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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 ...

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The Skinny: Isles 4, Washington 3 (OT) as Isles clinch a playoff berth

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Game 79
Isles 4, Washington 3 (OT)
Thomas Hickey scored the overtime winner and Christopher Gibson made 29 saves in his first NHL start for his first NHL win as the Islanders clinched a playoff spot by erasing a 3-1 third period Capital lead for a 4-3 overtime win over the President's Trophy champs before a sellout crowd of 18,506 at Verizon Center.
With the win, the Isles remain two points behind the third place Rangers and are now six points ahead of the fifth place Flyers.   The Isles still have a chance to catch the Penguins for second place in the division, as they remain five points behind Pittsburgh with three games to play.
The Isles are 4-1-0 in their last five as they move 18 games over NHL-.500 for the first time this season.
The Scoring:
1ST PERIOD
04:29    WSH    Alex Ovechkin (46) ASST: T.J. Oshie (23), Marcus Johansson (27)          1 - 0 WSH   
2ND PERIOD
13:43    NYI      John Tavares (31) ASST: Thomas Hickey (12), Kyle Okposo (40) 1 - 1 Tie           
3RD PERIOD
01:15    WSH    T.J. Oshie (26) ASST: Marcus Johansson (28), John Carlson (28)           2 - 1 WSH   
06:56    WSH    Alex Ovechkin (47) ASST: T.J. Oshie (24), Marcus Johansson (29)          3 - 1 WSH   
08:40    NYI      Kyle Okposo (22) ASST: John Tavares (35), Frans Nielsen (32)  3 - 2 WSH           
10:25    NYI      Anders Lee (15) ASST: Nick Leddy (35), Ryan Strome (19)         3 - 3 Tie
OT PERIOD
02:13    NYI      Thomas Hickey (6) ASST: John Tavares (36), Ryan Strome (20) 4 - 3 NYI
The Skinny
John Tavares now has back-to-back three point games; the Isles are 5-0-0 this season when Tavares records three points… It was Ovechkin's 107th career multi-goal game…Nick Leddy's career-high 35th assist gives him 40 points in a season for the first time…Thomas Hickey's overtime goal was his 3rd career overtime tally…The Isles rallied from a 2-goal deficit to win for the 4th time this season (it's the second time that they have done so in the 3rd period…The Isles clinched a playoff spot for the second straight season and the third time in four seasons…Kyle Okposo had eight shots on goal for the Isles…The Isles had players go +3 (Tavares) and -3 (Bailey, Nelson).
The Injury
Brian Strait suffered an upper body injury in the second period; he did not return.
Movin' On Up
John Tavares had a goal to give him 205 career goals, one behind John Tonelli for 10th place on the all-time Isles list.
Greiss in Record Territory
Player                         Season   SA    SV      SV%    MIN 
Thomas Greiss           2015-16    1151 1064    .924    2207 
Al Montoya               2010-11    585    539     .921    1154 
Wade Dubielewicz    2007-08    627    576     .919    1132 
Jaroslav Halak           2015-16    984    904     .919    2091 
Rick DiPietro             2006-07    1917    1761 .919    3627
Comeback Kids
The Isles have earned 19 points (7-21-5) in games that they trailed after 2 periods.
The 7 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)
26-Mar-16         @         Carolina (Trailed 3-2, won 4-3 in overtime)
29-Mar-16         Vs        Carolina (Trailed 1-0, won 2-1 in a shootout)
Most wins (since 1987-88) by Isles when trailing after 2 periods
10 in 2013-14
7 in 2015-16
The Skinny on the Playoff Race
(Through games on April 5)
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 55-17-7=117 points / 79 games (51 ROW) Lost to Isles 4-3 in OT
x Pittsburgh     47-25-8=102 points / 80 games (43 ROW) Beat Ottawa 5-3
x NY Rangers  45-26-9=99 points / 80 games (42 ROW) Beat Tampa Bay 3-2
x ISLES           44-26-9=97 points / 79 games (39 ROW) Beat Washington 4-3 in OT
Philadelphia     39-26-13=91 points/ 78 games (36 ROW) Idle
Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Detroit             40-28-11=91 points/ 79 games (38 ROW) Idle
Boston             41-30-9=91 points/ 80 games (37 ROW) Lost to Carolina 2-1 in SO
x Clinched Playoff Spot
y Clinched Division Title, Conference Title and President's Trophy
Best They Can Do (By Winning Every Game in Regulation or Overtime)
Pittsburgh      106 points/ 45 ROW 
NY Rangers   103 points/ 44 ROW
ISLES             103 points/ 42 ROW
Philadelphia    99 points/ 40 ROW
Detroit             97 points/41 ROW
Boston            95 points/39 ROW
Remaining Schedule:
Washington:  4/7 vs. Pittsburgh, 4/9 at St. Louis, 4/10 vs. Anaheim
Pittsburgh: 4/7 @ Washington, 4/9 @ Philadelphia
NY Rangers:  4/7 vs. ISLES, 4/9 vs. Detroit   
ISLES:  4/7 @ NY Rangers, 4/9 vs. Buffalo, 4/10 vs. Philadelphia
Philadelphia: 4/6 at Detroit, 4/7 vs. Toronto, 4/9 vs Pittsburgh, 4/10 @ ISLES
Detroit:  4/6 vs. Philadelphia, 4/7 at Boston, 4/9 @ NY Rangers
Boston: 4/7 vs. Detroit, 4/9 vs Ottawa
On Their Own
If the Isles go 1-1-1 they will clinch the first wild card regardless of what everyone else does.
If the Isles win their last three, they will finish no lower than third regardless of what everyone else does.
Magic Number
The Isles have clinched at least an 8th place finish (the 2nd Wild Card) in the East.  Their magic number to clinch at least 7th place (the 1st Wild Card) is 3.
  
