By Eric Hornick
Isles 3, Minnesota 2 (OT)
Brock Nelson scored 1:04 into overtime for his 3rd career overtime goal and with that goal the Isles moved into first place this late in the season for the first time since winning the Patrick Division in 1988.
Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee also scored for the Isles, who improved to 9-1-1 in the back-end of back-to-backs, with a 3-2 victory over the Wild before a sellout crowd of 18,696 at Xcel Energy Center.
Anders Lee scored for the fourth straight game and it was the Isles' first power play goal in the last 12 game.
The Isles are now tied with Washington in points while Pittsburgh's overtime loss to Philadelphia leaves the Penguins three points behind both the Isles and Caps.
The Isles' magic number to clinch a playoff spot falls to 11 and their magic number to win a division for the first time since 1987-88 falls to 21.
Jordan Eberle (14) Mathew Barzal 09:28 NYI 1,MIN 0
Zach Parise (25) Ryan Suter, Ryan Donato 11:11 NYI 1,MIN 1 PPG
Anders Lee (27)Devon Toews, Brock Nelson 16:12 NYI 2,MIN 1 PPG
Jared Spurgeon (14) Eric Staal, Ryan Donato 07:15 NYI 2,MIN 2 PPG
Brock Nelson (22) Mathew Barzal 01:04 NYI 3,MIN 2
The Isles are 28-11-3 in their last 42 games and have reached 91 points faster than any other Isles team in the Post-Cup era (72 games)…. The Isles have surpassed last season's win and point total; including shootout winners they have scored 25 fewer goals and allowed 89 fewer goals than last year's first 72 games… The Isles have 48 points at home and 43 points on the road … Anders Lee has nine goals in the last 15 games…Both Tum Kuhnhackl and Adam Pelech played in their 199th NHL game… The five combined goals ended a three-game streak which saw three or fewer goals scored in each game. The Isles have never played four consecutive games where three or fewer goals were scored…Brock Nelson's winner was his 121st goal, tying Duane Sutter for 21st on the all-time club list; he is now 5-2-7 in 12 career games against the Wild…Mathew Barzal has six assists in the last six games…There were only eight goals scored in the two games between the teams; five was on the power play and one was at 3-on-3…Zach Parise reached 25 goals for the ninth time in his career and the fourth time in six full seasons with Minnesota…Brock Nelson now has an overtime goal in three straight seasons (2/5/17 vs. Toronto, 2/9/18 vs Detroit.
Metro Playoff Watch
1. Isles 91 points/72 games/38 ROW (Tuesday vs. Boston)
2. Caps 91 points/72 games/38 ROW (Tuesday at New Jersey)
3. Penguins 88 points/73 games/38 ROW (Tuesday in Carolina)
4. Hurricanes 85 points/71 games/38 ROW (Tuesday vs. Pittsburgh)
5. Blue Jackets 84 points/72 games/39 ROW (Tuesday at Calgary)
6. Philadelphia 78 points/72 games/33 ROW (Tuesday vs. Montreal)
Also in Wild Card Race
Canadiens 81 points/72 games/35 ROW (Tuesday at Philadelphia)
The Blue Jackets currently hold the second Wild Card, so five Metropolitan Division teams are currently in playoff spots.
The Isles' Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot is 11. It could go as low as 7 (with a win vs. Boston and a Montreal regulation loss to Philadelphia) on Tuesday.
The Isles' Magic Number to clinch the Metropolitan Division is 21. It could go as low as 17 (with a win vs. Boston and a Washington regulation loss to Boston) on Tuesday.
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).
Power Play Drought Ended!
Anders Lee's second period goal was the first power play goal by the Isles in 12 games. It ended the third-longest streak in club history:
• 12 - November/December 1972
• 12 – November /December 2010
• 11 – February/March 2019
The teams combined for three power play goals after neither team had scored a power play goal in the last seven Islander games. It was the first time in club history that they have played more than five straight games without either scoring or surrendering a power play goal.
