By Eric Hornick
Isles 5, Buffalo 2
Anders Lee and Brock Nelson scored 62 seconds apart in the second period to get the Isles started and for the second straight game the Isles used a big second period to complete a three-game sweep of the Buffalo Sabres by a familiar score: 5-2. All three victories were by the same score, marking the first time since January 2017 and sixth time in franchise history that the Isles had three consecutive games end by the same score and with the same result.
The Islanders have won five straight games (for the first time since November 2019) and now have their second eight-game point streak of the season. The Isles extended their season-opening home point streak to 12 games (10-0-2) as they defeat the Sabres for the third time in less than 72 hours on Nassau Coliseum ice.
The first-place Isles are 12-2-4 in their last 18 games; they have moved four points ahead of Washington, who play in Philadelphia later on Sunday. The Isles have won ten straight games against everyone but Pittsburgh during that stretch.
Anders Lee (12) Jordan Eberle (7), Noah Dobson (9) 05:13 BUF 0,NYI 1
Brock Nelson (8) Oliver Wahlstrom (5), Nick Leddy (15) 06:15 BUF 0,NYI 2
Casey Cizikas (4) Jean-Gabriel Pageau (7), Adam Pelech (6) 16:56 BUF 0,NYI 3
Jeff Skinner (1) Curtis Lazar (2), Casey Mittelstadt (3) 05:41 BUF 1,NYI 3
Colin Miller (3) Jack Eichel (16), Taylor Hall (12) 09:35 BUF 2,NYI 3
Cal Clutterbuck (3) Matt Martin (4) 12:57 BUF 2,NYI 4
Brock Nelson (9)EN Ryan Pulock (10) 17:48 BUF 2,NYI 5
The Isles have points in 16 of their last 18 games (12-2-4); they are 10-0-2 against everyone but Pittsburgh in that stretch… The Isles are 7-0-1 in their last eight 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 outscored their opponents 29-16 in the third period; the +13 differential is the best in the NHL… Cal Clutterbuck scored for the second straight game, matching last season's total of three goals … The Isles have dressed the same six defensemen in every game this season… Anders Lee is 6-1-7 and is +10 in six games vs. Buffalo this season; he has eight goals in his last 12 games overall. Lee's goal today was the 184th of his career, matching Billy Harris' total for 12th in club history… The Isles had points from 12 different players, including nine in the second period alone; an Islander defenseman had an assist on four of their five goals…JG Pageau's assist on Casey Cizikas' goal was his 200th NHL point (98-102-200); Pageau is 9-6-15 in 30 games vs. Buffalo… The Sabres are 2-9-1 since returning from their two week COVID pause…The Sabres have lost six straight games in regulation (losing five of them by three goals) and are 0-6-1 in their last seven games…Ryan Pulock played in his 220th consecutive game, tying Bryan McCabe for the second-longest streak by a defender in club history (behind Denis Potvin's 301); on Tuesday he should match Richard Park for the 10th-longest streak by any Islander…The Isles are 9-0-0 this season against the two teams normally in the Northeast Division that they are playing this season, including 7-0-0 at home…Jeff Skinner's goal was his first since last February 29th…The Islanders' "Identity Line" scored five times in the three-game series against Buffalo…The Isles had scored just 12 second period goals in the first 23 games, before scoring seven times in the last two games.
First Times in a Long Time
• The Isles scored exactly five goals in three straight for 1st time since November 30- December 4, 2017 (but that included a 5-4 shootout win). The last time the Isles scored exactly five goals (no shootout winners) in 3 straight was January 30 -February 4, 1996.
• The Isles last scored at least five goals in three straight games January 7-15, 2018 (5-4 SO W, 7-2 W, 5-4 OT W); they last did that without a shootout winner November 11-18, 2017 (5-2 W, 6-4 W, 5-3 W).
• It is only the second time the Isles have scored at least five goals in three consecutive games with Buffalo; the other instance was November 14, 1992- January 8, 1993 (7-5 W, 5-5 T, 5-6 L)
• It Is the first time that the Isles have had the same score result against an opponent since March 2011, when the Isles lost three games to the Devils by an identical 3-2 score (one in regulation, once in a shootout, and one in overtime).
• The Isles have won three consecutive games against the same opponent (regardless of when played) by the same score for the first time since 2001-02 vs. Dallas; however, that streak included a shootout win. The last time the Isles did so without a shootout win was in 1996-97 when they blanked Washington three times, each by a 2-0 score.
Kings of 60
The Isles recorded their 15th regulation win (all of their wins have been in regulation), remaining tied with Tampa Bay for the second-highest total in the NHL (Toronto has 16). Pending Sunday's Caps-Flyers game, no other team in the East has won more than 10 games in regulation.
