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The Skinny: Isles 4, New Jersey 1 - Isles clinch a Playoff Spot!

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 81 Isles 4, New Jersey 1    They're in! Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Kyle Palmieri scored goals 4...

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Skinny: Washington 3, Isles 2 (OT)

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Game 56  
Washington 3, Isles 2 (OT)
Justin Williams scored with 44 seconds remaining in overtime for the deciding tally as the Washington Capitals overcame a late tying goal by Frans Nielsen and defeated the Islanders 3-2 before a sellout crowd of 15,795 at Barclays Center.

John Tavares had given the Islanders a first period lead, but Alex Ovechkin scored a pair of goals 1:27 apart in the second period to give the Caps the lead.
The Caps became the first NHL team to open a season by winning 42 of their first 56 games.

The Isles are 4-1-1 in their last six games, as they remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of Pittsburgh and two ahead of New Jersey.

The Scoring:
15:41    NYI       John Tavares (22) ASST: Nick Leddy (23)           1 - 0 NYI          
01:25    WSH     Alex Ovechkin (36) ASST: Evgeny Kuznetsov (42), Justin Williams (22)    1 - 1 Tie           
02:52    WSH     PPG - Alex Ovechkin (37) ASST: Nicklas Backstrom (37), T.J. Oshie (18) 2 - 1 WSH        
18:16    NYI       Frans Nielsen (16) ASST: Kyle Okposo (30), Travis Hamonic (10) 2 - 2 Tie           
04:16    WSH     Justin Williams (19) ASST: John Carlson (25), Matt Niskanen (21) 3 - 2 WSH
The Skinny:
The sellout was the Isles' 2nd straight and seventh of the season.  The Isles are 3-1-3 in those seven games… The Isles are 12-11-2 in their last 25; they have outscored opponents 56-25 in the 12 wins (12-0-0), but have been outscored 46-17 in the 13 losses (0-11-2)… The Isles have outscored their opponents 62-44 in the third period this season, including 20-6 over the last 14 games… John Tavares extended his point streak to seven games (5-6-11) …The Isles failed to score  a power play goal for the first time in seven games…The Isles are 4-0-1 in their last five games at home… Thomas Greiss set new career highs in both games (26) and starts (21).  His 16 wins are six more than he has won in any previous NHL season… Tavares won a majority of his face-offs for the 12th straight game; he was won 63.9% of his draws in that span…The Isles are 2-5-2 in Metropolitan Division games in 2016; the Isles went 7-0-2 vs. the Met before the calendar change…The Caps improve to 32-0-1 when leading after two periods…Alex Ovechkin scored twice for Washington, giving him 30 goals in 40 career games against the Isles.  Ovechkin now had 512 career goals…The Isles failed to score on the power play against Washington again; counting playoffs, the Isles have not scored a power play goal vs. the Caps in the last 11 games…Justin Williams recorded his third regular season overtime goal…An Islander defenseman has points on the last six goals by the team.
Moving On Up
Josh Bailey played in his 531st game as an Islander, passing Pat LaFontaine for 21st place on the Isles' all-time list…Frans Nielsen's tying goal was his 333rd Islander point, tying Tomas Jonsson for 17th place on the Isles' all-time list.  Kyle Okposo earned his 350th point on the same play.
The Captain's Countdown
John Tavares scored his 196th goal; with four more goals he will become only the 11th player in Islander history to record 200 goals.
Most Points in The Post-Cup Era through 56 games
75 in 2014-15
67 in 2015-16
65 in 2001-02
64 in 1985-86
64 in 1984-85

Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 19-8-4 on home-ice (42 points).  In the past 28 years, the Isles have earned more than 42 points in the first 31 home games only twice (46 in first 31 at home last season and 44 in 31 in 2003-04).
The Isles have clinched an above NHL-.500 finish at home.  It is the first time since 2005-06 and 2006-07 that the Isles have recorded successive home seasons above NHL-.500.

Schedule Notes
The Isles will begin a 7-game road trip in New Jersey tomorrow.  This is the 5th time in club history that the Isles will play seven consecutive road games, but the 2nd consecutive season:
·         1981-82 (1-5-1)
·         2000-01 (2-3-2)
·         2009-10 (3-2-2)
·         2014-15 (5-2-0)
The Isles are also beginning a stretch of 12 out of 14 games on the road for only the 2nd time in their history.  From November 11 – December 9, 2009 (John Tavares' rookie season), the Isles went 5-7-2 in a stretch in which they played 12 of 14 on the road.   However the Isles changed time zones only twice in that stretch (When they visited Minnesota and St. Louis).  The Isles will change time zones seven times in their upcoming trips.

