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The Skinny on The Openers

"The Skinny" … on the Openers By Eric Hornick The NHL released the schedule for the 2016-17 season on Tuesday.  It'...

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The Skinny: Isles 2, Pittsburgh 1

"The Skinny"  

 
By Eric Hornick
 
Game 64  
Isles 2, Pittsburgh 1
 
Anders Lee deflected home a Nick Leddy shot for the winning goal midway through the third period for the winning goal and the Isles survived an injury that forced Jaroslav Halak from the nets with 4:22 to play as they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 before a crowd of 14,724 at Barclays Center.

The Isles improve to 7-1-0 in their last eight games as they move to 17 games over NHL-.500 for the first time this season.  The Isles are 11-2-1 in their last fourteen games, as they remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division, but move five points ahead of Pittsburgh.  The Isles remain three points behind the Rangers, and still have three games in hand on the Blueshirts.

The Scoring:
 
1ST PERIOD
08:04    NYI      PPG - John Tavares (24) ASST: Nick Leddy (29), Frans Nielsen (24)       1 - 0 NYI     
13:13    PIT       Kris Letang (12) ASST: Sidney Crosby (38)        1 - 1 Tie           
 
2nd PERIOD
NONE
 
3RD PERIOD
08:55    NYI      PPG - Anders Lee (12) ASST: Nick Leddy (30), Frans Nielsen (25)          2 - 1 NYI     

The Skinny:
An Islander defenseman has a point on 16 of the last 18 goals… John Tavares' goal, his team-leading 24th, ties him with Kyle Okposo for the team lead in points (52). Okposo's next point will give him the 2nd highest total of his career 69 in 2013-14…Jaroslav Halak wasn't on the ice at the end, but still recorded his 200th career win…Travis Hamonic had four shots on goal and matched a career-high with seven blocked shots…  Anders Lee stretched his point streak to four games while Nick Leddy and Frans Nielsen extended their point streaks to three games…This was the 3,400th game in Islander history and the 1,700th home game...The Isles improved to 11-26-10 in the game following a win at Madison Square Garden.
 
First Time in a Long Time
The Isles won a game in which they scored multiple goals, all on the power play, for the first time since April 10, 2014 in Montreal.
 
Moving On Up
Frans Nielsen's assist gave him 341 points as Islander, passing Pierre Turgeon for 16th place on the Isles list…The Captain, John Tavares, played in his 493rd game as an Islander, tying the original Captain, Ed Westfall, for 27th place among Isles skaters.
 
Two Strong in Net                  
Both Thomas Greiss (18) and Jaroslav Halak (18) now have at least 18 wins.  It's the first time since the 1985-86 season (Billy Smith-20 and Kelly Hrudey-19) that two Isles goalies have recorded 18 wins in the same season.  Dallas is the only other NHL team with two goalies with at least 18 wins this season.
 
The Captain's Countdown
John Tavares' goal, his first in six games was the 198th of his career.  He needs two more goals to become only the 11th player in Islander history to record 200 goals.
 
PK Islander
The Isles killed all 3 Pittsburgh power plays.  The penalty kill has allowed only 25 power play goals in 187 times short (86.6%), including only 10 goals in 92 times short at home (89.1%)
 
Most Points in The Post-Cup Era through 64 games
·        84 in 2014-15
·        81 in 2015-16
·        72 in 2001-02 and 1985-86
 
It's only the 2nd time since 2006-07 that the Isles have reached the 80-point mark.

Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 20-8-4 on home-ice (44 points).  In the past 28 years, the Isles have earned more than 44 points in the first 32 home games only twice (46 in first 32 at home last season and 45 in 32 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.

Road Warriors
The Isles are 17-12-3 on the road this season.  In the Post-Cup era, the Isles have earned more than 37 points in the first 32 road games only once (38 in first 33 on road last season).

The Isles went 6-1-0 on their recently-completed 7-game road trip.  The Isles won only six games combined on the first three 7-game trips in their history, but are 11-3-0 in 7-game trips over the last two seasons.
 
