By Eric Hornick
Pittsburgh 2, Isles 1
Anthony Angello and Jared McCann scored first period goals and Casey DeSmith made 19 saves in relief over the final two periods as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Islanders 2-1 before a socially-distanced crowd of 2,800 at PPG Paints Arena.
Matt Martin deflected in a Mathew Barzal shot for a power play goal in the second period, but the Isles could not get even over the final 30:38.
With the loss, the Isles remain 2 points behind Washington. The Capitals have two games in hand and will play one of them on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins are now even in both points and games with the Isles; the Isles hold the regulation win tie-breaker.
Anthony Angello (2) John Marino (4), Mike Matheson (4) 04:24 NYI 0,PIT 1 PPG
Jared McCann (8) John Marino (5), Mike Matheson (5) 18:28 NYI 0,PIT 2
Matt Martin (6) Mathew Barzal (18), Nick Leddy (24) 09:22 NYI 1,PIT 2 PPG
The Isles are 3-4-0 since the end of their 9-game win streak (and 12-game point streak)... The Isles have 13 goals from rookies (Oliver Wahlstrom 9, Kieffer Bellows 3, Sebastian Aho 1); among East Division teams, only New Jersey (22) has more… The Isles defense had one assist (by Nick Leddy), giving them 66 – most in the East, and fourth in the NHL… The Isles fall to 3-8-1 when trailing after two periods… Nick Leddy now has 24 assists; 16 have come at even-strength, (still tied with Mackenzie Weegar for the most by an NHL defenseman) while his eight power play assists lead the team...Josh Bailey played in his 901st game, passing Bobby Nystrom for 3rd on the all-time Isles games played list…For the second time in this season series, a game was played without a 5-on-5 goal; the Isles won 2-0 on February 28th by scoring twice on the power play…The Isles were credited with 52 hits; it is one shy of their season-high (53 on February 20th, also in Pittsburgh)…Ross Johnston played 10:50 and had six hits in his first game since January 26th in Washington…The Isles fall to 2-7-2 against Pittsburgh and Washington; they are 20-3-2 vs. their other opponents...The Isles have scored the first goal only seven times in 20 road games this season.
Tristan Jarry left the game after one period with an upper body injury and did not return. He is the first goaltender to EVER record a win against the Isles in a game he started but played 20 minutes or fewer. (Ryan Miller 20:58 on 2/22/2015 was the previous starter to play the least and still win.)
First Times in a Long Time
• Matt Martin scored his 2nd career power play goal – his other was on March 5, 2013 for the Isles against Montreal.
• It is the first time that the Isles have allowed at least two goals in three consecutive first periods since February 2018.
Since February 22nd, Oliver Wahlstrom leads the team in goals (8) and is 2nd on the team in points (8-6-14) to Nick Leddy's (0-16-16).
The Isles went 11-4-0 this month; they matched the 1981-82 team (11-1-2) for the most wins the Isles have ever had in March.
Semyon Varlamov is 7-3-1 in his last eleven decisions, allowing just 26 goals in that span. Varly has won 14 games this season with a goals against average of 2.19 and save percentage of .922.
Ilya Sorokin is 8-1-0 in his last nine starts.
Sorokin has won five straight at home. Only one NHL rookie goalie in the last 39 years has won as many as eight straight at home - Semyon Varlamov did that in 2009-10 for Washington.
Home Sweet Home
The Isles have earned points in 15 of their first 16 home games (13-1-2), remaining tied with the 1978-79 team for the most in club history through 16 games:
Most Points at Home Through 16 Games
• 28 2020-21 (13-1-2)
• 28 1978-79 (12-0-4)
• 27 2019-20 (13-2-1)
The Isles have allowed only 84 goals (including 1 shootout winner) in 36 games; it is the fewest goals that they have allowed through 36 games in their history:
• 84 (2020-21)
• 85 (2015-16)
• 87 (1977-78)
• 88 (1975-76)
• 89 (1976-77)
Results vs. Each East Division Opponent
• Boston W-W-W-Wso-Wot Remaining games: 3 (0 home, 3 away)
• Buffalo W-W-W-W-W-W Remaining games: 2 (0 home, 2 away)
• New Jersey W-L-W-W-W-Wso Remaining games: 2 (2 home, 0 away)
• Rangers W-L-W Remaining games: 5 (4 home, 1 away)
• Philadelphia Lot-Lot-L-W-Wot Remaining games: 3 (2 home, 1 away)
• Pittsburgh W-Lso-L-L-Lot-W-L-L Remaining games: 0
• Washington L-L-L Remaining games: 5 (4 home, 1 away)
This was the final game in a stretch where the Isles played seven out of nine games on the road. The Isles went 5-4-0 in this stretch:
• @ NJ W 3-2
• @ NJ Wso 3-2
• @WSH L 1-3
• PHI L 3-4
• PHI W 6-1
• @PHI Wot 2-1
• @BOS Wot 4-3
• @PIT L 3-6
• @PIT L 1-2
Following this stretch, 12 of the final 20 will be at home.
