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Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Skinny: Isles 3, New Jersey 2 (SO)

"The Skinny"         

By Eric Hornick

Game 29
Isles 3, New Jersey 2 (SO)
Kieffer Bellows scored his third goal in two games and Brock Nelson scored a first period buzzer-beater, but the Isles would need a reversal of an overtime goal and a come-from-behind effort in the shootout to defeat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 before a socially-distanced crowd of 1,800 at Prudential Center.  Oliver Wahlstrom had the shootout winning goal for the Isles, as Ilya Sorokin earned his sixth straight victory in his first career shootout appearance. 

PK Subban thought he had given the Devils the win with a goal just 37 seconds into overtime but that was overturned following a lengthy league-initiated video review of the zone entry. The Isles then had to kill off a Devil power play and rally from a 1-0 deficit in the shootout to earn the victory in the fourth round.

The Isles have won nine straight games for the 4th time in their history and have points in 12 straight (11-0-1) for the 7th time in their history.  Both streaks are the longest in the NHL this season.  The Isles now have an NHL-leading 42 points.

The first-place Isles are 16-2-4 in their last 22 games; they moved four points ahead of idle Washington.  The teams will meet on Tuesday in DC after the Caps visit Buffalo on Monday. Since the beginning of February, the Isles are 14-0-0 against everyone but Pittsburgh. 

The Scoring:
1st Period
Kieffer Bellows (3) Sebastian Aho (1), Jordan Eberle (10) 04:18 NYI 1,NJD 0
Janne Kuokkanen (5) Kyle Palmieri (8), Damon Severson (7) 05:12 NYI 1,NJD 1 PPG
Brock Nelson (12) Nick Leddy (17), Josh Bailey (12) 19:58 NYI 2,NJD 1

2nd Period
Yegor Sharangovich (5) P.K. Subban (10), Dmitry Kulikov (2) 16:04 NYI 2,NJD 2

3rd Period
No Goals

OT
No Goals

The Skinny        
The Isles have points in 20 of their last 22 games (16-2-4); they are 14-0-2 against everyone but Pittsburgh in that stretch… The Isles are 11-0-1 in their last 12 games.…The Isles have won nine straight games; it is the second straight season that they have won at least nine straight and only the 4th time in franchise history … The Isles have outscored their opponents 30-18 in the first period and 32-19 in the third period…  Brock Nelson has points in six of the last seven games (6-1-7) and goals in five of the last six games (5-1-6); his goal tied Anders Lee for the club lead with 12 …Nick Leddy recorded his 17th assist; Washington's John Carlson is the only East Division defenseman with 18... Sebastian Aho assisted on the first goal. It was his first NHL game in over three years. The Isles had dressed the same six defensemen in all 28 prior games; it is the second-longest streak in club history (30 in 2006-07)…Kieffer Bellows now had three goals in nine games this season and five goals in 18 career NHL games…The Devils earned their first point at home since beating the Isles 2-0 on January 24th; they had lost 10 straight home games, all in regulation, for the first time in their history… The Isles now have seven goals from rookies (Oliver Wahlstrom 5, Kieffer Bellows 3); among East Division teams, only New Jersey (19) has more… Kuokkanen had goals in all three games of this series and in four straight games overall; no Devil rookie has ever done so in five straight games.  (Wilf Paiement-KC Scouts and Barry Beck – Colorado Rockies both had six game streaks for the longest streaks in franchise history)… Ilya Sorokin had a shutout saved last month by an offside review and now has had an overtime goal overturned…The Isles have allowed only 137 shots on goal during Sorokin's win streak (22.8 per game)…The defense contributed two more assists; 38% of the Islander assists this season have come from defenseman.  Only Vancouver (40%) has gotten a larger share of assists from their defense.