The long trips come after the Isles have played 31 of their first 56 games at home.  It is only the second time that they have played 31 home games so early in the season; it 2002-03, the Isles played 31 of their first 55 games at home.  Had the Isles not been snowed out on January 23rd vs. Philadelphia, the Isles would have played 32 of their first 56 games at home.  The Isles have never played their 32nd home game earlier than their 59th game.

Road Warriors
This was the eighth game of a 22 game stretch in which the Isles will play 16 games on the road.  The Isles are 4-3-1 in this stretch.   Beginning tomorrow in New Jersey, the Isles will play 14 of their next 16 games on the road.

4-Feb-16           @ Capitals (Lost 3-2)
6-Feb-16           @ Red Wings (Lost 5-1)
7-Feb-16           Vs Oilers (Won 8-1)
9-Feb-16           @ Blue Jackets (Won 3-2 (SO))
11-Feb-16         Vs Kings (Won 5-2)
13-Feb-16         @ Hurricanes (Lost 6-3)
15-Feb-16         Vs Red Wings (Won 4-1)
18-Feb-16         Vs Capitals (Lost 3-2 OT)
19-Feb-16         @ Devils
23-Feb-16         @ Wild
25-Feb-16         @ Flames
28-Feb-16         @ Oilers
1-Mar-16           @ Canucks
3-Mar-16           @ Jets
6-Mar-16           @ Rangers
8-Mar-16           Vs Penguins
9-Mar-16           @ Maple Leafs
12-Mar-16          @ Bruins
14-Mar-16          Vs Panthers
15-Mar-16          @ Penguins
17-Mar-16          @ Predators
19-Mar-16          @ Stars

 The Shots:
Isles                 9-4-8-1=22
Washington       9-14-10-2=35
Home and Road
The Islanders are 30-19-7 overall; 19-8-4 at home and 11-11-3 on the road. 
Washington is 42-10-4 overall; 21-4-2 at home and 21-6-2 on the road.  The Caps are 30-5-3 in their last 38 games. They are the first team in NHL history to win 42 of their first 56 games and the first team in NHL history to win 21 of their first 29 road games.

By Division
The Isles are 10-5-3 in Division games and are 20-14-4 in games against other divisions. They are 5-10-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 7-2-1 vs. the Central Division, and 8-2-1 vs. the Pacific Division. 
The Isles are 31-11-3 since the start of last season against the Metropolitan Division. 

How The West is Won
The Isles are 15-4-2 against the Western Conference, including 12-0-2 at home. The Isles have the most wins of any Eastern Conference team against the Western Conference (Tampa Bay, 14-9-2, has the 2nd highest win total).  Only 8 Western Conference teams have more wins against the West than the Isles do.

In the Nets
Thomas Greiss made 32 saves; he is 16-6-3 on the season as he extended his point streak to six games (5-0-1). Greiss, who is 7-1-1 in his last 9 games, is now 1-0-1 all-time vs. Washington. 
Braden Holtby made 20 saves to improve to 36-6-3 on the season; he is 10-1-2 in his career vs. the Isles. 

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play, while Washington was 1-5.
The Isles are 20-5-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 10-14-4 when they do not.  The Isles are 8-9-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 22-10-5 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 26-3-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 4-16-7 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 11-6-7 in games decided by a single goal including 5-7-0 in regulation. They are 2-4 in games decided in overtime and are 4-3 in shootouts.  The Isles are 5-4 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1 goal game into a 2-goal game.

First Goal
The Isles are 20-4-3 when they score first and are 10-15-4 when they allow the opening goal.   

Second to The One
Jack Capuano, the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history, is 195-167-53 behind the Islander bench.  Among the 9 New York area teams, only the Yankees' Joe Girardi has led his team longer than Capuano.  With 195 wins, Capuano has now won more games than any Islander other than Al Arbour has coached:

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 415
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 195
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

Capuano is the 86th coach in NHL history to coach at least 400 games. He is 74th all-time with 195 wins, one fewer than Cecil Hart and Fred Creighton.

They Tweeted It
@SNstats  #Caps Alex Ovechkin has now scored 30 goals vs 7 different NHL franchises (NYI, CAR, FLA, PHI, TB, TOR, WPG)
@Buccigross  This is an unreal goal by Tavares. #sctop10 goal

Including tonight, the Isles are 2-4-4 on the front-end and 6-2-1 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  This back-to-back set will conclude in New Jersey on Friday.

Tired vs. Rested
·         The Isles are 3-1-0 when both teams played the night before.
·         The Isles are 5-3-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not.
·         The Isles are 3-1-1 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Travis Hamonic (26:08); Washington: Matt Niskanen (26:37)
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (18-4-4), Johnny Boychuk (5-3-0), Calvin deHaan (1-3-1), Nick Leddy (5-7-2), John Tavares (0-1-0), Tied (0-1-0)
John Tavares led the Isles forwards with 21:33 of ice-time.   Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (20-15-6), Ryan Strome (2-0-0), Kyle Okposo (1-2-1), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (3-0-0), Josh Bailey (2-0-0), Tied (1-1-0). 