Home and Road
The Isles are 22-10-4 overall; they are 13-1-2 at home and 9-9-2 on the road.
Pittsburgh is 23-11-2 overall; they are 16-3-1 at home and 7-8-1 on the road.
Barry Trotz is second among active coaches, trailing only Joel Quenneville, in both wins and games. Trotz' NHL record is 867-628-60-155 in 1,710 games.
Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman 1,244
2. Joel Quenneville 947
3. Barry Trotz 867
Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman 2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,740
3. Barry Trotz 1,710
Lou Lamoriello is the third-winningest general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,431
2. Glen Sather 1,319
3. Lou Lamoriello 1,316
It All Starts at the Top
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have 2,183 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 14-1-2 when scoring first and are 8-9-2 when allowing the opening goal.
The Isles are 14-5-2 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-1-0 when the shots are even and 7-4-2 when they are outshot. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 60-29-12 when outshot.
In the Nets
Semyon Varlamov made 20 saves but falls to 14-7-3 on the season and 6-5-4 in his career against Pittsburgh.
Tristan Jarry made 5 saves but was replaced after the first period due to injury; he improves to 15-8-2 on the season and 7-2-0 in his career against the Isles. Casey DeSmith made 19 saves in relief and was named the game's #1 star.
The Isles were 1-4 on the power play (4:04); Pittsburgh was 1-3 (2:53).
The Isles are 9-4-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 13-6-1 when they do not. The Isles are 5-8-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 17-2-2 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 16-3-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-7-1 when they do not. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 82-8-10 when scoring three or more.
The Isles are 9-4-4 in games decided by a single goal including 5-4 in regulation. They are 2-3 in games decided in overtime and are 2-1 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.
The Isles are 3-0-2 in the front-half and 4-0-1 in the back-half. The next back-to-back is scheduled for April 8th/9th, home games vs. the Flyers and the Rangers.
Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 21-2-3 (.865) in back-ends. This is by far the best record of any NHL team in back-ends during this stretch. Tampa Bay has the next best record: 19-6-3 (.732).
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, Devils, Flyers, and Capitals).
In two-game series, the Isles are 3-3-2 in the first game and 2-5-1 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), PIT (L/L)
In three-game series, the Isles are 2-1-0 in the first game, 3-0-0 in the second game, and 3-0-0 in the third:
BUF (W/W/W), NJ (W/W/W), PHI (L/W/Wot)
Tired vs. Rested
• The Isles are 4-0-1 when both teams played the night before.
• The Isles are 1-2-0 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 17-8-3 when both teams are rested.
Isles: Nick Leddy (23:35); Pittsburgh: Brian Dumoulin (24:46)
Mathew Barzal led Isles forwards with 18:40 of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Nick Leddy (8-3-0), Ryan Pulock (10-5-3), Scott Mayfield (1-1-0), Mathew Barzal (1-1-1), Adam Pelech (2-0-0).
Isles 27 Pittsburgh 35 (44%)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau won 11 of 17 for the Isles; Mark Jankowski won 6 of 9 for Pittsburgh.
The Isles are 12-6-2 when they win more face-offs than the opposition, 0-1-1 when they are tied, and 9-3-1 when they win fewer.
Isles 52 (Cal Clutterbuck -8)
Pittsburgh 23 (Sam Lafferty -5)
There were no fights. Season total: 2 (Cizikas -1, Wahlstrom -1)
Isles 9 (Andy Greene and Jean-Gabriel Pageau -2)
Pittsburgh 14 (Brian Dumoulin -3)
For the Analytics Crowd
Corsi: All situations: Isles 43, Pittsburgh 41
Corsi: 5-on-5 Isles 35, Pittsburgh 37
Isles: Adam Pelech +8
Pittsburgh: Zach Aston-Reese +4
High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 13, Pittsburgh 7
5-on-5: Isles 10, Pittsburgh 5
Austin Czarnik, Sebastian Aho, Cory Schneider, (Anders Lee-LTIR), (Michael DalColle -IR)
Games Lost: 29
COVID Games Lost -5
The Isles have two players who have active consecutive game streaks of at least 250 games, and they are two of just 15 players in the NHL whose streak began no later than the start of the 2017-18 season.
