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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'...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Skinny: Isles 4, Pittsburgh 3 (SO)

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 73
Isles 4, Pittsburgh 3 (SO)
Jaroslav Halak made 37 saves in his first NHL game since December 29th and the Isles got shootout goals from Anthony Beauvillier and John Tavares as they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 before a sellout crowd of 18,659 at PPG Paints Arena.

Brock Nelson, Anders Lee and Casey Cizikas all scored for the Islanders in the second period.  Nelson's goal came after a first period tally was erased upon video review, Lee's goal (which was upheld after video) was set-up by Josh Bailey's 300th point and John Tavares' 300th assist, while a Tavares steal set-up Cizikas' tally.   Casey's goal, at 19:55 of the period, was the first the Isles had scored in the final 10 seconds of a periods (excluding empty nets) since November 30, 2015.

Cameron Gaunce, Sidney Crosby and Matt Cullen had the Penguin goals.

The Isles have won consecutive games for the first time since March 7th-9th. With the win, the Isles move ahead of Boston for the 2nd Wild Card spot; both teams have 82 points but the Isles have a game in hand. The Isles also remain one point ahead of Tampa Bay.  Boston has 8 games to play, the Lightning 8 and the Isles 9.   

The Scoring:
1ST PERIOD
No Scoring
2ND PERIOD
01:54    Pittsburgh         Cameron Gaunce (1) ASST: Matt Cullen (16), Phil Kessel (42)    0-1
04:48    New York         Brock Nelson (17) ASST: Joshua Ho-Sang (5), Alan Quine (11)   1-1
09:18    New York         Anders Lee (28) ASST: Josh Bailey (38), John Tavares (36)        2-1
13:41    Pittsburgh         Sidney Crosby (42) ASST: Chad Ruhwedel (6), Conor Sheary (29)            2-2
19:55    New York         Casey Cizikas (8) ASST: John Tavares (37)       3-2
3RD PERIOD
13:50    Pittsburgh         Matt Cullen (11) ASST: Cameron Gaunce (3), Phil Kessel (43)    3-3
OT PERIOD
No Scoring

The Shootout
New York         Goal - Anthony Beauvillier
Pittsburgh         Missed - Phil Kessel     
New York         Goal - John Tavares     (GDG)
Pittsburgh         Goal - Sidney Crosby   
New York         Missed - Andrew Ladd  
Pittsburgh         Missed - Nick Bonino    

It's the 71st shootout win in Islander history; one behind Pittsburgh for the all-time NHL record.  John Tavares (now 2 of 3 in shootouts this season) recorded his 4th career goal with his 15th shootout tally.  Only Frans Nielsen (42) has more shootout goals as an Islander.

The Skinny:
The Isles are 18-9-4 (.645) under Interim Coach Doug Weight …Since opening the season 6-10-4, Isles are 29-16-8 in their last 53 games…The Isles are 9-5-2 in the last 16 games... Anders Lee scored for the 2nd straight game, breaking a tie with John Tavares for the team lead in goals (28-27) …. The Isles improve to 25-0-5 when leading after two periods; the Isles are one of 5 teams (Boston, Calgary, Arizona, New Jersey) who have not loss in regulation when leading after two periods…John Tavares' assists extended his point streak to five games…. The Isles had a season-high 46 shots on goal; it was their most shots IN Pittsburgh in at least the last 30 years…Former Isles Captain Mark Streit played in his 777th NHL game; Nick Bonino appeared in his 400th contest…Pittsburgh has scored the most goals in the NHL (253) and had the most shots on goal (2,528)…Sidney Crosby's assist was his 641st, breaking a tie with Jaromir Jagr for 2nd place on the all-time Penguins list…Pittsburgh has sold-out 467 consecutive games…Jason Chimera had a career high 8 hits (previous high: 6)..Anthony Beauvillier had 7 shots on goal; his previous career high was 3. "Beau" also had five hits; it's only the 8th time since hits have been kept (1997-98) that a rookie had 7 shots and 5 hits in the same game.

