By Eric Hornick
Washington 1, Isles 0 (SO)
Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Samsonov battled through 65 scoreless minutes and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the deciding goal in the shootout as the Washington Capitals defeated the Isles 1-0 before a socially-distanced crowd of 1,400 at the Nassau Coliseum.
The Isles drop into a tie for 2nd place in the East Division with Pittsburgh; both teams are one point behind Washington. All three teams have nine games to play. Boston is four points behind Washington and three behind the Isles; the Bruins have 11 games to play.
The Isles are 10-7-1 since the end of their 9-game win streak (and 12-game point streak) … The Isles have killed 23 of the last 24 opponent power plays… The Isles got Cal Clutterbuck back in the line-up, replacing Travis Zajac.… Washington is credited with scoring the first goal. The Isles are 20-1-2 this season when scoring the first goal; the team that scored first has won the last ten Islander games …Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, tying Phillipe Grubauer and Marc-Andre Fleury for the NHL lead. Varlamov and the Isles have blanked the Caps over the last 145:09; he is 2-2-1 in his last five games, despite allowing only seven goals (1.40, .957)… Ilya Samsonov recorded his second shutout of the season...The Isles remain 16 games over NHL-.500, matching a season best…The Isles have won three regulation wins in the last 15 games…Excluding their six goal outburst against the Rangers, the Isles have scored only six goals (two in overtime) in their last six games…This was the first game in the season series won by the road team…The Isles have shutout the Caps four times under Barry Trotz (2 in both 2018-19 and 2020-21); the Isles also had multiple shutouts vs. Washington in 1974-75 (2), 1977-78 (2), and 1996-97 (3).
• Jordan Eberle (NG) / TJ Oshie (NG)
• Anthony Beauvillier (G) / Nicklas Backstrom (G)
• Brock Nelson (NG)/ Evgeny Kuznetsov (G/GDG)
Evgeny Kuznetsov improves to 19 of 45 in the shootout, including six game deciding goals...Anthony Beauvillier was the only Islander to score in the shootout, improving to 5 of 11...The Isles had won eight straight OT/SO games after starting the season 0-4 (and going 0-8 back to last season)… Semyon Varlamov still has the best save percentage of any goalie who has faced 150 career shootout attempts (.737)…His 33 shootout wins tie him with Jaroslav Halak for 13th, although Jaro has lost 17 more games. Varlamov is 33-19 in shootouts; his .635 winning percentage is the best of any goalie who has participated in at least 50 shootouts.
Alex Ovechkin did not play in the final 2 ½ minutes or overtime and was described as "unavailable".
First Time in a Long Time
This is only the second time the Isles have lost a 1-0 game to Washington. The other time was on November 24, 2000 when Olaf Kolzig recovered the shutout.
This was the ninth double shutout in Isles history.
· 18-Oct-77 Vs Los Angeles
· 12-Feb-80 Vs Winnipeg
· 2-Mar-80 @ Pittsburgh
· 9-Dec-89 Vs New York
· 1-Dec-00 @ New Jersey
· 24-Feb-04 Vs Boston
· 7-Feb-12 @ Philadelphia
· 1-Feb-19 Vs Tampa Bay
· 22-Apr-21 Vs Washington
The first six games all ended in scoreless ties; the Isles won the 2012 game in a shootout but have lost the last two games in a shootout.
In the 226:36 the Isles have played since allowing a second period goal to Taylor Hall on Friday, the Isles have allowed just two goals (an empty netter in Boston and a second period goal to the Rangers' Kevin Rooney).
You Take the Good, You Take the Bad
The Isles have not allowed a goal in 93:56 but they have not scored in 73:38
Magic Number Time
The Islanders' magic number for clinching a playoff spot falls to 8 over the Rangers and 7 over Philadelphia). New Jersey and Buffalo cannot catch the Isles.
The Playoff Chase (top 4 make playoffs)
Washington 64 points (9 to play)
Pittsburgh 63 points (9 to play)
ISLES 63 points (9 to play)
Boston 60 points (11 to play)
Rangers 52 points (9 to play)
Philadelphia 49 points (10 to play)
This Week's Schedule:
· Friday – PHI @ NYR, BOS @ BUF
· Saturday- WAS @ Isles, NJ @ PIT
· Sunday – BUF @ NYR, NJ @ PHI, BOS @ PIT
· Monday – no games
· Tuesday – Isles @ WAS, BUF @ NYR, PHI @ NJ, BOS @ PIT
· Wednesday – no games
· Thursday – Isles @ NYR, PHI @ NJ, PIT @ WAS
Most Shutouts in a Season
· 11 2018-19 (82-game schedule)
· 10 1975-76 (80-game schedule)
· 8 2020-21 (56-game schedule)
· 8 1997-98 (82-game schedule)
The Isles will earn a shutout in at least 14.3% of their games this season, breaking the previous record (13.4% in 2018-19).