Isles 27, Washington 36 (43%). 
John Tavares won 11 of 18 for the Isles but his teammates won only 16 of 45; Mike Richards won 8 of 12 for Washington. 
The Isles won 13 of 22 draws in the third period and overtime after winning only 14 of 41 in the first two periods.
The Isles won 23 of 52 draws at even strength, 2 of 3 on the power play and 2 of 8 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
Isles 19, Washington 20.  Matt Martin led the Isles with 5 hits, extending his NHL-leading total to 272.  Martin has recorded at least 250 hits five times; he has five of the nine 250-hit seasons in club history. (Hits first recorded in 2005-06).

There were no fights.  Season total – 13 (Martin-7, Bernier, Boychuk, Leddy, Lee, Okposo, Strait).

Blocked Shots
The Isles were credited with 18 blocked shots, including three each from Brian Strait, Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic.

For the Corsi Crowd
All situations:  Isles 49, Washington 60.  5-on-5: Isles 35, Washington 44.
The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks). 
Frans Nielsen led the Isles with a +5 5-on-5 Corsi rating; Nielsen also had a club-leading 65% Corsi For percentage. John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov led Washington with a +10 5-on-5 Corsi rating.

·         Nikolay Kulemin -206 (68 for Maple Leafs and 138 for the Isles)
·         Brock Nelson  -191 (all for Isles)
·         Anders Lee -132 (all for Isles)

Missing Men
Adam Pelech and Eric Boulton are on injured reserve. Brian Strait replaced Calvin deHaan (injured) in the lineup; Steve Bernier and JF Berube were scratched.
The Isles have lost 130 games this season due to injury/illness.

Missing a Piece (or two)
The Isles are 13-15-2 over the last two seasons in games in which they are missing Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic or Nick Leddy, including 5-5-1 this season.  They are 5-4-1, including 2-1-1 this season, when two of the three miss a game.

All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1.     Bryan Trottier 1123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1060 *** 3. Bob Nystrom 900
12. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 13. Garry Howatt 596 *** 14. John Tonelli 594 *** 15. Frans Nielsen 581
20. Tomas Jonsson 532 *** 21. Josh Bailey 531 ***22. Pat LaFontaine 530*** 23. Dave Lewis 514 *** 24. Mick Vukota 510*** 25. Rich Pilon 509 *** 26. Kyle Okposo 504 *** 27. Ed Westfall 493***28. John Tavares 485

1.     Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310
9. Derek King 211 *** 10. John Tonelli 206*** 11. John Tavares 196
16. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 132 *** 18. Jason Blake 127 *** 19. Duane Sutter 121 *** 20. Alexei Yashin 119 *** 21. Mark Parrish, Matt Moulson and Steve Thomas 118 *** 24. Ray Ferraro 116 *** 25. Frans Nielsen 115

1.     Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 ***
11. Pat LaFontaine 279 *** 12. Bob Nystrom 278 *** 13. Billy Harris 259 *** 14. John Tavares 252 *** 15. Tomas Jonsson 249***16. Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo 218
25. Ziggy Palffy 163 *** 26. David Volek 154 *** 27. Josh Bailey 152

1.     Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052
10. Derek King 499 *** 11. Pat Flatley 488 *** 12. John Tavares 448 ***13. Billy Harris 443 ***
14. Stefan Persson 369 *** 15. Kyle Okposo 350 *** 16. Pierre Turgeon 340 ***
17. Tomas Jonsson 333 and Frans Nielsen 333
24 Jason Blake & Steve Thomas 258 *** 26. David Volek 249 *** 27. Josh Bailey 243

Season Series Stats
Washington leads the season series 3 games to 0 and 6 points to 1.
The teams will conclude the season series on April 5th in DC.
The Isles are 4-1-4 in their last nine home games against the Caps.

On The Farm
Bridgeport extended their point streak to ten games with a 4-3 shootout loss in Springfield.  Mike Halmo had a pair of goals for Bridgeport. Bridgeport is 27-19-3-2 on the season; the Sound Tigers  will visit Lehigh Valley on Saturday before hosting Albany on Sunday.

Up Next
[MSG+2 (Pre-game at 6:30), 91.5 WNYE-FM, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles begin a club record-tying seven game road trip close to home, as they head to Newark to face the Devils for the final time this (regular) season.
The Isles are 8-0-1 in the last nine vs. New Jersey; 5 of the 9 games have needed at least overtime to settle matters.
This season the home team has won the first three games; New Jersey earned a shootout victory at The Rock on Halloween; the Isles responded with 2-1 and 4-0 wins in Brooklyn.
The Isles enter play two points ahead of New Jersey; the Isles also have two games in hand.

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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