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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'...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Skinny: Washington 5, Isles 1 (Caps lead series 3-2)

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Eastern Conference First Round Game 5
Washington 5, Isles 1 [Caps lead the series, 3 games to 2]
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored two goals and added an assist as the Washington Capitals overcame an early 1-0 Islander lead and defeated the Isles 5-1 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series before a sellout crowd of 18,506 at Verizon Center
.
Washington leads the series, 3 games to 2, with game 5 set for 3pm Saturday at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Scoring:
1ST PERIOD
05:48    NYI   Josh Bailey (2) Snap shot - ASST: John Tavares (3), Nick Leddy (3)            1 - 0 NYI          
09:05    WSH Evgeny Kuznetsov (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Marcus Johansson (1), Karl Alzner (1)1 - 1 Tie      
2ND PERIOD
10:31    WSH Karl Alzner (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Troy Brouwer (1), Jay Beagle (2)  2 - 1 WSH
3RD PERIOD
02:42    WSH Brooks Laich (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Jay Beagle (3), Jason Chimera (1)        3 - 1 WSH        
06:19    WSH Evgeny Kuznetsov (2) Backhand - ASST: Matt Niskanen (3), Joel Ward (3) 4 - 1 WSH         
09:00    WSH Jason Chimera (2) Wrist - ASST: Marcus Johansson (2), Evgeny Kuznetsov (1) 5 - 1 WSH

The Series
·         WED APRIL 15, 2015    ISLANDERS 4,  Washington 1   
·         FRI APRIL 17, 2015      Washington 4, ISLANDERS 3                
·         SUN APRIL 19, 2015     ISLANDERS 2,  Washington 1  (OT)       
·         TUE APRIL 21, 2015     Washington 2,  ISLANDERS 1 (OT)       
·         THU APRIL 23, 2015     Washington 5,  ISLANDERS 1               
·         SAT APRIL 25, 2015     Washington @ ISLANDERS 3pm (NBC)
·         MON APRIL 27, 2015    ISLANDERS @ Washington IF NECESSARY (MSG+)

The Injury
Calvin deHaan left the game after being hit by Troy Brouwer in the third period; he did not return.

The Skinny
The Isles have lost 11 straight game 5's, with the last 10 all occurring on the road. …The Caps have outscored the Isles 13-11 in the series…The Isles allowed 41 shots, which is the most they have allowed in a playoff game since a 2-OT loss in Montreal on May 18, 1993…The Caps scored 5 goals and neither Alex Ovechkin nor Nicklas Backstrom were on ice for any of them; both players finished -1…Both Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin were assessed 10 minute misconducts in the third period…The Caps scored 42 seconds after their first power play expired and six seconds after their second power play expired…Nick Leddy assisted on the only Islander goal, giving him assists in three straight games…The Isles have been outscored 6-1 in the third period in the series, with the only Islander goal going into an empty net…Josh Bailey leads the Isles in scoring in the series with 5 points; John Tavares now has 4; Nicklas Backstrom leads Washington with 6 points.

A Familiar Playoff Foe
This is the 7th meeting of the Isles and Washington in the playoffs (Isles are 5-1 and have won 20 of 35 games)
·         1983 Patrick Division Semi-Finals  Isles won series 3-1
·         1984 Patrick Division Finals  Isles won series 4-1
·         1985 Patrick Division Semi-Finals  Isles won series 3-2
·         1986 Patrick Division Semi-Finals  Caps won series 3-0 (Arbour retired thereafter)
·         1987 Patrick Division Semi-Finals  Isles won series 4-3 (LaFontaine 4 OT; only playoff series won by anyone other than Arbour)
·         1993 Patrick Division Semi-Finals  Isles won series 4-2
·         2015 Eastern Conference First Round  Caps lead series 3-2

Overtime is (Usually) Our Time
The Isles have played more playoff OT games with Washington (9) than any other opponent; their six OT wins vs. Washington matches the six that they have against the Rangers (6-0) for the most against any opponent.
04/13/84
Vs
Anders Kallur
W
07:35
04/10/85
@
Alan Haworth
L
02:28
04/11/85
@
Mike Gartner
L
21:23
04/18/87
@
Pat LaFontaine
W
68:47
04/20/93
@
Brian Mullen
W
34:50
04/22/93
Vs
Ray Ferraro
W
04:46
04/24/93
Vs
Ray Ferraro
W
25:40
04/19/15
Vs
John Tavares
W
00:15
04/21/15
Vs
Nicklas Backstrom
L
11:09
The Isles are the most successful team in Stanley Cup overtime, winning 30 and losing 14, but they have lost seven of their last eight OT games.
The Isles are 16-7 in 23 overtime games played at the Coliseum and are 14-7 on the road.

