By Eric Hornick
Isles 2, Columbus 0
Ryan Pulock's first period goal was all that the Isles needed as Thomas Greiss made 31 saves for his 20th victory and 5th shutout of the season as the Isles blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 before a crowd of 11,827 at Nassau Coliseum.
Anders Lee added his 24th goal into an empty net as the Isles improved to 3-1-0 in their last four and 5-5-1 in their last 11 games. Lee's goal was the first for an Islander forward since Casey Cizikas' empty-netter in Ottawa.
The Isles move within two points of idle Washington for the Metro Division lead. Carolina beat Colorado to move into 3rd place with 83 points; Pittsburgh also has 83. Columbus remains in the 2nd Wild Card with 79 points (a ROW tiebreaker ahead of Montreal).
With tonight's results, the Isles' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is reduced to 19; their magic number to win a division for the first time since 1987-88 is now 29.
Ryan Pulock (8) Cal Clutterbuck, Adam Pelech 06:11 CBJ 0,NYI 1
Anders Lee (24)EN Valtteri Filppula 18:30 CBJ 0,NYI 2
The Isles are 26-10-3 in their last 39 games and have matched a season-high 18 games over .500 for the fourth time…Ryan Pulock recorded his career high 33rd point on the opening/winning goal; three of his eight goals this season have been game-winners… The Isles have surpassed last season's win and point total; including shootout winners they have scored 22 fewer goals and allowed 77 fewer goals than last year's first 69 games… The Isles have 46 points at home and 41 points on the road … The Isles did not have a power play goal for the ninth straight game (0-20); their power play falls to 4-47 in games played at the Coliseum… With their goals tonight, the Isles have scored 65 goals in the 1st period, 60 goals in the 2nd period, and 66 goals in the third period… Devon Toews took his first NHL penalty; he is the first player in the Real Time Era to play at least 600 minutes in his first 34 NHL games without committing a penalty… With their 40 wins evenly split between Greiss and Robin Lehner, the Isles join Tampa Bay as teams with multiple 20-game winners this season…The Isles lead the NHL with 28 wins while being outshot… Cam Atkinson hit goal posts in both the 1st and 2nd periods…The Jackets have been shutout three times in the last six games…There were only 36 face-offs, fewest in an Islander game since 4/7/2001, when there were just 34 in a season-ending game in Boston…Anders Lee has six goals in the last 12 games…The Isles have scored 14 empty-net goals, including 12 5-on-6 goals. That ties the 1989-90 squad for the most 5-on-6 goals in the last 31 seasons.
Metro Playoff Watch
1. Caps 89 points/69 games/37 ROW (Tuesday at Pittsburgh)
2. Isles 87 points/69 games/36 ROW (Thursday vs. Montreal)
3. Hurricanes 83 points/69 games/37 ROW (Friday at Columbus)
4. Penguins 83 points/69 games/36 ROW (Tuesday vs. Washington)
5. Blue Jackets 79 points/69 games/37 ROW (Tuesday vs. Boston)
6. Philadelphia 76 points/69 games/32 ROW (Thursday vs. Washington)
Also in Wild Card Race
Canadiens 79 points/69 games/34 ROW (Tuesday vs. Detroit)
The Blue Jackets currently hold the second Wild Card, so five Metropolitan Division teams are currently in playoff spots.
Moving on Up
Thomas Greiss' shutout was his 10th as an Islander, breaking a tie Evgeni Nabokov for 6th place; Anders Lee's empty-netter was his 148th as an Islander, breaking a tie with Pierre Turgeon for 15th place.
Silence the Cannon (even in Uniondale)
Thomas Greiss (and the Islanders) extend the shutout streaks vs. Columbus to 151:27. It's the first time that the Isles have ever had two shutouts against the Jackets or blanked the Jackets in consecutive games.
Greiss has recorded five shutouts this year; he is only the 8th Islander goalie to have at least five shutouts in a season. Only two have had more: Chico Resch – 7 in 1975-76 and Jaroslav Halak – 6 in 2014-15.
Strength in the Nets
Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss have each won 20 games. It's the 1st time in the last 35 years that the Isles have gotten at least 20 wins from two different goalies. Billy Smith won 23 games and Roland Melanson won 20 in 1983-84.
