By Eric Hornick
Isles 3, Rangers 2 (OT)
Ryan Pulock scored 1:13 into overtime to end the first NHL goaltending battle between Ilya Sorokin and Igor Shesterkin and give the Islanders a 3-2 victory over the Rangers before a socially-distanced crowd of 1,400 at Nassau Coliseum.
It was Pulock's third career overtime goal and his first goal of the season; Kyle Palmieri and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for the Isles, who held a 2-0 lead at the end of the one period. The Rangers got goals from Libor Hajek and Brendan Smith 1:53 apart in the second period to even the game.
The Capitals and Penguins both won tonight as well so the Isles remain in a tie with Washington. Pittsburgh trails both the Isles and the Caps by two points . All three teams have 14 games to play.
Kyle Palmieri (9) Brock Nelson (10), Josh Bailey (19) 01:47 NYR 0,NYI 1 PPG
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (12) Jordan Eberle (13), Mathew Barzal (23) 19:52 NYR 0,NYI 2
Libor Hajek (2) Kaapo Kakko (6), Filip Chytil (8) 10:23 NYR 1,NYI 2
Brendan Smith (3) Mika Zibanejad (18), Vitali Kravtsov (1) 12:16 NYR 2,NYI 2
Ryan Pulock (1) Mathew Barzal (24) 01:13 NYR 2,NYI 3
The Isles are 8-5-0 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 23-4-2 vs. their other opponents…Kyle Palmieri opened the scoring with a power play goal; he became the 381st Islander to score a regular season goal…Ryan Pulock's overtime goal raised the Isles' defense totals to 11-71-82 this season; Pulock is the third Islander defenseman with at least three career OT goals, joining Thomas Hickey (5) and Roman Hamrlik (3)…Mathew Barzal had a pair of assists, tying Nick Leddy for the club lead…Barry Trotz coached his 192nd Islander game, tying Mike Milbury for 3rd on the club's all-time list…This is the first time that the Isles have ever scored an overtime goal against the Rangers at home (in regular season play), a span of 130 games at the Coliseum (and 139 including games in Brooklyn and the Bronx)…Jean-Gabriel Pageau's goal was the latest Islander goal against the Rangers (excluding empty nets) since October 27, 2008 when Kyle Okposo's third career goal came at 19:52 of the 1st period….Including the injured Anders Lee, the Isles now have five players with 12 goals this season (Nelson, Eberle, Barzal and Pageau)…This was the first meeting between Ilya Sorokin and Igor Shesterkin in the NHL; their last meeting was in the 2019 KHL playoffs, when Sorokin's team was victorious in their semi-final series in seven games…The Isles have won seven straight overtime/shootout games…The Isles have outscored the opposition 43-28 in the first period and 46-27 in the third period, but have been outscored 39-29 in the second period. The +19 differential in the third period remains the best in the NHL.
Magic Number Time
The Islanders' magic number for clinching a playoff spot falls to 17 (over both the Flyers and Rangers).
Ilya Sorokin is 11-1-0 in his last twelve starts (1.79, .928). Among goalies who have played at least 10 games in that span, only Juuse Soros (1.38) has a lower goals against average in that span.
Sorokin is 8-0-0 at home. He is the first goalie in NHL history to win his first eight career starts in one season (Harry Lumley for Detroit in 1944-45 and Jaroslav Halak for Montreal in 2006-07 had each started 7-0-0). Two others have won at least eight straight over multiple seasons. Gord Mc Rae for Toronto in 1972-73 and 1974-75 (10); Michel Plasse for St. Louis and Montreal in 1970-71 and 1972-73 (8).
Only one other NHL rookie goalie in the last 39 years has won eight straight at home in a single season- Semyon Varlamov did that in 2009-10 for Washington.
