By Eric Hornick
Isles 6, Toronto 1
Captain Anders Lee broke a 1-1 tie in the second period and Casey Cizikas broke open the game with a shorthanded goal as the Islanders spoiled John Tavares' return to Long Island, defeating the Maple Leafs 6-1 before a loud sellout crowd of 13,917 at the Nassau Coliseum.
The total team effort featured points for 14 players, and 15 of the 18 skaters went at least +1. A post-game scoring change gave a third period goal to Nick Leddy, his first goal since November 23rd in New Jersey, and a point for Matt Martin. With Martin's point, every Islander forward had a point.
The Isles break a tie with Washington and now lead the Stanley Cup champs by two points (81-79); the Isles, who usurped last year's point total (80), are 13-3-4 in their last 20 games and still hold a game in hand on the Stanley Cup Champs.
Zach Hyman (14) Mitchell Marner, Ron Hainsey 13:33 TOR 1,NYI 0
Anthony Beauvillier (15) Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal 16:16 TOR 1,NYI 1
Anders Lee (22) Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle 04:49 TOR 1,NYI 2
Casey Cizikas (18) Cal Clutterbuck 13:40 TOR 1,NYI 3 SHG
Valtteri Filppula (13) Andrew Ladd, Leo Komarov 19:00 TOR 1,NYI 4
Nick Leddy (2) Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin 00:33 TOR 1,NYI 5
Brock Nelson (20) Jordan Eberle, Ryan Pulock 08:41 TOR 1,NYI 6
The Isles are 20-6-3 since Devon Toews joined the lineup and are 23-7-3 in their last 33 games …The Isles have surpassed last season's win and point total; including shootout winners they have scored 23 fewer goals and allowed 75 fewer goals than last year's first 63 games… The Isles have 42 points at home and 39 points on the road … For the 29th straight game, the Isles did not allow three goals in any period. That extends the club record; the previous mark (26) was set in February-March 1976…The Isles are 7-3-1 in their last ten games (6-1-1 against everyone but Calgary)…The Isles finish February 8-4-2; it's their fifth consecutive month with a winning record…Casey Cizikas was +2; he improved to +25 on the season, a mark no Islander forward (Marty McInnis +31 in 1993-94) has exceeded in the last 25 years…Andrew Ladd has an assist in both games since his return (he also had an assist in the last game he played before his injury)…Robin Lehner reached 20 wins for the 2nd time in his career, and once again has the best goals against average and save percentage in the NHL (minimum 21 games)…Barry Trotz recorded his 799th career win…The Isles allowed the first goal for the 4th time in the last five games; the Isles improve to 15-12-2 when allowing the first goal. Only Tampa Bay (18) and Minnesota (17) have won more games when allowing the first goal…Zach Hyman's potential tying goal in the second period was reversed following video review for an offside. The Isles are 3-3 in offside challenges and have won all three games in which they have challenged…Scott Mayfield returned to the lineup, led the team in ice time, and finished +3. Mayfield's +18 leads all Isles defenders…The Isles scored their 7th shorthanded goal, but their first since December 6th in Pittsburgh. The Isles are 17-1-2 in the last 20 games that they have scored shorthanded, dating back to November 2015…The Isles snapped Auston Matthews' 5-game point streak and four game streaks for John Tavares and Andreas Johansson…By scoring 3 goals in the second period, the Isles have outscored their opponents 57-43 in the middle frame. The 43 goals allowed are the fewest in the NHL (Tampa Bay 48, Dallas 54) by a wide margin… Tavares finished with 5 shots, and an even rating…Anthony Beauvillier scored his 45th career goal in his 199th NHL game…The Isles scored six goals for the first time since December 28th vs. Ottawa; it's the first time since February 14, 2015 (vs. Columbus) that they have scored six goals on Coliseum ice.
Take a Third Off
Through 63 games, the Isles have allowed 150 goals (including shootouts). That is 75 goals fewer than they allowed through 63 games last season, meaning they have allowed 1/3rd fewer goals this season than last season.
Strength in the Nets
Robin Lehner is 16-4-2 (1.71, .943) in his last 22 decisions. His NHL-leading GAA is 2.07 and his NHL-leading save percentage is .931.
Thomas Greiss is 5-1-1 in the last seven games, allowing a total of seven goals on 220 shots (5-1-1, 0.98 GAA, .968 save percentage). On the season, his GAA is 2.26 and his save percentage is .928 (.9277).
Lehner has won 20 games and Greiss 17. It's only the 2nd time in the last 15 seasons that the Isles have gotten at least 17 wins from two different goalies. Greiss won 23 games and Jaroslav Halak 18 in 2015-16.