Best Goals Against Average by An Islander in a Season
1. Chico Resch 1975-76 2.08
2. Robin Lehner 2018-19 2.19
3. Thomas Greiss 2018-19 2.26
4. Chico Resch 1975-76 2.28
5. Jaroslav Halak 2015-16 2.30
Best Save Percentage by an Islander in a Season
1. Chico Resch 1975-76 .928
2. Robin Lehner 2018-19 .927 (.9269)
3. Thomas Greiss 2018-19 .927 (.9268)
4. Thomas Greiss 2015-16 .925
For the + Column
Casey Cizikas was +1 today and is now +26 on the season. In the last 30 seasons, only two Islander forwards have finished +25 or higher.
1. Marty McInnis 1993-94 +31
2. Benoit Hogue 1991-92 +30
3. Casey Cizikas 2018-19 +26
4. Ray Ferraro 1991-92 +25
5. Ryan Strome 2014-15 +23
Trent Hunter 2003-04 +23
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 9-5-2 on Coliseum ice; they are averaging 96.5% of capacity on Long Island (including ten sellouts).
Most Points Thru 69 Games (Post-Cup Era)
• 90: 2014-15
• 87: 2018-19
• 85: 2015-16
Most Points Thru 33 Road Games
• 43: 1976-77
• 41: 2018-19
• 41: 1980-81
• 40: 1981-82
• 39: 1975-76
• 39: 1978-79
• 39: 2014-15
Most Points Thru 36 Home Games (Post-Cup Era)
• 52: 1984-85
• 50: 2015-16
• 48: 1987-88
• 48: 2003-04
• 47: 2014-15
• 46: 2016-17
• 46: 1985-86
• 46: 2018-19
Fewest Goals Allowed Thru 69 Games (Includes SO)
• 162 1975-76
• 165 1976-77
• 168 2018-19
The Isles are 10-3-2 in their last 15 road games and 13-4-2 in their last 19 road games. The 28 points match the most that the Isles have earned in any single-season stretch of 19 road games in their history (done several times).
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 168
2. Dallas 172
3. Boston 173
Fewest Goals Allowed This Season (excluding SO goals)
1. ISLES 163
2. Boston 170
3. Dallas 172
Among active coaches, Barry Trotz has coached the most games and is 2nd to Ken Hitchcock in wins. Trotz' NHL record is 802-590-60-141 in 1,593 games.
Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman 1,244
2. Joel Quenneville 890
3. Ken Hitchcock 844
4. Barry Trotz 802
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 1,593
5. Ken Hitchcock 1,584
Trotz, who will coach his 1,600th game on March 24th, 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: 40-22-7 (87 points), with 200 goals scored and 168 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
Last Season: 30-29-10 (70 points), with 222 goals scored and 245 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
The Isles have allowed 77 fewer goals, a decrease of 31.4% 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 25-9-5 when scoring first and are 15-13-2 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
• .500 (15-13-2) 2018-19
• .410 (14-21-4) 1985-86
The Isles are 12-13-1 when they outshoot their opponents, 0-2-0 when the shots are even and 28-7-6 when they are outshot. [The 28 wins when outshot are a franchise record; they won 25 in both 1983-84 and 2017-18.]
Home and Road
The Islanders are 40-22-7 overall; 21-11-4 at home (9-5-2 on Long Island and 12-6-2 in Brooklyn) and 19-11-3 on the road. All their remaining regular season home games are at the Nassau Coliseum.
Columbus is 38-28-3 overall; 18-16-2 at home and 20-12-1 on the road.
By Division & Conference
The Isles are 16-8-1 in Division games and 24-14-6 in games versus other divisions. The Isles are 25-12-5 against the East and 15-10-2 against the West.
In the Nets
Thomas Greiss made 31 saves for his fifth shutout of the season; he improves to 20-11-5 on the season and 8-6-3 in his career against Columbus.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 18 saves but falls to 29-22-1 on the season and 15-8-0 against the Islanders.
The Isles were 0-2 on the power play in 3:49 of PP time; Columbus was 0-1 on the power play in 1:49 of PP time.
The Isles are 22-2-2 when they score at least one power play goal and 18-20-5 when they do not. The Isles are 13-13-5 when they allow at least one power play goal and 27-9-2 when they do not.
Three is (Usually) a Magic Number
The Isles are 33-2-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-20-5 when they do not.
One Goal Games
The Isles are 15-4-7 in games decided by a single goal including 6-4 in regulation. They are 5-2 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 4-0-0 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 25-21-5 when both teams are rested.
Isles: Ryan Pulock (24:56); Columbus: Seth Jones (27:10)
Mathew Barzal led Isles forwards with 17:42 of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leader: Ryan Pulock (19-11-5), Nick Leddy (14-9-2), Scott Mayfield (6-1-0), Johnny Boychuk (0-1-0), Adam Pelech (1-0-0).