The Injury
Nikolay Kulemin was injured early in the second period and did not return

Beating The Top Teams
The Isles finish the season 9-6-2 against the four teams ahead of them in the Metro Division (they are also four of the top six teams in the NHL).  Those teams have combined for 402 standings points this season.

The Isles are 6-1-1 against the four top teams in the division since Christmas (2-0 vs both NYR and PIT, 1-1-1 vs. CBJ and 1-0-0 vs. WSH).

Is the Post-Ranger Jinx a Thing of the Past?
The Isles improve to 12-26-11 all-time in games following a win at Madison Square Garden, although they are now 5-2-1 in their last eight games following a win on Broadway.

66 Wins in Pittsburgh
Joshua Ho-Sang set up Brock Nelson for the Isles' first goal.  He now has eight points (3-5-8) in his first twelve NHL games.

This Generation's Mr. Islander Chasing Mr. Islander
John Tavares has 234 career goals, leaving him just one goal behind Bobby Nystrom for eighth place on the all-time list.

Career goals as an Islander:
7. Bob Bourne 238
8. Bobby Nystrom 235
9. John Tavares 234

The 300 Point Club
Josh Bailey became the 6th player from his draft class to reach 300 career points: Stamkos, Karlsson, Eberle, Doughty, and Stepan had already done so.   He also reached the 50-point mark for the first time in his career.

The 300 Assist Club
John Tavares recorded his 300th and 301st assists.  He is the 10th player to record 300 assists as an Islander.

Experience Counts … 17 Times
Jason Chimera is only the second Islander age 36 or over to score 17 goals in a season; Bill Guerin, who turned 37 early in the 2007-08 season, scored 23 times that season.  Guerin also scored 16 times the next season, before being dealt to Pittsburgh.

A Big One Goal Win
The Isles are 13-9-12 in one-goal games, winning only 13 of the 34 games (.382).  That .382 percentage of 1-goal games won is the second lowest in the NHL –ahead of just Toronto (.353).  (The Isles were 21-6-10 in one-goal games last season.)

Could Have Been a Tough Stretch
This was the last of three straight games against three of the top four teams in the East (and three of the top seven teams in the NHL).  The Isles went 2-0-1 in this stretch:
·        March 18 vs. Blue Jackets (lost 3-2 OT)
·        March 22 @ Rangers (Won 3-2)
·        March 24 @ Penguins (Won 4-3 SO)

The Stretch Run
The Isles are playing their final 11 regular-season games in a span of 19 days.  The Isles are 2-0-0 in this stretch (0-0-0 at home and 2-0-0 on the road):
·        March 22 @ Pittsburgh (Won 3-2)
·        March 24 @ Penguins (Won 4-3 OT)
·        March 25 Vs Bruins
·        March 27 Vs Predators
·        March 30 @ Flyers
·        March 31 Vs Devils
·        April 2 @ Sabres
·        April 4 @ Predators
·        April 6 @ Hurricanes
·        April 8 @ Devils
·        April 9 Vs Senators

Most points in NHL since January 19th (Weight's First Game)
1
Penguins
30
18
6
6
42
2
Blackhawks
27
20
6
1
41
3
Capitals
29
19
8
2
40
Islanders
31
18
9
4
40
Senators
31
18
9
4
40

Playoff Chase
Metropolitan
GP
PTS
1.      X-Washington
73
104
2.      X-Pittsburgh
74
103
3.      X-Columbus
73
101
Atlantic
GP
PTS
1.      MontrĂ©al
74
91
2.      Ottawa
73
90
3.      Toronto
73
85
Wild Card
GP
PTS
1.      NY Rangers
74
94
2.      ISLANDERS
73
82
3.      Boston
74
82
4.      Tampa Bay
74
81
5.      Carolina
72
77
6.      Philadelphia
73
76
7.      Florida
73
75
8.      Buffalo
74
72

