By Eric Hornick
Isles 5, Buffalo 1
Ryan Strome led a balanced attack with a goal and an assist while Thomas Greiss fell just 63 seconds short of his first shutout of the season as the Isles headed into Christmas with a 2-game win streak after a convincing 5-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres before a crowd of 13,852 at Barclays Center.
The Isles spent the final 14:25 with a lead of at least four goals in their most one-sided victory of the season.
12:05 New York Anthony Beauvillier (4) ASST: Travis Hamonic (9), Shane Prince (7) 1-0
14:36 New York Ryan Strome (5) ASST: Cal Clutterbuck (10), Dennis Seidenberg (7) 2-0
19:21 New York PPG - John Tavares (10) ASST: Ryan Strome (5), Josh Bailey (16) 3-0
05:35 New York Andrew Ladd (5) ASST: Jason Chimera (7), Travis Hamonic (10) 4-0
12:34 New York Calvin de Haan (2) ASST: Alan Quine (4), Dennis Seidenberg (8) 5-0
18:57 Buffalo Zemgus Girgensons (3) ASST: Zach Bogosian (1), Sam Reinhart (12) 5-1
The Isles scored the first goal for the 12th time in the last 14 games … Calvin de Haan's goal was the 21st by the Isles' defense this season; only Philadelphia (22) has more…The Isles are 9-0-2 when leading after two periods… Anthony Beauvillier scored for the second time in three games, Ryan Strome scored for the third time in five games and John Tavares tallied for the first time in six games…Zemgus Girgensons' goal broke up Thomas Greiss' shutout bid; the Isles have blanked the Sabres 15 times, more than any other opponent…13 different Islanders had points, including the two from Ryan Strome (his 2nd multi-point game of the season)…A scoring change on the Isles' power play goal took the goal away from Anders Lee and gave it to John Tavares; the change also extended Josh Bailey's assist streak to three games…The Isles power play scored for the second straight game; they head into the break 3-9 (33%) in the last four games…Neither Kyle Okposo (in his first game at Barclays against the Isles) nor Matt Moulson figured in the scoring; Okposo was saluted at the first media timeout in the first period…Dennis Seidenberg and Travis Hamonic each had two assists as the Isles defense combined for five points...Buffalo is winless in the last four games (0-2-2)…The Isles improve to 5-4-2 in December and 7-4-2 in their last 13 games…The Isles have scored at least four goals in consecutive games for the first time this season; their nine goals over the last two games matches a season high (10/21-10/23 vs. Arizona and Minnesota)…The Isles outshot the Sabres 32-29; it's the first time in 17 games that the Isles had at least three more shots than the opposition…Shane Prince assisted on the Beauvillier goal, giving him 11 points (4-7-11) on the 13 Islander goals for which he has been on-ice.
The Greiss is Still Right (sorry, it's easy!)
Thomas Greiss recorded his 2nd straight win; he has stopped 76 of 79 shots (.962) in those two games.
Greiss is now 5-1-0 in his last six games and 6-2-0 in his last eight games. He has allowed two goals or less in five of those six wins.
Tavares on the PK
John Tavares saw significant time on the PK (1:30) for the second straight game. Each of his three PK shifts began with a face-off win. (He won 16 of 21 overall). Prior to Tuesday, he had never spent more than 1:26 on the penalty kill in any NHL game.
Better at 5-on-5
The Isles have outscored the opposition 70-65 when each team has five skaters, but have been outscored 35-19 in all other situations.
John Tavares played in his 543rd Islander game, tying Lorne Henning for 19th place on the all-time club list.
Josh Bailey played his 100th consecutive game.
Countdown to 500
John Tavares broke a three-game pointless streak with a power play goal. He needs only five points to become the 10th player in Islander history with 500 career points.
