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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...

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

The Skinny: Isles 1, Washington 0

"The Skinny"      

By Eric Hornick

Game 39
Isles 1, Washington 0
Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves for his 4th shutout of the season and Brock Nelson scored the game's only goal with 6:55 to play as the Islanders extended their winning streak to three games with a 1-0 win over the Washington Capitals before a socially-distanced crowd of 1,400 at Nassau Coliseum. 

Josh Bailey assisted on the winning goal for his 500th NHL point; of the 7,263 skaters to appear in an NHL game, he is only the 498th in NHL history to reach 500 points.

With the win, the Isles once again tie Washington for the East Division point lead. Washington technically holds first place based on the ROW tiebreaker.  The Penguins lost to the Rangers tonight; they now trail the Isles and Caps by four points.  All three teams have 17 games to play.

The Scoring:
1st Period
No Goals

2nd Period
No Goals

3rd Period
Brock Nelson (14) Josh Bailey(18), Ryan Pulock (13) 13:05 WAS 0,NYI 1

The Skinny        
The Isles are 6-4-0 since the end of their 9-game win streak (and 12-game point streak) … The Isles are 4-7-2 against Pittsburgh and Washington (4-0-2 at home and 0-7-0 on the road); they are 21-3-2 vs. their other opponents…Semyon Varlamov has now recorded four 1-0 shutouts as an Islander, matching Tommy Salo's club record… Only Philipp Grubauer (5) has more shutouts this season than Varlamov (4)…As a team, the Isles lead the NHL with six shutouts… Lou Lamoriello won his 1,319th game as a General Manager, tying Glen Sather for second place on the all-time list…Josh Bailey's 500th point broke a tie with Derek King for 11th place on the all-time Isles list….Brock Nelson is 2-4-6 in the last eight games; Ryan Pulock's assist on the winning goal was his first point in 12 games…Nelson now leads the Isles with 14 goals, one more than Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle...The Isles had a season-high 20 shots on goal in the third period.

Magic Number Time
The Islanders' magic number for clinching a playoff spot is now 24 (over both the Flyers and Rangers).

Varly Streaking
Semyon Varlamov is 9-3-1 in his last thirteen decisions, allowing just 30 goals in that span.  Varly has won 16 games this season with a goals against average of 2.18 and save percentage of .922.  Varlamov now has 248 NHL wins and 31 shutouts, including four this season.  It is the first time since 2014-15 (5) that Varly has had at least four shutouts in a season.

Sorokin's Shining
Ilya Sorokin is 9-1-0 in his last ten starts (1.76, .929).  Among goalies who have played at least 10 games in that span, only Juuse Soros (1.33) has a lower goals against average.  

Sorokin is 6-0-0 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. Only two goalies in NHL history have ever won their first seven career starts in one season (Harry Lumley for Detroit in 1944-45 and Jaroslav Halak for Montreal in 2006-07).  Three others have won at least seven straight over multiple seasons.

Home Sweet Home
The Isles have earned points in 18 of their first 19 home games (16-1-2), remaining tied with the 1978-79 team for the most in club history through 19 games:

Most Points at Home Through 19 Games
34 2020-21 (16-1-2)
34 1978-79 (15-0-4)
30 Three times

Top of the Chart
The Isles now have 54 points in 39 games, matching the most points that they have had through 39 games in the Post-Cup era:
54 2020-21
53 2013-14
53 2013-14

Solid D
The Isles have allowed only 90 goals (including 1 shootout winner) in 39 games; it is the fewest goals that they have allowed through 39 games in their history:
90 (2020-21)
94 (2015-16) 
95 (1977-78)
95 (1975-76)

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-Wso Remaining games: 2  (1 home, 1 away)
Pittsburgh         W-Lso-L-L-Lot-W-L-L Remaining games: 0
Washington L-L-L-W-W     Remaining games: 3  (2 home, 1 away)

Home Cooking
This was the second game in a stretch where the Isles will play six straight games at home.  The Isles are 3-0-0 in this stretch:
WAS W 8-4
PHI  W 3-2 (SO)
WSH W 1-0
PHI  Thursday 
NYR Friday 
NYR Sunday 
Following this stretch, 8 of the final 14 will be on the road.

Home and Road
The Isles are 25-10-4 overall; they are 16-1-2 at home and 9-9-2 on the road.
Washington is 25-10-4 overall; they are 13-4-2 at home and 12-6-2 on the road.

With both teams having earned 54 points in 39 games, and both having earned 20 regulation wins, Washington is technically in first place because they have 23 regulation/overtime wins to the Isles' 22.

Coach Trotz
Barry Trotz is second among active coaches, trailing only Joel Quenneville, in both wins and games. Trotz' NHL record is 870-628-60-155 in 1,713 games. 

Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman  1,244
2. Joel Quenneville  951
3. Barry Trotz  870

Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman   2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,744
3. Barry Trotz        1,713

Sweet Lou
Lou Lamoriello is now tied with Glen Sather for second place in wins among general managers in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,436
2. Lou Lamoriello 1,319
        Glen Sather 1,319

It All Starts at the Top
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have 2,189 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 16-1-2 when scoring first and are 9-9-2 when allowing the opening goal. 

Only Los Angeles (.846) has won a greater percentage of games that they have scored first.  St. Louis is the only other team with one regulation loss but their record when scoring first is 6-1-5.

