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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Skinny: Philadelphia 5, Isles 4

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Game 80
Philadelphia 5, Isles 4
Brayden Schenn scored the winning goal with three seconds to play as the Philadelphia Flyers survived a 3-goal Islander comeback, including two 6th-attacker goals off John Tavares faceoff wins, for a 5-4 victory over the Islanders before a crowd of 17,927 at the Wells Fargo Center.
The loss, coupled with Ottawa's overtime win over Pittsburgh, kept the Isles from clinching a playoff spot for at least 48 hours.  The Isles remain 1 point behind Washington and are two points ahead of Pittsburgh; all three teams have two games to play.
The Scoring:
12:54    PHI PPG - Claude Giroux (24) Slapshot - ASST: Mark Streit (40), Jakub Voracek (58) 1 - 0 PHI     
17:44    PHI Claude Giroux (25) Wrist shot - ASST: Mark Streit (41), Jakub Voracek (59) 2 - 0 PHI 
09:34    NYI PPG - John Tavares (36) Tip-in - ASST: Ryan Strome (33), Nick Leddy (24) 2 - 1 PHI 
10:46    PHI P-E Bellemare (6) Tip-in - ASST: V. Lecavalier (12), Nicklas Grossmann (9) 3 - 1 PHI  
02:45    PHI Carlo Colaiacovo (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Zac Rinaldo (5), Brandon Manning (3) 4 - 1 PHI        
08:21    NYI Anders Lee (24) Wrist shot - ASST: Josh Bailey (24), Lubomir Visnovsky (14) 4 - 2 PHI          
18:16    NYI Johnny Boychuk (9) Slapshot - ASST: John Tavares (46)      4 - 3 PHI          
19:32    NYI Anders Lee (25) Wrist shot - ASST: John Tavares (47)           4 - 4 Tie
19:57    PHI Brayden Schenn (18) Snap shot - ASST: Sean Couturier (21), Mark Streit (42) 5 - 4 PHI
The Skinny
The Isles fall to 5-8-4 in their last 17 games… John Tavares had three points, giving him nine points in the last four games; he ended the night tied with Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead. Tavares now has a career high 83 points. Tavares has at least one assist in four straight games…Tavares is assured of finishing with over a point per game for the 2nd straight season; prior to Tavares no Islander since Ziggy Palffy had done that…Anders Lee scored twice after being blanked in 10 straight games; it was his 5th career two-goal game. Lee is the 8th rookie in Islander history to score at least 25 goals – however only 4 (Bossy-53, Grabner-34, Trottier-32, and Harris-28) have scored 26; Lee is two goals behind Ottawa's Mike Hoffman for the NHL rookie lead… The Isles scored twice with Jaroslav Halak to tie the game before Schenn's game winner… Former Isles captain Mark Streit had three assists…Schenn's winning goal extended his point streak to 6 games. It was the latest goal scored against the Isles in regulation this season; excluding EN goals, it is the first goal allowed by the Isles in the final five second of regulation since a 3-2 SO loss in Tampa on 12/17/2013; Valtteri Filippula tied that game at 19:56 of the third period...Thomas Hickey played in his 200th NHL game, all for the Isles.

The Big 3
The Isles are 38-18-6 in the 62 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.

Boychuk scored a goal tonight while Leddy added an assist, giving the trio 102 points on the season.  Boychuk has 35 points Leddy has 34 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. 

Leddy and Boychuk have now 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-36 (2014-15)
·         Matt Moulson-36 (2011-12)
·         Miroslav Satan -35 (2005-06)
·         Mariusz Czerkawski-35 (1999-2000)
·         Michael Grabner-34 (2010-11)

It's Magic
The Isles' magic number remains 1.  Any combination of points won by the Islanders and/or lost by Ottawa will clinch a playoff spot for the Isles.  The Isles magic number is 4 vs. Boston and Detroit and 3 vs. Pittsburgh.  (The Isles need to finish ahead of at least one of these teams: Pittsburgh, Washington, Detroit, Boston or Ottawa to clinch a playoff spot.)
The Isles can clinch a playoff spot on Thursday if the Rangers beat Ottawa or if Boston earns no more than 1 point in their games Wednesday/Thursday in Washington and Florida (as that would clinch the ROW tie-breaker for the Isles.)