Last Minute Heroes
The Isles have scored twice in the final minute of regulation to either tie or win a game:
· 11/25 – SJ Sharks -- Nick Leddy (19:02); tied game, but Isles lost in regulation
· 11/30 – Pit Penguins – Anders Lee (19:33); Game Winning goal
Fit to Be Tied
The Isles have allowed the final goal of regulation in seven of their eight games that have gone to overtime this season, including three in the final minute:
· 10/16 – Ana Ducks – Ryan Getzlaf (19:00); Isles won in OT
· 11/3 – Phi Flyers – Jakob Voracek (19:02/PP); Flyers won in SO
· 11/12 – Fla Panthers – Jonathan Marchessault (19:46); Panthers won in OT
The Isles have been tied in the third period in nine of their 14 regulation losses (and 15 of their 20 overall losses) but have allowed the lead goal in the final 3 minutes of regulation five times:
· 10/18 – SJ Sharks - Joe Pavelski (17:49)
· 10/26 – Mtl Canadiens - Shea Weber (17:03)
· 10/27 – Pit Penguins - Sidney Crosby (17:35)
· 11/23 – LA Kings – Dwight King (17:07)
· 11/25 – SJ Sharks – Patrick Marleau (19:37)
Home Til the Holidays
The Isles are nearing the end of a stretch where they will play 10 out of 14 at home. By the time the Isles host the Capitals on Tuesday, the Isles will have played 22 of their first 34 games at home.
The Isles are 5-3-1 at home and 2-1-1 on the road during this stretch.
The Isles are 7-3-2 when they outshoot their opponents and 1-2-0 when the shots are even but are 5-10-3 when they are outshot.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 13-14-6 overall; 10-7-4 at home and 3-7-2 on the road.
Buffalo is 12-13-8 overall; 7-7-3 at home and 5-6-5 on the road.
By Division & Conference
The Isles are 3-5-2 in Division games and 10-9-4 in games versus other divisions (3-5-3 vs. Atlantic, 2-1-0 vs. Central and 5-3-1 vs. Pacific). The Isles are 6-10-5 against the East and 7-4-1 against the West.
In the Nets
Thomas Greiss made 26 saves and improves to 8-5-0 on the season and 2-2-0 in his career against Buffalo.
Anders Nilsson made 27 saves but allowed more than three goals for the first time this season. Nilsson is 5-3-3 on the season and 0-2-0 in his career against the Isles. Nilsson has been the starting opposing goalie both times that the Isles have taken a 5-0 lead in Barclays Center history (also on Super Bowl Sunday vs. Edmonton).
The Islanders were 1-2 on the power play while Buffalo was 0-2.
The Isles are 5-4-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-10-2 when they do not. The Isles are 3-9-4 when they allow at least one power play goal and 10-5-2 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 12-2-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 1-12-4 when they do not.
One Goal Games
The Isles are 5-5-6 in games decided by a single goal including 2-5-0 in regulation. They are 2-4 in games decided in overtime and are 1-2 in shootouts. The Isles are 1-0 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1 goal game into a 2-goal game.
The Isles are 9-4-4 when they score first and are 4-10-2 when they allow the opening goal.
Second to The One
Jack Capuano, the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history, is 223-189-62 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 474
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 223
3. Terry Simpson 81
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74
Capuano is 71st in NHL in games coached, six behind both Don Cherry and Bob Johnson. His 223 wins places him 64th all-time, and six behind Robbie Ftorek.
The Isles are 2-3-0 on the front-end of back-to-backs and 2-2-1 on the back-end.
The Isles will play 16 sets of back-to-backs this season. The next back-to-back set is on January 6th in Colorado and January 7th in Arizona.
Tired vs. Rested
· The Isles are 1-0-0 when both teams played the night before.
· The Isles are 5-3-2 when they are rested and their opponents are not.
· The Isles are 1-2-1 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.
· The Isles are 6-9-3 when both teams are rested.
Isles: Nick Leddy (23:50); Buffalo: Rasmus Ristolainen (22:27)
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (5-0-0), Nick Leddy (6-10-4), John Tavares (1-1-0), Johnny Boychuk (1-3-1), Dennis Seidenberg (0-0-1)
John Tavares led the Isles forwards with 20:05 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (7-9-4), Josh Bailey (4-3-2), Casey Cizikas (1-0-0), Cal Clutterbuck (0-1-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0)
Isles 27, Buffalo 24 (53%).