Ilya Sorokin has allowed only four goals in his last four games (4-0-0) . Sorokin has allowed 15 goals in 421 minutes this season (2.14), and since January 24th he has allowed only ten goals in his six appearances (1.66). Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy (1.60) and Vegas' Marc-Andre Fleury (1.61) are the only goalies in the entire NHL with a lower goals against average in that span.
Semyon Varlamov is 4-0-1 in his last five games, allowing just 11 goals in that span (2.17, .929). Varly's goals against average on the season is 2.10, which is the best in the East Division (just ahead of his teammate's 2.14).
Just Give Us a Chance!
The Isles have had just 28 power play attempts in the last 16 games, including two today. The power play is 9-28 (32.1%) in that stretch.
The Isles have had just 26 power play attempts in 12 home games this season. They are 9-26 on the power play at home (34.6%), including 8-18 (44.4%) in the seven home games against opponents other than Boston.
Home Sweet Home
The Isles have earned points in their first eleven home games (10-0-2). The 22 points match the most in the first 12 home games in club history; it is also only the second time in club history that they have opened the season with points in 12 straight. The Isles remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss at home.
It is the eighth time in club history that the Isles have had a streak of at least 12 games at any point during the season. All eight had occurred under the coaching of either Al Arbour (six times) or Barry Trotz (twice).
Most Points at Home Through 12 Games
• 22 2020-21 (10-0-2)
• 22 1984-85 (11-1-0)
• 21 1978-79 (9-0-3)
Longest Home Point Streak to Open a Season
• 23 1978-79 (19-0-4)
• 12 2020-21 (10-0-2)
• 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 1974-75 (10-0-4)
• 13 2019-20 (12-0-1)
13 1979-80 (11-0-2)
• 12 2020-21 (10-0-2)
The Isles have allowed only 56 goals (including 1 shootout winner) in 25 games; it is the fewest goals that they have allowed through 25 games in their history:
• 56 (2020-21)
• 59 (1977-78)
• 59 (2019-20)
• 61 (2001-02)
• 62 (1976-77)
• 62 (2015-16)
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, Pageau 9, Eberle 9, Barzal 9, Nelson 9).
Now That is a Top Line
The Islander top line of Anders Lee, Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle have combined for 30 of the team's 72 goals (41.6%). They have scored 25 of the team's 57 goals (43.9%) that were not scored on the power play.
Results vs. Each East Division Opponent
• Boston W-W-W Remaining games: 5 (1 home, 4 away)
• Buffalo W-W-W-W-W-W Remaining games: 2 (0 home, 2 away)
• New Jersey W-L-W Remaining games: 5 (3 home, 2 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)
Lots of Home Cooking
The Isles are in a stretch where they are playing nine out of 10 at home. The Isles are 7-0-1 in this stretch, and have outscored their opponents 32-15:
• W BUF 3-2
• W BOS 7-2
• Lot PIT 3-4
• W PIT 2-0
• W @ NJ 2-1
• W BUF 5-2
• W BUF 5-2
• W BUF 5-2
• Vs BOS Tuesday
• Vs NJ Thursday
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 6-0-1 in this stretch.
Home and Road
The Isles are 15-6-4 overall; they are 10-0-2 at home and 5-6-2 on the road.
Buffalo is 6-14-3 overall; they are 2-7-2 at home and 4-7-1 on the road.
Barry Trotz is second among active coaches, trailing only Joel Quenneville, in both wins and games. Trotz' NHL record is 860-624-60-155 in 1,699 games; he will coach his 1,700th game on Tuesday vs. Boston.
Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman 1,244
2. Joel Quenneville 940 (*pending Sunday night game)
3. Barry Trotz 860
Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman 2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,728 (*pending Sunday night game)
3. Barry Trotz 1,699
Lou Lamoriello is the third-winningest general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,425
2. Glen Sather 1,319
3. Lou Lamoriello 1,309
It All Starts at the Top
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have 2,169 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.
95 Over NHL-.500
The win improves the Isles' all-time record to 1,671-1,576-510. It is the first time the Isles are 95 games over NHL-.500 since December 31, 1997, when the Isles fell to 913-818-285 with their fifth straight defeat.
First Things First
The Isles are 11-1-2 when scoring first and are 4-5-2 when allowing the opening goal.
The Isles are 12-2-2 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-0-0 when the shots are even and 3-3-2 when they are outshot. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 57-28-12 when outshot.
In the Nets
Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves to improve to 4-2-1 on the season; he is 3-0-0 in his career against Buffalo.
Jonas Johansson made 25 saves but falls to 0-3-0 on the season and 0-2-0 in his career against the Isles.