Tired vs. Rested
There have been 27 times this season that the Isles, their opponent, or both had played the day before.  Buffalo lost 4-3 to Chicago on Friday.  The Isles are 17-3-1 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 8-1-0 when both teams played the night before. This will happen for the final time this season on April 11th vs Columbus.
·         The Isles are 9-2-1 when they are rested and their opponents are not. This will not happen again this season.
·         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  52-21-7=111 points / 80 games (48 ROW)  Beat New Jersey 4-2
·         Washington  44-25-11=99 points / 80 games (39 ROW) Idle
·         ISLES           46-28-6=98 points / 80 games (39 ROW)  Lost to Philadelphia 5-4
·         Pittsburgh     42-26-12=96 points / 80 games (38 ROW)  Lost to Ottawa 4-3 (SO)

Remaining Schedule:
·         NY Rangers: Thursday vs. Ottawa, Saturday at Washington
·         ISLES:, Friday at Pittsburgh, Saturday vs. Columbus
·         Washington:, Wednesday vs. Boston, Saturday at NY Rangers
·         Pittsburgh: Friday vs. ISLES, Saturday at Buffalo

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 26 of their 40 home dates this season, including each of the last nine dates. The 26 sellouts are the most for the Isles since the 1980s.  The Isles have drawn at least 15,000 fans 31 times this season.

What a Season:
The Isles are 46-28-6 thru 80 games, representing their most wins since 1983-84 (50). 
The Isles have won more than 46 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           46
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 25-14-1 on Coliseum ice, equating their most home wins since 1984-85 (when they finished 25-11-4-1 in 2003-04 and went 26-11-3 in 1984-85).
Road Warriors
The Isles are 21-14-5 on the road but failed to earn a point for only the 2nd time in the last 11 games (5-2-4). 
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 and 2-0-1 before losing tonight.

The Shots:
Isles              15-15-10=40 
Philadelphia     10-8-9=27
The Isles have outshot 43 of their last 51 opponents and 60 of their 80 opponents this season. The 60 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 2,693 and have allowed 2,249 shots on goal for a +444 shot differential.  
Biggest Differential, Season
·         +444 THIS SEASON
·         +307 in 1976-77
·         +254 in 1986-87
·         +152 in 1975-76

Most Shots on Goal, Season
·         2693   2014-15
·         2616  1992-93 (84 games)
·         2537   2013-14
·         2511   1993-94 (84 games)

Home and Road
The Islanders are 46-28-6 overall; 25-14-1 at home and 21-14-5 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.
Philadelphia is 33-39-18 overall, 23-9-7 at home and 10-20-11 on the road. 

By Division
The Isles are 20-6-2 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 20-6-2 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 9-3-2 on the road. The Isles are 7-2 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 3-2 on the road. 
Both of the Isles' remaining games are against divisional foes.

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves but falls to 37-17-3 on the season.  He is 7-3-0 in his career against Philadelphia
Steve Mason made 36 saves to improve to 18-17-11 on the season.  He is 5-1-3 in his career against the Isles.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 1-5 on the power play, while Philadelphia was 1-3. Each team failed to score on a lengthy 5-on-3 (:59 for the Isles and 1:25 for Philadelphia) but the first Flyer goal came on the 5-on-4 that followed their 5-on-3.

The power play is 6-19 (31.6%) in the last six games. 