Most Wins by an Islander Rookie Goalie (one season):
1. Chico Resch 23 (1975-76)
2. Roland Melanson 22 (1981-82)
3. Kelly Hrudey 19 (1984-85)
4. Chico Resch 12 (1974-75)
5. Ilya Sorokin 11 (2020-21)
(Resch appeared in 25 games in 1974-75 and thus was considered a rookie the following year; Sorokin will be a rookie next season as well if he does not appear in 26 games)
Semyon Varlamov is 9-4-1 in his last fourteen decisions, allowing just 33 goals in that span. Varly has won 16 games this season with a goals against average of 2.22 and save percentage of .921. Varlamov has 248 NHL wins and 31 shutouts, including four this season.
Home Sweet Home
The Isles have earned points in 20 of their first 22 home games (18-2-2); it is their best home record through 22 games in the Post-Cup Era:
Most Points at Home Through 22 Games
• 40 1978-79 (18-0-4)
• 38 2020-21 (18-2-2)
• 36 1977-78 (16-2-4)
• 36 1980-81 (17-3-2)
Top of the Chart
The Isles now have 58 points in 42 games; it is the most points that they have had through 42 games in the Post-Cup era:
• 58 2020-21
• 57 2013-14
• 57 2019-20
The Isles have allowed only 98 goals (including 1 shootout winner) in 42 games; it is the fewest goals that they have allowed through 42 games in their history:
• 98 (2020-21)
• 102 (1975-76)
• 104 (1977-78)
• 105 (1976-77)
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-L-Wot Remaining games: 3 (2 home, 1 away)
• Philadelphia Lot-Lot-L-W-Wot-Wso-Wso Remaining games:1 (0 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)
This was the last game in a stretch where the Isles played six straight games at home. The Isles went 5-1-0 in this stretch, winning four games by one goal:
• WAS W 8-4
• PHI W 3-2 (SO)
• WSH W 1-0
• PHI W 3-2 (SO)
• NYR L 1-4
• NYR W 3-2 (OT)
Eight of the Isles' final 14 games will be on the road.
Home and Road
The Isles are 27-11-4 overall; they are 18-2-2 at home and 9-9-2 on the road.
The Rangers are 19-16-6 overall; they are 9-7-3 at home and 10-9-3 on the road.
Barry Trotz is second among active coaches, trailing only Joel Quenneville, in both wins and games. Trotz' NHL record is 872-629-60-155 in 1,716 games.
Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman 1,244
2. Joel Quenneville 951
3. Barry Trotz 872
Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman 2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,746
3. Barry Trotz 1,716
Lou Lamoriello has the second-highest win total for any general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,438
2. Lou Lamoriello 1,321
3. Glen Sather 1,319
It All Starts at the Top
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have 2,193 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 18-1-2 when scoring first and are 9-10-2 when allowing the opening goal.
The Isles have won 85.7% of the games that they have scored first, which is the highest percentage in the NHL (just ahead of Edmonton's .850). St. Louis is the only other team with one regulation loss but their record when scoring first is 8-1-5.
The Isles are 17-5-2 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-1-0 when the shots are even and 9-5-2 when they are outshot. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 62-30-12 when outshot.
In the Nets
Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves to improves to 11-3-1 on the season and 1-1-0 in his career against the Rangers.
Igor Shesterkin made 23 saves; he is 10-10-2 on the season and 0-2-1 in his career against the Isles.
The Isles were 1-3 on the power play (4:24); the Rangers were 0-3 on the power play (6:00).
The Isles are 11-4-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 16-7-1 when they do not. The Isles are 6-8-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 21-3-2 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 20-3-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-8-1 when they do not. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 86-8-10 when scoring three or more.
The Isles are 13-4-4 in games decided by a single goal including 6-4 in regulation. They are 3-3 in games decided in overtime and are 4-1 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 4-0-2 in the front-half and 4-1-1 in the back-half. The next back-to-back is scheduled for April 15th/16th, both of which will be played in Boston.
Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 21-3-3 (.833) 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 3-4-2 in the first game and 3-5-1 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), NYR (L/Wot)
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 4-1-1 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 22-8-3 when both teams are rested.
Isles: Ryan Pulock (25:41); Rangers: Adam Fox (25:44)
Brock Nelson led Isles forwards with 18:15 of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Nick Leddy (9-3-0), Ryan Pulock (14-6-3), Scott Mayfield (1-1-0), Mathew Barzal (1-1-1), Adam Pelech (2-0-0).