Isles 24, Columbus 12 (67%).
Brock Nelson won 10 of 14 for the Isles; no Blue Jacket won more than half of their draws.
Face-offs by period: 1st period 10/12; 2nd period 6/12; 3rd period 8/12.
Face-offs by strength: Even strength: 21/32, Power play 2/2, Penalty kill 1/2.
Isles 27 (Leo Komarov -6)
Columbus 37 (Seth Jones -5)
There were no fights. Season total –14 (Scott Mayfield -4, Ross Johnston-3, Matt Martin -2, Anders Lee- 2, Josh Bailey, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle).
The Isles blocked 16 shots (Scott Mayfield-4)
For the Corsi Crowd
All situations: Isles 33, Columbus 62
5-on-5 Isles 30, Columbus 53
Isles: Thomas Hickey +1
Columbus: Cam Atkinson & John Anderson +12
The Isles are 7-3-1 in the front half and 9-1-1 in the back half. The next back-to-back is March 16-17 in Detroit and Minnesota and the final back-to-back of the season is the following week (March 23-24) in Columbus and vs. Arizona.
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, but are 0-1-1 in the last two back-ends.
Night and Day
The Isles are 34-19-7 in night games and 6-3-0 in matinees. The next matinee is on March 16th in Detroit. The final two matinees are the following weekend (March 23rd in Philly and March 24th vs. Arizona (at the Coliseum).
Anders Lee 187, Brock Nelson 164, Mathew Barzal 151. Four other Isles: Nick Leddy, Ryan Pulock, Josh Bailey and Leo Komarov have appeared in every game this season.
(Robin Lehner -INJ), (Johnny Boychuk -INJ), Tom Kuhnhackl, Michael Dal Colle, Luca Sbisa, Dennis Seidenberg, Ross Johnston
Total games lost: 133
The Isles are 6-5-1 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 15-1-1 when scoring the game's first two goals.
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.
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 784
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
14. Patrick Flatley 160 *** 15. Anders Lee 148 …
17. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 18. Kyle Okposo 139 ***19. Josh Bailey 138…
21. Duane Sutter 121 *** 22. Brock Nelson 120
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553…
9. Stefan Persson 317 *** 10. Bob Bourne 304 *** 11. Josh Bailey 289 …
25. David Volek 154 *** 26. Mariusz Czerkawski and Nick Leddy 150
1. Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052…
12. Patrick Flatley 488 *** 13. Billy Harris 443 *** 14. Josh Bailey 427…
23. Ed Westfall 286 *** 24. Jason Blake 258 *** 25. Anders Lee 251
Games Played (Goalies)
1. Billy Smith 674 *** 2. Rick DiPietro 318 *** 3. Glenn Resch 282 …
7. Glenn Healy 176 *** 8. Thomas Greiss 156
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 130*** 4. Kelly Hrudey 108***
5. Jaroslav Halak 88 *** 6. Thomas Greiss 82
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 Isles lead the season series three games to none (and 6 points to 0). The Isles will look for a clean sweep of the season series in Columbus on March 26th.
The Isles are 11-1-4 in their last 16 home games against Columbus.
On the Farm
The Sound Tigers earned a split of their two-game weekend trip with a 3-2 shootout win in Toronto on Sunday. Bridgeport, who has won eight of their last nine games, is 12-2-1-0 in their last 15 games (including three OT wins and three shootout wins) and 36-19-5-2 on the season.
The Sound Tigers are off until Friday, when they conclude their 5-game road trip in Hershey. Bridgeport will begin an eight-game homestand on Sunday against Springfield.
Leaders: Goals: Steve Bernier 20; Assists: Chris Bourque 33; Points: Chris Bourque 46; +/-: Otto Koivula +15. Goalies: Jeremy Smith 18-10-3 (2.91 GAA); Christopher Gibson 18-9-4 (2.89 GAA)
THURSDAY, MARCH 14th – MONTREAL AT ISLANDERS AT NASSSAU COLISEUM 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM,WRCN 103.9FM, Radio.com]
The Isles conclude the homestand as they entertain the Montreal Canadiens; it will be the first meeting of the teams since the Habs rallied from a 3-1 deficit for a 4-3 shootout win back on November 5th.
The Isles are only 4-11-2 in their last 17 games against Les Canadiens, including 1-6-2 in their last nine home games.
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