Wednesday's Games
Philadelphia at Detroit
The Isles magic number for clinching the first wild card is 3.

The magic number for clinching the first wild card will:
·        Remain 3 if Philadelphia beats Detroit
·        Fall to 2 if Philadelphia loses to Detroit in either overtime or a shootout
·        Fall to 1 if Philadelphia loses to Detroit in regulation
 "Home" Stretch
The Isles are playing six of their final eight games at home this season; it's the first time in franchise history that this has happened.  The Isles are 4-1-0 in this stretch:
·        March 29 vs. Hurricanes (Won 2-1 SO)
·        March 31 vs. Blue Jackets (Won 4-3)
·        April 2 vs. Penguins (Lost 5-0)
·        April 4 vs. Lightning (Win 5-2)
·        April 5 @ Capitals (Win 4-3 OT)
·        April 7 @ Rangers
·        April 9 vs. Sabres
·        April 10 vs. Flyers
Most Points in The Post-Cup Era through 79 games
·        98 in 2014-15
·        97 in 2015-16
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 25-10-4 on home-ice (54 points), matching their highest point total through 39 home games in the Post-Cup era (54 in 1984-85).  It's the first time since 1983-84 and 1984-85 that the Isles have earned at least 52 points at home in consecutive seasons.

Road Warriors
The Isles are 19-16-5 on the road this season.
Most Road Points in Post Cup Era
·        47 2014-15
·        47 2001-12
·        44 2013-14
·        44 1993-94 (42 road games)
·        43  2015-16
The Isles have clinched an above NHL-.500 road record for the 4th straight season, matching the club record (1975-76 to 1978-79).
The Shots
Isles             10-8-6-3=27
Washington 8-11-8-3=32
Home and Road
The Islanders are 44-26-9 overall; 25-10-4 at home and 19-16-5 on the road. 
Washington is 55-17-7 overall; 29-7-3 at home and 26-10-4 on the road.
By Division
The Isles are 17-7-4 in Division games and are 27-19-5 in games against other divisions. They are 8-12-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 9-4-1 vs. the Central Division, and 10-3-1 vs. the Pacific Division. 
How The West Was Won
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 the record of an Eastern team vs. the West. 

In the Nets
Christopher Gibson made 29 saves to win his first NHL start. 
Braden Holtby made 23 saves but fails to tie Marty Brodeur's NHL record for wins in a season. Holtby is 47-9-6 on the season and 10-1-3 in his career against the Isles.  

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play, while Washington was 0-1.    
The Isles are 26-5-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 18-21-5 when they do not.  The Isles are 13-12-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 31-14-6 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 36-4-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 8-22-8 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 21-6-9 in games decided by a single goal including 10-6-0 in regulation. They are 6-4 in games decided in overtime and are 5-5 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 28-6-4 when they score first and are 16-20-5 when they allow the opening goal.   

Second to The One
Jack Capuano, the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history, is 209-174-55 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 438
3.      Mike Milbury 191
4.      Terry Simpson 187
5.      Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.      Al Arbour 740
2.      Jack Capuano 209
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 209 wins ties him for 67th all-time with Larry Robinson.

Back-to-Backs
Including tonight, the Isles are 5-5-4 on the front-end and 9-2-3 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles' final two games will also be played as a back-to-back set (April 9 vs Buffalo, April 10 vs. Philadelphia).
Tired vs. Rested
·        The Isles are 3-1-0 when both teams played the night before.
·        The Isles are 6-3-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not.
·        The Isles are 6-1-3 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Nick Leddy (26:15); Washington: John Carlson (22:55)
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (24-6-6), Johnny Boychuk (5-3-0), Calvin deHaan (3-3-1), Nick Leddy (10-11-2), John Tavares (0-2-0), Tied (0-1-0)
Kyle Okposo led the forwards with 23:35 of ice time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (28-18-8), Ryan Strome (2-0-0), Kyle Okposo (3-3-1), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (7-2-0), Josh Bailey (2-0-0), Tied (1-2-0). 

