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The Skinny on the Playoff Chase

It was a relatively quiet Sunday in the Eastern Conference playoff race.  Philadelphia scored four goals in the third period to blow open a ...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Skinny: Dallas 3, Isles 0

"The Skinny"  

 By Eric Hornick
 
Game 70 
Dallas 3, Isles 0
Cody Eakin broke a scoreless tie midway through the second period and Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves for his 34th career shutout as the Dallas Stars defeated the Isles 3-0 before a sellout crowd of 18,532 at American Airlines Center.

The Isles have lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since February 4th – 6th and have gone three games without a win (0-2-1) for the first time in 3 months [December 15th – December 19th (0-3-0)].

The Isles magic number for clinching a playoff spot remains 19.  The Isles are now one point behind Pittsburgh and 5 points ahead of Philadelphia.

The Scoring:

1ST PERIOD
NONE
 
2ND PERIOD
13:07    DAL      Cody Eakin (15) Wrist shot - ASST: Patrick Sharp (31), Patrik Nemeth (7)            1 - 0 DAL         
 
3RD PERIOD
07:41    DAL      Patrick Eaves (8) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE        2 - 0 DAL         
17:06    DAL      EN - Ales Hemsky (12) Wrist- ASST: Antoine Roussel (13), Johnny Oduya (16) 3 - 0 DAL

The Skinny:
Kari Lehtonen is the first Stars goalie to shutout the Isles since the franchise relocated to Dallas. Jon Casey blanked the Isles on November 5, 1992 in their final meeting in Minnesota; Lehtonen is the 2nd active goalie to shutout the Isles for 2 teams, having already done so for Atlanta.  Craig Anderson owns shutouts for Florida and Ottawa against the Isles…The Isles did not allow a first period goal for the first time in ten games, but did allow the first goal for the fifth straight game. …The Isles have led after one period only once (3/6 at Rangers, 4-3) after the first period of the last 12 games…For the fourth time in six games, the Isles had one power play or no power plays…The Isles have gone 78:05 without a goal… Dallas finished their season with a 20-9-3 record against the East, assuring themselves of a tie for the best record against the East of any Western Conference team… Lindy Ruff coached his 1,402nd career NHL game on Saturday night, moving him into fifth place on the NHL's all-time games coached list…Jamie Benn and John Tavares, who finished 1-2 in the NHL scoring race last season, each played in their 499th NHL game…The Isles have played 37 of first 70 games on the road for the first time in their history.

Movin' On Up
Frans Nielsen played his 595th game as an Islander, passing John Tonelli (594) for 15th place among skaters on the all-time Islander list.

Comeback Kids
The Isles have now earned 15 points (5-19-5) in games that they trailed after 2 periods.
 
The 5 wins:
4-Dec-15          Vs        St. Louis (Trailed 1-0, won 2-1 in a shootout)
14-Jan-16         Vs        New York (Trailed 1-0, won 3-1)
9-Feb-16           @         Columbus (Trailed 2-1, won 3-2 in a shootout)
25-Feb-16         @         Calgary (Trailed 1-0, won 2-1 in overtime)
14-Mar-16         Vs        Florida (Trailed 2-0, won 3-2)

The Isles won 10 games in 2013-14 when trailing after two periods; it's the only time since 1987-88 that they have won more than five games when trailing after 40 minutes.

Most Points in The Post-Cup Era through 70 games
·        90 in 2014-15
·        85 in 2015-16
·        78 in 2006-07
 
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 21-8-4 on home-ice (46 points), matching their most points through 33 games in the Post-Cup era (46 last season and 46 in 1984-85).  The Isles are 13 games over NHL-.500 at home for the first time this season; it's only the 2nd season since 2003-04 that the Isles have been +13 at home at any point.
The Isles are 6-0-1 in their last seven games at home; it's their longest single season point streak at home since November/December 2014.
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.

Road Warriors
The Isles are 17-15-5 on the road this season.  In the Post-Cup era, the Isles have earned more than 39 points in the first 37 road games only twice (44 in first 37 on road last season and 40 in first 37 in 2001-02).
 
It's Time to Go Home
This was the final game of a stretch in which the Isles are playing 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.

