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Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Skinny: Isles 2, Pittsburgh 0

"The Skinny"         

By Eric Hornick

Game 21
Isles 2, Pittsburgh 0
Ilya Sorokin made his Nassau Coliseum debut one to remember as he made 20 saves for his second consecutive shutout while Oliver Wahlstrom and Jean-Gabriel Pageau each scored power play goals as the Islanders did something that they had not done in over 35 years: shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins, this time by a score of 2-0.

Sorokin became the first Islander rookie goalie since Chico Resch to record consecutive shutouts; his shutout streak is exactly 120:00 since allowing an overtime goal to Kevin Hayes four weeks ago.

The win, coming in the final scheduled game between the teams at the Coliseum, gave the Isles a 2-0-2 home record vs. Pittsburgh this season.

The Scoring:
1st Period
Oliver Wahlstrom (3) Nick Leddy (13), Josh Bailey (9) 19:20 PIT 0,NYI 1 PPG

2nd Period
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (9) Josh Bailey (10), Oliver Wahlstrom (4) 14:56 PIT 0,NYI 2 PPG

3rd Period
No Goals

The Skinny        
The Isles have points in 12 of their last 14 games (8-2-4); they are 6-0-2 against everyone but Pittsburgh in that stretch… The Isles finish February with an 8-2-2 record… Nick Leddy's assist is his 8th in the last eight games; he leads the team with 13 assists and also leads the team with eight power play points (1-7-8)…The Isles are 7-0-2 at the Coliseum (5-0-0 vs. everyone but Pittsburgh)...Oliver Wahlstrom has a point in five straight games; he now has five points (1-4-5) on the power play, tying Ottawa's Josh Norris for the NHL rookie lead.  It is the first two-point game of Wahlstrom's career….Josh Bailey had two assists, giving him seven in the last eight games; he now has 488 points, tied with Patrick Flatley for 12th place in club history…Jean-Gabriel Pageau tied Anders Lee for the team goal-scoring lead with 9…The Isles went 2-5 on the power play; it was the first time in 12 games that the team had at least five power plays…In addition to being the only NHL rookie with two shutouts, Ilya Sorokin now has the lowest goals against average among rookies (2.19)….The Isles have recorded five shutouts in their first 21 games for the first time in their history…The Isles' win prevented the Penguins from becoming the first team in NHL history to record five wins over an opponent in the same month.

First Times in a Long Time
The Isles shut out the Penguins for the first time since January 9, 1986 – a span of 190 regular season games: Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin, and Bryan Trottier each had three points and Kelly Hrudey made 27 saves in a 9-0 shutout.  The Isles have shutout every other team that was in the NHL in 1986 since that game (they have never shut out Nashville, Minnesota (Wild) or Vegas).
Nick Leddy is the first Islander defenseman with at least 13 assists in the first 21 games since 2005-06, when Alexi Zhitnik had 15.
Ilya Sorokin has the longest shutout streak for an Islander rookie (120:00) since Anders Nilsson went 136:15 in the 2011-12 season.  He has two shutouts in his first five games; the last Isles rookie to have two shutouts in his first 25 games was Yann Danis, who recorded shutouts in his 22nd and 24th NHL games.
Sorokin is the first NHL goalie in 20 years to record shutouts for his first two NHL wins and only the 8th to do in NHL history.  Both Mathieu Garon (MTL) and Roman Cechmanek (PHI) did so in the 2000-01 season.  Tiny Thompson (1928-29 Bruins) is the only NHL goalie to record his first three wins by shutout.
Oliver Wahlstrom is the first Islander rookie to have a power play goal and a power play assist in the same game since Mathew Barzal did so twice in 2017-18.  (No Islander rookie has had three power play points in a game since Robert Nilsson on April 8, 2006.)
The Islanders had a rookie score the game-winning goal in a shutout victory for another rookie for the first time since Darby Hendrickson scored his only Islander go in Eric Fichaud's only Islander shutout on April 6, 1996.