Playoffs All-time
The Isles fall to 138-113 in 251 all-time playoff games.  They are 79-41 at home and 59-72 on the road. The Isles were 77-32 in home playoff games from 1975 to 2002, but they have lost 9 of their last 11 home games.
Four of the last five playoff games at the Coliseum have gone to overtime.

Year of the Fan:
The Isles sold-out 27 of their 41 regular season home dates this season and have also sold out their two home playoff dates.  Counting regular season and playoffs together, the Isles have sold out 13 straight games and have drawn at least 15,000 fans 34 times this season (32 regular season and 2 playoff).

Home Sweet Home
The Isles went 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.

Road Warriors
The Isles finished the regular 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 Shots:
Isles              8-8-7=23
Washington 10-18-13=41
The Caps have outshot the Isles 156-150 through five games of this series.  The team with the most shots has won four of the five games.
The Isles outshot 61 of their 82 opponents in the regular season and have outshot the Caps three out of five times in this series. The 61 times outshooting their opponent is the highest total in the NHL this season.

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 30 saves but falls to 2-3 in this series. He is 12-14 all-time in playoff games. Michal Neuvirth played the final 11 minutes, and stopped all six shots that he faced.
Braden Holtby made 22 saves to improve to 2-2 in this series and 12-13 all-time in playoff games.
Halak is 2-3 all-time in Stanley Cup overtime games, while Holtby is 5-5.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play with 2 shots, while Washington was 0-3 with 6 shots.
For the series, the Isles are 0-12 (with 22 shots) while the Caps are 1-10 (with 17 shots).
The Isles are the only team in this year's playoffs who have not scored a power play goal.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles went 40-8-4 in the regular season when they scored at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-20-3 when they did not. 
In the playoffs, the Isles are 1-1 when scoring at least three goals and 1-2 when they do not.

One Goal Games
The Isles are 1-2 in playoff games decided by a single goal; they are 0-1 in games decided in regulation and are 1-1 in games decided in overtime. 

First Goal
The Isles are 2-2 when they score first and are 0-1 when they allow the opening goal.   

Coach Cappy
Jack Capuano is now 4-7 in playoff games 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.
Capuano is only the 4th Isles coach to lead at least 2 Islander teams to the playoffs, joining Al Arbour, Terry Simpson, and Peter Laviolette.

Most playoff wins by Islander coaches:
·         Al Arbour 123
·         Terry Simpson 9
·         Jack Capuano 4
·         Peter Laviolette 4
·         Ted Nolan 1
·         Steve Stirling 1

Most playoff games coached (Islanders):
·         Al Arbour 209
·         Terry Simpson 20
·         Peter Laviolette 12
·         Jack Capuano 11
·         Steve Stirling 5
·         Ted Nolan 5

Most playoff series wins:
·         Al Arbour 29
·         Terry Simpson 1

Most overtime wins/overtime record:
·         Al Arbour 26  (26-9)
·         Terry Simpson 3  (3-0)
·         Jack Capuano 1  (1-3)
·         Peter Laviolette 0 (0-1)
·         Steve Stirling 0 (0-1)

They Said It
John Tavares: "It's 2-1 going to the third, still a great chance to win the game. It starts with myself. It just wasn't a good period."
Anders Lee (on his fight with Tom Wilson) "We protect our players, and they protect theirs."
Johnny Boychuk (looking ahead to Saturday) "With our fans behind us and cheering loudly it will be a fun game."
Thomas Hickey: "I guess it's a little discouraging to go with five D again, but whether it was 5-1, 10-1 or 1-0, the series is 3-2 now. We're going back home, in front of our fans, and we've got to be better."

