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The Skinny: Isles 5, Pittsburgh 4

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 82 Isles 5, Pittsburgh 4    On to the Playoffs! Simon Holmstrom scored the winning goal with 5:3...

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Skinny: Isles 2, Arizona 0

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 76
Isles 2, Arizona 0
Robin Lehner made 26 saves for his 5th shutout of the season and the Isles got an early goal from Jordan Eberle and a late goal by Brock Nelson as they defeated the Arizona Coyotes 2-0 before a sellout crowd of 13,917 at Nassau Coliseum.  

The victor gives the Isles a sweep in the final set of back-to-backs this season; the Isles went 11-1-1 in the back-end games.

The win gives the Isles 95 points, which is the most through 76 games in the post-Cup era; It also keeps the Isles within one point of Washington (who defeated Philadelphia 3-1); idle Pittsburgh has 93 points  and will visit Madison Square Garden on Monday.  All three teams have six games to play.

The Isles' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now 5; they could clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday (with a regulation win) in Columbus if the Blue Jackets lose to regulation to Vancouver Sunday night. 

The Scoring: 
1st Period
Jordan Eberle (15) Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk 04:37 ARI 0,NYI 1

2nd Period
No Goals

3rd Period
Brock Nelson (24) Leo Komarov, Josh Bailey 16:46 ARI 0,NYI 2 

The Skinny   
The Isles are 30-13-3 in their last 46 games; they are once again 19 games over NHL-500, matching the season-high… It's the 10th shutout of the season, tying the club record set in 1975-76…Both Isles goalies have five shutouts; they are the 10th team in NHL history to have two goals with at least five clean sheets…The Isles have surpassed last season's win and point total; including shootout winners they have scored 30 fewer goals and allowed 92 fewer goals than last year's first 76 games… The Isles have 50 points at home and 45 points on the road … The Isles went 0-1 on the power play and have scored just once in their last 37 attempts… The Isles have 23 wins at home and 21 wins on the road; it's only the 4th time in the post-Cup era that the Isles have won at least 21 games both at home and on the road (2001-02, 2014-15, 2015-16)… The Isles played the final 3:14 with a 2-goal lead after doing so over the final 2:34 on Saturday; there are the only times since March 5th (other than following empty-net goals) that the Isles have played with a multi-goal lead…Brock Nelson reached 50 points for the first time in his career…Jordan Eberle's goal was his 40th as an Islander; 11 of the 40 are game-winners. He is the only player in Islander history to score at least 11 GW Goals with as few as 40 career goals. 

Metro/Wild Card Playoff Watch (does not include Sunday night's CBJ-Van game)
1. Caps 96 points/76 games/40 ROW (Tuesday vs. Carolina)
2. Isles 95 points/76 games/40 ROW (Tuesday at Columbus)
3. Penguins 93 points/76 games/39 ROW (Monday at Rangers)

Wild Card Race
WC1. Hurricanes 91 points/75 games/40 ROW (Tuesday at Washington)
WC2. Canadiens 88 points/76 games/38 ROW (Tuesday vs. Florida)
WC3. Blue Jackets 84 points/74 games/39 ROW (Sunday at Vancouver, Tuesday vs. Isles)
WC4. Flyers 80 points/76 games/34 ROW, Wednesday vs. Toronto)

Magic Numbers:Montreal’s overtime loss lowered the Isles' Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot is 5. While either Montreal or Columbus could still get to 100 points by winning all of their remaining games, they play each other on Thursday, so one team is guaranteed to finish with 99 or fewer.

It could go as low as 4 (with a Columbus regulation loss in Vancouver) on Sunday.
Tie Breakers:
Isles will need a regulation win in Washington on April 6th to tie this tie-breaker.  Isles have tied season series with Pittsburgh and won season series from Carolina. 

Goal Differential
Pittsburgh +30
Isles +28
Washington +26

History Lesson
The Isles allowed one goal or fewer for the 26th time this season.  That is a new franchise record; the Isles allowed one goal or fewer 25 times in 1975-76.
22-Game Winner
Thomas Greiss has 22 wins. He is only the fourth goalie in club history to have at least three 22-win seasons, joining Glenn Resch (5), Billy Smith (5), and Rick DiPietro (4).

Streaking Lehner
Robin Lehner has played 151 minutes in his last three appearances, allowing only two goals, including a shutout.  He has stopped 65 of 67 shots in that span, for a 0.79 GAA and a 97.0 save percentage.