The Shootout
Nikita Gusev (G)/Jordan Eberle (NG)
Jesper Bratt (NG)/ Mathew Barzal (NG)
Pavel Zacha (NG)/ Anthony Beauvillier (G)
Jack Hughes (NG)/ Oliver Wahlstrom (G/GDG)

Anthony Beauvillier is now 4-of-8 in the shootout (50%); it was his first career game deciding goal. No Islander who has taken multiple shots has a better shootout record than Beauvillier…Nikita Gusev scored for the 7th time in 12 career attempts… The Isles now have 84 shootout wins all-time, breaking a tie with Pittsburgh for the NHL record…Oliver Wahlstrom scored the winning goal on his first career attempt… Mathew Barzal is 0-3 this season and 6-21 in his career in shootout attempts.

The lllness/Injuries
Anders Lee has been placed on Long Term Injured Reserve.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Noah Dobson both entered COVID Protocol and were unable to play.
Cal Clutterbuck left the game late in the 1st period but returned to start the second period.

First Times in a Long Time
Sebastian Aho appeared in an NHL game for the first time since March 18, 2018.
Other than Empty Nets, Brock Nelson's goal was the latest for the Isles since Anders Lee scored at 19:58 of the third period on March 3, 2015 in Dallas.  Cody Eakin won that game in overtime.
Janne Kuokkanen is the second Devils rookie with three goals in a season against the Islanders; Kirk Muller did so in 1984-85.
Nick Leddy was assessed his first penalty in 58 games, including all 22 games in the 2020 Playoffs.  Andy Greene was    assessed penalties in both games in Newark, after going the first 27 games of the season without a penalty.

Six Cheers for the Red, White, and Blue
Each of the last six Islander goals has been scored by an American-born player, dating back to the last goal against New Jersey on Thursday.  Kieffer Bellows has 3 of them, Brock Nelson has 2, and Oliver Wahlstrom has the other one.

Nine Straight
This is the fourth time in franchise history that the Isles have won at least nine straight games:
15 in 1981-82 
10 in 2019-20  
9 in 1989-90 
9 in 2020-21

(Usually) Kings of 60
The Isles have won 17 games in regulation (out of 19 overall), tying Edmonton for the most regulation wins in the NHL.

Sorokin's Shining
Ilya Sorokin has allowed only nine goals in his last six games (6-0-0) . Sorokin has allowed 20 goals in 546 minutes this season (2.20), and since January 24th he has allowed only 15 goals in his eight appearances (1.87).  

Sorokin is the first rookie goalie in Islander history to record a win in six consecutive games and is the second Isles rookie to win six consecutive decisions (Roland Melanson – 6 games – 1982).  Melanson's streak began with the first game of the famed 15-game win streak. 

Varly Streaking
Semyon Varlamov is 6-0-1 in his last seven games, allowing just 14 goals in that span (1.98, .935).  Varly has won 13 games this season with a goals against average of 2.03 and save percentage of .929.  All three are the best in the East Division.  Varlamov now has 245 career wins, tying Kirk McLean for 65th all-time.

What a First Half
The Isles are 19-6-4 through 29 games. The 42 points matches their most in the Post-Cup era:

Most Points through 29 games:
43 1978-79 (18-4-7)
42 2020-21 (19-6-4)
42 2019-20 (20-7-2)
41 1976-77 (19-7-3)

Home Sweet Home
The Isles have earned points in their first 14 home games (12-0-2).  The 26 points are the most in the first 14 home games in club history. The Isles remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss at home.

It is the sixth time in club history that the Isles have had a streak of at least 14 games at any point during the season. The previous five all occurred under the coaching of Al Arbour.

Most Points at Home Through 14 Games
26 2020-21 (12-0-2)
24 1978-79 (10-0-4)
23 2019-20 (11-2-1)

Longest Home Point Streak to Open a Season
23 1978-79 (19-0-4)
14 2020-21 (12-0-2)
10 2017-18 (8-0-2)

Longest Home Point Streak at any point in a Season
23 1981-82 (21-0-2)
        23 1978-79 (19-0-4)
16 1977-78 (14-0-2)
15 1980-81 (12-0-3)
14 2020-21 (11-0-2)
        14 1974-75 (10-0-4)
13 2019-20 (12-0-1)
        13 1979-80 (11-0-2)