John Tavares won 16 of 21 for the Isles; Johan Larsson won 11 of 15 for Buffalo.
The Isles won 19 of 34 draws over the first two periods but only 8 of 17 draws in the third period.
The Isles won 20 of 43 draws at even strength, 4 of 4 on the power play and 3 of 4 on the penalty kill.
Isles 28, Buffalo 23. Jason Chimera led the Isles with five shots; William Carrier had four for Buffalo.
Johnny Boychuk fought Marcus Foligno just 2:02 into play. Season total – 6: (Boychuk 1, deHaan 1, Hamonic 3, Mayfield 1).
The Isles were credited with 22 blocked shots, including four from Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ladd. Calvin deHaan added three (giving him an NHL-leading 98).
For the Corsi Crowd
All situations: Isles 63, Buffalo 58
5-on-5 Isles 51, Buffalo 49
5-on 5 leaders:
Isles: Josh Bailey +11; Josh Bailey 72%
Buffalo: Sam Reinhart +10
Jason Chimera – 139 (including 106 for the Capitals); Josh Bailey 100
Jean-Francois Berube, Casey Cizikas (injury), Stephen Gionta
Injured Reserve: Adam Pelech
Total games lost: 57
Missing a Piece (or two)
Since the start of the 2014-15 season, the Isles are 19-18-4 in games in which they are missing Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic or Nick Leddy, including 3-1-1 this season.
All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1. Bryan Trottier 1123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1060 *** 3. Bob Nystrom 900
13. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 14. Garry Howatt 596 *** 15. John Tonelli 594 *** 16. Josh Bailey 590 *** 17. Ken Morrow 550 *** 18. Duane Sutter 547 *** 19. Lorne Henning and John Tavares 543
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310
7. Bob Bourne 238 *** 8. Bob Nystrom 235 **** 9. John Tavares 217
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553
10. Derek King 288 *** 11. Pat LaFontaine 279 *** 12. Bob Nystrom and John Tavares 278
19. Ed Westfall 181 *** 20. Kenny Jonsson 175 *** 21. Josh Bailey 173
1. Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052
9. Bobby Nystrom 513 *** 10. Derek King 499 *** 11. John Tavares 495
21. Duane Sutter 292 *** 22. Alexei Yashin 290 *** 23. Ed Westfall 286 *** 24 Josh Bailey 271
Season Series Stats
The season series is tied, one game to one (the Isles have earned three points to Buffalo's two). The teams will meet this season for the final time on April 2nd in Buffalo.
The Isles are 7-1-5 in their last 13 games against the Sabres.
On The Farm
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are spending the Christmas break with a 16-11-0-0 record, despite a 4-game losing streak.
Bracken Kearns continues to lead the Sound Tigers in scoring (8-14-22), while Steve Bernier leads the team in goals with nine. Toews leads the team with 16 assists and is second on the team in points (4-16-20); fellow rookie Eamon McAdam leads the team with 7 wins (7-1-0).
Toews leads all AHL rookie defensemen with those 16 assists, and is tied for the AHL rookie defenseman lead with 20 points.
The Sound Tigers are off until they face Hartford on Boxing Day (December 26).
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27th– WASHINGTON AT ISLANDERS - 7:00PM
[MSG+2 (Isles pre-game at 6:30), WNYM 970, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles and Capitals meet for the third time this month, and the fourth time this season as the Isles conclude a stretch in which they have played 10 of 14 games on home ice.
The teams have split a pair of games this month, with the road team earning both victories. The Caps also defeated the Isles 2-1 back on October 15th.
In their last meeting (December 13th) Matt Niskanen scored two third period goals, his first goals since March 5th, as the Caps defeated the Isles 4-2 at Barclays Center.
The Isles have held Alex Ovechkin without a point in the first three meetings; it's the first time in his career that Ovechkin has not had a point in any three-game stretch.
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since January 21, 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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