By Eric Hornick
Pittsburgh 5, Isles 0
Oskar Sundqvist converted an Islander first period giveaway for his first career goal and Matt Murray made 24 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the Isles 5-0 before a sellout crowd of 15,795 at Barclays Center.
The Penguins are hot; they have now won five straight and are 11-1-0 in their last 12 games. This was the Penguins' sixth straight road win.
With the loss, the Isles remain two points behind the third place Rangers (heading into the Rangers' game on Saturday night and are now just two points ahead of the fifth place Flyers. The loss dealt a big blow to the Isles' chances of earning first round home ice, as they are now five points behind Pittsburgh.
The Isles are still 9-2-1 in their last 12 games at home; their magic number for clinching a playoff spot remains five.
12:41 PIT SHG - Oskar Sundqvist (1) ASST: NONE 1 - 0 PIT
08:09 PIT PPG - Patric Hornqvist (20) ASST: Justin Schultz (11), Sidney Crosby (49) 2 - 0 PIT
15:30 PIT Matt Cullen (14) ASST: Tom Kuhnhackl (8), Eric Fehr (6) 3 - 0 PIT
10:40 PIT PPG - Phil Kessel (26) ASST: Kris Letang (46) 4 - 0 PIT
15:01 PIT Tom Kuhnhackl (5) ASST: Matt Cullen (14), Justin Schultz (12) 5 - 0 PIT
Oskar Sundqvist's shorthanded goal was the first allowed by the Isles in exactly three months (Matt Cullen for Pittsburgh on 1/2/16) …The Isles have led after the first period only twice in the last 14 games and only three times in the last 19 games…Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to five games with his 600th NHL assist…With the win, the Penguins have won at least 20 road games for the ninth consecutive full season (longest in NHL); they also become the second time in the East to clinch a playoff spot…In their last nine games, the Isles are 4-0-0 against teams expected to miss the playoffs but are 0-4-1 against teams currently in playoff spots…The Isles finished the season 3-4-2 in day games (3-1-1 at home)...It was the Isles' 8th sellout of the season.
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 afternoon games on April 2)
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 55-16-6=116 points / 77 games (51 ROW) At Arizona tonight
x Pittsburgh 45-25-8=98 points / 78 games (42 ROW) Beat ISLES 5-0
NY Rangers 43-25-9=95 points / 77 games (40 ROW) Hosts Buffalo tonight
ISLES 42-26-9=93 points / 77 games (37 ROW) Lost to Pittsburgh 5-0
Philadelphia 39-25-13=91 points/ 77 games (36 ROW) Beat Ottawa 3-2
Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Boston 41-29-8=90 points/ 78 games (37 ROW) Idle
Detroit 39-28-11=89 points/ 78 games (37 ROW) Idle
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 105 points/ 45 ROW
ISLES 103 points/ 42 ROW
Philadelphia 101 points/ 41 ROW
Boston 98 points/41 ROW
Detroit 97 points/41 ROW
Washington: 4/2 @ Arizona, 4/5 vs. ISLES, 4/7 vs. Pittsburgh, 4/9 at St. Louis, 4/10 vs. Anaheim
NY Rangers: 4/2 vs. Buffalo, 4/4 @ Columbus, 4/5 vs. Tampa Bay, 4/7 vs. ISLES, 4/9 vs. Detroit
Pittsburgh: 4/3 vs. Philadelphia, 4/5 @ Ottawa, 4/7 @ Washington, 4/9 @ Philadelphia
ISLES: 4/4 vs. Tampa Bay, 4/5 @ Washington, 4/7 @ NY Rangers, 4/9 vs. Buffalo, 4/10 vs. Philadelphia
Philadelphia: 4/3 @ Pittsburgh, 4/6 at Detroit, 4/7 vs. Toronto, 4/9 vs Pittsburgh, 4/10 @ ISLES
Boston: 4/3 @ Chicago, 4/5 vs. Carolina, 4/7 vs. Detroit, 4/9 vs Ottawa
Detroit: 4/2 @ Toronto, 4/6 vs. Philadelphia, 4/7 at Boston, 4/9 @ NY Rangers
On Their Own
If the Isles go 2-2-1 they will clinch a playoff spot regardless of what everyone else does.
The Isles' magic number is clinch a playoff berth is 5 over Detroit, 6 over Boston, 9 over Philadelphia, 13 against the Rangers and 14 against Pittsburgh. Any combination of Islander points gained and Red Wings points lost totaling 5 will guarantee that the Isles finish ahead of Detroit.
The Isles have clinched at least a 9th place finish in the East. The Isles also need to finish ahead of Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, the Rangers OR Pittsburgh in order to clinch a playoff berth.
(Top 3 in each division, plus next two teams make the playoffs)
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 2-1-0 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
· April 5 @ Capitals
· April 7 @ Rangers
· April 9 vs. Sabres
· April 10 vs. Flyers
Most Points in The Post-Cup Era through 76 games
· 95 in 2014-15
· 93 in 2015-16
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 24-10-4 on home-ice (52 points), matching their highest point total through 38 home games in the Post-Cup era (52 in 1984-85 and 2003-04).
With 52 points, the Isles have matched last season's home-ice total. 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.
The Isles are 18-16-5 on the road this season. In the Post-Cup era, the Isles have earned more than 41 points in the first 39 road games only twice (47 in first 39 on road last season, 43 in first 39 in 2001-02).
The Isles have clinched at least an NHL-.500 road record for the 4th straight season, matching the club record (1975-76 to 1978-79 and 1980-81 to 1983-84).
Home and Road
The Islanders are 42-26-9 overall; 24-10-4 at home and 18-16-5 on the road.
Pittsburgh is 45-25-8 overall; 25-11-4 at home and 20-14-4 on the road.