Face-offs
Isles 25, Washington 25 (50%)
Casey Cizikas won 6 of 10 for the Isles; Jay Beagle won 9 of 15 for Washington. 
The Isles won 9 of 18 draws in the first period but only 13 of 29 draws over the last two periods.
The Isles won 22 of 42 draws at even strength, 1 of 4 on the power play and 2 of 4 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
Isles 32, Washington 22.  Five Islanders, including Matt Martin led the team with three hits each

Most Hits in a Season (since 2005-06):
1          Matt Martin       2014-2015        NYI      382
2          Matt Martin       2011-2012        NYI      374
3          Matt Martin      2015-2016        NYI      365
4          Matt Martin       2013-2014        NYI      359
5          Cal Clutterbuck 2008-2009        MIN      356
6          Cal Clutterbuck 2014-2015        NYI      343
7          Cal Clutterbuck 2010-2011        MIN      336
8          Cal Clutterbuck 2009-2010        MIN      318
Martin needs 18 hits in the final three games to break his own NHL record.

Fights
Scott Mayfield fought Michael Latta in the first period; it was Mayfield's 2nd NHL fight (Nicolas Deslauriers- Buffalo on 4/13/14). Season total – 23 (Martin-11, Lee-3, Bernier, Boychuk, Cizikas, Hamonic, Leddy, Mayfield, Okposo, Pulock, Strait). 

Blocked Shots
The Isles were credited with 15 blocked shots, including four from Johnny Boychuk.

Most Blocked Shots by an Islander (since 2005-2006)
1              Brendan Witt                    2006-2007    207
2              Sean Hill                          2006-2007    202
3              Andrew Mac Donald          2013-2014    198
4              Calvin de Haan                2015-2016    190
5              Andrew Mac Donald          2011-2012    185
For the Corsi Crowd
All situations:  Isles 62, Washington 57.
5-on-5: Isles 49, Washington 54.
The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks). 
Steve Bernier led the Isles with a +7 5-on-5 Corsi rating. Both Bernier and Eric Boulton (+6) were not on for a Capitals attempt, and thus had a 100% Corsi For percentage. John Carlson led Washington with a +11 5-on-5 Corsi rating.

Ironmen
Five Islanders have played every game this season:
·        Nikolay Kulemin - 229 consecutive games (68 for Maple Leafs and 161 for the Isles)
·        Anders Lee – 155 (all for Isles)
·        Nick Leddy – 89 (all for Isles)
·        Matt Martin – 79 (all for Isles)
·        Frans Nielsen – 79 (all for Isles)

Missing Men
Adam Pelech has been loaned to Bridgeport on injury rehab. Other injured players: Jaroslav Halak, Mikhail Grabovski Travis Hamonic., JF Berube, Cal Cluttebuck and Calvin deHaan.

Missing a Piece (or two)
The Isles are 15-16-2 over the last two seasons in games in which they are missing Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic or Nick Leddy, including 7-6-1 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. Frans Nielsen 604 *** 13. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 14. Garry Howatt 596 *** 15. John Tonelli 594*** 16. Josh Bailey 554 *** 17. Ken Morrow 550 *** 18. Duane Sutter 547 *** 19. Lorne Henning 543 ***20. Claude Lapointe 535 *** 21. Tomas Jonsson 532 *** 22. Pat LaFontaine 530 *** 23. Kyle Okposo 526*** 24. Dave Lewis 514 *** 25. Mick Vukota 510 *** 26. Rich Pilon 509 *** 27. John Tavares 508

Goals
1.      Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310
….
9. Derek King 211 *** 10. John Tonelli 206*** 11. John Tavares 205
16. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 139 *** 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. John Tavares 263*** 14. Billy Harris 259 *** 15. Tomas Jonsson 249***16. Frans Nielsen 230 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 227
25. Ziggy Palffy 163 *** 26. Josh Bailey 157

Points
1.      Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052
10. Derek King 499 *** 11. Pat Flatley 488 *** 12. John Tavares 468***13. Billy Harris 443 ***
14. Stefan Persson 369 *** 15. Kyle Okposo 366 *** 16. Frans Nielsen 347
24 Jason Blake & Steve Thomas 258 *** 26. Josh Bailey 250

Season Series Stats
The Caps still win the season series three games to one (and seven points to three). 
However, the Isles record their first regular season victory against the Caps since a 4-3 overtime win on December 29, 2014 (0-2-2).
On The Farm
Bridgeport is 38-25-4-3 on the season after splitting a pair of games over the weekend, defeating Wilkes-Barre Scranton 5-2 on Saturday and dropping a 3-1 decision to Springfield on Sunday.
Bridgeport is tied with Portland for 4th place in the Atlantic Division; their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 7. Bridgeport begins a 3-game in 3-day weekend on Friday in Hershey before playing Lehigh Valley in a home-and-home series.

Up Next
THURSDAY, APRIL 7th –ISLANDERS AT RANGERS  7:00PM
[MSG+2 (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 91.5 WNYE-FM, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
It's the final road game of the regular season as the Isles look to complete their first-ever season series sweep of the Rangers as they meet for the fourth time this year at Madison Square Garden.
Thursday's outcome will go a long way to determine whether the Isles catch the Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division.  An Isles' regulation win would tie the teams in points with the Isles holing a game-in-hand, but a Ranger regulation win would assure the Rangers of finishing ahead of the Isles.
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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