Two Isles Goalies with at least 22 Wins in a Season
1978-79: Chico Resch (26) & Billy Smith (25)
1981-82: Billy Smith (32) & Roland Melanson (22)
2018-19: Robin Lehner (22) & Thomas Greiss (22)

Best Goals Against Average by An Islander in a Season
1. Chico Resch 1975-76 2.08
2. Robin Lehner 2018-19 2.17
3. Chico Resch 1975-76 2.28
4. Thomas Greiss 2018-19 2.29
5. Jaroslav Halak 2015-16 2.30

Best Save Percentage by an Islander in a Season 
1. Chico Resch 1975-76 .928 (.92757)
2. Robin Lehner 2018-19 .928 (.92755)
3. Thomas Greiss 2018-19 .926
4. Thomas Greiss 2015-16 .925

The Best (Fourth) Line in Hockey
The Isles are 31-14-6 when Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck all play and are 13-11-1 when one or more miss a game.  

For the + Column
Casey Cizikas was EVEN and is now +22 on the season. Brock Nelson was +1 and is now +21 on the season.  In the last 30 seasons, only five Islander forwards have finished +22 or higher.
1. Marty McInnis 1993-94 +31 
2. Benoit Hogue 1991-92 +30
3. Ray Ferraro 1991-92 +25
4. Ryan Strome 2014-15 +23
        Trent Hunter 2003-04 +23
6. Casey Cizikas 2018-19 +22

Most Goals by an Isle With 0 PP goals
22- Bob Nystrom (81-82), Butch Goring (83-84), Randy Wood (87-88)
21- Garry Howatt (75-76), Brent Sutter (82-83)
20- John Tonelli (85-86), Jason Chimera (16-17)
19- Steve Tambellini (80-81), Casey Cizikas (18-19)

It's Good to be Home
The Isles are 11-6-2 on Coliseum ice; they are averaging 96.8% of capacity on Long Island (including 12 sellouts).  
Most Points Thru 75 Games (Post-Cup Era)
95: 2018-19
93: 2014-15
93: 2015-16
The most points that the Isles have earned in a full season in the Post-Cup era is 101 in 2014-15.

Most Points Thru 37 Road Games
49: 1976-77
49: 1980-81
45: 1981-82
45: 2018-19
44: 1978-79
44: 2014-15
The most road points that the Isles have earned in a full season in the Post-Cup era is 49 in 2014-15.
The most road points that the Isles have earned in a full season is 53 in 1976-77 and 1980-81 (both were 80-game seasons).

Most Points Thru 39 Home Games (Post-Cup Era)
54: 1984-85
54: 2015-16
52: 2003-04
52: 1987-88
50: 2018-19
49: 1985-86
49: 2014-15
The most home points that the Isles have earned in a full season in the Post-Cup era is 55 (three times).

Fewest Goals Allowed Thru 76 Games (Includes SO)
179 1975-76 (no overtime games)
180 1976-77 (no overtime games)
184 2018-19 (177 in regulation, two in overtime, and five in shootouts)
The Isles allowed 190 goals in the 80-game 1975-76 season (2.38/game). The Isles have allowed 2.33 goals in regulation and 2.42 goals including OT/SO this season.

Road Warriors
The Isles are 12-5-2 in their last 19 road games and 15-6-2 in their last 23 road games.    

Worst to First
The Isles allowed the most goals in the NHL last season.  Only once in NHL history has a team allowed the most goals in one season and the fewest in the next; the Ottawa Senators did so in 1917-18 and 1918-19.   Here's where the Isles are this season:  

Fewest Goals Allowed This Season (Including SO goals) 
The Jennings Trophy is awarded based on goals allowed including shootout goals.
1. ISLES 184
2. Dallas 186
3. Boston 189

Fewest Goals Allowed This Season (excluding SO goals)
1. ISLES 179
2. Dallas 185
3. Boston 186

Coach Trotz
Barry Trotz coached his 1,600th NHL game and 2,000th professional game.
Among active coaches, Trotz has coached the most games and is 2nd to Ken Hitchcock in wins. Trotz' NHL record is 806-593-60-141 in 1,600 games. 

Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman  1,244
2. Joel Quenneville  890
3. Ken Hitchcock    847
4. Barry Trotz    806
5. Al Arbour    782

Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman   2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,636
3. Al Arbour   1,607
4. Barry Trotz   1,600
5. Ken Hitchcock   1,591

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: 44-25-7 (93 points), with 212 goals scored and 184 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
Last Season: 31-35-10 (72 points), with 242 goals scored and 276 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
The Isles have allowed 92 fewer goals, a decrease of 33.3% as compared to last season.

Last Season (final): 35-37-10 (80 points), with 264 goals scored and 296 goals allowed (includes SO winners)

First Things First
The Isles are 28-9-5 when scoring first and are 16-16-2 when allowing the opening goal (which includes a 1-0 shootout loss).  

Highest Percentage of Games Won (Post-Cup Era) Allowing First Goal
.545 (18-13-2) 2014-15
.471 (16-16-2) 2018-19
.410 (14-21-4) 1985-86

The Shots
Isles      10-12-4=26
Arizona  9-11-11=31
The Isles are 15-14-1 when they outshoot their opponents, 0-2-0 when the shots are even and 29-9-6 when they are outshot. [The 30 wins when outshot are a franchise record; they won 25 in both 1983-84 and 2017-18.]

The Isles lead the NHL in wins when outshot.  Three teams won 30 games last year when outshot, but nobody has won more since 2015-16 when Ottawa won 33.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 44-25-7 overall; 23-12-4 at home (11-6-2 on Long Island and 12-6-2 in Brooklyn) and 21-13-3 on the road.  All their remaining regular season home games are at the Nassau Coliseum.
Arizona is 36-33-7 overall; 18-15-4 at home and 18-18-3 on the road.  

By Division & Conference
The Isles are 17-8-1 in Division games and 27-17-6 in games versus other divisions.  The Isles are 27-15-5 against the East and 17-10-2 against the West.  

In the Nets
Robin Lehner made 31 saves as he improves to 22-12-5 on the season and 5-0-0 in his career against Arizona.   
Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves but falls to 24-19-7 on the season and 1-3-1 against the Islanders.  

Power Plays
The Isles were 0-1 on the power play in 2:00 of PP time; Arizona was 0-1 on the power play in 2:00 of PP time.

The Isles are 23-2-2 when they score at least one power play goal and 21-23-5 when they do not.  The Isles are 15-14-5 when they allow at least one power play goal and 29-11-2 when they do not.

Three is (Usually) a Magic Number
The Isles are 35-2-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 9-23-5 when they do not.  

One Goal Games
The Isles are 17-5-7 in games decided by a single goal including 7-5 in regulation. They are 6-2 in games decided in overtime and are 4-5 in shootouts.  The Isles are 6-6 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1-goal game into a 2-goal game.

Tired vs. Rested 
The Isles are 6-0-0 when both teams played the night before. 
The Isles are 6-0-1 when they are rested, and their opponents are not. 
The Isles are 5-1-1 when their opponents are rested, and the Isles are not.
The Isles are 27-24-5 when both teams are rested. 

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Ryan Pulock (24:08); Arizona: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (24:30)
Cal Clutterbuck led Isles forwards with 17:12 of ice-time

Isles record by ice-time leader: Ryan Pulock (21-13-5), Nick Leddy (14-9-2), Scott Mayfield (8-1-0), Johnny Boychuk (0-1-0), Adam Pelech (1-0-0), Mathew Barzal (0-1-0).

Isles 24, Arizona 24 (50%).  

Casey Cizikas won 8 of 13 for the Isles; Brad Richardson won 10 of 13 for Arizona.  
Face-offs by period: 1st period 9/20; 2nd period 7/11; 3rd period 8/17.
Face-offs by strength: Even strength: 21/44, Power play 1/2, Penalty kill 2/2.

Hit Count
Isles 27 (Matt Martin, Scott Mayfield and Cal Clutterbuck -5)  
Arizona 28 (Oliver Ekman-Larsson -6)
There were no fights. Season total –16 (Scott Mayfield -4, Ross Johnston-3, Matt Martin -3, Anders Lee- 2, Josh Bailey, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Thomas Hickey).  
Blocked Shots
The Isles blocked 19 shots (Ryan Pulock -6) 

For the Corsi Crowd 
All situations: Isles 48, Arizona 58
5-on-5 Isles 46, Arizona 48

5-on-5 leaders:
Isles: Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk +8 
Arizona: Brad Richardson and Jason Demers +14

Today was the final game of the final back-to-back of the season. The Isles went 8-4-1 in the front half and 11-1-1 in the back half. 