Best Goals Against Average by An Islander in a Season
1. Robin Lehner 2018-19 2.07
2. Chico Resch 1975-76 2.08
3. Thomas Greiss 2018-19 2.26
Best Save Percentage by an Islander in a Season
1. Robin Lehner 2018-19 .931
2. Thomas Greiss 2018-19 .928 (.9277)
3. Chico Resch 1975-76 .928 (.9276)
4. Thomas Greiss 2015-16 .925
For the + Column
Casey Cizikas was +2 tonight and is now +25 on the season. In the last 30 seasons, only three Islander forwards have finished +23 or higher.
1. Marty McInnis 1993-94 +31
2. Benoit Hogue 1991-92 +30
3. Ray Ferraro 1991-92 +25
Casey Cizikas 2018-19 +25
5. Ryan Strome 2014-15 +23
Trent Hunter 2003-04 +23
The Isles finish February with six consecutive games against Canadian opponents. The Isles went 3-2-1 in this stretch (with the three wins by a combined score of 15-3), which matches a similar stretch in December 1980 for the most consecutive games against Canadian teams:
• 2/16 Vs Edm Oilers W 5-2
• 2/20 @ Cal Flames L 2-4
• 2/21 @ Edm Oilers L 3-4 (OT)
• 2/23 @ Van Canucks W 4-0
• 2/26 Vs Cal Flames L 1-3
• 2/28 Vs Tor Maple Leafs W 6-1
It's Good to be Home
The Isles are 7-2-2 on Coliseum ice; they are averaging 97.9% of capacity on Long Island (including seven sellouts).
Most Points Thru 63 Games (Post-Cup Era)
• 82: 2014-15
• 81: 2018-19
Most Points Thru 32 Road Games
• 41: 1976-77
• 39: 2018-19
• 39: 1980-81
• 38: 1977-78
• 38: 1978-79
• 38: 1981-82
• 38: 2014-15
Most Points Thru 31 Home Games (Post-Cup Era)
• 46: 2014-15
• 44: 1984-85
• 44: 2003-04
• 43: 1987-88
• 42: 2015-16
• 42: 2018-19
Fewest Goals Allowed Thru 63 Games (Includes SO)
• 150 2018-19
• 150 1975-76
• 151 1976-77
The Isles are 9-3-2 in their last 14 road games and 12-4-2 in their last 18 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 150
2. Boston 161
3. Dallas 166 (not including game in LA on Thursday)
Fewest Goals Allowed This Season (excluding SO goals)
1. ISLES 145
2. Boston 158
3. Dallas 166 (not including game in LA on Thursday)
Among active coaches, Barry Trotz has coached the most games and is 2nd to Ken Hitchcock in wins. Trotz' NHL record is 799-587-60-141 in 1,587 games.
Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman 1,244
2. Joel Quenneville 890
3. Ken Hitchcock 840
4. Barry Trotz 799
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 1,587
5. Ken Hitchcock 1,578
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: 37-19-7 (81 points), with 185 goals scored and 150 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
Last Season: 29-27-7 (65 points), with 207 goals scored and 225 goals allowed (includes SO winners)
The Isles have allowed 75 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 22-7-5 when scoring first and are 15-12-2 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
• .517 (15-12-2) 2018-19
• .410 (14-21-4) 1985-86
The Isles are 11-11-1 when they outshoot their opponents, 0-2-0 when the shots are even and 26-6-6 when they are outshot. [The 26 wins when outshot are a franchise record; they won 25 in both 1983-84 and 2017-18.]
Home and Road
The Islanders are 37-19-7 overall; 19-8-4 at home (7-2-2 on Long Island and 12-6-2 in Brooklyn) and 18-11-3 on the road. All their remaining regular season home games are at the Nassau Coliseum.
Toronto is 39-21-4 overall; 20-12-1 at home and 19-9-3 on the road.
By Division & Conference
The Isles are 15-5-1 in Division games and 22-15-5 in games versus other divisions. The Isles are 22-9-5 against the East and 15-11-1 against the West.
In the Nets
Robin Lehner made 34 saves and improves to 20-10-5 on the season and 5-4-0 in his career against Toronto.
Garrett Sparks made 32 saves and improves to 7-5-1 on the season and 1-2-0 against the Islanders.
The Isles were 0-1 on the power play in 2:00 of PP time; Toronto was 0-2 on the power play in 4:00 of PP time.
The Isles are 22-2-2 when they score at least one power play goal and 15-17-5 when they do not. The Isles are 13-12-5 when they allow at least one power play goal and 24-7-2 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 31-2-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-17-5 when they do not.
One Goal Games
The Isles are 14-4-7 in games decided by a single goal including 6-4 in regulation. They are 5-2 in games decided in overtime and are 3-5 in shootouts. The Isles are 4-5 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 5-0-1 when their opponents are rested, and the Isles are not.
• The Isles are 22-19-5 when both teams are rested.
