By Eric Hornick
Isles 3, New Jersey 2
Kieffer Bellows scored a pair of third period goals as the Isles rallied from a 2-1 second intermission deficit to defeat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 before a socially-distanced crowd of 1,800 at Prudential Center. Oliver Wahlstrom had the other goal for the Isles, scoring an unassisted goal late in the first period.
The Isles have won eight straight games; they are the first NHL team to have an 8-game win streak this season.
The Islanders have points in 11 straight for the 10th time in their history; it is also the longest streak in the NHL this season.
The first-place Isles are 15-2-4 in their last 21 games; they remain two points ahead of Washington, who beat Philadelphia. The Isles have won thirteen straight games against everyone but Pittsburgh during that stretch.
Pavel Zacha (7) Ty Smith (11), Kyle Palmieri (7) 06:37 NYI 0,NJD 1
Oliver Wahlstrom (5) 17:58 NYI 1,NJD 1
Janne Kuokkanen (4) Yegor Sharangovich (4), Travis Zajac (7) 01:04 NYI 1,NJD 2
Kieffer Bellows (1) Mathew Barzal (15), Jordan Eberle (8) 01:59 NYI 2,NJD 2
Kieffer Bellows (2) Jordan Eberle (9) 05:10 NYI 3,NJD 2
The Isles have points in 19 of their last 21 games (15-2-4); they are 13-0-2 against everyone but Pittsburgh in that stretch… The Isles are 10-0-1 in their last 11 games; it is the first time since the 1981-82 season that the Islanders have had two distinct stretches where they earned points in at least eight straight games.…The Isles have won eight straight games; it is the second straight season that they have won at least eight straight and only the 5th time in franchise history … The Isles have outscored their opponents 28-17 in the first period and 32-19 in the third period; Janne Kuokkanen's goal was the first allowed by the Isles in the last five games and ended a stretch where they had outscored the opposition 10-0 in the second period… Brock Nelson's point streak ended at five games (5-1-6); his goal streak was stopped at four games (4-1-5) …Mathew Barzal moved within one assist of Nick Leddy's team lead with his 15th assist…. The Isles have dressed the same six defensemen in all 28 games this season; it is the second-longest streak in club history (30 in 2006-07)…Two of Kieffer Bellows' four career goals have been game-winners…The Devils have lost 10 straight home games for the first time in their history… Adam Pelech went +3 for the second straight game; his +12 now leads all Isles defensemen… Mathew Barzal went +2 to raise his team-leading total to +14… The Isles now have seven goals from rookies (Oliver Wahlstrom 5, Kieffer Bellows 2); among East Division teams, only New Jersey (16) has more…For the second straight game, a scoring change produced an Islander unassisted goal (Noah Dobson on Thursday and Oliver Wahlstrom tonight)…Kieffer Bellows played 14:52 in his first game since February 18th vs. Pittsburgh and only his second game since January…Kuokkanen has goals in both games of this series and in three straight games overall.
• Referee Justin St. Pierre left the game after one period with an upper body injury. He did not officiate the 2nd or 3rd period.
• Josh Bailey suffered a cut on his chin on the Devils' second goal; he returned midway through the second period.
Kieffer, Meet Pasta
Kieffer Bellows is the first player in Islander history to record a pair of multi-goal games for his first four NHL goals. Bellows also scored twice on February 6, 2020 vs. Los Angeles. Bellows is the first NHL player to do so since David Pastrnak did so in January 2015.
Nothing Can Be Finer but to Be from Edina…Minnesota
Kieffer Bellows got into the lineup because of Anders Lee's injury. Bellows and Lee were both born in Edina.
First Times in a Long Time
• The Isles allowed 18 shots in the 2nd period; it was their highest-total of shots allowed since February 15, 2020, when Vegas had 20 in the second period.
• The Isles won a game they trailed after two periods for the first time since February 6, 2020 vs Los Angeles; Kieffer Bellows also scored the winner in that one.
• All three goals were scored by rookies. It is the first time since December 23, 2017 vs. Winnipeg (all by Mathew Barzal) that the Isles have had three goals scored by rookies.