Saturday's games
Boston @ Isles 7:00
Philadelphia @ Columbus 2:00
Arizona @ Washington 7:00
Carolina @ New Jersey 7:00
Toronto @ Buffalo 7:00
Ottawa @ Montreal 7:00
Chicago @ Florida 7:00
NY Rangers @ Los Angeles 10:30

Sunday's games
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh 7:00
NY Rangers @ Anaheim 9:00

Monday's games
Nashville @ Isles 7:00
Detroit @ Carolina 7:00
Florida @ Buffalo 7:00
Chicago @ Tampa Bay 7:30

Tuesday's games
Nashville @ Boston 7:00
Detroit @ Carolina 7:00
Buffalo @ Columbus 7:00
Ottawa @ Philadelphia 7:00
Florida @ Tampa Bay 7:30
Dallas @ Montreal 7:30
Washington @ Minnesota 8:00
NY Rangers @ San Jose 10:30

Wednesday's games
Chicago @ Pittsburgh 8:00
Washington @ Colorado 10:00

Isn't it Magic?
The Isles Magic Number fell to 17 (over Boston) with their win in Pittsburgh. The Magic Number will fall to 14 with a win (of any type) on Saturday or to 16 if the Isles earn a point on Saturday.  A regulation win over the Bruins will lower the Isles magic number to 13 over Boston but it will be 14 vs. Tampa Bay.

54 in 42
The Isles are now 24-12-6 in their last 42 games (since December 20th vs. Boston), which represents a.  105-point pace in that stretch. In those games, the PP is 21-117 (17.9%) and the penalty kill is 16-98 (16.3%).

In Goal, #1
Thomas Greiss had the night off after playing in 14 straight games (7-5-2). Greiss has played in 33 of the last 38 games (17-11-5 with three shutouts) and 35 of the last 42 games (19-11-5 with three shutouts). Greiss has already appeared in a career high 45 games, and set career highs for both wins (24) and shutouts (3).

Let's Hear It for the Ladd
Andrew Ladd has reached the 20-goal mark for the 4th straight season and the sixth straight full season (he had 18 goals in the lockout year).  He is one of 21 players to reach 20-goals in each of the last four seasons and one of only 14 to do so six times in the last seven seasons.  He is six points shy of 500 for his career (230-264-494) and his next goal will tie him with two Original Islanders: Ed Westfall and Billy Harris on the all-time NHL goal list.

Weight Lifted
Isles leading scorers since Doug Weight became the Isles' interim coach:
Games
Goals
Assists
Points
+/-
1
John Tavares
31
11
21
32
+7
2
Anders Lee
30
13
11
24
+2
3
Josh Bailey
31
6
15
21
+7
4
Nick Leddy
31
4
15
19
+3
5
Andrew Ladd
28
12
4
16
-3
Ryan Strome
30
7
9
16
-3
7
Brock Nelson
30
8
8
16
-5
8
Jason Chimera
31
9
4
13
+5

A Different Road
The Isles are 13-10-2 in their last 25 road games, after winning only 2 of their first 11 road games (2-6-3).

Solid at Home
The Isles have earned points in 12 of their last 14 home games (9-2-3), although they are 0-2-1 in their last three home games.

Longest Home-Ice Point Streaks in Post -Cup Era
11 – 1/19/17 - 2/19/17 (9-0-2)
10 -  12/16/89 - 01/28/90 (9-0-1)
10 – 3/24/13 - 10/17/13 (7-0-3 – Multi-season Streak)

The Shots
Isles           9-13-21-3=46
Pittsburgh  8-11-15-6=40
The Isles are 17-8-5 when they outshoot their opponents and 3-3-0 when the shots are even but are 15-16-6 when they are outshot.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 35-26-12 overall; 20-10-7 at home and 15-16-5 on the road. 
Pittsburgh is 46-17-11 overall; 29-4-4 at home and 17-13-7 on the road.  