Strength in the Nets
Thomas Greiss has won 22 games and Robin Lehner has won 20. It's the 1st time in the last 35 years that two different Isles goalies have won at least 20 games; 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 2.21
4. Chico Resch 1975-76 2.28
5. Jaroslav Halak 2015-16 2.30
Best Save Percentage by an Islander in a Season
1. Thomas Greiss 2018-19 .928 (.9282)
2. Chico Resch 1975-76 .928 (.9276)
3. Robin Lehner 2018-19 .927 (.9269)
4. Thomas Greiss 2015-16 .925
The Best (Fourth) Line in Hockey
The Isles are 29-12-6 when Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck all play. They improved to 13-11-1 when one or more miss a game. Cizikas missed his second straight game today.
For the + Column
Casey Cizikas is +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 10-5-2 on Coliseum ice; they are averaging 96.4% of capacity on Long Island (including ten sellouts).
Most Points Thru 72 Games (Post-Cup Era)
• 91: 2018-19
• 90: 2014-15
• 87: 2015-16
Most Points Thru 35 Road Games
• 46: 1976-77
• 45: 1980-81
• 43: 2018-19
• 43: 1978-79
• 42: 1975-76
• 42: 2014-15
• 41: 1981-82
• 41: 1977-78
Most Points Thru 37 Home Games (Post-Cup Era)
• 52: 1984-85
• 52: 2015-16
• 50: 2003-04
• 48: 2018-19
• 48: 1985-86
• 48: 1987-88
• 47: 2014-15
• 47: 2016-17
Fewest Goals Allowed Thru 72 Games (Includes SO)
• 170 1975-76
• 173 2018-19
• 173 1976-77
The Isles are 11-4-2 in their last 17 road games and 14-5-2 in their last 21 road games. The 30 points in the last 21 road games matches a club record (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 173
2. Dallas 178
3. Boston 185
Fewest Goals Allowed This Season (excluding SO goals)
1. ISLES 168
2. Dallas 177
3. Boston 182
Among active coaches, Barry Trotz has coached the most games and is 2nd to Ken Hitchcock in wins. Trotz' NHL record is 804-591-60-141 in 1,596 games.
Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman 1,244
2. Joel Quenneville 890
3. Ken Hitchcock 846
4. Barry Trotz 804
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 1,596
5. Ken Hitchcock 1,587
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: 42-23-7 (91 points), with 206 goals scored and 173 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
Last Season: 30-32-10 (70 points), with 231 goals scored and 262 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
The Isles have allowed 89 fewer goals, a decrease of 34.0% 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 27-9-5 when scoring first and are 15-14-2 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
• .484 (15-14-2) 2018-19
• .410 (14-21-4) 1985-86
The Isles are 13-14-1 when they outshoot their opponents, 0-2-0 when the shots are even and 29-7-6 when they are outshot. [The 29 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 42-23-7 overall; 22-11-4 at home (9-5-2 on Long Island and 12-6-2 in Brooklyn) and 20-12-3 on the road. All their remaining regular season home games are at the Nassau Coliseum.
Minnesota is 34-30-9 overall; 15-15-7 at home and 19-15-2 on the road.
By Division & Conference
The Isles are 16-8-1 in Division games and 26-15-6 in games versus other divisions. The Isles are 26-13-5 against the East and 16-10-2 against the West.
In the Nets
Thomas Greiss made 32 saves and improves to 22-11-2 on the season and 5-3-0 in his career against Minnesota.
Alex Stalock made 17 saves; he is 6-6-3 on the season and 0-2-2 against the Islanders.
The Isles were 1-2 on the power play in 3:01 of PP time; Minnesota was 2-6 on the power play in 10:41 of PP time.