19-Feb-16         @ Devils (Won 1-0)
23-Feb-16         @ Wild (Won 4-1)
25-Feb-16         @ Flames (Won 2-1 OT)
28-Feb-16         @ Oilers (Lost 3-1)
1-Mar-16          @ Canucks (Won 3-2)
3-Mar-16          @ Jets (Won 4-3 OT)
6-Mar-16          @ Rangers (Won 6-4)
8-Mar-16          Vs Penguins (Won 2-1)
9-Mar-16          @ Maple Leafs (Lost/SO 4-3)
12-Mar-16         @ Bruins (Lost 3-1)
14-Mar-16         Vs Panthers (Won 3-2)
15-Mar-16         @ Penguins (Lost/SO 2-1)
17-Mar-16         @ Predators (Lost 4-2)
19-Mar-16         @ Stars (Lost 3-0)

The Shots:
Isles      10-10-7=27
Dallas   11-14-11=36
 
Home and Road
The Islanders are 38-23-9 overall; 21-8-4 at home and 17-15-5 on the road. 
Dallas is 43-21-9 overall; 24-11-2 at home and 19-10-7 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 13-5-4 in Division games and are 25-18-5 in games against other divisions. They are 6-11-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 9-4-1 vs. the Central Division, and 10-3-1 vs. the Pacific Division. 
 
The Isles are 34-11-4 since the start of last season against the Metropolitan Division. 

How The West is Won
This was the final game of the regular season against the West. The Isles went 19-7-2 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 and are guaranteed to finish with at least the 2nd-best record of an Eastern team vs. the West.  (Washington is 15-5-3 and still has five games left against the West)

In the Nets
Thomas Greiss made 33 saves but falls to 19-9-4 on the season; his personal two-game losing streak matches a season high. He is 3-1-0 in his career against Dallas.
Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves for his 2nd shutout of the season as he improves to 21-9-2; Lehtonen is 7-5-1 in his career against the Isles, including two shutouts.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-1 on the power play, while Dallas was 0-3.
The Isles have allowed 30 power play goals.  Only Carolina (29) has allowed fewer.
The Isles are 23-5-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 15-18-5 when they do not.  The Isles are 12-11-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 26-12-6 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 31-3-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-20-8 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 17-6-9 in games decided by a single goal including 9-6-0 in regulation. They are 4-4 in games decided in overtime and are 4-5 in shootouts.  The Isles are 6-5 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1 goal game into a 2-goal game.

First Goal
The Isles are 25-5-4 when they score first and are 13-18-5 when they allow the opening goal.   

Second to The One
Jack Capuano, the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history, is 203-171-55 behind the Islander bench.  Among the 9 New York area teams, only the Yankees' Joe Girardi has led his team longer than Capuano. 

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.      Al Arbour 1,500
2.      Jack Capuano 429
3.      Mike Milbury 191
4.      Terry Simpson 187
5.      Scott Gordon 181
 
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.      Al Arbour 740
2.      Jack Capuano 203
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. His 203 wins is now 71st all-time.  (Tied/69 – Gerry Cheevers and Todd Richards 204)
 
Back-to-Backs
The Isles are 4-4-4 on the front-end and 7-2-3 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  The next back-to-back set will on March 25th in Tampa Bay and March 26th in Carolina.
 
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 4-1-3 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Travis Hamonic (27:47); Dallas: Alex Goglioski (22:16)
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (23-6-6), Johnny Boychuk (5-3-0), Calvin deHaan (2-3-1), Nick Leddy (6-8-2), John Tavares (0-2-0), Tied (0-1-0)
John Tavares and Frans Nielsen led the forwards with 17:12 of ice time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (26-17-8), Ryan Strome (2-0-0), Kyle Okposo (2-3-1), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (4-0-0), Josh Bailey (2-0-0), Tied (1-2-0). 

Face-offs
Isles 21 Dallas 27 (44%)
Frans Nielsen won 8 of 13 for the Isles but his teammates won only 13 of 35; Radek Faksa won 9 of 15 for Dallas. 
The Isles won 16 of 32 in the first two periods but only 5 of 16 in the third period.
The Isles won 18 of 40 draws at even strength, 0 of 1 on the power play and 3 of 7 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
Isles 19, Dallas 30.  Matt Martin led the Isles with six hits to extend his NHL-leading total to 334.  It's the 4th time in his career that he has recorded 300 hits and the 13th time in NHL history a player has had at least 300 hits, tying Cal Clutterbuck's NHL-record for 300-hit seasons (Hits first recorded in 2005-06).
It's the 2nd straight game that the Isles have been outhit 30-19.

Fights
There were no fights. Season total – 19 (Martin-10, Lee-2, Bernier, Boychuk, Cizikas, Hamonic, Leddy, Okposo, Strait).

Blocked Shots
The Isles were credited with 19 blocked shots, including five from Calvin deHaan.

For the Corsi Crowd
All situations:  Isles 65, Dallas 75.  5-on-5: Isles 59, Dallas 61.  Dallas had 33 attempts in the second period to the Isles' 19.
The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks). 
 