Division & Conference
The Isles are 12-9-5 in Division games and 23-17-7 in games versus other divisions (9-9-3 vs. Atlantic, 6-4-2 vs. Central and 8-4-2 vs. Pacific).   The Isles are 21-18-8 against the East and 14-8-4 against the West.

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 37 saves to improve to 7-8-5 on the season and 8-5-1 in his career against Pittsburgh. Jaro is now 28-28 all-time in shootouts.
Marc- Andre Fleury made 43 saves; he is 18-8-5 on the season and 23-10-5 in his career against the Isles.  Fleury is 53-29 all-time in shootouts.

Power Plays
The Isles went 0-1 on the power play; Pittsburgh was 0-1.
The Isles are 15-7-6 when they score at least one power play goal and 20-19-6 when they do not.  The Isles are 13-13-5 when they allow at least one power play goal and 22-13-7 when they do not.    

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 34-7-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 1-19-9 when they do not.

One Goal Games
The Isles are 13-9-12 in games decided by a single goal including 6-9-0 in regulation. They are 5-8 in games decided in overtime and are 2-4 in shootouts.  The Isles are 4-1 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1 goal game into a 2-goal game (including one game that they allowed a goal after scoring an empty-netter).

First Goal
The Isles are 22-8-8 when they score first and are 13-18-4 when they allow the opening goal.
Back-to-Backs
Including tonight, the Isles are 6-7-1 on the front-end of back-to-backs and 5-3-5 on the back-end. 
The Isles will play 16 sets of back-to-backs this season. This back-to-back set concludes on Saturday vs. Boston. The Isles will also play back-to-backs on March 30/31 (@ Flyers, vs. Devils) and April 8/9 (@ Devils, vs Senators)

Tired vs. Rested
·        The Isles are 4-1-3 when both teams played the night before.
·        The Isles are 7-4-2 when they are rested and their opponents are not.
·        The Isles are 1-2-2 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.
·        The Isles are 23-19-5 when both teams are rested.

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Nick Leddy (24:28); Rangers: Justin Schultz (24:45)

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (7-0-0), Nick Leddy (14-19-9), John Tavares (2-1-0), Johnny Boychuk (7-4-1), Dennis Seidenberg (1-1-1), Calvin de Haan (3-1-1), Tied (1-0-0).

John Tavares led the Isles forwards with 21:20 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (27-18-10), Josh Bailey (4-5-2), Casey Cizikas (1-0-0), Cal Clutterbuck (0-1-0), Brock Nelson (1-2-0), Shane Prince (1-0-0).

Face-offs
Isles 27, Pittsburgh 35 (44%). 
John Tavares won 11 of 22 for the Isles; Sidney Crosby won 15 of 24 for Pittsburgh.
Face-offs by period: 1st period- 8/18; 2nd period 6/18; 3rd period 11/22; overtime 2/4
Face-offs by strength: Even strength: 26/59; Power play 1/1; Penalty kill 0/2.

Hit Count
Isles 44, Pittsburgh 39.  Jason Chimera led the Isles with eight hits; Brian Dumoulin had five hits for Pittsburgh.

Fights
There were no fights.  Season total – 13: (Hamonic 3, Mayfield 3, Strome 2, Boychuk 1, Chimera 1, deHaan 1, Hickey 1, Ladd 1).

Blocked Shots
The Isles were credited with 24 blocked shots; Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan led the Isles with four.