The penalty kill has killed 58 of 64 (90.6%) in the last 26 games; the Isles allowed two goals to Vancouver on February 22nd, two goals to Carolina on February 28th  one goal to Detroit on March 29th  and one to Philadelphia on April 7th but blanked their other 22 opponents. The Isles have killed 38 of the last 40 opponent power plays; in their last 11 road games, the Isles have killed 23 of 24 opponent power plays.
The Isles are 26-12-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 20-16-5 when they do not.  The Isles are 16-17-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 30-11-6 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 39-8-3 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 26-10-6 in games decided by a single goal including 13-10-0 in regulation. They are 6-1 in games decided in overtime and are 7-4 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 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 28-15-5 when they score first and are 18-13-1 when they allow the opening goal.   However, the Isles are 13-1-1 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 and nearly did it for a 6th time tonight.

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 164-148-45 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 357
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 164
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
John Tavares: "Jaro's been there for us all year—we need to stick together…we've handled adversity very well this year."
Anders Lee: "There's a lot of character on our team. We're really resilient."
Jaroslav Halak: ""It hit my stick, I thought I had it inside of me and it was behind me. I gave up a bad goal; obviously I take full responsibility for the loss. We all make mistakes, bad timing for me. I just gotta shake it off and get ready for the next one."

They Tweeted It
@mnicols74 I can't remember feeling so elated and then so deflated so quickly.

The Coach
"You have to put it by you…this time of year you have to have a short memory."

The Isles are 9-5-1 in the front-end and 9-6-0 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 eight sets, are 0-1-1 in one set, and have been swept once.
The Isles' final two games will be back-to-back, on April 10-11 (at Pittsburgh, vs Columbus).

Leading Ice Men
John Tavares led all Isles with 23:10 of ice-time. Michael Del Zotto led Philadelphia in ice-time with 24:01.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-1), 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).
Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (28-26-6), 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 34 of 66 draws (52%).  Josh Bailey won 5 of 8 for the Isles while Sean Couturier won 11 of 21 for Philadelphia.  The Isles won 12 of 21 in the first period but only 22 of 45 in the other two periods. The Isles won 2 of 6 on the power play and 1 of 4 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Philadelphia 24-21.  Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with six hits.
 Matt Martin leads the NHL with an NHL-record (since 2005) 382 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 328. Neither played in this game due to injuries.

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 Ryan White in the first period. The Isles have been involved in 15 fights this season: Martin (9), Hamonic (3), Boulton (1), Lee (1), Strome (1) and 12 of the 15 have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 17 blocked shots; Seven  Islander players had two blocks each.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 68-45, including 25-12 in the third period. The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks). 
Travis Hamonic led the Isles with a +4 even-strength Corsi rating; Colin McDonald was on-ice for a team-leading 59% of Corsi For events. Matt Read led Philadelphia with a +5 rating.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 398 career points; he is 84 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)

All-time Winners
The Islanders fall to 24 games over all-time NHL .500 (1451-1427-456 in 3,334 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 148 consecutive games (68 for Toronto and 80 for the Isles) while Nelson has played 133 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. Tyler Kennedy, Michael Grabner, and Colin Mc Donald all returned to the lineup as Frans Nielsen, Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin missed the game with injuries. Calvin deHaan and Matt Donovan were scratched.
The Isles have lost 272 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         172 goals (12th all-time and 12 behind Billy Harris)
·         226 assists (15th all-time, 23 behind Tomas Jonsson and 33 behind Billy Harris)
·         398 points (13th all-time and 45 behind Billy Harris)
·         430 games played (33rd among Islander skaters all-time, and 18 behind Kyle Okposo)
Kyle Okposo has:
·         116 goals (tied-23rd all-time with Ray Ferraro and 2 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish)
·         186 assists (18th all-time, 7 behind Pierre Turgeon and 10 behind Frans Nielsen)
·         302 points (18th all-time, 29 behind Ziggy Palffy and 31 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         448 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Scott Lachance and 11 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 26 behind John Tavares)
·         297 points (19th all-time and 5 behind Kyle Okposo)
·         525 games played (21st among Islander skaters all-time, 5 behind Pat LaFontaine and 7 behind Tomas Jonsson)
 Josh Bailey has:
·         135 assists (32nd all-time, 3 behind Greg Gilbert, 4 behind Mark Streit, and 5 behind Steve Thomas)
·         216 points (35th all-time, 3 behind Mikko Makela and 7 behind Matt Moulson)
·         474 games played (28th among Islander skaters and 2behind Gerry Hart)
Michael Grabner has:
·         89 goals (36th all-time, 3  behind Travis Green and 4 behind Garry Howatt & Greg Gilbert)

