led the NHL in shot differential by a wide margin (Los Angeles 322).
Home and Road
The Islanders are 47-28-7 overall; 25-14-2 at home and 22-14-5 on the road. The Isles have at least 22 wins both at home and on the road for the first time since the 1983-84 season, when they won 28 at home and 22 on the road.
Columbus is 42-35-5 overall; 19-20-2 at home and 23-15-3 on the road.
The Isles are 21-6-3 in Division games and finished 26-22-4 in games against other divisions. They were 12-10-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-6-2 vs. Central Division, and 8-6-0 vs. the Pacific Division. The Isles finished at NHL-.500 or better against all four divisions.
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 21-6-3 against the Met Division, and are 13-3-2 in their last 187 division matchups. They are 11-3-1 at home (outscoring opponents 54-36) and 10-3-2 on the road. The Isles are 7-3 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-1 at home and 3-2 on the road.
In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 33 saves to finish 38-17-4 on the season. He is 9-4-3 in his career against Pittsburgh.
Curtis McElhinney made 48 saves to improve to 12-14-2 on the season. He is 3-1-0 in his career against the Isles.
The Islanders were 0-3 on the power play, while Columbus was 1-3.
The power play is 6-23 (26.1%) in the last eight games.
The penalty kill was successful in 62 of 69 (89.9%) in the last 27 games. The Isles have killed 42 of the last 45 opponent power plays; in their last 12 road games, the Isles have killed 25 of 26 opponent power plays.
The Isles are 26-12-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 21-16-6 when they do not. The Isles are 16-17-1 when they allow at least one power play goal and 31-11-6 when they do not.
The Isles finished the season 50-267 (18.7%) on the power play and 48-218 (78.0%) on the penalty kill.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 40-8-4 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-20-3 when they do not.
One Goal Games
The Isles are 26-10-7 in games decided by a single goal including 13-10-0 in regulation. They are 6-1 in games decided in overtime and are 7-6 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 26 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 29-15-5 when they score first and are 18-13-2 when they allow the opening goal. However, the Isles are 13-1-2 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal. The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win five times this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO), Pittsburgh on January 16th, Philadelphia on February 5th, Toronto on March 9th and Detroit on March 29th.
Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 165-148-45 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 359
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 165
3. Terry Simpson 81
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It
John Tavares: "We're in the playoffs and we've had a great season. We know we're getting another opportunity here at home and we want to take advantage of that."
Kyle Okposo: "I had butterflies today. You get those little nerves going every game, but tonight was a little bit different. You've got to use those nerves, and when the building is loud you've got to feed off their energy. I thought we did a pretty good job of that tonight; we just made a couple of mistakes."
They Tweeted It
@StapeNewsday PA from Jiggs McDonald, great pregame video, Bill Torrey via video message, Arbour family dropping the puck. Nice job by the #Isles.
@mariapiug Six months ago, the excitement of hockey was beginning. And now the regular season is over. Where did time go? #Isles #NHL
@AllthingsIsles1 #isles giving us more games at my favorite place before it closes. Couldn't ask for anything else. Lets see how it finshes 1 game at a time
@Agrait16 Don't care at all about the scoring title. I don't need a trophy to know how special JT is #Isles @91Tavares
@FurleySportsFan Casey Czikas seriously might be the most unknown really good player in NHL. He's carried the most consistent line in #isles all season.
"I thought we dictated the pace of the game. We had three or four breakaways in the first period that we didn't score on. I'm not disappointed with the effort; they got a couple of fluke goals."
The Isles are 10-5-1 in the front-end and 9-6-1 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 eight sets, are 1-0-1 in one set, are 0-1-1 in one set, and have been swept once.
Leading Ice Men
Johnny Boychuk led all Isles with 25:01 of ice-time. Jack Johnson led Columbus in ice-time with 26:26.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (14-5-2), Travis Hamonic (22-7-3), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-7-1), Thomas Hickey (4-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-5-1), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Kyle Okposo (0-1-0), Brian Strait (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).
Kyle Okposo led Isles forwards with 21:38 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (28-26-6), Kyle Okposo (12-1-1), Ryan Strome (2-0-0), 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 67 draws (54%). John Tavares won 14 of 20 draws for the Isles; Boone Jenner won 6 of 7 draws for Columbus. The Isles won 35 of 59 in the regulation but only 1 of 8 in overtime. The Isles won 4 of 4 on the power play and 2 of 6 on the penalty kill.
The Isles out-hit Pittsburgh 30-22. Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with eight hits.
Matt Martin wins the NHL hit leadership with an NHL-record (since 2005) 382 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 343.
Most hits, season:
1 Matt Martin, NYI 382 in 2014-15
2. Matt Martin, NYI 374 in 2011-12
3. Matt Martin, NYI 359 in 2013-14
4. Cal Clutterbuck, Min 356 in 2009-10
Eric Boulton fought Dalton Prout in the first period. The Isles were involved in 16 fights this season: Martin (9), Hamonic (3), Boulton (2), Lee (1), Strome (1) and 13 of the 16 have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 15 blocked shots; Michael Grabner led the team with 4.
For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 90-66, including 34-20 in the first period. The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Kyle Okposo led the Isles with a +18 even-strength Corsi rating; he was on-ice for a team-leading 67% of Corsi For events. Scott Hartnell and Jack Johnson led Columbus with a +10 rating.
Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 401 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 28 times this season and the Isles are 15-12-1 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 (1452-1427-457 in 3,336 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 150 consecutive games (68 for Toronto and 82 for the Isles) while Nelson has played 135 consecutive Islander games. John Tavares is the only other Islander to have played every game this season. It is the third time that Tavares has played all 82 games, the second time that Kulemin has done so and the first time that Nelson has done so.