Isles: Scott Mayfield (23:26); Toronto: Auston Matthews (20:59)
Brock Nelson led Isles forwards with 17:20 of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leader: Ryan Pulock (18-8-5), Nick Leddy (13-9-2), Scott Mayfield (6-1-0), Johnny Boychuk (0-1-0).
Isles 27, Toronto 21 (56%).
Brock Nelson won 9 of 15 for the Isles; John Tavares won 7 of 13 for Toronto.
Face-offs by period: 1st period 10/15; 2nd period 11/19; 3rd period 6/14.
Face-offs by strength: Even strength: 25/44, Power play 1/1, Penalty kill 1/3.
Isles 39 (Matt Martin, Leo Komarov and Johnny Boychuk -5)
Toronto 22 (Two with 3)
There were no fights. Season total –13 (Scott Mayfield -4, Ross Johnston-3, Matt Martin -2, Anders Lee- 2, Josh Bailey, Johnny Boychuk).
The Isles blocked 17 shots (Scott Mayfield & Ryan Pulock -3)
For the Corsi Crowd
All situations: Isles 56, Toronto 57
5-on-5 Isles 54, Toronto 49
Isles: Anders Lee +16
Toronto: John Tavares +13
The Isles are 7-3-1 in the front half and 9-0-1 in the back half. This back-to-back concludes on Friday against Washington. 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 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.
Night and Day
The Isles are 31-17-7 in night games and 6-2-0 in matinees. The next matinee is on March 3rd vs. Philadelphia (at the Coliseum).
Anders Lee 181, Brock Nelson 158, Mathew Barzal 145. Four other Isles: Nick Leddy, Ryan Pulock, Josh Bailey and Leo Komarov have appeared in every game this season.
Thomas Hickey, Tom Kuhnhackl, Luca Sbisa, Ross Johnston, Dennis Seidenberg
Total games lost: 122
The Isles are 6-4-1 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 14-1-1 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 778
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
15. Pierre Turgeon 147 ***16. Anders Lee 146 *** 17. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 18. Kyle Okposo 139 ***19. Josh Bailey 138…
21. Duane Sutter 121 *** 22. Frans Nielsen, Alexei Yashin & Brock Nelson 119
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553…
11. Derek King 288 ***12. Josh Bailey 287 …
25. David Volek 154 *** 26. Mariusz Czerkawski 150 *** 27. Nick Leddy 147
1. Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052…
12. Patrick Flatley 488 *** 13. Billy Harris 443 *** 14. Josh Bailey 425…
23. Ed Westfall 286 *** 24. Jason Blake 258 *** 25. David Volek and Anders Lee 249
Games Played (Goalies)
1. Billy Smith 674 *** 2. Rick DiPietro 318 *** 3. Glenn Resch 282 …
7. Glenn Healy 176 *** 8. Thomas Greiss 150
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 130*** 4. Kelly Hrudey 108***
5. Jaroslav Halak 88 *** 6. Thomas Greiss 79
1. Glenn Resch 25 ***2. Billy Smith 22 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 16 *** 4. Tommy Salo 14***
5. Jaroslav Halak 12 *** 6. Evgeni Nabokov and Thomas Greiss 9
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series two games to none (and 4 points to 0). The teams will meet again at the Coliseum on April 1st to close out the home schedule.
In outscoring the Leafs 10-1, the Isles have won consecutive games against Toronto by at least four goals for the first time since January 28- March 20, 1986.
The Isles are 6-3-0 in their last nine home games against the Leafs; they have won two straight overall after dropping four straight to Toronto.
On the Farm
The Sound Tigers are 9-1-1-0 in their last 11 games (including three OT wins and two shootout wins) and have improved to 33-18-5-2 on the season. Bridgeport begins a 5-game road trip in Hershey on Friday.
Leaders: Goals: Steve Bernier 18; Assists: Sebastian Aho 32; Points: Chris Bourque 44; +/-: Otto Koivula 17 (only AHL rookie with at least 17 goals and at least +17). Goalies: Jeremy Smith 16-9-3 (2.92 GAA); Christopher Gibson 17-9-4 (2.96 GAA)
FRIDAY, MARCH 1st – WASHINGTON AT ISLANDERS AT NASSAU COLISEUM 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM,WRCN 103.9FM, Radio.com]
On January 18th, the Isles moved into first place in the Metro with a 2-0 win in Washington. While the Capitals tied them in points earlier in the week, the Isles have remained in first place for the last 6 weeks.
The Caps make their first visit to Nassau Coliseum since Game 6 of the 2015 playoffs on Friday. It's the third meeting of the season series, with each team owning a road victory.
Each team owns four regulation wins in the last eight meetings; the teams will also meet in DC for the final game of the regular season on April 6.
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