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The Skinny: Isles 4, New Jersey 1 - Isles clinch a Playoff Spot!

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 81 Isles 4, New Jersey 1    They're in! Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Kyle Palmieri scored goals 4...

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Skinny: Washington 3, Isles 1

"The Skinny"         

By Eric Hornick

Game 30
Washington 3, Isles 1
Alex Ovechkin scored his 718th goal for the game-winning goal and also added an assist as the Washington Capitals built a 3-0 lead and defeated the Islanders 3-1 at Capital One Arena.

Oliver Wahlstrom scored the only Islander goal with an unassisted power play goal. It was his 6th goal of the season, and second power play tally.

The loss snaps the Isles' nine-game win streak and 12-game point streak.  With the win, Washington ties the Islanders in points and takes over first place based on having played fewer games. 
This was the Isles' first regulation loss to anyone but Pittsburgh since January 28th (the second of consecutive losses to Washington). They had won 14 straight against everyone but the Pens in that streak.

The Scoring:
1st Period
No Goals

2nd Period
T.J. Oshie (7) Evgeny Kuznetsov (9), Alex Ovechkin (11) 10:36 NYI 0,WSH 1
Alex Ovechkin (12) Justin Schultz (11), Nicklas Backstrom (21) 15:24 NYI 0,WSH 2 PPG

3rd Period
Nicklas Backstrom (12) Jakub Vrana (11), John Carlson (19) 00:28 NYI 0,WSH 3 PPG
Oliver Wahlstrom (6) 04:17 NYI 1,WSH 3 PPG

The Skinny        
The Isles have points in 20 of their last 23 games (16-3-4); they are 14-1-2 against everyone but Pittsburgh in that stretch… The Isles are 11-1-1 in their last 13 games.… The Isles have outscored their opponents 30-18 in the first period and 33-20 in the third period… The Isles now have nine goals from rookies (Oliver Wahlstrom 6, Kieffer Bellows 3); among East Division teams, only New Jersey (20) has more…Wahlstrom is the only healthy Islander besides Brock Nelson (6) to have scored multiple power play goals; Wahlstrom is now 2-4-6 on the power play and is tied for NHL rookie lead in both power play assists and power play points.  With six goals, Wahlstrom is tied for 4th among rookies…Alex Ovechkin scored for the fourth straight game and passed Phil Esposito for 6th place on the all-time goal list; he now had 1301 points, passing Jarome Iginla for 34th place on that list….Ilya Samsonov started 16-2-1 last season -- then went 0-4-1 until the pause.  He is 6-0-1 to start this season… The Caps scored twice on the power play, giving them five goals in nine tries vs. the Isles; New York has killed 55 of 64 (86%) against everybody else….Mathew Barzal's penalty led to the Ovechkin goal; Barzal leads the team with 32 penalty minutes. Barzal took only one shift in the 13 minutes of playing time after the goal.  Barzal, who came within 3 seconds of a career high in ice-time on Sunday, played only 14:25 (lowest ice-time since March 21, 2019 in Montreal).

First Times in a Long Time
Oliver Wahlstrom's power play goal was credited as unassisted. The Islanders had been credited with two assists on every regular season power play goal in the Trotz era.  The last goal without two assists was scored by John Tavares on April 3, 2018 and the last unassisted power play goal was scored by Mathew Barzal in Washington on March 16, 2018.
Each team had 22 or fewer shots for the first time since March 25, 2017 vs Boston (Isles 19, Boston 18) at Barclays Center; the last time it happened in a road game was on April 3, 2012 in New Jersey (20-20).

First Time in a Generation
The Isles ended play Sunday all alone with the most points in the NHL – 42. It was the first time this late in the season that the Isles had the most points in the NHL since the final day of the 1981-82 season, when the Dynastic Islanders ended the campaign with the 54-16-10 record and 118 points, 7 more than Edmonton.

Florida caught the Islanders on Monday, and Washington and Tampa Bay created a 4-way tie at 42 points on Tuesday.  None of the four teams play on Wednesday (nor is anyone playing who can catch them) so the Isles will open play Thursday tied for the points lead in both the East and overall.

Seven Cheers for the Red, White, and Blue
Each of the last seven 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 2.

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

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.

Varly Streaking
Semyon Varlamov is 6-1-1 in his last eight games, allowing just 17 goals in that span (2.09, .928).  Varly has won 13 games this season with a goals against average of 2.08 and save percentage of .926.  All three are the best in the East Division.  Varlamov now has 245 career wins, tying Kirk McLean for 65th all-time.

Sorokin's Shining
Ilya Sorokin has allowed only nine goals in his last six games (6-0-0); in that span the Isles have allowed only 137 shots on goal (22.8 per game) . 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. 

