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The Skinny: Isles 3, Pittsburgh 1. Isles SWEEP series, 4-0.

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference First Round Game 4 Isles 3, Pittsburgh 1  It's on to Round 2.  For the second...

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Skinny: Isles 5, Winnipeg 4 - the Magic Number is 2

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 78
Isles 5, Winnipeg 4    
The Comeback Kids were at it again.  But this one was different.  The Isles rallied from three separate two-goal deficits and scored two goals in a 33 second span late in the third period as they defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 before a sellout crowd of 15,321 at MTS Place. It is the first game in Islander history that they trailed with two minutes to play and rallied to win in regulation.

Jordan Eberle scored two of the third period goals, including the winner, which came after Casey Cizikas' 20th goal of the season had tied the game at 18:14 of the third period.  Cizikas' goal finally erased a Jets lead in a game that Winnipeg led for 58:01.

The Isles now have 97 points, which is  the most through 78 games in the post-Cup era; idle Pittsburgh has 95 points. The Capitals completed a sweep of Carolina to move to 100 points.  All three teams have four games to play.

The Isles' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to 2.  The Isles can clinch a playoff spot at home on Saturday with a win over Buffalo or a Montreal loss in Winnipeg. 

The Scoring: 
1st Period
Adam Lowry (10) Brandon Tanev, Nathan Beaulieu 00:13 NYI 0,WPG 1 
Adam Lowry (11) Jacob Trouba, Brandon Tanev 06:11 NYI 0,WPG 2
Mathew Barzal (18) Jordan Eberle 10:19 NYI 1,WPG 2

2nd Period
Brandon Tanev (14) Nathan Beaulieu, Adam Lowry 03:46 NYI 1,WPG 3
Anders Lee (28) Ryan Pulock, Josh Bailey 06:06 NYI 2,WPG 3 PPG

3rd Period
Mark Scheifele (36) Jacob Trouba, Blake Wheeler 06:46 NYI 2,WPG 4 PPG
Jordan Eberle (16) Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech 07:49 NYI 3,WPG 4
Casey Cizikas (20) Anthony Beauvillier, Ryan Pulock 18:14 NYI 4,WPG 4
Jordan Eberle (17) Mathew Barzal, Anders Lee 18:47NYI 5,WPG 4

The Skinny   
The Isles are 31-14-3 in their last 47 games…  The Isles have surpassed last season's win and point total; including shootout winners they have scored 33 fewer goals and allowed 92 fewer goals than last year's first 78 games… The Isles have 50 points at home and 47 points on the road; if they can go 1-0-1 in the final two road games they will have their first 50-50 (points at home and on the road since 1981-82) … Anders Lee's 5-on-3 goal was only the 2nd power play goal of March; they improve to 2-41 on the power play since February 24th … The Isles have 23 wins at home and 22 wins on the road; it's only the 5th time in franchise history that the Isles have won at least 22 games both at home and on the road (1976-77, 1980-81, 1983-84, 2014-15)… . The Isles are 8-7-0 in March with one game to play; they have been above NHL-.500 every month this season…Casey Cizikas is the 8th player in Islander history with at least 20 goals in a season without scoring a power play goal; it was his first goal in 11 games…Mathew Barzal scored his first goal in 20 games… The Isles improve to 18-5-7 in 1-goal games; they are one of four teams this season to win 60% of their one-goal decisions (Tampa Bay, Winnipeg, Columbus)... In the Isles' eight wins this month, Jordan Eberle has two game-winning goals and one shootout-deciding goal.  He is tied with Anders Lee for the team lead in game-winning goals (5)…The Isles are 19 games over NHL-.500 for the 4th time this month.  They lost the next game the three previous times…Tom Kuhnhackl played in his 200th NHL game for the Isles; Ben Chariot played his 300th NHL game for Winnipeg…Six of Adam Lowry's 52 NHL goals have come against the Isles…Ryan Pulock, playing in his home province, had his third 3-assist game of the season; his 1st assist was the 50th of his career…The Isles had 44 shots on goal; it's their most in a road game since January 20, 2018 in Chicago (46).

