By Eric Hornick
Isles 4, St. Louis 3
Jordan Eberle and Johnny Boychuk scored goals 11 seconds apart midway through the third period as the Isles rallied (again) from a 2-0 deficit for a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues before a crowd of 16,801 at the Enterprise Center.
Robin Lehner made 29 saves to extend his career-best personal winning streak to seven games; he is 7-1-2 in his last 10 decisions.
The Isles, who have won the last four games that they trailed by a 2-0 score, are 9-1-0 in their last ten games and have moved ten games over NHL-.500 for the first time since they ended the 2016-17 season with a 41-29-12 record.
Brayden Schenn (8) Jaden Schwartz, Jay Bouwmeester 04:11 NYI 0,STL 1
Zach Sanford (5) Vince Dunn, Tyler Bozak 16:37 NYI 0,STL 2
Matt Martin (5) Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck 02:25 NYI 1,STL 2
Jordan Eberle (8) Anders Lee, Adam Pelech 08:27 NYI 2,STL 2
Johnny Boychuk (3) Casey Cizikas 08:38 NYI 3,STL 2
Anders Lee (15) Devon Toews, Scott Mayfield 15:04 NYI 4,STL 2
Ryan O'Reilly (16) David Perron, Vladimir Tarasenko 18:27 NYI 4,STL 3
The Isles have won six straight games for the first time since the final six games of the 2016-17 season; this matches their longest single season winning streak since the won nine straight games between December 31, 1989 and January 19, 1990 …Matt Martin, playing his 599th NHL game, scored the Isles' first goal…The Eberle and Boychuk goals were the fastest 2 goals scored by the Isles since November 30, 2016 vs. Pittsburgh when Anders Lee scored a winning goal and Nikolay Kulemin an empty-netter three seconds apart…The Isles now are six points ahead of last season's pace through 40 games; including shootout winners they have scored 16 fewer goals and allowed 37 fewer goals than last year's first 40 games… The Isles are a season-high ten games over NHL-.500 (23-13-4)… The win moves the Isles into the first wild card spot; while they remain in 4th place in the Metro they are just one point behind Columbus, and two points behind both Pittsburgh and Washington… One game after having 50 shots, the Isles won with only 14 shots on goal… During the Isles' current 10-game stretch (7-1-2), they have allowed only 19 goals, including only 13 at even-strength…The Isles (11-8-0) are one of three teams to have won more than half of the games they allowed the opening goal [Tampa Bay (15-5-0) and Winnipeg (12-8-0) are the others…The Isles have won four straight on the road and have now earned 27 points in 22 road games this season; it's only the second time in the post-Cup era that they have had 27 points in the first 22 on the road. They had only 26 points through 29 road games last season…Mathew Barzal's point streak ended at six games. He now has 123 points in 124 NHL games… In addition to his game-winning goal, Captain Anders Lee recorded his 15th assist of the season. It was the 98th assist of Lee's career; Lee had career highs in both goals (40) and assists (22) last season…The Isles were shorthanded five times, matching a season high. They killed all five penalties, marking the first time in almost exactly a year (1-7-18 vs New Jersey) that they had been shorthanded at least five times and did not allow a goal. It was the first time in the last seven games that the Isles were shorthanded more than twice.
The Isles improve to 5-3-0 when trailing in a game by a 2-0 score, defeating NYR (11/15), CBJ (12/1), DET (12/8),OTT (12.28) and STL (1/5); all five wins have been in regulation.
The Isles are 8-1-1 when scoring the game's first two goals.
First Time in a Long Time
The Isles have won nearly 1,600 games in their history; this is only the eighth time that they have done so with fourteen or fewer shots; the most recent time was on October 10, 2011 at the Coliseum vs. Minnesota (2-1 win).
The club record for fewest shots in a win is 13 shots, done twice in 2000 under coach Butch Goring:
• 4/6/2000 at Ottawa
• 10/31/2000 vs. Boston
First Time Ever
The Isles have won four consecutive games when allowing the game's first two goals. All four wins have been in regulation, marking the first time that has ever happened. The Isles also recorded four consecutive wins when trailing 2-0 in 2013-14, but the first of those wins was in a shootout.
The Isles were 2-20-2 last season when trailing 2-0, and both wins were in overtime.
One is Enough
The Isles improve to 9-2-43 in one-goal games. Their .600 winning percentage (not points percentage) in 1-goal games is their best since 2014-15 (.605). 2014-15 is the only full season since 1992 that the Isles have won 60% of their one-goal games. The Isles went 31-21-22 in 1-goal games over the last two seasons (winning just.41.9% of the games).