The Isles are 16-7-4 in Division games and are 26-19-5 in games against other divisions. They are 7-12-3 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
JF Berube made 28 saves but falls to 3-2-1 on the season; he is 0-1-1 in his career against Pittsburgh.
Matt Murray made 24 saves and improves to 6-2-1 on the season.
The Islanders were 0-5 on the power play, allowing a shorthanded goal, while Pittsburgh was 2-3.
The Isles are 0-15-0 in the last 15 games that they have allowed multiple power play goals and a shorthanded tally, dating back to an overtime win over Nashville in 2002.
The Isles are 25-5-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 17-21-5 when they do not. The Isles are 13-12-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 29-14-6 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 34-4-1 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 20-6-9 in games decided by a single goal including 10-6-0 in regulation. They are 5-4 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.
The Isles are 27-6-4 when they score first and are 15-20-5 when they allow the opening goal.
Second to The One
Jack Capuano, the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history, is 207-174-55 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 436
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 207
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 207 wins places him 69th all-time, one behind Ron Low and two behind Larry Robinson.
The Isles are 4-5-4 on the front-end and 8-2-3 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles have two back-to-back sets remaining (April 4 vs. Tampa Bay, April 5 at Washington and 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 5-1-3 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.
Isles: Nick Leddy (23:34); Pittsburgh: Kris Letang (24:34)
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (24-6-6), Johnny Boychuk (5-3-0), Calvin deHaan (3-3-1), Nick Leddy (8-11-2), John Tavares (0-2-0), Tied (0-1-0)
Frans Nielsen led the forwards with 21:02 of ice time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (28-18-8), Ryan Strome (2-0-0), Kyle Okposo (2-3-1), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (6-2-0), Josh Bailey (2-0-0), Tied (1-2-0).
Isles 47, Pittsburgh 25 (65%)
Fran Nielsen won 15 of 21 for the Isles; Oskar Sundqvist won 7 of 8 for Pittsburgh.
The Isles won at least 57% of the draws in each period.
The Isles won 41 of 60 draws at even strength, 3 of 7 on the power play and 3 of 5 on the penalty kill.
Isles 18, Pittsburgh 21. Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with five hits.
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 359
3 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 24 hits in the final five games to break his own NHL record.
Matt Martin fought Ian Cole in the first period. Season total – 21 (Martin-11, Lee-3, Bernier, Boychuk, Cizikas, Hamonic, Leddy, Okposo, Strait). Martin is now tied with Colorado's Cody McLeod for the NHL lead in fights.
The Isles were credited with 9 blocked shots, including two from Marek Zidlicky and 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 189
5 Andrew Mac Donald 2011-2012 185
For the Corsi Crowd
All situations: Isles 53, Pittsburgh 46.
5-on-5: Isles 42, Carolina 34.
The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Nick Leddy led the Isles with a +8 5-on-5 Corsi rating; Josh Bailey had a club-leading 64% Corsi For percentage. Brian Dumoulin led Pittsburgh with a +3 5-on-5 Corsi rating.
Five Islanders have played every game this season:
· Nikolay Kulemin - 227 consecutive games (68 for Maple Leafs and 159 for the Isles)
· Anders Lee – 153 (all for Isles)
· Nick Leddy – 87 (all for Isles)
· Matt Martin – 77 (all for Isles)
· Frans Nielsen – 77 (all for Isles)
Adam Pelech is on injured reserve. Other injured players: Jaroslav Halak, Mikhail Grabovski and Travis Hamonic. Marek Zidlicky replaced Hamonic in the lineup. Ryan Pulock, Steve Bernier and Eric Boulton were scratched.
Missing a Piece (or two)
The Isles are 13-16-2 over the last two seasons in games in which they are missing Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic or Nick Leddy, including 5-6-1 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 602 *** 13. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 14. Garry Howatt 596 *** 15. John Tonelli 594*** 16. Josh Bailey 552 *** 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 524*** 24. Dave Lewis 514 *** 25. Mick Vukota 510 *** 26. Rich Pilon 509 *** 27. John Tavares 506
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310
9. Derek King 211 *** 10. John Tonelli 206*** 11. John Tavares 203
16. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 138 *** 18. Jason Blake 127 *** 19. Duane Sutter 121 *** 20. Alexei Yashin 119 *** 21. Frans Nielsen, Mark Parrish, Matt Moulson, and Steve Thomas 118
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 ***
11. Pat LaFontaine 279 *** 12. Bob Nystrom 278 *** 13. Billy Harris and John Tavares 259*** 15. Tomas Jonsson 249***16. Frans Nielsen 228 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 224
25. Ziggy Palffy 163 *** 26. Josh Bailey 157
1. Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052
10. Derek King 499 *** 11. Pat Flatley 488 *** 12. John Tavares 462***13. Billy Harris 443 ***
14. Stefan Persson 369 *** 15. Kyle Okposo 362 *** 16. Frans Nielsen 345
24 Jason Blake & Steve Thomas 258 *** 26. Josh Bailey 250
Season Series Stats
The Penguins win the season series three games to one (and six points to three).
The loss snaps an Islander three-game home winning streak against Pittsburgh.
On The Farm
Bridgeport is 37-24-4-3 on the season and trail Providence by one point in the battle for 3rd place in the Atlantic Division. Bridgeport travels to Wilkes-Barre-Scranton on Saturday and hosts Springfield on Sunday.
MONDAY, APRIL 4th –TAMPA BAY AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 91.5 WNYE-FM, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles conclude their longest homestand of the season as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning in the final regular season meeting between the squads.
Tampa Bay will become the final opponent to make their first visit to Barclays Center; the teams split a pair of games in Tampa this season.
The Isles are 7-0-1 in their last eight home games against the Lightning.
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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