They Tweeted It
@deepstaples Four games wins the series not three. Chins up #isles fans.
@sidman1960 @NYIslanders we will take the series back at the the #Barn on Saturday #yesyesyes #isles
@bobbybrown718 Capitals may have won this battle but they will not will the war #isles
@RALPH_RE On the bright side we are heading home. If we win then game 7 is a roll of the dice. #isles

The Coach
"You can break the game down any way that you want; if you don't manage the puck you're not going to win."

Leading Ice Men
Johnny Boychuk led all Isles with 26:00 of ice-time. Matt Niskanen led Washington in ice-time with 22:46.

Isles playoff record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (2-3)
Nikolay Kulemin led Isles forwards with 17:37 of ice-time. Isles playoff record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (2-1), Kyle Okposo (0-1), Nikolay Kulemin (17:37). 

In the Circle
The Islanders won 18 of 49 draws (37%).  Casey Cizikas won 5 of 9 draws for the Isles but his teammates won only 13 of 40; Nicklas Backstrom won 11 of 14 for Washington. The Isles won fewer draws than they lost in each of the three periods. The Isles won 0 of 2 draws on the power play and 0 of 4 draws on the penalty kill.

Face-offs Game by Game:
·         Game 1: Isles 23, Caps 39
·         Game 2: Isles 27, Caps 28
·         Game 3: Isles 29, Caps 30
·         Game 4: Isles 32, Caps 33
·         Game 5: Isles 18, Caps 31
·         Series: Isles 129, Caps 161
The Caps have won the face-off battle in all 5 games, although the difference was only one face-off in games 2, 3, and 4.

Heavy Hitters
The hits were even, 49-49. Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with 10 hits (including 8 in the first period); Brooks Orpik had 6 hits for Washington.
Anders Lee fought Tom Wilson in the first period; it was the first fight of the series.  Lee also fought with Wilson in the regular season.

Hits Game by Game:
·         Game 1: Isles 36, Caps 46
·         Game 2: Isles 38, Caps 59
·         Game 3: Isles 44, Caps 43
·         Game 4: Isles 50, Caps 38
·         Game 5  Isles 49, Caps 49
·         Series: Isles 217, Caps 235
Martin now has 34 hits in the series, which leads the NHL in the post-season.  Martin has led the league in hits in each of the last 4 regular seasons.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 16 blocked shots; Nick Leddy led the team with 3.  Five of the Isles' blocks were on shot attempts by Alex Ovechkin.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Caps finished with a total Corsi advantage of 67-60, including 23-15 in the third period. The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with a +5 even-strength Corsi rating; Matt Martin was on-ice for a team-leading 60% of Corsi For events. Troy Brouwer led Washington with a +7 rating.

Total Corsi Game by Game:
·         Game 1: Isles 65, Caps 55
·         Game 2: Isles 51, Caps 82
·         Game 3: Isles 76, Caps 57
·         Game 4: Isles 78, Caps 66
·         Game 5: Isles 60, Caps 67
·         Series: Isles 330, Caps 327