The Isles won the first nine back-ends of back-to-backs this season, establishing a new club record for consecutive wins in back ends. 

Night and Day
The Isles are 36-21-7 in night games and 8-4-0 in matinees. The remaining games are all at night.

Anders Lee 194, Brock Nelson 171, Mathew Barzal 158.  Four other Isles: Nick Leddy, Ryan Pulock, Josh Bailey and Leo Komarov have appeared in every game this season.

(Valtteri Filppula), Thomas Hickey, Tom Kuhnhackl, Michael Dal Colle, Luca Sbisa, Dennis Seidenberg, Ross Johnston
Total games lost: 137

Comeback Kings
The Isles are 6-7-1 when trailing in a game by a 2-0 score, defeating NYR (11/15), CBJ (12/1), DET (12/8), OTT (12/28), STL (1/5) and COL (2/9 - OT), while earning a point vs. EDM (2/21 – OTL).

The Isles are 16-1-1 when scoring the game's first two goals.

Late Heroes
The Isles have scored once in the final two minutes of regulation to either tie or take the lead:
1/10- NY Rangers-Josh Bailey scored the winning goal (18:34)

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.

Offside Challenges
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.
1/8 vs CAR Hurricanes – Isles goal overturned after successful Hurricane challenge
2/5 vs BOS Bruins – Isles goal overturned after successful Bruin challenge.
2/28 vs TOR Maple Leafs – Maple Leaf 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 791

1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
14. Patrick Flatley 160 *** 15. Anders Lee 151 …
17. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 18. Kyle Okposo 139 ***19. Josh Bailey 140…
20. Jason Blake 127 *** 21.  Brock Nelson 123

1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553…
9. Stefan Persson 317 *** 10. Bob Bourne 304 *** 11.  Josh Bailey 290 …
26. Ziggy Palffy 163 *** 27. David Volek 154 *** 28. Nick Leddy 151

1. Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052…
12. Patrick Flatley 488 *** 13. Billy Harris 443 *** 14. Josh Bailey 430…
24.. Ed Westfall 286 *** 25. Steve Thomas and  Jason Blake 258 *** 27. Anders Lee 254

Games Played (Goalies)
1. Billy Smith 674 *** 2. Rick DiPietro 318 *** 3. Glenn Resch 282 …
6. Jaroslav Halak 177 *** 7. Glenn Healy 176 *** 8. Thomas Greiss 160

Wins (Goalie)
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 130*** 4. Kelly Hrudey 108***
5. Jaroslav Halak 88 *** 6.  Thomas Greiss 84

Shutouts (Goalie)
1. Glenn Resch 25 ***2. Billy Smith 22 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 16 *** 4. Tommy Salo 14***
5. Jaroslav Halak 12 *** 6.  Thomas Greiss 10

Season Series Stats
The teams sweep the season series 2 games to 0 (and 4 points to 0).  

The Isles have won six straight home games from the Coyotes and are 9-0-1 at home vs. the Yotes since the then-Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Isles 3-2 on October 29, 2002.

On the Farm  
Chris Bourque scored a goal and added two assists as the Sound Tigers stretched their home point streak to ten games (9-0-1-0) with a 4-1 win over Syracuse at Webster Bank Arena. Jeremy Smith stopped former Islander Cory Conacher on a penalty shot as he reached the 20-win mark for the 4th time in his career. 

Bridgeport is 11-2-1-0 in their last 14 games, is 15-3-2-0 in their last 20 games and 39-20-6-2 on the season.  

Bridgeport continues their eight-game homestand on Wednesday against division-leading Charlotte. The Sound Tigers' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 7.

Leaders:  Goals: Steve Bernier 22; Assists: Chris Bourque 36; Points: Chris Bourque 51; +/-: Otto Koivula +17.  Goalies: Jeremy Smith 20-10-4 (2.75 GAA); Christopher Gibson 19-10-4 (2.90 GAA)

Up Next
[MSG+ (Pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM,WRCN 103.9FM, Radio.com] 
The Isles look to sweep the season series (and based on Sunday night's results possibly clinch a playoff spot) as they begin a 2-game road trip in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. 

The Isles have won all three games between the teams, including the last two by shutouts.  Since the Jackets scored the first two goals in the Coliseum re-opener, the Isles have outscored Columbus 8-0 and not allowed a Jacket goal in 151:27.  Thomas Greiss has been in the Islander goal for all three victories.

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 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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