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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'...

Saturday, December 05, 2015

The Skinny: Isles 2, St. Louis 1 (SO)

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
 
Game 27
Isles 2, St. Louis 1 (shootout)
Mikhail Grabovski's second-effort third period goal tied the game; Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo scored shootout goals to win it as the Islanders completed their first season sweep of the St. Louis Blues in 31 years with a 2-1 shootout win before a crowd of 12,873 at Barclays Center. The Isles have won 4 straight, are 5-0-1 in their last 6 games, and are now a season-high seven games over NHL .500 for the first time this season.  After losing 7 straight shootouts, the Isles respond with shootout wins in consecutive games.

The Scoring:
1ST PERIOD
19:33    STL Kevin Shattenkirk (3) Slapshot - ASST: Vladimir Tarasenko (11), Paul Stastny (6) 1 - 0 STL    
2ND PERIOD
NONE
3RD PERIOD
06:39    NYI Mikhail Grabovski (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Ryan Strome (7), Nikolay Kulemin (8) 1 - 1 Tie         
OT PERIOD
NONE
 
The Shootout
ROUND            ISLANDERS                  ST. LOUIS
1                      Frans Nielsen (G/GDG)  Kevin Shattenkirk (NG)  
2                      Kyle Okposo (G)           Vladimir Tarasenko (NG)           

This was the Isles first win in 3 all-time shootouts vs. St Louis…Kyle Okposo is now 12-31 in shootout attempts…Frans Nielsen set not one, but two NHL records with his shootout tally – it was his 41st shootout goal all-time, breaking a tie with Jonathan Toews, and was his 17th game deciding (shootout) goal, breaking a tie with 4 others (Sidney Crosby, TJ Oshie, Patrick Kane and Mikko Koivu)

Most Game Deciding Goals (Isles- all-time)
1.     Frans Nielsen 17 (NHL record)
2.     Miro Satan/Kyle Okposo 7
4.     Matt Moulson/Josh Bailey 4
 
Most Shootout Goals (Isles – all-time)
1.     Frans Nielsen 41 (NHL record)
2.     John Tavares/Miro Satan 13
4.     Kyle Okposo 12

The Skinny:
Kevin Shattenkirk, the New Rochelle native, now has a point in six straight games against the Isles (2-8-10)…Mikhail Grabovski, who had an overtime winner vs. St. Louis in October, recorded his 7th goal (7-1-8) in 10 games vs. St. Louis; he has scored goals in 5 of the last 6 games vs. the Blues…The Blues had been perfect when leading to the third period this season, but fall to 7-0-1 while the Isles improve to 1-6-2 when trailing after two periods…The Isles' 34 points through 27 games is their third-highest point total at this stage of the season in the last 27 years (38 points in 2014-15 and 35 points in 2001-02); they are one of 6 NHL teams with at least 34 points…The teams combined for an NHL season-high 106 hits, 53 each…The Isles have scored in 9 of the last 10  3rd periods, outscoring their opponents 16-6 in that span, and 35-21 this season… The Isles have earned points in 6 straight games for the first time in a single season since a 7-game stretch late in the 2013-14 season (3-23-14 to 4-5-14, 5-0-2) and have won four straight for the first time since also winning four straight early this season (10-12-15 to 10-20-15)… This was the 4th (and final) Friday night home game of the season; the Isles finish the season 1-2-1 in four Friday home games…The Isles improve to an NHL-best 10-2-1 against the West and are 9-1-0 in their last 10 vs. the West…. Isles are 7-0-1 at home vs West, winning 7 straight since Opening Night; it's the Isles longest home win streak vs the West since the NHL reinstituted geographical names for conferences in 1993...Travis Hamonic was on-ice for Grabovski's tying goal; he is now +10 in the third period.  Calvin deHaan (even in 3rd period tonight) started the night as the only player in the entire NHL with a +10 rating in the 3rd...Thomas Greiss recorded his third straight win (1.95 GAA, 93.4%)
 
Home is Where the Wins Are!
The Isles are 10-4-2 on Barclays Center ice.  Their 22 points in 16 games marks their 2nd best start in 27 years (26 in 16 games last season) and equals their 2nd best start in 31 years (also 22 in 1986-87 and 1987-88.
 