Missing Men
Griffin Reinhart and Mikhail Grabovski replaced Lubomir Visnovsky (injured) and Brock Nelson in the lineup.
Injured: Lubomir Visnovsky & Travis Hamonic.
Healthy extras: Colin McDonald, Eric Boulton, Brock Nelson, Michael Grabner and Matt Donovan.  Additionally, Ryan Pulock, Matt Carkner, Kael Mouellierat, Johan Sundstrom, Scott Mayfield and Kevin Poulin were recalled from Bridgeport following the end of the Sound Tigers' season; all were scratched.
The Isles have lost 10 games this post-season due to injury/illness.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on APRIL 23rd
For a bit of a change, here's a report that I wrote 13 years ago on the Isles 6-1 win over Toronto.  Check out the opening paragraph:
With many more games like last night's, the Islanders will definitely need a new building. The crowd nearly blew the roof off the old one, as the Isles stormed back from a 1-0 deficit, connected on four power plays, and raked the Leafs 6-1 at the Coliseum before 16,234 faithful.
Alex Mogilny's 1st goal of the series had given the Leafs that 1-0 lead. It was Toronto's first goal in the series that didn't come in the third period. At the time, it was the 6th consecutive Toronto goal since Kenny Jonsson had opened the series scoring in Game 1. The goal at 7:32 of the first was the only one that the Leafs would get.
The game turned on a Wade Belak double minor later in the first period; Mark Parrish tied the game with the first of his 2 power goals, set up by Hamrlik and Yashin.
The Leafs got out of the first period even at 1, despite the Isles outshooting the Leafs 19-6. The Isles, who had the last 13 shots of the period, took more shots in the first period than they did in the first game. By night's end, they would almost equal their shot output for both ACC affairs.
Brad Isbister and Mariusz Czerkawski played exactly 8 seconds of the first 14 minutes of the second period--but they made it paid off as Czerkawski and Aucoin assisted on what turned out to be the game-winning goal 6:01 into the 2nd.
Then, just after the Isles killed a Chris Osgood penalty, Michael Peca got on the boards [set-up by Blake] with his first of the playoffs at 13:33. When Parrish would score his 2nd of the game at 19:19, the Isles had a 3-goal bulge heading to the third. The "twins", Jonsson and Aucoin set up that one.
So many times the Isles had gone to third this season and let a lead, or at least part of the lead slip away.
Not on this night.
Shawn Bates and Dave Scatchard put their names into the Isles' record books by connecting 14 seconds apart, as the Isles blew it open in the third. The 14 second spread ties one of the oldest Isles playoff records--set by JP Parise and Denis Potvin on May 1, 1975 in a game the Isles would eventually lose to Philadelphia in OT.
Van Impe and Yashin set up Bates while Isbister had the lone helper on Scatchard's goal as the Isles won their first playoff game in 8 years, 11 months and 1 day by the laughable count of 6-1.
It was the first time the Isles have scored 6 goals in a playoff game since that dramatic game 6 win over Pittsburgh in 1993 set the stage for David Volek's heroics two nights later and represented the Isles' widest margin of victory since a 6-1 win over Edmonton on May 12, 1984 in their final win as Stanley Cup champions. [The Oilers would win the next three, all in Edmonton, to end The Dynasty.]
Also on this date: (1985) – The Isles set a franchise playoff record with 27 shots in a period (the 2nd) but Pelle Lindbergh, whose life was cut short by a fatal car accident less than 7 months later, stopped 25 of them (and 36 in the game) as the Flyers took a 3-0 lead in the Patrick Division finals with a 5-3 win over the isles.
All-time, the Isles have played no regular season and two playoff games on April 23rd at the Coliseum; they have compiled a 1-1 playoff record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers finished their season with a record of 28-40-7-1. Kael Mouellierat led the Tigers in goals with 24 this season, while Alan Quine led in assists (38) and points (61).  Colton Gillies led Bridgeport in +/- with a +4 rating.
Rookie defensemen Griffin Reinhart went 7-15-22 in 59 games, while fellow first round pick Ryan Pulock went 17-12-29.  Pulock led the Sound Tigers, all AHL rookies and all AHL defensemen with 13 power play goals.
Kevin Poulin finished the season with a 16-21-7 record and a 2.87 GAA.

Up Next
Eastern Conference First Round – Game 6
SATURDAY, APRIL 21st –WASHINGTON AT ISLANDERS 3:00pm
[NBC, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]

The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum will host its 1,786th game (regular season/playoffs) on Saturday. The Isles will try to make sure it is not the last as they look to stave off elimination and even the series at three games apiece.

The Islanders have successfully staved off elimination 25 times in 43 tries. Of course the other eighteen times they've ended up on the wrong side of a handshake.

The Isles are 12-2 all-time at home in game 6's, losing only to Montreal in 1977 and to Pittsburgh in 2013. They are 6-2 at home when facing elimination in game 6 (and are a perfect 6-0 with an opportunity to clinch a series in game 6).

Note that this game will be televised by NBC nationally (Channel 4 in New York).  A full one hour post-game will air after the game on MSG+.

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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