What a First 30!
The Isles have 42 points through 30 games for only the 4th time in their history.

Most Points through 30 games:
45 1978-79 (19-4-7)
44 2019-20 (21-7-2)
42 2020-21 (19-7-4)
42 1976-77 (19-7-4)

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 (12-0-2)
        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 67 goals (including 1 shootout winner) in 30 games; it is the fewest goals that they have allowed through 30 games in their history:
67 (2020-21)
70 (1977-78)
70 (2019-20)
72 (2015-16) 
73 (1976-77)

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-L          Remaining games: 5  (4 home, 1 away)

Road Warriors
This was the third 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 2-1-0 in this stretch:
@ NJ W 3-2
@ NJ Wso 3-2
@WSH L 1-3
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 10-1-1 in this stretch.

Home and Road
The Isles are 19-7-4 overall; they are 12-0-2 at home and 7-7-2 on the road.
Washington is 19-6-4 overall; they are 9-3-2 at home and 10-3-2 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 864-625-60-155 in 1,704 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  944
3. Barry Trotz  864

Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman   2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,733
3. Barry Trotz        1,704

Sweet Lou
Lou Lamoriello is the third-winningest general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,426
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.  

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

The Shots
Isles    11-4-7=22
Washington    7-7-8=22

The Isles are 13-2-2 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-1-0 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
Semyon Varlamov made 19 saves but falls to 13-5-3 on the season and 4-9-1 in his career against Washington.
Ilya Samsonov made 21 saves to improve to 6-0-1 on the season and 3-1-0 in his career against the Isles. 

Special Teams
The Isles were 1-2 on the power play (3:16); Washington was 2-4 (6:18).

The Isles are 8-3-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 11-4-1 when they do not.  The Isles are 4-6-2 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 5-6-1 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.

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: 18-6-3 (.722).

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 1-1-0 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: Nick Leddy (23:23); Washington: Nicklas Backstrom (21:19)
Brock Nelson led Isles forwards with 19:51 of ice-time. 

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

Isles 26, Washington 15 (63%)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau won 10 of 13 for the Isles; no Capital who took multiple face-offs won more than he lost.

The Isles are 11-5-2 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 30 (Cal Clutterbuck and Kieffer Bellows -6)
Washington 25 (Alex Ovechkin and Nick Dowd -4)
There were no fights.  Season total: 1 (Cizikas – 1)
Blocked Shots
Isles 9 (Scott Mayfield -3)
Washington 18 (Dmitry Orlov -6)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 56, Washington 48
Corsi: 5-on-5 Isles 46, Washington 38

5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Adam Pelech +10
Washington: Nick Jensen +6

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 10, Washington 6
5-on-5: Isles 9, Washington 5

Ross Johnston, Michael Dal Colle, (Noah Dobson – COVID Protocol), (Anders Lee-LTIR), Leo Komarov
Games Lost: 21
COVID Games Lost -3

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 275, Mathew Barzal 262, Ryan Pulock 225, Josh Bailey 183.  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 tied-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 275
6. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975 - 1/17/1979 262
    Mathew Barzal 10/6/2017- CURRENT 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 225
 (*) 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 895…
17. John Tonelli 594 *** 18. Matt Martin 590 *** 19. Brock Nelson 578 *** 20. Casey Cizikas 564 …
27. Kyle Okposo 529 *** 28. Anders Lee 520 *** 29. Dave Lewis 514 *** 30. Richard Pilon and Mick Vukota 509*** 32. Cal Clutterbuck 506 *** 33. Ed Westfall 493 *** 34. Nick Leddy 492

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

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

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 180
Coaching Wins
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 102

On the Farm
Bridgeport is 2-7-0-0 on the season (1-1-0-0 vs. Hartford and 1-6-0-0 vs. Providence) following a 5-2 loss to Bruins on Monday.  Tom Kuhnhackl and Cole Bardreau scored for the Sound Tigers.
Bridgeport hosts Hartford on Thursday afternoon.

Season Series Stats
Washington leads the season series 3 games to 0 (and 6 points to 0). The teams' remaining games are all in April, beginning on April 1 and April 6 at the Coliseum.

The Isles are 4-70 against the Caps (in regular season play) under Barry Trotz, with the three Caps wins this season marking the only wins by the home team in that stretch.

[MSG+2 (pre-game at 6:30], WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN 1050]
The Isles return home to play their first games in front of the general public as they play the Philadelphia Flyers in the first of consecutive home games and the first of a three-game series.

This will be the third meeting of the teams this season. The Flyers won consecutive overtime games in Philadelphia to end January, leaving the Isles' record at 3-4-2.  Since then, the Isles have gone 16-2-2.

The Isles will be catching the Flyers on the back-end of a back-to-back as Philadelphia plays the Rangers at the Garden on Wednesday.

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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