Semyon Varlamov is 10-5-2 in his last seventeen decisions, allowing just 37 goals in that span. Varly has won 17 games this season with a goals against average of 212 and save percentage of .926. Varlamov has 249 NHL wins and 32 shutouts, including five this season (which shares the NHL lead with Grubauer and Fleury). He is now one win behind Johnny Bower for 61st on the all-time win list.
Ilya Sorokin is 12-2-0 in his last fourteen starts (1.67, .934). Among goalies who have played at least 10 games in that span, only Juuse Soros (1.61) has a lower goals against average in that span and only Soros (.949) and Alex Nedeljkovic (.937) have a higher save percentage.
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. Ilya Sorokin 12 (2020-21)
Chico Resch 12 (1974-75)
Most Shutouts by an Islander Rookie Goalie (one season):
1. Chico Resch 7 (1975-76)
2. Ilya Sorokin 3 (2020-21)
Chico Resch 3 (1974-75)
(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)
Home Sweet Home
The Isles have earned points in 22 of their first 24 home games (19-2-3); it is their best home record through 24 games in the Post-Cup Era:
Most Points at Home Through 24 Games
· 42 1978-79 (19-1-4)
· 41 2020-21 (19-2-3)
· 40 1977-78 (18-2-4)
· 40 1980-81 (19-3-2)
Towards the Top of the Chart
The Isles now have 63 points in 47 games; it is their second-highest point total through 47 games in the Post-Cup era:
· 65 2014-15
· 63 2020-21
· 60 2019-20
The Isles have allowed only 106 goals (including 2 shootout winners) in 47 games; it is the fewest goals that they have allowed through 47 games in their history:
· 106 (2020-21)
· 110 (1975-76)
· 111 (1977-78)
· 116 (1976-77)
Results vs. Each East Division Opponent
· Boston W-W-W-Wso-Wot-L-L Remaining games: 1 (0 home, 1 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-W Remaining games: 2 (1 home, 1 away)
· Philadelphia Lot-Lot-L-W-Wot-Wso-Wso-Wot Remaining games: 0
· Pittsburgh W-Lso-L-L-Lot-W-L-L Remaining games: 0
· Washington L-L-L-W-W-Lso Remaining games: 2 (1 home, 1 away)
The Isles are 29-13-5 overall; they are 19-2-3 at home and 10-11-2 on the road.
Washington is 30-13-4 overall; they are 14-6-2 at home and 16-7-2 on the road.
Barry Trotz is second among active coaches, trailing only Joel Quenneville, in both wins and games. Trotz' NHL record is 874-631-60-156 in 1,721 games.
Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman 1,244
2. Joel Quenneville 955
3. Barry Trotz 874
Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman 2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,752
3. Barry Trotz 1,721
Lou Lamoriello has the second-highest win total for any general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,440
2. Lou Lamoriello 1,323
3. Glen Sather 1,319
It All Starts at the Top
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have 2,197 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 20-1-2 when scoring first and are 9-12-3 when allowing the opening goal.
The Isles have won 87.0% of the games that they have scored first, which is the highest percentage in the NHL (just ahead of Edmonton and Vegas, both .857). The Isles are the only team with just one regulation loss when scoring first.
The Isles are 18-5-2 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-1-0 when the shots are even and 10-7-3 when they are outshot. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 63-32-13 when outshot.
In the Nets
Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves for his 5th shutout of the season; he is 17-9-4 on the season and 6-9-2 in his career against the Washington. Varlamov falls to 33-19 all-time in shootouts.
Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves for his 2nd shutout of the season to improve to 12-3-1 on the season and 4-2-0 in his career against the Isles. Samsonov is now 2-2 all-time in shootouts.
The Isles were 0-2 on the power play (4:00); Washington was 0-3 on the power play (6:00).
The Isles are 12-4-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 17-9-2 when they do not. The Isles are 6-9-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 23-4-3 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 21-3-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 8-10-2 when they do not. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 87-8-10 when scoring three or more.
The Isles are 14-4-5 in games decided by a single goal including 6-4 in regulation. They are 4-3 in games decided in overtime and are 4-2 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.