Comeback Kids
It's the first time since March 9 in Toronto that the Isles had won a game when trailing after two periods (0-11-2) and the first time that they have done so at home since "The Kyle Okposo Game" vs Pittsburgh on January 16th (0-9-1)
 
First Time in a Long Time … and Second Time Ever (shootout)
It's the first time since March 7-10, 2006 that the Isles have won consecutive games, both in shootouts. Like this week, both games were at home and both games ended 2-1.  The Isles defeated New Jersey and Toronto, with Rick DiPietro in goal for both wins.  Trent Hunter and Miroslav Satan had the deciding goals. 
 
The Shots:
Isles         6-9-7-3=25
St. Louis 11-9-7-5=32
 
Home and Road
The Islanders are 15-8-4 overall; 10-4-2 at home and 5-4-2 on the road. 
 
St. Louis is 15-7-4 overall; 7-3-2 at home and 8-4-2 on the road.  

By Division
The Isles are 4-0-2 in Division games and are 11-8-2 in games against other divisions. They are 1-6-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 5-1-1 vs. Central Division, and 5-1-0 vs. the Pacific Division. 
The Isles finished last season 21-6-3 against the Met and 26-22-4 against other Divisions. 

In the Nets
Thomas Greiss made 31 saves to improve to 8-3-2 and lower his goals against average to an NHL-best 2.19.  Greiss is 6-4 all-time in shootouts, stopping 29 of 35 shots and is 4-1-0 in his career against St. Louis.
Brian Elliott made 24 saves; he is 4-2-2 on the season and 4-1-3 in his career against the Isles.  Elliot is 21-19 all-time in shootouts.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play, while St. Louis was also 0-2.
The Isles have killed all 13 opponent power plays in their last 5 games; it's the first time since October 15- November 1 (9 games) that the Isles killed all opposing power plays in consecutive games.
The Isles are 8-2-2 when they score at least one power play goal and 6-7-2 when they do not.  The Isles are 5-5-1 when they allow at least one power play goal and 10-3-3 when they do not. 

Three is (Usually) a Magic Number
The Isles are 12-2-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 3-6-4 when they do not.  The Isles were 40-8-4 when they scored at least three goals (including SO winners) last season.

One Goal Games
The Isles are 6-3-4 in games decided by a single goal including 3-3-0 in regulation. They are 1-2 in games decided in overtime and are 2-2 in shootouts.  The Isles are 4-2 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1 goal game into a 2-goal game.

First Goal
The Isles are 9-3-1 when they score first and are 6-5-3 when they allow the opening goal.   This was the fifth time in six games that the opposition has scored first but the Isles are 5-0-1 in that stretch.

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 180-156-50 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 386
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
 
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 180
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Tweeted It
@johntr Amazing Grabovski goal tonight!!! #isles
@IslesFan83 They're starting to look like last year's #Isles. Good win for them.
@AYBey3 Snow hit a homerun getting Greiss. #Isles

Back-to-Backs
Including tonight, the Isles are 1-2-3 on the front-end and 3-2-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  This back-to-back set will conclude on Saturday in Ottawa.

Tired vs. Rested
·         The Isles are 1-1-0 when both teams played the night before.
·         The Isles are 2-2-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not.
·         The Isles are 2-1-0 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Nick Leddy (25:04); St. Louis: Alex Pietrangelo (26:57).
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (8-2-2), Johnny Boychuk (4-3-0), Calvin deHaan (0-0-1), Nick Leddy (2-2-1), Tied (0-1-0)
John Tavares led Isles forwards with 20:07 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (9-6-3), Ryan Strome (2-0-0), Kyle Okposo (0-1-1), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Josh Bailey (1-0-0), Tied (0-1-0). 

Face-offs
Isles 25, St. Louis 30 (45%).
John Tavares won 8 of 11 for the Isles; Paul Stastny won 9 of 11 for St. Louis.
The Isles won 12 of 21 in the third period and overtime after winning only 13 of 34 in the first two periods.
The Isles won 22 of 48 draws at even strength, 1 of 2 on the power play and 2 of 5 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
Isles 53, St. Louis 53.  Matt Martin led the Isles with 9 hits as the Isles' fourth line combined for 15 hits.