Most Shutouts by an Islander Rookie
10  Chico Resch (3 in 1974-75 and 7 in 1975-76)
  2  Kelly Hrudey (1984-85)
  2  Ilya Sorokin (2020-21)

Rookie Shutouts (NHL 2020-21)
2 Ilya Sorokin (ISLES)
1 Alex Nedeljkovic (CAR)
1 Kevin Lankinen (CHI)

Longest Shutout Streak by an Islander Rookie
Glenn Resch 12/2/1975 12/12/1975    178:29
Al Montoya 2/17/2011 2/21/2011      143:17
Glenn Resch 10/18/1975 10/25/1975 138:51
Anders Nilsson 11/21/2011 3/10/2012 136:15
Glenn Resch 2/8/1975 3/1/1975 120:41
Ilya Sorokin 2/16/2021 CURRENT 120:00
*Note that Chico Resch played only 25 NHL games in 1974-75, qualifying him for rookie status in 1975-76

Erasing the Pens
This was only the 5th time the Isles had shut out the Penguins in a regular season game (and only the 4th time that they won the game):
2-Mar-80 @ Pittsburgh  (0-0 Tie – Chico Resch)
14-Oct-82 Vs Pittsburgh  (9-0 Win – Billy Smith)
2-Feb-85 @ Pittsburgh  (4-0 Win -  Kelly Hrudey)
9-Jan-86 Vs Pittsburgh  (9-0 Win -  Kelly Hrudey)
28-Feb-21 Vs Pittsburgh  (2-0 Win -  Ilya Sorokin)

Just Give Us a Chance!
The Isles had had just 22 power play attempts in twelve games this month.  The power play is 9-22 (40.9%) this month.

The Isles have had just 21 power play attempts in nine home games this season. They are 9-21 on the power play at home (42.9%), including 8-13 (61.5%) in the six home games against opponents other than Boston (with at least one power play goal in all six games).

Home Sweet Home
The Isles have earned points in their first nine home games (7-0-2).  The 16 points match the most in the first nine home games in club history.  The Isles are the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss at home.

Most Points at Home Through 9 Games
16 1978-79 (7-0-2)
16 2020-21 (7-0-2)
16 2017-18 (7-0-2)
16 1984-85 (8-1-0)

Longest Home Point Streak to Open a Season
23 1978-79 (19-0-4)
10 2017-18 (8-0-2)
9 2020-21 (7-0-2)

Lots of Home Cooking
The Isles are in a stretch where they are playing nine out of 10 at home.  The Isles are 3-0-1 in this stretch:
W BUF 3-2
W BOS 7-2
Lot PIT 3-4
W PIT 2-0

19 in 33
This Isles are in a stretch in which they are scheduled to play 19 games in 33 days for the first time in franchise history.  The Isles are 2-0-1 in this stretch.

Home and Road
The Isles are 11-6-4 overall; they are 7-0-2 at home and 4-6-2 on the road.
Pittsburgh is 11-8-1 overall; they are 7-1-0 at home and 4-7-1 on the road.

Coach Trotz
Barry Trotz is second among active coaches, trailing only Joel Quenneville, in both wins and games. Trotz' NHL record is 856-624-60-155 in 1,695 games. 

Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman  1,244
2. Joel Quenneville  938
3. Barry Trotz    856

Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman   2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,725
3. Barry Trotz        1,695

Sweet Lou
Lou Lamoriello is the third-winningest general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,424
2. Glen Sather 1,319
3. Lou Lamoriello 1,305

It All Starts at the Top
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have 2,161 wins between them.  They start each game with more than any other pair in NHL history (David Poile and Peter Laviolette had 2,036 after their last game together).   Bill Torrey and Al Arbour had a then-record 1,462 at the end of the 1991-92 season, which was their last season together.  

First Things First
The Isles are 8-1-2 when scoring first and are 3-5-2 when allowing the opening goal. 

The Shots
Isles     9-16-5=30
Pittsburgh  2-8-10=20

The Isles are 9-2-2 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-0-0 when the shots are even and 2-3-2 when they are outshot.  Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 56-28-12 when outshot. 

In the Nets
Ilya Sorokin 20 saves to improve to 2-2-1-0 on the season (with both of his wins by shutouts; he is 1-0-0 in his career against Pittsburgh.
Casey DeSmith made 28 saves but falls to 4-2-0 on the season and 3-1-0 in his career against the Isles. 