Greatest Percentage of 1-goal games won
· 1981-82 -- .800
· 1982-83 & 1976-77 -- .667
· 1991-92 -- .619
· 2020-21 -- .609
· 2014-15 -- .605
· 2018-19 -- .594
The Isles are 4-1-2 in the front-half and 4-2-1 in the back-half. The final back-to-back of the season will be on May 3rd/4th, both of which will be played in Buffalo.
Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 21-4-3 (.804) 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: 19-8-3 (.683).
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 3-5-2 in the first game and 3-6-1 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), BOS (L/L))
In three-game series, the Isles are 2-1-1 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), WAS (Lso/-/-)
Tired vs. Rested
· The Isles are 5-2-1 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 23-9-4 when both teams are rested.
Isles: Nick Leddy (24:09); Washington: John Carlson (27:41)
Josh Bailey led Isles forwards with 18:44 of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Nick Leddy (9-4-1), Ryan Pulock (15-7-3), Scott Mayfield (1-1-0), Mathew Barzal (1-1-1), Adam Pelech (3-0-0).
Isles 21, Washington 22 (49%)
Mathew Barzal won 3 of 4 for the Isles; Nicklas Backstrom won 11 of 18 for the Washington.
The Isles are 18-7-2 when they win more face-offs than the opposition, 0-4-1 when they are tied, and 11-4-1 when they win fewer.
Isles 22 (Matt Martin and Leo Komarov -4)
Washington 25 (Garnet Hathaway -5)
There were no fights. Season total: 4 (Cizikas -1, Wahlstrom -1, Martin -1, Johnston-1)
Isles 17 (Ryan Pulock and Noah Dobson -4)
Washington 7 (Seven with 1)
For the Analytics Crowd
Corsi: All situations: Isles 39, Washington 62
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 34, Washington 47
Isles: Ryan Pulock +8
Washington: Lars Eller +10
High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 3, Washington 5
5-on-5: Isles 2, Washington 4
Sebastian Aho, Cory Schneider, (Anders Lee-LTIR), Ross Johnston, Noah Dobson, Travis Zajac, Oliver Wahlstrom
Games Lost: 52
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 292, Mathew Barzal 279, Ryan Pulock 242. All three 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 9th:
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 292
5. Matt Moulson 10/3/2009 - 4/4/2013 284
6. Mathew Barzal 10/6/2017- CURRENT 279
7. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975 - 1/17/1979 262
8. John Tavares 10/16/2010 - 12/23/2013 246
9. Ryan Pulock 12/29/2017 – CURRENT 242
10. J.P. Parise 1/7/1975 – 1/7/1978 240 (**)
(*) 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 910…
13. Stefan Persson 622 *** 14. Matt Martin 607 *** 15. Frans Nielsen 606 *** 16. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 17. Garry Howatt 596 *** 18. Brock Nelson 595 *** 19. John Tonelli 594 *** 20. Casey Cizikas 581 …
27. Kyle Okposo 529 *** 28. Anders Lee and Cal Clutterbuck 520 *** 30. Dave Lewis 514 *** 31. Richard Pilon and Mick Vukota and Nick Leddy 509
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 166 *** 16. Josh Bailey 162
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 ***
4. Clark Gillies 359 *** 5. John Tavares 349 *** 6. Josh Bailey 342 …
19. Pierre Turgeon and Nick Leddy 193
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 504…
20. Ziggy Palffy 331 *** 21. Brock Nelson 321 *** 22. Anders Lee 320
1. Al Arbour 1,500 *** 2. Jack Capuano 483 *** 3. Barry Trotz 197
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 112
On the Farm
Bridgeport is 5-13-1-0 on the season (3-6-0-0 vs. Hartford and 2-7-1-0 vs. Providence) following a 4-1 win over Providence on Tuesday; Samuel Bolduc scored twice while Jakub Skarek made 23 saves as the Sound Tigers won their second straight game.
Bridgeport returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Hartford.
Season Series Stats
Washington leads the season series 4 games to 2 (and 8 points to 5).
The Isles are 2-3-1 while Washington is 4-2-0.
SATURDAY, APRIL 24th – WASHINGTON AT ISLANDERS 7:00pm
[MSG+ [pre-game at 6:30], WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN 1050]
The Isles will look to move ahead of the Caps as the team meet again on Saturday.
This will be the seventh game of the season series; the teams will complete the season series in DC on Saturday.
Alexander Ovechkin still has 730 goals, leaving him just one behind Marcel Dionne for 5th place on the all-time list. Former Islander Zdeno Chara is scheduled to appear in his 1,6000th NHL game.
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.