The Isles are 23-2-2 when they score at least one power play goal and 19-21-5 when they do not. The Isles are 14-13-5 when they allow at least one power play goal and 28-10-2 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 34-2-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 8-21-5 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 5-0-0 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 26-22-5 when both teams are rested.
Isles: Scott Mayfleld (22:08); Minnesota: Ryan Suter (28:59)
Valtteri Filppula led Isles forwards with 18:44 of ice-time
Isles record by ice-time leader: Ryan Pulock (19-11-5), 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 26, Minnesota 32 (45%).
Mathew Barzal won 7 of 9 for the Isles; Eric Fehr won 7 of 0 for Minnesota.
Face-offs by period: 1st period 6/17; 2nd period 9/20; 3rd period 10/20; overtime 1/1.
Face-offs by strength: Even strength: 22/45, Power play 0/3, Penalty kill 4/10.
Isles 10 (Leo Komarov -2)
Minnesota 10 (Two with 2)
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 22 shots (Thomas Hickey, Ryan Pulock and Scott Mayfield -4)
For the Corsi Crowd
All situations: Isles 34, Minnesota 69 (including 28-7 in Minnesota's favor in the 2nd period)
5-on-5 Isles 26, Minnesota 54
Isles: Anthony Beauvillier - EVEN
Minnesota: Ryan Suter +18
Including today, the Isles are 7-4-1 in the front half and 10-1-1 in the back half. The final back-to-back of the season is on March 23-24 in Philadelphia 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 1-1-1 in the last three back-ends.
Night and Day
The Isles are 36-19-7 in night games and 6-4-0 in matinees. The final two matinees are next weekend (March 23rd in Philly and March 24th vs. Arizona (at the Coliseum).
Anders Lee 190, Brock Nelson 167, Mathew Barzal 154. Four other Isles: Nick Leddy, Ryan Pulock, Josh Bailey and Leo Komarov have appeared in every game this season.
(Johnny Boychuk -INJ), (Casey Cizikas – INJ), Michael Dal Colle, Luca Sbisa, Dennis Seidenberg, Ross Johnston
Total games lost: 138
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 7876
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 138…
21. Duane Sutter and Brock Nelson 121
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 254
Games Played (Goalies)
1. Billy Smith 674 *** 2. Rick DiPietro 318 *** 3. Glenn Resch 282 …
7. Glenn Healy 176 *** 8. Thomas Greiss 159
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 130*** 4. Kelly Hrudey 108***
5. Jaroslav Halak 88 *** 6. Thomas Greiss 84
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 win the season series two games to none (and 4 points to 1).
The Isle have won five of the last eight games between the teams; they are 4-3-0 in their last seven trips to St. Paul.
On the Farm
Jeremy Smith made 29 saves as The Sound Tigers began an 8-game homestand with 4-0 win over Springfield. Bridgeport has won nine of their last 11 games, is 13-3-1-0 in their last 17 games (including three OT wins and three shootout wins) and 37-20-5-2 on the season.
Bridgeport begins an eight-game homestand on Sunday against Springfield.
Leaders: Goals: Steve Bernier 21; Assists: Chris Bourque 33; Points: Chris Bourque 46; +/-: Otto Koivula +15. Goalies: Jeremy Smith 19-10-3 (2.82 GAA); Christopher Gibson 18-10-4 (2.97 GAA)
TUESDAY, MARCH 19th – BOSTON AT ISLANDERS AT NASSAU COLISEUM 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM,WRCN 103.9FM, Radio.com]
The Isles come home for a single game when they entertain the Bruins. Boston has had the Isles' number in recent years; the Isles are 0-5-1 in the last six games against the Bruins. The last Islander win was a 4-0 shutout in Beantown on January 16, 2017 in Jack Capuano's final game behind the Isles' bench.
The isles haven't beaten Boston at home since 2013, going 0-7-0. They are 1-10-0 in the last 11 home games and 3-15-0 in the last 18 home games, dating back to late 2007.
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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