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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'...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Skinny: Pittsburgh 2, Isles 1 (SO)

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
 
Game 68 
Pittsburgh 2, Isles 1 (SO)
Kyle Okposo's third period goal earned the Isles a valuable point but Kris Letang converted the only goal in the shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Islanders 2-1 before a sellout crowd of 18,456 at Consol Energy Center.
The Isles are 8-2-2 in their last 12 games and 12-3-3 in their last 18 games.  With the point, the Isles move into 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division as they have earned 85 points in 68 games; the Rangers have earned 85 points in 69 games.  The Isles, who reduced their magic number for clinching a playoff spot to 19, are three points ahead of the 4th place Penguins and still hold a game-in-hand on the Penguins.

The Scoring:

1ST PERIOD
15:51    PIT       Chris Kunitz (14) ASST: Brian Dumoulin (16), Sidney Crosby (41)            1 - 0 PIT      
 
2ND PERIOD
NONE
 
3RD PERIOD
14:35    NYI      PPG - Kyle Okposo (19) ASST: Anders Lee (20), Frans Nielsen (27)        1 - 1 Tie      
 
OT PERIOD
NONE
 
The Shootout:
ROUND PITTSBURGH PENGUINS       NEW YORK ISLANDERS
1          Sidney Crosby (NG)                  Frans Nielsen   (NG)
2          Kris Letang (G/GDG)                 Kyle Okposo     (NG)
3          Phil Kessel       (NG)                 John Tavares   (NG)

This was the 12th Shootout between the teams; Pittsburgh has now won 5 to the Isles' 7.  Nielsen and Okposo are both 4 for 9 on the shootout this season; Tavares is 1 for 6.  With the win, Pittsburgh tied the Isles' NHL record of 68 all-time shootout wins.

The Skinny:
Kyle Okposo's goal allows him to tie John Tavares for the club lead in points (55). Okposo is 4-5-9 in his last eight games…The Isles had won 10 straight when Okposo scores a goal; they are now 13-1-1 when he scores at least once…John Tavares' point streak ended at 5 games… The Isles have allowed at least one goal in eight straight first periods (outscored 10-7) but have now outscored opponents 75-53 in the third period…Okposo leads all current Isles with 14 goals and 31 points against Pittsburgh…Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 9 games (4-10-14) and his assist streak to 5 games…Chris Kunitz celebrated his 800th NHL game with his 238th career goal…Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his 30th win, giving him eight career 30-win seasons…It was the 412th consecutive shutout at Consol Energy Center.

Comeback Kids
The Isles have now earned 15 points (5-17-5) 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        Pittsburgh (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 Earned in Games Trailing After 2 Periods
·        17 Washington (7-8-3)
·        17 Ottawa (7-23-3)
·        15 ISLES (5-17-5)
·        15 Philadelphia (5-19-5)
 
Most Points in The Post-Cup Era through 68 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 17-13-5 on the road this season.  In the Post-Cup era, the Isles have earned more than 39 points in the first 35 road games only once (42 in first 35 on road last season).
 
This was the 12th 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
19-Mar-16         @ Stars

The Shots:
Isles      7-8-9-2=26
Pittsburgh 10-11-6-7=34

Home and Road
The Islanders are 38-21-9 overall; 21-8-4 at home and 17-13-5 on the road. 
Pittsburgh is 37-24-8 overall; 21-10-4 at home and 16-14-4 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 13-5-4 in Division games and are 25-16-5 in games against other divisions. They are 6-11-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 9-2-1 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
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 14-5-3 and still has 6 games left against the West)
The Isles' only remaining games against the West are on March 17 in Nashville and March 19 in Dallas.

In the Nets
JF Berube made 33 saves, including 7 in overtime. He is now 1-1-1 on the season. It was his first career appearance against Pittsburgh and his first career shootout.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves to improve to 30-16-6; Fleury is 22-10-4 in his career against the Isles.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 1-3 on the power play, while Pittsburgh was 0-3.
The Isles are 23-5-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 15-16-5 when they do not.  The Isles are 12-10-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 26-11-6 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 7-18-8 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 6-4 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1 goal game into a 2-goal game.

First Goal
The Isles are 25-5-4 when they score first and are 13-16-5 when they allow the opening goal.   