Special Teams
The Isles were 2-5 on the power play (8:11); Pittsburgh was 0-2 on the power play (4:00) .   

The Isles are 7-2-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 4-4-1 when they do not.  The Isles are 2-5-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 9-1-2 when they do not.

Three is (Usually) a Magic Number
The Isles are 8-1-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 3-5-1 when they do not.  Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 75-6-10 when scoring three or more.

One-Goal Games
The Isles are 3-2-4 in games decided by a single goal including 3-2 in regulation. They are 0-3 in games decided in overtime and are 0-1 in shootouts.  The Isles are 0-0 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1-goal game into a 2-goal game.

Including tonight, the Isles are 1-0-2 in the front-half and 2-0-1 in the back-half. The next back-to-back is scheduled for March 6th/7th, both home games with Buffalo.

Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 19-2-3 in back-ends.

The schedule as currently comprised has the Isles playing the same opponent in consecutive games seventeen times this season (including three-game stretches vs. the Sabres and Devils in early March, vs the Flyers in late March and vs. the Caps in late April).  The Isles are 3-2-2 in the first game and 2-4-1 in the second game:
NYR (W/L); NJ (W/L); WAS (L/L); PHI (Lot/Lot), BUF(W/W), PIT (L/L), PIT (Lot/W)

Tired vs. Rested 
The Isles are 2-0-1 when both teams played the night before. 
The Isles are 1-0-0 when they are rested, and their opponents are not. 
The Isles are 0-0-0 when their opponents are rested, and the Isles are not.
The Isles are 8-6-3 when both teams are rested. 

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Ryan Pulock  (22:49); Pittsburgh: Marcus Petterson (23:08)
Josh Bailey led Isles forwards with 21:09 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Nick Leddy (4-1-0), Ryan Pulock (6-3-3), Scott Mayfield (0-1-0), Mathew Barzal (0-1-1), Adam Pelech (1-0-0).

Isles 30, Pittsburgh 24 (54%)
Casey Cizikas won 7 of 11 for the Isles; Sidney Crosby won 14 of 25 for Pittsburgh.

The Isles are 8-4-2 when they win more face-offs than the opposition, 0-1-1 when they are tied, and 3-1-1 when they win fewer.

Hit Count
Isles 31 (Scott Mayfield-5)
Pittsburgh 24 (Brandon Tanev and Bryan Rust 4)
There were no fights.  Season total: 1 (Cizikas – 1)
Blocked Shots
Isles 11 (Three with 2)
Pittsburgh 10 (Three with 2)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 51, Pittsburgh 41
Corsi: 5-on-5 Isles 35, Pittsburgh 31

5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Adam Pelech +10
Pittsburgh: Evgeni Malkin +13 

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 17, Pittsburgh 9
5-on-5: Isles 11, Pittsburgh 6

Ross Johnston, Sebastian Aho, (Cal Clutterbuck)
Games Lost: 19

250-Game Club
The Isles have three players who have active consecutive game streaks of at least 250 games, and they are three of just 16 players in the NHL whose streak began no later than the start of the 2017-18 season.   

Ironman Streaks: Anders Lee 289, Brock Nelson 266, Mathew Barzal 253, Ryan Pulock 216, Josh Bailey 174.  All five players have appeared in every game since Barry Trotz became the Isles' coach.

Iron Man
Anders Lee has the third-longest consecutive game streak in club history while Brock Nelson has the fifth-longest and Mathew Barzal has the seventh-longest. It is the first time in club history that three different Isles have had concurrent streaks of at least 240 games:
1. Billy Harris 10/7/1972 -11/30/1979 576 (*)
2. Bobby Nystrom 1/7/1975 - 11/25/1978 301
3. Anders Lee 1/26/2017 – CURRENT 289
4. Matt Moulson 10/3/2009 - 4/4/2013 284
5. Brock Nelson 3/16/2017 – CURRENT 266
6. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975 - 1/17/1979 262
7. Mathew Barzal 10/6/2017- CURRENT 253
8. John Tavares 10/16/2010 - 12/23/2013 246
9. J.P. Parise 1/7/1975 – 1/7/1978 240 (**)
10. Richard Park 10/5/2006 - 2/18/2009 221
 (*) Start of NHL career.
(**) Entire career with Islanders