Metro/Wild Card Playoff Watch 
1. Caps 100 points/78 games/42 ROW ( Saturday at Tampa Bay)
2. Isles 97 points/78 games/41 ROW ( Saturday vs. Buffalo)
3. Penguins 95 points/77 games/40 ROW (Friday vs. Nashville, Sunday vs. Carolina)

Wild Card Race
WC1. Hurricanes 91 points/77 games/40 ROW (Saturday vs. Philadelphia)
WC2. Blue Jackets 90 points/77 games/42 ROW (Saturday at Nashville)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WC3. Canadiens 90 points/78 games/39 ROW (Saturday at Winnipeg)

Magic Numbers:
The Isles Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot is 2.  Any Islander win or Canadien regulation loss will clinch a playoff spot.

Tie Breakers:
Head-to-Head
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 +33
Washington +30
Isles +25

Top and Bottom 
The Isles can still finish anywhere from 1st to 5th place in the Metro Division and 2nd to 9th place in the Eastern Conference.

Early Goal 
Brandon Tanev's goal was the earliest in an Isles game since Nick Leddy scored 13 seconds into the 11/5/16 game vs. Edmonton (at Barclays Center).

Earliest Goals Allowed by Isles
:08 Alex Semin (WAS) 11/11/2009 – Isles lost 5-4 (SO)
:09 Kevin Hatcher (WAS) 1/27/1991 – Isles lost 5-4 (OT)
:11 Dan Maloney (DET) 12/10/1977- Isles won 7-4
:11 Dave Taylor (LA) 1/19/1985- Isles lost 6-5 (OT)
:12 Cory Sarich (TB) 12/14/2012 – Isles lost 4-3
:12 Nick Harbaruk (STL) 11/17/1973 – Isles lost 4-0
:13 Adam Lowry (WPG) 3/28/2019 – Isles WON 5-4

Comeback Kings
The Isles are 7-8-1 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), COL (2/9 - OT), and WPG (3/28) while earning a point vs. EDM (2/21 – OTL).

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

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 211 minutes in his last four appearances, allowing only six goals, including a shutout.  He has stopped 98 of 104 shots in that span, for a 1.71 GAA and a 94.2 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 (23) & 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 2.22
3. Chico Resch 1975-76 2.28
4. Jaroslav Halak 2015-16 2.30
5. Thomas Greiss 2018-19 2.31

Best Save Percentage by an Islander in a Season 
1. Chico Resch 1975-76 .928 (.92757)
2. Robin Lehner 2018-19 .926 (.92648)
3. Thomas Greiss 2018-19 .926 (.92554)
4. Thomas Greiss 2015-16 .925

The Best (Fourth) Line in Hockey
The Isles are 32-15-6 when Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck all play and are 13-11-1 when one or more miss a game.  

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), 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 78 Games (Post-Cup Era)
97: 2018-19
96: 2014-15
95: 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 39 Road Games (Post Cup Era)
47: 2014-15
47: 2018-19
43: 2001-02
41: 2015-16
The most road points that the Isles have earned in a full season in the Post-Cup era is 49 in 2014-15.

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 78 Games (Includes SO)
183 1975-76 (no overtime games)
186 1976-77 (no overtime games)
192 2018-19 (185 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 13-6-2 in their last 21 road games and 16-7-2 in their last 25 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. Dallas 190 in 78 games 
2. ISLES 192 in 78 games
3. Boston 197 in 77 games vs NYR 

Fewest Goals Allowed This Season (excluding SO goals)
1. ISLES 187 in 78 games
2. Dallas 191 in 78 games
3. Boston 194 in 77 games 

Coach Trotz
Among active coaches, Barry Trotz has coached the most games and is 2nd to Ken Hitchcock in wins. Trotz' NHL record is 807-594-60-141 in 1,602 games. 

Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman  1,244
2. Joel Quenneville  890
3. Ken Hitchcock    848
4. Barry Trotz    807
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   1,602
5. Ken Hitchcock   1,593

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: 45-26-7 (97 points), with 217 goals scored and 192 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
Last Season: 32-36-10 (74 points), with 250 goals scored and 284 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
The Isles have allowed 92 fewer goals, a decrease of 32.4% 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 28-9-5 when scoring first and are 17-17-2 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
.472 (17-17-2) 2018-19
.410 (14-21-4) 1985-86

The Shots
Isles        12-20-12=44
Winnipeg 18-8-11=37
The Isles are 15-14-1 when they outshoot their opponents, 0-2-0 when the shots are even and 30-10-6 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 45-26-7 overall; 23-12-4 at home (11-6-2 on Long Island and 12-6-2 in Brooklyn) and 22-14-3 on the road.  Both of their remaining regular season home games are at the Nassau Coliseum.
Winnipeg is 45-28-4 overall; 25-11-4 at home and 20-17-0 on the road.  

By Division & Conference
The Isles are 17-9-1 in Division games and 28-17-6 in games versus other divisions.  The Isles are 27-16-5 against the East and 18-10-2 against the West.  

In the Nets
Robin Lehner made 33 saves and improves to 23-14-2 on the season and 4-0-0 in his career against Winnipeg.   
Connor Hellebuyck made 39 saves but falls 32-22-12 on the season and 3-2-0 against the Islanders.   

Power Plays
The Isles were 1-4 in 6:28 of PP time, with their goal coming after 1:01 of 5-on-3 time; Winnipeg was 1-4 on the power play in 7:02 of PP time.

The Isles are 24-2-2 when they score at least one power play goal and 21-24-5 when they do not.  The Isles are 16-15-5 when they allow at least one power play goal and 29-11-2 when they do not.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 36-2-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 9-24-5 when they do not.  

One Goal Games
The Isles are 18-5-7 in games decided by a single goal including 8-5 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.

Greatest Percentage of 1-goal games won 
1981-82 -- .800
1982-83 &1976-77 -- .667
1991-92 -- .619
2014-15 -- .605
2018-19 -- .600

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 28-25-5 when both teams are rested. 

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Ryan Pulock (25:50); Winnipeg: Jacob Trouba (25:21)
Brock Nelson led Isles forwards with 20:03 of ice-time

Isles record by ice-time leader: Ryan Pulock (22-14-5), 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).

Face-offs
Isles 19, Winnipeg 41 (32%).  

No Islander who took four face-offs won more than he lost; Adam Lowry won 12 of 18 for Winnipeg.  
Face-offs by period: 1st period 8/25; 2nd period 4/18; 3rd period 7/17.
Face-offs by strength: Even strength: 13/45, Power play 4/9, Penalty kill 2/6.

Hit Count
Isles 17 (Ryan Pulock -3)  
Winnipeg 28 (Ben Chiarot & Brandon Tanev -5)
   
Fights
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 9 shots (Ryan Pulock -3) 

For the Corsi Crowd 
All situations: Isles 66, Winnipeg 61
5-on-5 Isles 56, Winnipeg 41

5-on-5 leaders:
Isles: Jordan Eberle +15 
Winnipeg: Bryan Little +5

Back-to-Backs
The Isle played 13 sets of back-to-backs this 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 37-22-7 in night games and 8-4-0 in matinees. The remaining games are all at night.

Ironmen
Anders Lee 196, Brock Nelson 173, Mathew Barzal 160.  Four other Isles: Ryan Pulock (133), Josh Bailey (81), Leo Komarov (80 overall, 78 with Isles) and Nick Leddy (78) have appeared in every game this season.