·        1981-82 (1-5-1)
·        2000-01 (2-3-2)
·        2009-10 (3-2-2)
·        2014-15 (5-2-0)
·        2015-16 (6-1-0)
 
This was the eight 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.   However the Isles changed time zones only twice in that stretch (when they visited Winnipeg and St. Louis).  The Isles will change time zones seven times during these trips.

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
12-Mar-16         @ Bruins
14-Mar-16         Vs Panthers
15-Mar-16         @ Penguins
17-Mar-16         @ Predators
19-Mar-16         @ Stars

The Shots:
Isles          8-9-10=27
Pittsburgh 12-11-12=35
 
Home and Road
The Islanders are 37-20-7 overall; 20-8-4 at home and 17-12-3 on the road. 
Pittsburgh is 34-24-8 overall; 20-10-4 at home and 14-14-4 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 13-5-3 in Division games and are 24-15-4 in games against other divisions. They are 5-10-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 9-2-1 vs. the Central Division, and 10-3-1 vs. the Pacific Division. 
 
The Isles are 34-11-3 since the start of last season against the Metropolitan Division. 

How The West is Won
The Isles are 19-5-2 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 is 15-9-2 and the Rangers are 15-8-2). 
The Isles are guaranteed to finish with at least the 2nd-best record of an Eastern team vs. the West.  (Washington is 14-4-2 and still has 8 games left against the West)

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves to improve to 18-13-4 on the season and record his 200th NHL win. Halak is 7-4-0 in his career against Pittsburgh.  Thomas Greiss stopped three shots in the final 4:22 to record the unofficial "save".
Mac-Andre Fleury made 25 saves but falls to 27-16-6 on the season and 21-10-4 in his career against the Isles.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 2-4 on the power play, while Pittsburgh was 0-3.
The two power play goals matched a season high for the Isles.
The Isles are 23-5-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 14-15-4 when they do not.  The Isles are 11-9-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 26-11-5 when they do not. 

Three is (Usually) a Magic Number
The Isles are 30-3-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-17-7 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 16-6-7 in games decided by a single goal including 8-6-0 in regulation. They are 4-4 in games decided in overtime and are 4-3 in shootouts.  The Isles are 6-4 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1 goal game into a 2-goal game.

First Goal
The Isles are 25-5-3 when they score first and are 12-15-4 when they allow the opening goal.   

Second to The One
Jack Capuano, the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history, is 202-168-53 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 423
3.      Mike Milbury 191
4.      Terry Simpson 187
5.      Scott Gordon 181
 
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.      Al Arbour 740
2.      Jack Capuano 202
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 202 wins is now 71st all-time.  (Tied/69 – Gerry Cheevers and Todd Richards 204)

They Tweeted It
@HTW_Sean #isles have 3rd best goal differential in NHL at +27 behind Wash (obvi) at +63 & Chicago at +31. Also only team to have played just 64 games
@EliteSportsNY WATCH OUT NHL, these #Isles are still blazing hot.
@Halak41Greiss1 Love our game tonight! We did not let the Pens push us around. We fought the full 60 minutes & got the 2-1 win! I hope Jaro is ok! #Isles

Back-to-Backs
Including tonight, The Isles are 3-4-4 on the front-end and 7-2-1 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  This back-to-back set will conclude Wednesday in Toronto.

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 4-1-1 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Travis Hamonic (27:30); Pittsburgh: Kris Letang (26:58)
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (22-4-4), Johnny Boychuk (5-3-0), Calvin deHaan (2-3-1), Nick Leddy (6-7-2), John Tavares (0-2-0), Tied (0-1-0)
John Tavares led the forwards with 19:33 of ice time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (25-16-6), Ryan Strome (2-0-0), Kyle Okposo (2-2-1), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (4-0-0), Josh Bailey (2-0-0), Tied (1-1-0). 

Face-offs
Isles 34, Pittsburgh 27 (56%)
John Tavares won 12 of 17 for the Isles; Matt Cullen won 6 of 11 for Pittsburgh. 
The Isles won over 50% of the draws in each period.
The Isles won 26 of 47 draws at even strength, 5 of 7 on the power play and 3 of 7 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
Isles 23, Pittsburgh 15.  Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin each had four hits, as Martin extended his NHL-leading total to 304.  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).