Iron D
Ryan Pulock has become the third Islander defensemen to play in 215 consecutive games: 
1. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979 262
2. Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220 (*) (**)
3. Ryan Pulock 12/29/2017 – CURRENT 216
 (*) Start of NHL career.
(**) Entire career with Islanders

Isles: 1 successful, 0 failures 
The Isles are 1-0-0 in games that they are successful and 0-0-0 in games that they are unsuccessful.(offsides 2/16 @BUF)

Opponents: 1 successful, 0 failure (goalie interference 1/14 @ NYR)
The Isles are 0-0-0 in games where opponents' challenges go their way and 1-0-0 in games that go the opponents' way.

Last Minute Heroes:
The Isles have scored 1 goal and allowed 2 goals in the final three minutes of the third period that were either the winning goal or forced overtime:
For: 1 [Anders Lee, 2/6/21 vs PIT (17:14) -winning goal]
Vs:  2 [Justin Schultz, 1/26/21 @ WSH (19:33)-winning goal; Evgeni Malkin, 2/11/21 vs PIT (19:42) – tying goal/PIT won in OT]

All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1. Bryan Trottier 1,123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1,060 *** 3. Bob Nystrom 900 *** 4. Josh Bailey 886…
17. John Tonelli 594 *** 18. Matt Martin 581 *** 19. Brock Nelson 569 *** 20. Casey Cizikas 555 …
28. Dave Lewis 514 and Anders Lee 514 *** 30. Richard Pilon and Mick Vukota 509*** 32. Cal Clutterbuck 497

1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
11. John Tonelli 206 *** 12. Billy Harris 184 *** 13. Anders Lee 181 *** 14. Ziggy Palffy 168 *** 15. Patrick Flatley 160 *** 16. Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson 156

1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553…
6.  John Tonelli 338 *** 7. Josh Bailey 332 …
19. Pierre Turgeon 193 *** 20. Ed Westfall and Nick Leddy 181

1. Bryan Trottier 1,353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1,126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1,052…
10. Bob Nystrom 513 *** 11. Derek King 499 *** 12. Patrick Flatley and Josh Bailey 488…
20. Ziggy Palffy 331 ***  21. Anders Lee 315  *** 22.  Brock Nelson 305

Games Coached 
1. Al Arbour 1,500 *** 2. Jack Capuano 483 *** 3. Mike Milbury 192 *** 4. Terry Simpson 187 *** 5. Scott Gordon 181 *** 6. Barry Trotz 171
Coaching Wins
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 94

On the Farm
Bridgeport is 2-4-0-0 on the season (1-1-0-0 vs. Hartford and 1-3-0-0 vs. Providence). Bridgeport is off until Thursday when they again play Providence in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Season Series Stats
Pittsburgh leads the season series 4 games to 2 (and 8 points to 6). The teams will meet in Pittsburgh on March 27 and 29 to complete the season series. 

The Isles have earned at least a point in nine straight home games vs. Pittsburgh (5-0-4, including 2-0-4 in games decided beyond regulation).  It is the Isles' longest home point streak against Pittsburgh since they went 12-0-1 vs. Pittsburgh between 1983 and 1986, including ten straight wins

The Isles are 62-40-11 with 8 ties all-time at the Coliseum against Pittsburgh.

[MSG+2 (pre-game at 6:30], WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN 1050]
The Isles are in a stretch in which they play nine out of ten games at home.  The one road game in that stretch is the first of four meetings in March with the New Jersey Devils, which will be played at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

It is the third meeting of the teams this season, with each team earning a victory on home ice.

The Isles may face Mackenzie Blackwood, who prior to Ilya Sorokin was the last rookie goalie to have consecutive shutouts, doing so both in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

The game will have a different feel than any game the Isles have played in the last 51 weeks, as a limited number of fans will be in attendance.

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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