• It is also the first time since April 13, 2014 at Buffalo (Anders Lee 2, Brock Nelson 1) that multiple rookies combined to score at least three goals and the first time since that game that multiple rookies scored all of the Isles' goals in a game.
Building Through the Draft
The Isles dressed nine of their own first round draft picks in this game:
• Josh Bailey (2008)
• Brock Nelson (2010)
• Ryan Pulock (2013)
• Michael Dal Colle (2014)
• Mathew Barzal (2015)
• Anthony Beauvillier (2015)
• Kieffer Bellows (2016)
• Oliver Wahlstrom (2018)
• Noah Dobson (2018)
It is the first time that has happened since April 6, 1986, also in New Jersey (the final regular season game of Al Arbour's first tenure with the Isles).
The Great 8
This is the fifth time in franchise history that the Isles have won at least eight straight games:
• 15 in 1981-82
• 10 in 2019-20
• 9 in 1989-90
• 8 in 1982-83
• 8 in 2020-21
Kings of 60
The Isles recorded their 17th regulation win (out of 18 overall), tying Edmonton for the most regulation wins in the NHL (pending Edmonton's late game In Vancouver) . No other team in the East has won more than 13 games in regulation.
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.
Ilya Sorokin has allowed only seven goals in his last five games (5-0-0) . Sorokin has allowed 18 goals in 480 minutes this season (2.24), and since January 24th he has allowed only 13 goals in his seven appearances (1.85).
Sorokin is the first rookie goalie in Islander history to record a win in five consecutive games; he is the third Isles rookie to win five consecutive decisions (Roland Melanson – 6 games - 1982; Kelly Hrudey - 5 games - 1983-84).
What a First Half
The Isles are 18-6-4 through 28 games, which marks the end the first-half of the season. The 40 points matches their most in the Post-Cup era:
Most Points through 28 games:
• 42 1978-79 (18-4-6)
• 40 2020-21 (18-6-4)
• 40 2019-20 (19-7-2)
• 39 1980-85 (17-6-5)
• 39 1976-77 (18-7-3)
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)
The Isles have allowed only 62 goals (including 1 shootout winner) in 28 games; it is the fewest goals that they have allowed through 28 games in their history:
• 62 (2020-21)
• 65 (1977-78)
• 67 (1976-77)
• 67 (2015-16)
• 68 (2019-20)
They Can Score Too!
The Isles are the first team in the NHL with five players that have scored at least nine goals (Lee 12, Nelson 11, Pageau 9, Eberle 9, Barzal 9).
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 Remaining games: 3 (2 home, 1 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 first 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 1-0-0 in this stretch:
• @ NJ W 3-2
• @ NJ 3/14
• @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 9-0-1 in this stretch.
Home and Road
The Isles are 19-6-4 overall; they are 12-0-2 at home and 6-6-2 on the road.
New Jersey is 8-13-3 overall; they are 2-10-1 at home and 6-3-2 on the road.
Barry Trotz is second among active coaches, trailing only Joel Quenneville, in both wins and games. Trotz' NHL record is 863-624-60-155 in 1,702 games.
Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman 1,244
2. Joel Quenneville 943
3. Barry Trotz 863
Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman 2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,732
3. Barry Trotz 1,702
Lou Lamoriello is the third-winningest general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,425
2. Glen Sather 1,319
3. Lou Lamoriello 1,312
It All Starts at the Top
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have 2,175 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.
98 Over NHL-.500
The win improves the Isles' all-time record to 1,674-1,576-510. It is the first time the Isles are 98 games over NHL-.500 since December 26, 1997, when the Isles fell to 913-817-285 with their second straight defeat.
First Things First
The Isles are 12-1-2 when scoring first and are 6-5-2 when allowing the opening goal.
New Jersey 6-18-4=28
The Isles are 14-2-2 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-0-0 when the shots are even and 4-3-2 when they are outshot. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 58-28-12 when outshot.
In the Nets
Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves to improve to 13-4-3 on the season and 7-3-0 in his career against New Jersey.
Mackenzie Blackwood made 26 saves but falls to 5-8-1 on the season and 1-3-1 in his career against the Isles.