Season Series Stats
Despite the loss, the Isles win the season series 3 games to 1 (and 6 points to 4). 
The loss ends a four game Isles win streak vs.  Philadelphia (three of the wins were in shootouts).  The Isles have never swept a season series from the Flyers.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on APRIL 7th
38 years ago tonight (1977) –  Jude Drouin and Clark Gillies scored goals as the Islanders completed a two-game sweep of the Chicago Black Hawks in the preliminary round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 2-1 win.
Of all the games that the Islanders have played at the Coliseum, this is the only one in which the Isles were the road team.   As the story goes, Bill Wirtz had booked the circus into Chicago Stadium because he was convinced that the Black Hawks were going to get a first round bye.  However, the Blackhawks finished the season 26-43-11, earning Chicago a date with the Isles.  With the schedule conflict, the Isles served as the visiting team in their own building.
The scoreboard read "Islanders" on one side and "Home" on the other side. The Black Hawks had the last change, and wore home whites, while the Isles wore blue jerseys.  The fans rooted for the "road" team though, at a packed Coliseum.
Perhaps Denis Potvin said it best: "It was nice to beat the Black Hawks in their own building".
Tony Esposito was brilliant in the Chicago net, stopping 33 shots, and left the ice without participating in the traditional handshake.  "He probably couldn't raise his arm", noted Al Arbour.
Dennis Hull had the only Chicago goal; it gave the Black Hawks a short-lived 1-0 lead.  Speaking of short-lived, Dave Salvian assisted on Jude Drouin's goal.  Salvian's name comes up as a trivia answer from time-to-time – it was Salvian's only NHL game and point; he never played in a regular season NHL game.  "My palms were a little sweaty before I went out on the ice. But I was okay once I got into the game", Salvian told Newsday's Tim Moriarty.  Salvian was an emergency replacement for JP Parise and told Moriarty that he was in such a hurry to get to his first NHL game that he did not even have socks with him.  Salvian was returned to Fort Wayne after the game.
 With the win the Isles advanced to play Buffalo.  For Clark Gillies, it was the start of a remarkable stretch in which he scored the winning goal in 4 consecutive playoff games.  For the Isles, it was a road win in a building that was (and at least for another few weeks, hopefully months, is) their home.
Also on this date: (1979) – Mike Bossy scored 4 goals to give him 67 goals on the season as the Islanders crushed Philadelphia 9-2.  Bossy would add two more goals in the season finale the following night at Madison Square Garden as the Isles clinched 1st place overall.  (The President's Trophy designation was added for the 1985-86 season.)
All-time, the Isles have played two regular season and four playoff games on April 7th at the Coliseum; they have compiled a 1-1-0 regular season and 2-2 playoff record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 27-36-6-1, following a 4-1 win over Worcester.  Goaltender Stephon Williams, who led Minnesota State –Mankato to the top seed in the NCAA tourney before being beaten by RIT, won his second straight start to begin his professional career.  Ryan Pulock scored his 17th goal of the season – more than any other defensemen has ever scored for Bridgeport in a season.
Bridgeport heads to Syracuse on Friday before returning home to host Manchester on Saturday night and at 3pm on Sunday.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles head to Pittsburgh for the final road game of the season on Friday.
While the Isles were staging their great comeback, only to allow the winning goal with three seconds to play, Pittsburgh let a 3-0 lead get away in a 4-3 overtime loss to Ottawa.
The Isles have won three straight over Pittsburgh since losing the first meeting back in October.  In their last meeting, Kyle Okposo scored four goals to lead the Isles to a Coliseum rout.

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 sold nearly 2,100 shirts and raised nearly $30,000 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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