Second to The One
Jack Capuano, the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history, is 203-169-55 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 427
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)

They Tweeted It
@NYIslesTalk #Isles are in 2nd place! Tied in points with a game in hand. Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!
@tonystabile I think Greiss and Berube have shown the past 2 games that net is well protected #isles
@CerinaLeone Gotta hand it to @JRouby. Had some great saves. #Isles

Back-to-Backs
Including tonight, 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 (28:18); Pittsburgh: Kris Letang (31:52)
Letang's ice-time was the most by a Penguin this season and the most by an Islander opponent other than Erik Karlsson (twice).
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (23-4-6), 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 led the forwards with 23:01 of ice time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (26-17-8), 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 25, Pittsburgh 34 (42%)
Ryan Strome each won 4 of 5 for the Isles; Matt Cullen won 12 of 16 for Pittsburgh. 

The Isles won 12 of 18 in the third period but only 13 of 41 in the other 45 minutes.
The Isles won 20 of 49 draws at even strength, 3 of 5 on the power play and 2 of 5 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
Isles 46, Pittsburgh 26.  Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with 9 hits each, raising his total to 259 on the season.  Matt Martin added three to extend his NHL-leading total to 323.  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 – 19 (Martin-10, Lee-2, Bernier, Boychuk, Cizikas, Hamonic, Leddy, Okposo, Strait).

Blocked Shots
The Isles were credited with 24 blocked shots, including three each from Josh Bailey, Calvin deHaan, and Frans Nielsen.

For the Corsi Crowd
All situations:  Isles 60, Pittsburgh 74.  5-on-5: Isles 37, Pittsburgh 47.  
The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks). 
(Pittsburgh's overall advantage reflects a 14-3 edge in overtime)
 
Nick Leddy led the Isles with a +8 5-on-5 Corsi rating; Leddy also had a club-leading 65% Corsi For percentage. Conor Sheary and Eric Fehr led Pittsburgh with a +10 5-on-5 Corsi rating. (Fehr was not on-ice for an Isles attempt in 5-on-5 play)

Ironmen
·        Nikolay Kulemin -218 (68 for Maple Leafs and 150 for the Isles)
·        Anders Lee -144 (all for Isles)

Missing Men
Adam Pelech is on injured reserve.  Brian Strait, Mikhail Grabovski and Steve Bernier replaced Ryan Pulock, Brock Nelson and Shane Prince in the lineup. Marek Zidlicky (injured) and Eric Boulton were scratched.
Nelson had played 202 consecutive regular season games for the Isles prior to tonight.
The Isles have lost 170 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 593*** 16. Ken Morrow 550 *** 17. Duane Sutter 547 *** 18. Lorne Henning 543 and Josh Bailey 543 ***
20. Claude Lapointe 535 *** 21. Tomas Jonsson 532 *** 22. Pat LaFontaine 530 *** 23. Kyle Okposo 516 *** 24. Dave Lewis 514 *** 25. Mick Vukota 510 *** 26. Rich Pilon 509 *** 27. John Tavares 497

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 256*** 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 456***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
Pittsburgh leads the season series 2 games to 1 and 4 points to 3. The teams will meet again on April 2nd in Brooklyn.
The Isles are 5-1-1 in their last 7 games against Pittsburgh.

On The Farm
Bridgeport is 33-23-3-3 on the season after sweeping a pair of games this weekend from Lehigh Valley.
The Sound Tigers, who find themselves in 4th place in the Atlantic Division, visit Springfield on Wednesday before returning home for a pair of games this weekend. (The top 4 Atlantic Division teams are guaranteed a spot in the Calder Cup playoffs.)

Up Next
THURSDAY, MARCH 17th–ISLANDERS AT NASHVILLE 8:00PM
[MSG+ (Pre-game at 7:30), 91.5 WNYE-FM, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
 
The Isles will look to sweep the season series as they head to Music City to face the Predators. 
 
The Isles defeated Nashville 4-3 in Brooklyn in mid-October and will be looking to extend their winning streak over the Predators to five games.
 
The Preds have been red-hot, going 9-0-5 in a franchise-record 14-game point streak before dropping a 4-2 decision on Saturday in Vancouver.
 
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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