The Isles were 0-4 on the power play (8:00); New Jersey was 0-3 (6:00).
The Isles are 8-2-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 10-4-1 when they do not. The Isles are 3-5-2 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 13-1-3 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 79-6-10 when scoring three or more.
The Isles are 6-2-4 in games decided by a single goal including 5-2 in regulation. They are 0-3 in games decided in overtime and are 1-1 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 3-0-2 in the front-half and 3-0-1 in the back-half. This back-to-back concludes on Sunday in New Jersey. The next back-to-back is scheduled for March 22nd/23rd, road games in Philadelphia and Boston.
Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 20-2-3 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).
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 1-0-0 in the third:
BUF (W/W/W), NJ (W/W/-)
Tired vs. Rested
• The Isles are 3-0-1 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.
Isles: Nick Leddy (21:36); New Jersey: Dmitry Kulikov (22:10)
Mathew Barzal led Isles forwards with 19:25 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 (0-1-1), Adam Pelech (2-0-0).
Isles 23, New Jersey 27 (46%)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau won 8 of 13 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 7-1-1 when they win fewer.
Isles 26 (Jean-Gabriel Pageau -6)
New Jersey 20 (Andreas Johnsson-4)
There were no fights. Season total: 1 (Cizikas – 1)
Isles 11 (Scott Mayfield –3)
New Jersey 10 (Ten with 1)
For the Analytics Crowd
Corsi: All situations: Isles 42, New Jersey 56
Corsi: 5-on-5 Isles 30, New Jersey 43
Isles: Mathew Barzal +8
New Jersey: PK Subban +15
High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 7, New Jersey 10
5-on-5: Isles 5, New Jersey 9
Ross Johnston, Sebastian Aho, (Anders Lee-injured)
Games Lost: 20
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 273, Mathew Barzal 260, Ryan Pulock 223, Josh Bailey 181. All four players have appeared in every game since Barry Trotz became the Isles' coach.
Anders Lee streak ended at 295 games tonight; it is the third-longest consecutive game streak in club history. 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 273
6. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975 - 1/17/1979 262
7. Mathew Barzal 10/6/2017- CURRENT 260
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 223
(*) 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 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 893…
17. John Tonelli 594 *** 18. Matt Martin 588 *** 19. Brock Nelson 576 *** 20. Casey Cizikas 562 …
27. Kyle Okposo 529 *** 28. Anders Lee 520 *** 29. Dave Lewis 514 *** 30. Richard Pilon and Mick Vukota 509*** 32. Cal Clutterbuck 504 *** 33. Ed Westfall 493 *** 34. Nick Leddy 490
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 161 *** 16. Patrick Flatley 160 *** 17. Josh Bailey 157
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553…
6. John Tonelli 338 *** 7. Josh Bailey 333 …
19. Pierre Turgeon 193 *** 20. Nick Leddy 184
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 490…
20. Ziggy Palffy 331 *** 21. Anders Lee 320 *** 22. Brock Nelson 311
1. Al Arbour 1,500 *** 2. Jack Capuano 483 *** 3. Mike Milbury 192 *** 4. Terry Simpson 187 *** 5. Scott Gordon 181 *** 6. Barry Trotz 178
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 101
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) following a 3-0 loss to Providence on Wednesday. The same two teams meet Monday afternoon in Marlbourough, Massachusetts.
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 4 games to 1 (and 8 points to 2). The teams will play again at 5pm Sunday in Newark and then will not see each other again until the final two games of the regular season.
SUNDAY, MARCH 14th – ISLANDERS AT NEW JERSEY 5:00pm Eastern Daylight Time
[MSG+ (pre-game at 4:30], WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN 98.7FM]
The Isles play the final game of this three game series and the back-end of their fifth back-to-back of the season as they again face the Devils in New Jersey.
The Devils have lost a franchise-record 10 straight games (all in regulation) since defeating the Isles 2-0 back on January 24th.
The teams have played a lot of close games in recent years in Newark. While the Isles are 5-1-0 in the last six games, all five wins are by one goal (including three beyond 60 minutes). This is the final meeting of the season at Prudential Center.
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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