Robin Lehner has won a career-high seven straight decisions. Lehner has allowed only 13 goals in his last ten games (7-1-2, 1.34 GAA, .952 save percentage).
Most Points Thru 40 Games (Post-Cup Era)
• 53: 2014-15
• 50: 2018-19
Worst to First
The Isles allowed the most goals in the NHL last season. Here's where they are this season:
Fewest Goals Allowed This Season (Including SO goals)
1. ISLES 107
2. Nashville 109
Fewest Goals Allowed This Season (excluding SO goals)
1. ISLES 104
2. Nashville 108
Last 30 Seasons: Most Goals by an Islander Before 22nd Birthday:
1. John Tavares 84
2. Anthony Beauvillier 41
Beauvillier's 22nd birthday is not until June.
Last 30 Seasons: Most Assists and Points by an Islander Before 22nd Birthday:
1. John Tavares 118 assists, 202 points
2. Mathew Barzal 89 assists, 123 points
Barzal's 22nd birthday is not until May.
Anders Lee was credited with the winning goal. It was his 139th career goal as an Islander, tying him with Kyle Okposo for 2nd on the Islander goal-scoring list among American-born players, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (287).
Among active coaches, Barry Trotz has coached the most games and is 2nd to Ken Hitchcock in wins. Trotz' NHL record is 785-581-60-138 in 1564 games.
Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman 1244
2. Joel Quenneville 890
3. Ken Hitchcock 833
4. Barry Trotz 785
5. Al Arbour 782
Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman 2141
2. Joel Quenneville 1636
3. Al Arbour 1607
4. Barry Trotz 1564
5. Ken Hitchcock 1557
Trotz will catch Al Arbour in games coached on Opening Night next season. If Quenneville doesn't return to coaching Trotz would pass him sometime in December 2019.
This Season vs. Last Season
This Season: 23-13-4 (50 points), with 121 goals scored and 107 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
Last Season: 20-16-4 (44 points), with 137 goals scored and 144 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
First Things First
The Isles are 12-5-4 when scoring first and are 11-8-0 when allowing the opening goal. The Isles won 12 games all last season (12-27-5) when allowing the opening goal.
St. Louis 10-8-14=32
The Isles are 5-8-1 when they outshoot their opponents, 0-1-0 when the shots are even and 18-4-3 when they are outshot.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 23-13-4 overall; 10-5-3 at home (3-0-1 on Long Island and 7-5-2 in Brooklyn) and 13-8-1 on the road. The Isles will play 21 games in Uniondale and 20 games in Brooklyn this season.
St. Louis is 16-19-4 overall; 10-12-2 at home and 6-7-2 on the road.
By Division & Conference
The Isles are 10-3-1 in Division games and 13-10-3 in games versus other divisions. The Isles are 15-5-4 against the East and 8-8-0 against the West.
In the Nets
Robin Lehner made 29 saves; he improved to 11-6-3 on the season and 5-3-1 in his career against St. Louis.
Jake Allen made 47 saves but falls to 14-13-4 on the season and 2-3-0 in his career against the Isles.
The Isles were 0-2 on the power play in 4:00 of PP time; St. Louis was 0-5 on the power play in 8:20 of PP time.
The Isles are 15-1-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-12-3 when they do not. The Isles are 9-9-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 13-4-1 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 21-1-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-12-3 when they do not.
One Goal Games
The Isles are 9-2-4 in games decided by a single goal including 4-2 in regulation. They are 3-1 in games decided in overtime and are 2-3 in shootouts. The Isles are 3-4 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1 goal game into a 2-goal game.
The Isles are 4-1-0 in the front half and 5-0-0 in the back half. The next back-to-back is January 12th vs. the Rangers and January 13th vs. Tampa Bay.
Tired vs. Rested
• The Isles are 2-0-0 when both teams played the night before.
• The Isles are 2-0-1 when they are rested, and their opponents are not.
• The Isles are 4-0-0 when their opponents are rested, and the Isles are not.
• The Isles are 15-13-3 when both teams are rested.
Isles: Ryan Pulock (20:51); St. Louis: Alex Pietrangelo (27:10)
Mathew Barzal led Isles forwards with 18:31 of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leader: Ryan Pulock (13-6-3), Nick Leddy (6-6-1), Scott Mayfield (4-1-0).
Isles 29,St. Louis 27 (52%).