Solid D
The Isles have allowed only 64 goals (including 1 shootout winner) in 29 games; it is the fewest goals that they have allowed through 29 games in their history:
64 (2020-21)
67 (1977-78)
69 (1976-77)
69 (2019-20)
70 (2015-16)

Results vs. Each East Division Opponent
Boston W-W-W-W  Remaining games: 4  (0 home, 4 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 Remaining games: 6  (4 home, 2 away)
Pittsburgh         W-Lso-L-L-Lot-W Remaining games: 2  (0 home, 2 away)
Washington L-L         Remaining games: 6  (4 home, 2 away)

This was the second game in a stretch where the Isles will play eight out of 10 on the road, with a pair of home games with the Flyers following the first three road games.  The Isles are 2-0-0 in this stretch:
@ NJ W 3-2
@ NJ Wso 3-2
@WSH 3/16
PHI 3/18
PHI 3/20
@PHI 3/22
@BOS 3/23
@BOS 3/25
@PIT 3/27
@PIT 3/29
Following this stretch, 12 of the final 19 will be at home

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 10-0-1 in this stretch.

Home and Road
The Isles are 19-6-4 overall; they are 12-0-2 at home and 7-6-2 on the road.
New Jersey is 8-13-4 overall; they are 2-10-2 at home and 6-3-2 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 864-624-60-155 in 1,703 games. He is the first coach in NHL history to record two winning streaks of at least eight games for two different teams (NYI/WSH), with each streak occurring in his first three years with the team.

Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman  1,244
2. Joel Quenneville  943
3. Barry Trotz    864

Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman   2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,732
3. Barry Trotz        1,703

Sweet Lou
Lou Lamoriello is the third-winningest general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,425
2. Glen Sather 1,319
3. Lou Lamoriello 1,313

It All Starts at the Top
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have 2,177 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.  

99 Over NHL-.500
The win improves the Isles' all-time record to 1,675-1,576-510. It is the first time the Isles are 99 games over NHL-.500 since December 22, 1997, when the Isles fell to 913-814-285 with a 4-1 loss to Ottawa.

First Things First
The Isles are 13-1-2 when scoring first and are 6-5-2 when allowing the opening goal. 

The Shots
Isles    15-10-9-0=34
New Jersey    6-12-10-3=31

The Isles are 13-2-2 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-0-0 when the shots are even and 5-3-2 when they are outshot.  Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 58-28-12 when outshot.

In the Nets
Ilya Sorokin made 29 saves (and stopped 3 of 4 in the shootout) to improve to 6-2-1 on the season and 2-1-0 in his career against New Jersey. This was his first career shootout.
Scott Wedgewood made 32 saves (and stopped 2 of 4 in the shootout); he is 2-3-3 on the season and 1-1-1 in his career against the Isles.  He is 0-2 in his career in the shootout.

Special Teams
The Isles were 0-4 on the power play (7:39); New Jersey was 1-3 (3:56), including a 2:00 4-on-3 in overtime.

The Isles are 8-2-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 11-4-1 when they do not.  The Isles are 4-5-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 15-1-2 when they do not.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 14-1-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 5-5-1 when they do not.  Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 80-6-10 when scoring three or more.

One-Goal Games
The Isles are 7-2-4 in games decided by a single goal including 5-2 in regulation. They are 0-3 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.

Back-to-Backs
Including tonight, 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 March 22nd/23rd, road games in Philadelphia and Boston.
 
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: 17-6-3 (.712).

Series
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).
  
In two-game series, 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)

In three-game series, the Isles are 2-0-0 in the first game, 2-0-0 in the second game, and 2-0-0 in the third:
BUF (W/W/W), NJ (W/W/W)

Tired vs. Rested 
The Isles are 4-0-1 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 14-6-3 when both teams are rested. 

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Mathew Barzal  (24:56 -revised); New Jersey: PK Subban (24:10)
Mathew Barzal led Isles forwards with 24:56 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Nick Leddy (8-1-0), Ryan Pulock (7-3-3), Scott Mayfield (1-1-0), Mathew Barzal (1-1-1), Adam Pelech (2-0-0).