For the Corsi Crowd
All situations: Isles 69, Pittsburgh 76
5-on-5 Isles 61, Pittsburgh 66
5-on-5 leaders:
Isles: Scott Mayfield +15; Scott Mayfield 67%
Rangers: Cameron Gaunce/ Mark Streit +16

Ironmen
Jason Chimera – 179 (including 106 for the Capitals); Josh Bailey 140, Calvin deHaan 76, John Tavares 73

Scratches
Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk (injured), Ryan Strome (injured), Shane Prince (injured), Steven Gionta, Thomas Greiss
Total games lost: 158

All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1.      Bryan Trottier 1123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1060 *** 3. Bob Nystrom 900
….
9.      Brent Sutter 694 *** 9. Derek King 638 *** 10. Josh Bailey 630
15 Garry Howatt 596 *** 16. John Tonelli 594 *** 17. John Tavares 583

Goals
1.      Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310
7. Bob Bourne 238 *** 8. Bob Nystrom 235 **** 9. John Tavares 234
25. Ray Ferraro 116 *** 26. Ed Westfall, Benoit Hogue and Josh Bailey 105

Assists
1.      Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553
8. Stefan Persson 317 *** 9. Bob Bourne 304 *** 10. John Tavares 301
16. Frans Nielson and Kyle Okposo 230 ***18. Josh Bailey 195

Points
1.      Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052
6. Pat LaFontaine 566 *** 7. John Tonelli 544 *** 8. Bob Bourne 542 *** 9.  John Tavares 534
18. Tomas Jonsson 333 *** 19. Ziggy Palffy 331 *** 20. Josh Bailey 300

Late Heroes
The Isles have scored three times in the final two minutes 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
·        2/6 – Tor Maple Leafs – Andrew Ladd (18:31); Isles won in overtime

Late Losses
The Isles have allowed the lead goal in the final 3 minutes of regulation seven times (including one game they rallied to win):
·        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)
·        2/3 – Det Red Wings – Danny DeKeyser (19:32)
·        2/6 – Tor Maple Leafs – Michael Nylander (17:59) (Isles won game in OT)

Fit to Be Tied
The Isles have allowed the final goal of regulation in 13 of their 19 games that have gone to overtime this season, including four 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
·        3/10 – Van Canucks – Troy Stecher (19:40); Isles won in OT

Better at Night
The Isles are 1-3-1 in day games (0-0-1 at home and 1-3-0 on the road) this season with one game to play:
·        11/25 - at SJ Sharks (lost 2-3)
·        1/16 – at Bos Bruins (won 4-0)
·        2/11 – at Ott Senators (lost 0-3)
·        3/5 -  at Cal Flames (lost 2-5)
·        3/18 – vs Col Blue Jackets (lost/OT 2-3)
·        4/2 – at Buf Sabres
The Isles went 3-4-2 in day games last season (3-1-1 at home and 0-3-1 on the road).

Season Series Stats
The teams split the season series two games to two (and 5 points to 5).
The Isles are 7-3-2 in their last 12 games against the Rangers, including 3-2-1 in Pittsburgh.

On The Farm
Bridgeport is 39-22-2-1 on the season (and 21-8-1-0 in their last 30) heading into games 2 and 3 of their six game road trip on Saturday in Hartford and on Sunday in Lehigh Valley.
Bracken Kearns leads the Sound Tigers in goals (22) and points (22-24-46). Rookie Devon Toews leads the team in assists with 35.  Ryan Pulock leads the defense with 12 goals (13-23-36 in only 44 games, including five game-winning goals – which is tied for the AHL lead among defensemen) while Jaroslav Halak, on recall to the Isles, leads the team in wins (17-7-3).

Up Next
SATURDAY, MARCH 25th –BOSTON AT ISLANDERS– 7:00PM
[MSG+/MSG GO (Isles Pre-Game begins at 6:30), WNYM 970 AM, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles look to sweep the Bruins in a season series for only the second time in their history as they host the B's at Barclays Center for the only time this season. 
The Isles have already won the season series, winning the two games in Boston by a combined score of 8-2.  Thomas Greiss has stopped 80 of 82 Bruin shots, including the Isles' first-ever shutout IN Boston.  Greiss will carry a 72:48 shutout streak vs. Boston into the contest. 
Boston won both games in Brooklyn last season; the Isles are 2-9-0 in their last 11 home games against the Bruins, including 0-4-0 in the last four.
The Isles swept all four games from Boston in the 2005-2006 season.

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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