Ironman Streaks: Brock Nelson 281, Mathew Barzal 268, Ryan Pulock 231, Josh Bailey 189. All four players have appeared in every game since Barry Trotz became the Isles' coach.
Brock Nelson now has the longest active streak (and 5th-longest in club history); Mathew Barzal is 6th on this list while Ryan Pulock is 10th:
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 – 3/13/2021 295
4. Matt Moulson 10/3/2009 - 4/4/2013 284
5. Brock Nelson 3/16/2017 – CURRENT 281
6. Mathew Barzal 10/6/2017- CURRENT 268
7. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975 - 1/17/1979 262
8. John Tavares 10/16/2010 - 12/23/2013 246
9. J.P. Parise 1/7/1975 – 1/7/1978 240 (**)
10. Ryan Pulock 12/29/2017 – CURRENT 231
(*) Start of NHL career.
(**) Entire career with Islanders
Pulock's streak is the 2nd-longest by an Islander defenseman, trailing only Denis Potvin's 262-game streak.
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, 1 failure (goalie interference 1/14 @ NYR, no goalie interference 3/11 vs NJ)
The Isles are 1-0-0 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 one goal and allowed four 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: 4 [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; Oskar Lindblom, 3/18/21 vs PHI (17:38)-winning goal; Anders Bjork, 3/25/21 vs BOS (17:54) – tying goal/Isles won in OT]
All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1. Bryan Trottier 1,123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1,060 *** 3. Josh Bailey 901…
14. Frans Nielsen 606 *** 15. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 16. Garry Howatt and Matt Martin 596 *** 18. John Tonelli 594 ***19. Brock Nelson 584 *** 20. Casey Cizikas 570 …
27. Kyle Okposo 529 *** 28. Anders Lee 520 *** 29. Dave Lewis 514 *** 30. Cal Clutterbuck 512 *** 31. Richard Pilon and Mick Vukota 509 *** 33. Nick Leddy 498
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
11. John Tonelli 206 *** 12. Billy Harris and Anders Lee 184 *** 14. Ziggy Palffy 168 *** 15. Brock Nelson 162 *** 16. Patrick Flatley 160 *** 17. Josh Bailey 159
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553…
6. John Tonelli 338 *** 7. Josh Bailey 337 …
19. Pierre Turgeon 193 *** 20. Nick Leddy 192
1. Bryan Trottier 1,353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1,126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1,052…
10. Bob Nystrom 513 *** 11. Derek King 499 *** 12. Josh Bailey 496…
20. Ziggy Palffy 331 *** 21. Anders Lee 320 *** 22. Brock Nelson 315
1. Al Arbour 1,500 *** 2. Jack Capuano 483 *** 3. Mike Milbury 192 *** 4. Terry Simpson 187 *** 5. Barry Trotz 186
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 105
On the Farm
Bridgeport is 3-8-0-0 on the season (2-2-0-0 vs. Hartford and 1-6-0-0 vs. Providence).
Bridgeport returns to action on Wednesday when they host Providence to end the first-half of their 24-game schedule.
Season Series Stats
Pittsburgh wins the season series 6 games to 2 (and 12 points to 6).
The Isles are 2-4-2 vs. Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh is 6-2-0 vs. the Isles
The Isles went 2-0-2 at home vs. the Penguins this season but lost all four games in Pittsburgh in regulation time. The Isles were outscored 5-0 in the first period in Pittsburgh this season.
The Isles are 3-5-2 in their last 10 regular season games with the Pens.
THURSDAY, APRIL 1st – WASHINGTON AT ISLANDERS 7:00pm
[MSG+[pre-game at 6:30], WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN 1050]
The Isles head home to begin a 6 game in 11 day homestand against the Washington Capitals. The Isles will alternate games with Washington and Philadelphia to begin the homestand before playing a pair with the Rangers to end it.
It is the first of five games between the teams this month, with the first four coming at the Coliseum. The Capitals have won the first three games of the season series, all in DC, and all in regulation.
Since becoming the Isles' coach, Barry Trotz has a 4-7-0 regular season record against the team he led to the Stanley Cup in 2018. The Isles are 0-4 at home vs. Washington in that span. Of course, the Isles beat the Caps in five games in The Bubble in August.
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