Mikhail Grabovski is on injured reserve. Calvin deHaan replaced Travis Hamonic (injured) in the lineup. Kevin Poulin was recalled from Bridgeport and replaced Michal Neuvirth (injured) as the back-up goalie. Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin missed the game with injuries; Colin McDonald and Matt Donovan were scratched.
The Isles have lost 280 games this season due to injury/illness.
All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
· 174 goals (12th all-time and 10 behind Billy Harris)
· 227 assists (15th all-time, 22 behind Tomas Jonsson and 32 behind Billy Harris)
· 401 points (13th all-time and 42 behind Billy Harris)
· 432 games played (33rd among Islander skaters all-time, and 18 behind Kyle Okposo and Scott Lachance)
Kyle Okposo has:
· 117 goals (23rd all-time and 1 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish)
· 188 assists (18th all-time, 5 behind Pierre Turgeon and 8 behind Frans Nielsen)
· 305 points (18th all-time, 26 behind Ziggy Palffy and 28 behind Tomas Jonsson)
· 450 games played (tied-31st among Islander skaters all-time with Scott Lachance and 9 behind Trent Hunter)
Frans Nielsen has:
· 99 goals (tied-28th all-time with Trent Hunter and 2 behind Anders Kallur)
· 198 assists (16th all-time and 29 behind John Tavares)
· 297 points (19th all-time and 8 behind Kyle Okposo)
· 525 games played (21st among Islander skaters all-time, 5 behind Pat LaFontaine and 7 behind Tomas Jonsson)
Josh Bailey has:
· 137 assists (32nd all-time, 1 behind Greg Gilbert, 2 behind Mark Streit, and 3 behind Steve Thomas)
· 218 points (35th all-time, 1 behind Mikko Makela and 5 behind Matt Moulson)
· 476 games played (tied-27th among Islander skaters with Gerry Hart)
Michael Grabner has:
· 90 goals (36th all-time, 2 behind Travis Green and 3 behind Garry Howatt & Greg Gilbert)
Season Series Stats
The teams split the four games in the season series. The Isles earned 6 points to Columbus' 4.
It Happened at the Coliseum … on APRIL 11th
38 years ago tonight (1977) – Fresh off their first round sweep of Chicago, the Isles began a 4-game sweep of Buffalo with a 4-2 win in game 1.
Garry Howatt and Billy Harris gave the Isles a 2-0 lead in the first period but Gilbert Perreault and Rene Robert (two-thirds of the famed French Connection line) scored 2:01 apart in the second to tie the game.
The Sabres had barely celebrated the tie score when Clark Gillies notched the winning goal just 25 seconds later. Jude Drouin added a goal late in the 2nd period for the final margin of victory.
Billy Smith finished with 37 saves in recording the victory.
Also on this date: (2010) – John Tavares' rookie season came to a close in a wild 6-5 overtime defeat to Pittsburgh.
The Penguins held three separate 3-goal leads (3-0, 4-1, and 5-2) but could not hold them. Sidney Crosby scored twice for the Pens, giving him 51 goals on the season; Crosby, who had a hand in the first 5 Penguin goals, also had three assists as he finished the campaign 51-58-109.
John Tavares scored twice for the Isles, including the tying goal with less than 5 minutes to play that forced overtime. Matt Moulson recorded his 30th goal of the season while Kyle Okposo and Jon Sim also tallied for the Isles.
Jordan Leopold scored the overtime winner for Pittsburgh as Tavares finished his rookie campaign 24-30-54.
Also on this date (1975/1980) – two important games, neither of which happened on Long Island. In 1975, Jean-Paul Parise and 11 seconds were married forever in Islander lore as the Isles eliminated the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Five years later, Ken Morrow had arguably the most important unsung goal in Isles history as his overtime goal gave the Isles a 4-3 win in Los Angeles in game 3 of the best-of-5 series. Had the Isles lost that series there obviously would have not been a Stanley Cup in 1980 and who knows what the composition of the team would have looked like in later years.
All-time, the Isles have played four regular season and three playoff games on April 11th at the Coliseum; they have compiled a 1-1-2 regular season and 1-2 playoff record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 27-37-7-1, following a 5-3 overtime loss to Manchester. Alan Quine scored his 22nd goal of the season and Kael Mouillerat scored his 23rd goal of the season for the Sound Tigers.
Bridgeport hosts Manchester again at 3pm on Sunday.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15th –ISLANDERS AT WASHINGTON 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]
· WED APR 15, 2015 ISLANDERS @ WASHINGTON 7:00 PM
· FRI APR 17, 2015 ISLANDERS @ WASHINGTON 7:00 PM
· SUN APR 19, 2015 WASHINGTON @ ISLANDERS 12:00 PM
· TUE APR 21, 2015 WASHINGTON @ ISLANDERS 7:30 PM
· THU APR 23, 2015 ISLANDERS @ WASHINGTON IF NECESSARY
· SAT APR 25, 2015 WASHINGTON @ ISLANDERS IF NECESSARY
· MON APR 27, 2015 ISLANDERS @ WASHINGTON IF NECESSARY
This will be the 7th meeting of the Isles and Capitals in the playoffs (Isles are 5-1, winning 18 of 30 games)
· 1983 Patrick Division SemiFinals Isles won series 3-1
· 1984 Patrick Division Finals Isles won series 4-1
· 1985 Patrick Division SemiFinals Isles won series 3-2
· 1986 Patrick Division SemiFinals Caps won series 3-0 (Arbour retired thereafter)
· 1987 Patrick Division SemiFinals Isles won series 4-3 (LaFontaine 4 OT; only playoff series won by anyone other than Arbour)
· 1993 Patrick Division SemiFinals Isles won series 4-2
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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