The 53 hits by the Isles was their 3rd highest total this season:
·         63 vs New Jersey 11/3/15
·         55 @ Chicago 10/10/15
·         53 vs St. Louis 12/4/15
·         52 vs New York 12/2/15

Fights
There were no fights. Season total – 7 (Martin-4, Boychuk, Leddy, Okposo).  

Blocked Shots
The Isles were credited with 9 blocked shots; Johnny Boychuk and Casey Cizikas led the team with two each.

For the Corsi Crowd
All situations:  Isles 53, St. Louis 52.  Even-Strength: Isles 38, St. Louis 37.
The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks). 
 
Matt Martin and Marek Zidlicky led the Isles with a +5 even-strength Corsi rating; they also had a team-leading 63% of Corsi For events. Alexander Steen led St. Louis with a +8 rating.

Ironmen
·         Nikolay Kulemin -177 (68 for Toronto and 109 for the Isles)
·         Brock Nelson  -162 (all for Isles)

Missing Men
Eric Boulton and Jean-Francois Berube are on injured reserve; Brian Strait and Steve Bernier were scratched.
The Isles have lost 55 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         186 goals (11th all-time, 20 behind John Tonelli and 25 behind Derek King)
·         237 assists (15th all-time, 12 behind Tomas Jonsson and 22 behind Billy Harris)
·         423 points (13th all-time and 20 behind Billy Harris)
·         456 games played (31st among Islander skaters all-time, 3 behind Trent Hunter and 14 behind Mariusz Czerkawski)
Kyle Okposo has:
·         123 goals (18th all-time and 4 behind Jason Blake)
·         203 assists (17th all-time and 5 behind Frans Nielsen)
·         326 points (18th all-time, 5 behind Ziggy Palffy and 7 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         477 games played (28th among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Radek Martinek and 16 behind Ed Westfall)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         108 goals (25th all-time, and 8 behind Ray Ferraro)
·         208 assists (16th all-time and 29 behind John Tavares)
·         316 points (19th all-time, 10 behind Kyle Okposo and 15 behind Ziggy Palffy)
·         552 games played (15th among Islander skaters all-time and 42 behind John Tonelli)
 Josh Bailey has:
·         144 assists (28th all-time, 1 behind Travis Green and 6 behind Mariusz Czerkawski)
·         230 points (30th all-time, 1 behind Greg Gilbert, 2 behind Kenny Jonsson, 7 behind Travis Green and 8 behind Ray Ferraro)
·         502 games played (25th among Islander skaters, 7 behind Rich Pilon, 8 behind Mick Vukota and 12 behind Dave Lewis)

Season Series Stats
The Isles win the season series 2 games to 0 and 4 points to 1. 
The Isles hadn't won consecutive games from St. Louis since March 20, 2001-February 5, 2002, hadn't won two games in a season series from the Blues since 1987-88, and completed their first season series sweep of the Blues since 1984-85 (3-0-0).
 
On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 14-8-1-0 on the season after dropping a 4-0 decision in Springfield on Friday. It's Bridgeport's 4th loss in the last 5 games (1-4-0-0).
The Sound Tigers' busy weekend continues with home games against Portland on Saturday (Star Wars Night – 7pm) and Hartford on Sunday (5pm).

Up Next
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5th—ISLANDERS AT OTTAWA 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 91.5 WNYE-FM. 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
 
The Isles head to the Canadian Capital to face the Senators in the first game of a 3-game road trip.
It's the first of two meetings in Ottawa and the first of three meetings on the season. 
The Isles have won three straight games in Ottawa – their longest road winning streak ever against the Sens.
The Isles took 2 of 3 from Ottawa last season, sweeping a home-and-home series in early December before dropping a home game to the Sens in March.  All three games were decided in overtime.
The Isles will be looking to improve on their 1-6-1 record against Atlantic Division opponents; the Isles are 14-2-3 against the other three divisions.
 
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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