Century Club
Ryan Pulock is only the 9th defenseman in Islander history to play at least 130 consecutive regular season games:
1. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979 262
2. Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220 (*) (**)
3. Gerry Hart 3/1/1975-11/22/1977 198
4. Andrew MacDonald 12/19/2011- 3/2/2014 164 (**)
5. Nick Leddy 10/23/2016 – 3/26/2018 153
6. Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136 (**)
7. Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134 (*)
8. Ryan Pulock 12/29/2017 – CURRENT (133)
9. Mark Streit 10/8/2011-4/26/2013 130
10. Calvin deHaan 4/7/2016- 12/16/2017 118
11. Travis Hamonic 2/24/2012-1/12/2014 117
12. Travis Hamonic 11/24/2010– 2/4/2012 113 (*)
13. Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110
14. Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104
15. Thomas Hickey 4/26/2013- 11/22/2014 103
 (*) Start of NHL career.
(**) Entire career with Islanders

Scratches
(Valtteri Filppula -INJ), (Andrew Ladd -INJ), Thomas Hickey, (Tanner Fritz- INJ), Luca Sbisa, Dennis Seidenberg, Ross Johnston
Total games lost: 142

Late Heroes
The Isles have scored three times 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)
3/29- WPG Jets – Casey Cizikas scored the tying goal (18:14); Jordan Eberle scored the winner (18:47)

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 793

Goals
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
14. Patrick Flatley 160 *** 15. Anders Lee 152 …
17. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 18. Kyle Okposo 139 ***19. Josh Bailey 140…
20. Jason Blake 127 *** 21.  Brock Nelson 123

Assists
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553…
9. Stefan Persson 317 *** 10. Bob Bourne 304 *** 11.  Josh Bailey 291 …
26. Ziggy Palffy 163 *** 27. David Volek 154 *** 28. Nick Leddy 151

Points
1. Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052…
12. Patrick Flatley 488 *** 13. Billy Harris 443 *** 14. Josh Bailey 431…
24.. Ed Westfall 286 *** 25. Steve Thomas and  Jason Blake 258 *** 27. Anders Lee 256

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 161

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 split the season series 1 game to 1 (and 2 points to 2).   

The Isles are 8-1-1 in ten trips to Manitoba since the Jets returned to the NHL, with their only regulation loss coming last season (12/29/17).

On the Farm  
Bridgeport suffered a 4-0 loss to Charlotte on Wednesday, ending their 10-game home point streak (9-0-1-0). The Sound Tigers' magic number to clinch a playoff spot remains seven.  The Sound Tigers will have another shot at Charlotte on Saturday night and then host Hershey on Sunday afternoon before concluding their eight-game homestand against Wilkes Barre-Scranton on Tuesday morning.

Bridgeport is 11-3-1-0 in their last 15 games, 15-4-2-0 in their last 21 games and 39-21-6-2 on the season.  

Leaders:  Goals: Steve Bernier 22; Assists: Chris Bourque 36; Points: Chris Bourque 51; +/-: Otto Koivula +17.  Goalies: Jeremy Smith 20-10-4 (2.71 GAA); Christopher Gibson 19-11-4 (2.97 GAA)

Up Next
SATURDAY, MARCH 30th –BUFFALO 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 clinch a playoff spot as they begin their final homestand with a game against Buffalo. 

The teams have split a pair of games this season in Buffalo, with the Isles winning on New Year's Eve 3-1 and losing on February 12th by the same score.

The Isles are 6-2-2 in their last ten games against Buffalo and have beaten in regulation only three times in the last 19 games between the clubs.

This will be the first Sabres game on Long Island since April 4, 2015 when Jaroslav Halak blanked Buffalo 3-0; it was the Isles' final regular season win at the Coliseum for nearly 44 months.

It has been 17 years since the Isles have clinched a playoff spot with a win on home ice (5-4 vs Washington on April 6, 2002) and 29 years since the Isles clinched a playoff spot in March (March 31, 1990 – Isles beat Philly and Uwe Krupp's OT goal for Buffalo over Pittsburgh knocked Isles into playoffs); both of those streaks could end on Saturday.

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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