The Shots
Isles    12-7-20=39
Washington    7-12-10=29
The Isles are 16-5-2 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-1-0 when the shots are even and 8-4-2 when they are outshot.  Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 61-29-12 when outshot.

In the Nets
Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves to improve to 16-7-3 on the season and 6-9-1 in his career against Washington. It was his first regular season shutout against the Caps, who he blanked in Game 5 in the Bubble last summer.
Vitek Vanacek made 38 saves but falls to 15-7-3 on the season and 2-1-0 in his career against the Isles.  

Special Teams
The Isles were 0-2 on the power play (4:00); Washington was also 0-2 (4:00).

The Isles are 10-4-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 15-6-1 when they do not.  The Isles are 6-8-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 19-2-2 when they do not.

Three is (Usually) a Magic Number
The Isles are 18-3-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-7-1 when they do not.  Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 84-8-10 when scoring three or more.

One-Goal Games
The Isles are 11-4-4 in games decided by a single goal including 6-4 in regulation. They are 2-3 in games decided in overtime and are 3-1 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: 19-7-3 (.707).

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 20-8-3 when both teams are rested. 

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Ryan Pulock (23:09); Washington: John Carlson (25:22)
Mathew Barzal led Isles forwards with 18:37 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Nick Leddy (9-3-0), Ryan Pulock (12-5-3), Scott Mayfield (1-1-0), Mathew Barzal (1-1-1), Adam Pelech (2-0-0).

Isles 29, Washington 28 (51%)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau won 7 of 12 draws he took for the Isles; Lars Eller won 8 of 12 for Washington.

The Isles are 15-6-2 when they win more face-offs than the opposition, 0-1-1 when they are tied, and 9-3-1 when they win fewer.

Hit Count
Isles 32 (Cal Clutterbuck -7)
Washington 26 (Three with 4)
There were no fights.  Season total: 4 (Cizikas -1, Wahlstrom -1, Martin -1, Johnston-1)
Blocked Shots
Isles 16 (Andy Greene -4)
Washington 10 (Three with 2)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 62, Washington 54
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 54, Washington 45

5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Andy Greene +13
Washington: Justin Schultz +10

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 25 (Season-High), Washington 12
5-on-5: Isles 23 (Season-High), Washington 10

The Isles lead the NHL with 396 high-danger chances 5-on-5 and are 2nd in all-situation high-danger chances with 490.

Ross Johnston, Sebastian Aho, Cory Schneider, (Anders Lee-LTIR), (Michael DalColle -IR)
Games Lost: 35
COVID Games Lost -5

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 284, Mathew Barzal 271, Ryan Pulock 234, Josh Bailey 192.  All four players have appeared in every game since Barry Trotz became the Isles' coach.

Iron Man
Brock Nelson has the longest active streak (and is tied for the 4th-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. Brock Nelson 3/16/2017 – CURRENT 284
    Matt Moulson 10/3/2009 - 4/4/2013 284
6. Mathew Barzal 10/6/2017- CURRENT 271
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 234
 (*) 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 904…
14. Frans Nielsen 606 *** 15. Matt Martin 599 *** 16. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 17. Garry Howatt 596 *** 18. John Tonelli 594 ***19. Brock Nelson 587 *** 20. Casey Cizikas 573 … 
27. Kyle Okposo 529 *** 28. Anders Lee 520 *** 29. Cal Clutterbuck 515 *** 30. Dave Lewis 514 *** 31. Richard Pilon and Mick Vukota 509 *** 33. Nick Leddy 501

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 164 *** 16. Patrick Flatley and Josh Bailey 160

1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 ***
4. Clark Gillies 359 *** 5. John Tavares 349 *** 6.  Josh Bailey 340 …
19. Pierre Turgeon 193 *** 20. Nick Leddy 192

1. Bryan Trottier 1,353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1,126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1,052…
9. Bob Bourne 542 *** 10. Bob Nystrom 513 *** 11. Josh Bailey 500…
20. Ziggy Palffy 331 ***  21. Anders Lee 320  *** 22.  Brock Nelson 318

Games Coached 
1. Al Arbour 1,500 *** 2. Jack Capuano 483 *** 3. Mike Milbury 192 *** 4. Barry Trotz 189
Coaching Wins
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 108

On the Farm
Bridgeport is 3-10-1-0 on the season (2-3-0-0 vs. Hartford and 1-7-1-0 vs. Providence) following a 2-1 loss to the Bruins on Monday.  Kyle Mac Lean had the goal for Bridgeport; Ken Appleby made 23 saves.

Bridgeport returns to action on Wednesday when they visit Hartford.

Season Series Stats
Washington leads the season series 3 games to 2 (and 6 points to 4). 
The Isles are 2-3-0 and Washington is 3-2-0.

Unlike the first two seasons of the Trotz era, where the visitors won all eight Islander-Capital games, the home teams are 5-0 in the match-ups this season.  

The teams will meet in a three-game series April 22-24-27 to wrap up the season series; the first two of those games will be at the Coliseum.

[MSG+ [pre-game at 6:30], WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN 1050]
The Flyers are the only visiting team to defeat the Isles at the Coliseum and they will make their final visit to Long Island on Thursday night in the seventh of eight scheduled meetings.

The Flyers won the first three games (two in overtime), but the Isles have won the last three games (two in overtime) to even the season series.  Both teams are 3-1-2 in the season series. 

The teams will meet on April 18th in Philadelphia to conclude the season series. 

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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