Casey Cizikas led the Isles with a +9 5-on-5 Corsi rating; Cal Clutterbuck had a club-leading 71% Corsi For percentage. Antoine Roussel led Dallas with a +18 5-on-5 Corsi rating.

Ironmen
Five Islanders have played every game this season:
·        Nikolay Kulemin -220 consecutive games (68 for Maple Leafs and 152 for the Isles)
·        Anders Lee - 146 (all for Isles)
·        Nick Leddy – 80 (all for Isles)
·        Matt Martin – 70 (all for Isles)
·        Frans Nielsen – 70 (all for Isles)

Missing Men
Adam Pelech is on injured reserve. Other injured players: Jaroslav Halak, Mikhail Grabovski and Marek Zidlicky. Brian Strait replaced Ryan Pulock in the lineup; Casey Cizikas replaced Steve Bernier. Eric Boulton was also scratched.

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
….
11. Stefan Persson 622 *** 12. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 13. Garry Howatt 596 *** 14. Frans Nielsen 595*** 15. John Tonelli 594*** 16. Ken Morrow 550 *** 17. Duane Sutter 547 *** 18. Josh Bailey 545 *** 19. Lorne Henning 543 ***20. Claude Lapointe 535 *** 21. Tomas Jonsson 532 *** 22. Pat LaFontaine 530 *** 23. Kyle Okposo 517 *** 24. Dave Lewis 514 *** 25. Mick Vukota 510 *** 26. Rich Pilon 509 *** 27. John Tavares 499

Goals
1.      Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310
….
9. Derek King 211 *** 10. John Tonelli 206*** 11. John Tavares 200
16. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 136 *** 18. Jason Blake 127 *** 19. Duane Sutter 121 *** 20. Alexei Yashin 119 *** 21. Frans Nielsen, Mark Parrish, Matt Moulson, and Steve Thomas 118

Assists
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 257*** 15. Tomas Jonsson 249***16. Frans Nielsen 225 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 223
25. Ziggy Palffy 163 *** 26. David Volek 154 *** 27. Josh Bailey 153

Points
1.      Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052
10. Derek King 499 *** 11. Pat Flatley 488 *** 12. John Tavares 457***13. Billy Harris 443 ***
14. Stefan Persson 369 *** 15. Kyle Okposo 359 *** 16. Frans Nielsen 343
24 Jason Blake & Steve Thomas 258 *** 26. David Volek 249 *** 27. Josh Bailey 246

Season Series Stats
The teams split the season series 1 game to 1 and 2 points to 2.
Despite the loss, the Isles are 4-1-1 in their last 6 games against Dallas.
 
On The Farm
Alan Quine's power play goal gave the Sound Tigers a 2-1 OT win over Portland on Saturday; Stephon Williams earned the win in relief after Christopher Gibson suffered an injury. Bridgeport is 35-23-3-3 on the season and remain tied for 3rd place in the Atlantic Division with Providence.  Bridgeport hosts Albany (5pm Sunday) before beginning a road trip on Wednesday in Portland.

Up Next
MONDAY, MARCH 21st–PHILADELPHIA AT ISLANDERS 7:30PM
[NBCSN (NHL Live Pre-game at 6:30), 91.5 WNYE-FM, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
 
The Isles return home to begin a stretch of 8 out of 12 on Barclays Center ice to end the regular season as they have a key Metropolitan Division matchup with Philadelphia in what will be John Tavares' 500th NHL game. 
 
Tavares, already the only 2009 draftee to score 200 goals, 250 assists and 450 points, will become the first to play in 500 games. (Matt Duchene has played 490 games; Ryan O'Reilly has played 488.)
 
The 4th place (and 1st Wild Card) Isles hold a five point lead over the Flyers; both teams have 12 games to play.  Philadelphia is currently three points behind Detroit for the 2nd Wild Card, however both the Flyers and Isles hold two games-in-hand on Detroit. (The Red Wings next play Tuesday in Tampa)
 
The Isles defeated the Flyers 3-1 at Barclays back on November 25th and then won a December 8th shootout at the Wells Fargo Center.  The Flyers blanked the Isles 4-0 in Philadelphia on January 9th – that's the last time the Isles were shutout before tonight.
 
The Isles are 6-2-0 in their last eight against the Flyers, including four straight home wins.  The Isles will be looking for their first five-game home win streak over Philadelphia since they won 9 straight Coliseum meetings between 1992 and 1995.
 
This was originally supposed to be the final meeting of the regular season between the teams, but the January 23rd snowout between the teams will be made up on April 10th in the final game of the season.
 
This game will be shown nationally on NBCSN.  Flyers voice Jim Jackson will have the play-by-play call.
 
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 http://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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