Fights
There were no fights. Season total – 18 (Martin-10, Bernier, Boychuk, Cizikas, Hamonic, Leddy, Lee, Okposo, Strait).

Blocked Shots
The Isles were credited with 22 blocked shots, including seven from Travis Hamonic.

For the Corsi Crowd
All situations:  Isles 53, Pittsburgh 68.  5-on-5: Isles 42, Rangers 55.  
The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks). 
 
Matt Martin led the Isles with a +5 5-on-5 Corsi rating; Martin also had a club-leading 63% Corsi For percentage. Chris Kunitz led Pittsburgh with a +17 5-on-5 Corsi rating.

Ironmen
·        Nikolay Kulemin -214 (68 for Maple Leafs and 146 for the Isles)
·        Brock Nelson  -199 (all for Isles)
·        Anders Lee -140 (all for Isles)

Missing Men
Adam Pelech and Mikhail Grabovski are on injured reserve. Ryan Pulock replaced Marek Zidlicky (injured) in the lineup. Calvin deHaan (injured), Eric Boulton, Steve Bernier JF Berube were scratched.
The Isles have lost 155 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 589 *** 16. Ken Morrow 550 *** 17. Duane Sutter 547 *** 18. Lorne Henning 543 *** 19. Josh Bailey 539 *** 20. Claude Lapointe 535 *** 21. Tomas Jonsson 532 *** 22. Pat LaFontaine 530 *** 23. Dave Lewis 514 *** 24. Kyle Okposo 512 *** 25. Mick Vukota 510 *** 26. Rich Pilon 509 *** 27. Ed Westfall and John Tavares 493

Goals
1.      Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310
….
9. Derek King 211 *** 10. John Tonelli 206*** 11. John Tavares 198
16. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 134 *** 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 255*** 15. Tomas Jonsson 249***16. Frans Nielsen 223 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 222
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 453 ***13. Billy Harris 443 ***
14. Stefan Persson 369 *** 15. Kyle Okposo 356 *** 16. Frans Nielsen 341
24 Jason Blake & Steve Thomas 258 *** 26. David Volek 249 *** 27. Josh Bailey 245

Goalie Games Played
1. Billy Smith 675 *** 2. Rick DiPietro 318***3. Glenn Resch 282
9. Garth Snow   127***10. Evgeni Nabokov 123***11. Chris Osgood 103***12. Jaroslav Halak 95
 
Goalie Wins
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157***3. Rick DiPietro 130
6. Glenn Healy 66***7. Tommy Salo 62***8. Evgeni Nabokov 57***9. Jaroslav Halak 56

Shutouts
1. Glenn Resch 25***2. Billy Smith 22***3. Rick DiPietro 19***4. Tommy Salo 14***
5. Evgeni Nabokov & Jaroslav Halak 9

Season Series Stats
The season series is tied 1 game to 1 and 2 points to 2.
The Isles are 5-1-0 in the last 6 against Pittsburgh and have won three straight at home vs. Pittsburgh for the first time since a 4-game streak in 2006 and 2007.
The Penguins did score once against the Isles, as they have in every game between the two teams since a Kelly Hrudey shutout on January 9, 1986. The 167-game team vs. team streak is the 2nd longest in NHL history. (Chicago 186 games vs Toronto from 1968 to 1998).  
The teams will meet again on March 15th in Pittsburgh and on April 2nd in Brooklyn.
 
On The Farm
Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson recorded his 100th win behind the bench Sunday afternoon as the Sound Tigers improved to 31-22-3-3 on the season with a 3-2 win over Hartford.  The Sound Tigers, who also beat Providence on Friday, are off until Friday when they visit Syracuse.
Up Next
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9th–ISLANDERS AT TORONTO 7:30PM
[MSG+ (Pre-game at 7:00), 91.5 WNYE-FM, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
 
The Isles begin a streak of five out of six on the road as they head to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs.
 
The teams split a pair of games in a home-and-home series just after Christmas, with each team winning on the other's ice.
 
The Isles have won three straight in Toronto and six of their last seven at the ACC.  The Isles will be looking for their first four-game win streak in TO since a seven game streak between 1978 and 1982.
 
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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