Face-offs
Isles 23, New Jersey 31 (43%)
Austin Czarnik won 6 of 9 for the Isles; Travis Zajac won 12 of 17 for New Jersey.

The Isles are 11-4-2 when they win more face-offs than the opposition, 0-1-1 when they are tied, and 8-1-1 when they win fewer.

Hit Count
Isles 18 (Ryan Pulock -4)
New Jersey 22 (Three with 3)
Fights 
There were no fights.  Season total: 1 (Cizikas – 1)
 
Blocked Shots
Isles 8 (Andy Greene -2)
New Jersey 7 (Seven with 1)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 56, New Jersey 49
Corsi: 5-on-5 Isles 42, New Jersey 36

5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Mathew Barzal +8
New Jersey: PK Subban +15

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 21, New Jersey 5
5-on-5: Isles 13, New Jersey 3

Scratches
Ross Johnston, Michael Dal Colle, (Noah Dobson – COVID Protocol), (Anders Lee-LTIR), (JG Pageau – COVID Protocol)
Games Lost: 21

250-Game Club
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 274, Mathew Barzal 261, Ryan Pulock 224, Josh Bailey 182.  All four players have appeared in every game since Barry Trotz became the Isles' coach.

Iron Man
Brock Nelson now has the longest active streak (and 5th-longest in club history); Mathew Barzal is 7th 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 274
6. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975 - 1/17/1979 262
7. Mathew Barzal 10/6/2017- CURRENT 261
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 224
 (*) 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.

Challenges
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 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 894…
17. John Tonelli 594 *** 18. Matt Martin 589 *** 19. Brock Nelson 577 *** 20. Casey Cizikas 563 …
27. Kyle Okposo 529 *** 28. Anders Lee 520 *** 29. Dave Lewis 514 *** 30. Richard Pilon and Mick Vukota 509*** 32. Cal Clutterbuck 505 *** 33. Ed Westfall 493 *** 34. Nick Leddy 491

Goals
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 157

Assists
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553…
6.  John Tonelli 338 *** 7. Josh Bailey 334 …
19. Pierre Turgeon 193 *** 20. Nick Leddy 185

Points
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 491…
20. Ziggy Palffy 331 ***  21. Anders Lee 320  *** 22.  Brock Nelson 312

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 179
 
Coaching Wins
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 102

On the Farm
Bridgeport is 2-6-0-0 on the season (1-1-0-0 vs. Hartford and 1-5-0-0 vs. Providence) heading into Monday afternoon's game against the Bruins in Marlborough, Massachusetts. 

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 5 games to 1 (and 10 points to 3). The teams' remaining games are on May 6th and May 8th at the Coliseum in what is scheduled to be the final two games of the Isles' regular season.

The teams have played a lot of close games in recent years in Newark.  While the Isles are 6-1-0 in the last six games, all six wins are by one goal (including four beyond 60 minutes). Since 2013, nine of the 19 games between the teams in New Jersey have gone to overtime.

This was the final meeting of the season at Prudential Center. 

UP NEXT
TUESDAY, MARCH 16th  – ISLANDERS AT WASHINGTON 7:00pm
[MSG+2 (pre-game at 6:30], WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN 1050]
The Isles play the final game of their three game road trip as they return to DC for their third meeting of the season with the Capitals.

Washington handed the Isles a pair of frustrating defeats in late January; Justin Schultz scored the winning goal with 27 seconds to play on January 26th and the Caps rallied from a 3-0 deficit with a 5-goal second period on January 28th. Those defeats dropped the Isles' record to 3-4-0; they are 16-2-4 since.

The Isles are 4-6-0 against the Caps (in regular season play) under Barry Trotz, with the two games in January marking the only wins by the home team in that stretch.

This was originally scheduled as the back-end of a back-to-back in DC; however, a schedule change moved the game originally scheduled for Monday until April 27th.

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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