Casey Cizikas won 15 of 23 for the Isles; Ivan Barbashev won 3 of 5 for St. Louis.
Face-offs by period: 1st period 6/15; 2nd period 11/13; 3rd period 12/28
Face-offs by strength: Even strength: 19/41, Power play 3/4, Penalty kill 7/11.
Isles 21 (Five with 3)
St. Louis 12 (Two with 3)
There were no fights. Season total –11 (Scott Mayfield -4, Ross Johnston-3, Josh Bailey, Johnny Boychuk, Anders Lee, Matt Martin).
The Isles blocked 14 shots (Nick Leddy-4)
For the Corsi Crowd
All situations: Isles 44, St. Louis 59
5-on-5 Isles 36, St. Louis 39
Isles: Cal Clutterbuck/Matt Martin +10
St. Louis: Vince Dunn +13
Night and Day
The Isles are 20-12-4 in night games and 3-1-0 in matinees. The next matinee is on January 12th vs. the Rangers.
Anders Lee 158, Brock Nelson 135, Mathew Barzal 122
(Andrew Ladd – IR), (Thomas Hickey- IR), (Valtteri Filppula- IR), Tom Kuhnhackl, Ross Johnston, Luca Sbisa,
Total games lost: 80
The Isles have not yet scored in the final two minutes of regulation to either tie or take the lead.
Late Goals Allowed
The Isles have allowed a goal four times in the final two minutes of regulation to either tie or win a game:
10/4 – CAR Hurricanes – Jordan Staal tied game (18:25), but Isles won in overtime.
11/8 – TB Lightning – Tyler Johnson scored the winning goal (18:34)
11/23 – NJ Devils – Marcus Johansson tied game (19:49), but Isles won in overtime.
12/15- DET Red Wings – Thomas Vanek tied game (18:57), but Isles won in a shootout.
12/8 vs DET Red Wings – Red Wings goal overturned after successful Isles challenge.
12/20 vs VEG Golden Knights – Golden Knights goal overturned after successful Isles challenge.
All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1. Bryan Trottier 1123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1060 *** 3. Bob Nystrom 900 *** 4. Clark Gillies 872 ***
5. Bob Bourne 814***6. Josh Bailey 755
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
16. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 139 and Anders Lee 139 ***19. Josh Bailey 132…
24. Mark Parrish, Matt Moulson and Steve Thomas 118 *** 27. Ray Ferraro 116 *** 28. Brock Nelson 112
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553…
12. Pat LaFontaine 279 *** 13. Bobby Nystrom 278 *** 14. Josh Bailey 276
1. Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052…
12. Patrick Flatley 488 *** 13. Billy Harris 443 *** 14. Josh Bailey 408
Games Played (Goalies)
1. Billy Smith 674 *** 2. Rick DiPietro 318 *** 3. Glenn Resch 282 …
7. Glenn Healy 176 *** 8. Thomas Greiss 142
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 130*** 4. Kelly Hrudey 108***
5. Jaroslav Halak 88 *** 6. Rollie Melanson 77*** 7. Thomas Greiss 74
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series one game to none (and 2 points to 0). The teams will conclude their season series on January 15th at Barclays Center.
The Isles are 5-1-1 in the last seven games against the Blues.
On the Farm
It was a lost weekend in Upstate New York for the Sound Tigers who dropped a 3-1 decision in Syracuse on Friday and a 3-2 game in Binghamton on Saturday.
Rookie Otto Koivula scored two of the Sound Tiger goals and assisted on the third as Bridgeport fell to 21-11-4-2 on the season. Koivula leads all current Sound Tigers with 25 points on the season; he is also now tied-4th among all AHL rookies in points.
The Sound Tigers are now off until Friday when they return to Upstate New York to face the Utica Comets.
Leaders: Goals: Michael Dal Colle 16 ; Assists: Sebastian Aho 21; Points: Dal Colle 28. Goalies: Jeremy Smith 11-6-2 (2.70 GAA); Christopher Gibson 10-5-4 (3.06 GAA)
TUESDAY, JANUARY 8th – CAROLINA AT ISLANDERS AT NASSAU COLISEUM 7:00PM
[MSG+(Pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM,WRCN 103.9FM, Radio.com]
The Isles look to complete a sweep as they return home to face the Carolina Hurricanes for the final time this season. The Isles have held the Canes to just one goal in all three games, outscoring Carolina 8-3, despite being outshot 112-59. Thomas Greiss has been in nets for all three victories.
Overall, the Isles have won 7 of the last 9 games between the teams.
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