Isles 31, Rangers 22 (58%)
Travis Zajac won 6 of 9 for the Isles; Alexis Lafreniere won 3 of 4 for the Rangers.
The Isles are 17-6-2 when they win more face-offs than the opposition, 0-2-1 when they are tied, and 10-3-1 when they win fewer.
Isles 27 (Three with 4)
Rangers 21 (Chris Kreider-6)
There were no fights. Season total: 4 (Cizikas -1, Wahlstrom -1, Martin -1, Johnston-1)
Isles 13 (Ryan Pulock -4)
Rangers 10 (Jacob Trouba -4)
For the Analytics Crowd
Corsi: All situations: Isles 49, Rangers 59
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 40, Rangers 44
Isles: Scott Mayfield +9
Rangers: Brendan Smith +9
High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 12, Rangers 10
5-on-5: Isles 10, Rangers 9
The Isles lead the NHL with 425 high-danger chances 5-on-5 and are 2nd in all-situation high-danger chances with 525.
Leo Komarov, Sebastian Aho, Cory Schneider, (Anders Lee-LTIR), (Michael DalColle -IR), (Ross Johnston-IR)
Games Lost: 43
COVID Games Lost -6
The Isles have two players who have active consecutive game streaks of at least 250 games, and they are two of just 14 players in the NHL whose streak began no later than the start of the 2017-18 season.
Ironman Streaks: Brock Nelson 287, Mathew Barzal 274, Ryan Pulock 237, Josh Bailey 195. All four players have appeared in every game since Barry Trotz became the Isles' coach.
Brock Nelson has the longest active streak (and now has 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 287
5. Matt Moulson 10/3/2009 - 4/4/2013 284
6. Mathew Barzal 10/6/2017- CURRENT 274
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 237
(*) 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 907…
14. Frans Nielsen 606 *** 15. Matt Martin 602 *** 16. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 17. Garry Howatt 596 *** 18. John Tonelli 594 ***19. Brock Nelson 590 *** 20. Casey Cizikas 576 …
27. Kyle Okposo 529 *** 28. Anders Lee 520 *** 29. Cal Clutterbuck 518 *** 30. Dave Lewis 514 *** 31. Richard Pilon and Mick Vukota 509 *** 33. Nick Leddy 504
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 165 *** 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 341 …
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 501…
20. Ziggy Palffy 331 *** 21. Anders Lee and Brock Nelson 320
1. Al Arbour 1,500 *** 2. Jack Capuano 483 *** 3. Mike Milbury and Barry Trotz 192
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 110
On the Farm
Bridgeport is 3-11-1-0 on the season (2-3-0-0 vs. Hartford and 1-7-1-0 vs. Providence).
Bridgeport returns to action on Tuesday when they host Hartford.
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 3 games to 2 (and 6 points to 5).
The Isles are 3-2-0 and the Rangers are 2-2-1.
This was the first time the Isles had ever scored a regular season overtime goal against the Rangers at the Coliseum (although they had done so three times in the playoffs: Denis Potvin in 1979, Ken Morrow in 1984, and Brent Sutter in 1990).
The Rangers had won five straight games at the Coliseum (Isles were 0-4-1); dating back to their final two visit in the 2014-15 season. The Rangers won both games on Long Island last season as well as Friday's contest.
THURSDAY, APRIL 15th – ISLANDERS AT BOSTON 7:00pm
[MSG+ [pre-game at 6:30], WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN 1050]
The Isles head to Boston for a two game set with the Bruins, looking to improve on their 5-0-0 record against the Bruins this season.
The Isles will be looking for their sixth straight win over Boston, which would match the club record set over two seasons between 2005-2007; the Isles have only one other five-game winning streak over Boston, over two seasons in 1998-1999.
Thursday's game is being played on the originally-scheduled date; Friday's game was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was rescheduled due to COVID.
The final matchup of the season with Boston will be the Isles' season finale on May 10th, two days after the season was originally supposed to end.
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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