The Isles were 0-2 on the power play (4:00); Buffalo was 0-1 (2:00).
The Isles are 7-2-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-4-1 when they do not. The Isles are 2-5-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 13-1-2 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 11-1-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 4-5-1 when they do not. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 77-6-10 when scoring three or more.
The Isles are 4-2-4 in games decided by a single goal including 4-2 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 today, the Isles are 2-0-2 in the front-half and 3-0-1 in the back-half. The next back-to-back is scheduled for March 13th/14th, both road games in New Jersey.
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 1-0-0 in the first game, 1-0-0 in the second game, and 1-0-0 in the third:
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 11-6-3 when both teams are rested.
Isles: Ryan Pulock (23:30); Buffalo: Brandon Montour (22:29)
Brock Nelson led Isles forwards with 17:39 of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Nick Leddy (5-1-0), Ryan Pulock (7-3-3), Scott Mayfield (1-1-0), Mathew Barzal (0-1-1), Adam Pelech (2-0-0).
Isles 30, Buffalo 23 (57%)
Brock Nelson won 7 of 11 for the Isles; Cody Eakin won 7 of 9 for Buffalo.
The Isles are 10-4-2 when they win more face-offs than the opposition, 0-1-1 when they are tied, and 5-1-1 when they win fewer.
Isles 18 (Ryan Pulock -4)
Buffalo 19 (Rasmus Ristolainen -5)
There were no fights. Season total: 1 (Cizikas – 1)
Isles 9 (Three with 2)
Buffalo 12 (Brandon Montour -3)
For the Analytics Crowd
Corsi: All situations: Isles 47, Buffalo 46
Corsi: 5-on-5 Isles 44, Buffalo 44
Isles: Mathew Barzal and Andy Greene +8
Buffalo: Eric Staal and Victor Olofsson +11
High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 15, Buffalo 9
5-on-5: Isles 15, Buffalo 7
Ross Johnston, Sebastian Aho, Leo Komarov
Games Lost: 19
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 293, Brock Nelson 270, Mathew Barzal 257, Ryan Pulock 220, Josh Bailey 178. All five players have appeared in every game since Barry Trotz became the Isles' coach.
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 293
4. Matt Moulson 10/3/2009 - 4/4/2013 284
5. Brock Nelson 3/16/2017 – CURRENT 270
6. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975 - 1/17/1979 262
7. Mathew Barzal 10/6/2017- CURRENT 257
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
Ryan Pulock has become the third Islander defensemen to play in 220 consecutive games, tying Bryan McCabe for the second-longest streak by an Islander defender.
1. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979 262
2. Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220 (*) (**)
Ryan Pulock 12/29/2017 – CURRENT 220
(*) 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 890…
17. John Tonelli 594 *** 18. Matt Martin 585 *** 19. Brock Nelson 573 *** 20. Casey Cizikas 559 …
27. Kyle Okposo 529 *** 28. Anders Lee 518 *** 29. Dave Lewis 514 *** 30. Richard Pilon and Mick Vukota 509*** 32. Cal Clutterbuck 501 *** 33. Ed Westfall 493 *** 34. Nick Leddy 487
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. Patrick Flatley 160 *** 16. Brock Nelson 159 *** 17. Josh Bailey 156
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 183
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 489…
20. Ziggy Palffy 331 *** 21. Anders Lee 319 *** 22. Brock Nelson 309
1. Al Arbour 1,500 *** 2. Jack Capuano 483 *** 3. Mike Milbury 192 *** 4. Terry Simpson 187 *** 5. Scott Gordon 181 *** 6. Barry Trotz 175
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 98
On the Farm
Bridgeport is 2-5-0-0 on the season (1-1-0-0 vs. Hartford and 1-4-0-0 vs. Providence) heading into Wednesday's home game with the Baby Bruins.
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 6 games to 0 (and 12 points to 0). The teams will finish the season series in Buffalo on May 3rd and May 4th.
The Isles have won the six games by a combined score of 24-9 The Isles have won the last nine games with Buffalo and have also won their last nine home games against the Sabres.
This was the Sabres' final scheduled game at the Coliseum.
TUESDAY, MARCH 9th – BOSTON AT ISLANDERS 7:00pm
[MSG+ (pre-game at 6:30], WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN 98.7FM]
The Isles play the fourth game of their five-game home stand, as they welcome the Bruins to the Coliseum for the final time this season.
The Isles have won the first three games: 1-0, 4-2 and 7-2, and will look to complete the home sweep against the B's.
The teams still have four games to play in Boston, with a pair of games later this month, and a back-to-back set on April 15th-16th.
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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