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Monday, May 03, 2021

The Skinny: Buffalo 4, Isles 2

"The Skinny"      

By Eric Hornick

Game 52
Buffalo 4, Isles 2
It was a tale of two games as Semyon Varlamov extended his shutout streak to 248:00 as the Isles built a 2-0 lead, only to have the Isles allow four straight goals for a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center.

Adam Pelech and Oliver Wahlstrom scored for the Isles before they allowed their first goal as a team in a franchise-record 212:35 to Tage Thompson on the power play.  Sam Reinhart scored twice (the latter into an empty net) and added an assist in the third period to earn Michael Houser a win in his NHL debut.

The Isles fall to 4th place in the East Division, four points behind Washington and Pittsburgh and one point behind Boston. The Isles and Caps have four games to play while Pittsburgh has three and Boston has five games remaining.
 
The Scoring:
1st Period
Adam Pelech (4) Josh Bailey (25), Anthony Beauvillier (11) 09:15 NYI 1,BUF 0

2nd Period
Oliver Wahlstrom (11) Adam Pelech (9), Kyle Palmieri (11) 10:42 NYI 2,BUF 0
Tage Thompson (7) Jacob Bryson (8), Rasmus Ristolainen (11) 14:04 NYI 2,BUF 1 PPG

3rd Period
Rasmus Asplund (7) Sam Reinhart (15), Tage Thompson (5) 11:25 NYI 2,BUF 2
Sam Reinhart (24) Rasmus Ristolainen (12) 15:56 NYI 2,BUF 3
Sam Reinhart (25)EN 19:08 NYI 2,BUF 4 

The Skinny        
The Isles are 12-10-1 since the end of their 9-game win streak (and 12-game point streak) … The Isles had killed 32 of the last 33 opponent power plays before Tage Thompson's goal…It is the first time since April 1st that the team that scored in an Islander game but lost ….The Isles have only five regulation wins in the last 20 games (three vs. the Rangers)… Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey each extended their point streak to three games. ….Brock Nelson become the 16th Islander skater to play 600 games… Ryan Pulock passed John Tavares for the 8th-consecutive game streak in club history (247)…Varlamov's shutout streak ended at 248:00, breaking a club record of 178:29 set by Chico Resch in 1975; Varlamov's shutout streak is the third-longest in the expansion era...Despite the three goals allowed, he still has the lowest goals against (2.02) and highest save percentage (.9298) for a season for any goalie in Islander history… Despite the four Buffalo goals, the Isles took over the lead in the Jennings race (2.269 vs Vegas' 2.275)…Ilya Samsonov was the last goalie to debut against the Isles; he defeated the Isles 2-1 in last season's opener…Leo Komarov took two minor penalties; he had taken only two penalties (one major, one minor) in his first 30 appearances this season 

Longest Shutout Streaks in Isles History (Goalie)
1. Semyon Varlamov 2020-21 248:00
2. Glenn Resch 1975-76 178:29
3. Robin Lehner 2018-19 177:43
4. Ron Hextall 1993-94  176:46
5. Wade Flaherty 1997-98 169:14

Longest Shutout Streaks in Isles History (Team)
1. 2020-21 212:35
2. 1997-78 199:14
3. 2014-15 193:48
4. 2016-17 166:44
5. 2011-12 159:11

First Times in a Long Time 
The Isles lost in regulation after scoring first for the first time since January 28th in Washington; the Isles lost in regulation after leading through two periods for the first time since January 18, 2020, also vs. Washington.

The Playoff (Positioning) Chase  (all have clinched berth)
X -Washington 71 points (4 to play)
X-Pittsburgh 71 points (3 to play)
X -Boston 68 points (5 to play)
X-ISLES 67 points (4 to play)

Remaining Schedule:
Tuesday- Isles @ BUF, BOS @ NJD, PIT @ PHI
Wednesday- WAS @ NYR
Thursday- NJD @ Isles, NYR @ BOS, BUF @ PIT
Friday – PHI @ WAS 
Saturday - NJD @ Isles, NYR @ BOS, BUF @ PIT, PHI @ WAS
Sunday, May 9th – Happy Mother's Day (no games)
Monday, May 10th – Isles @ BOS, NJ @ PHI
Tuesday, May 11th – BOS @ WAS

Race for the Jennings (includes shootout losers)
1. Isles  118 goals allowed in 52 games  2.269
2. Vegas  116 goals allowed in 51 games  2.275
3. Carolina 123 goals allowed in 52 games 2.37
4. Boston  123 goals allowed in 51 games  2.41

Most Shutouts in a Season
11 2018-19 (82-game schedule)
10  2020-21 (56-game schedule)
10 1975-76 (80-game schedule)

The Isles will earn a shutout in at least 17.9% of their games this season, breaking the previous record (13.4% in 2018-19).

Varly Solid
Semyon Varlamov is 12-6-2 in his last twenty decisions, allowing just 40 goals in that span.  Varly has won 19 games this season with a goals against average of 2.02 and save percentage of .930.  Varlamov has 251 NHL wins (passing Johnny Bower for 61st) and 34 shutouts, including an NHL-leading seven  this season.

Most Shutouts by an Islander Goalie (one season):
1. Semyon Varlamov 7 (2020-21)
        Chico Resch 7 (1975-76)

Lowest Goals Against by an Islander Goalie (one season) (minimum 1000 minutes):
1. Semyon Varlamov 2.02 (2020-21)
2. Chico Resch 2.08 (1975-76)
3. Robin Lehner 2.13 (2018-19)
4. Ilya Sorokin 2.19 (2020-21)

Highest Save Percentage by an Islander Goalie (one season) (minimum 1000 minutes):
1. Semyon Varlamov .9298 (2020-21)
2. Robin Lehner .9297 (2018-19)
3. Chico Resch .928 (1975-76)
4. Thomas Greiss .927 (2018-191)

Sorokin's Shining
Ilya Sorokin is 12-4-0 in his last sixteen starts. He has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his last seven appearances and in twelve of his last sixteen starts.

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 turns 26 this summer so he will not have rookie status next season) 

Home Sweet Home
The Isles have earned points in 23 of their first 26 home games (20-3-3); it is their best home record through 26 games in the Post-Cup Era:

Most Points at Home Through 26 Games
44 1977-78 (20-2-4)
44 1980-81 (21-3-2)
43 1978-79 (19-2-5)
43 2020-21 (20-3-3)

Top of the Chart
The Isles now have 67 points in 52 games; it is one point behind last season for the most points through 52 games in the Post-Cup era:
68 2019-20
67 2014-15
67 2020-21
66 2018-19

Solid D
The Isles have allowed only 118 goals (including 2 shootout winners) in 52 games; it is the fewest goals that they have allowed through 52 games in their history:
118 (2020-21)
127 (1975-76)
128 (1977-78)
128 (2018-19)
129 (2003-04)
130 (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-L Remaining games: 2  (0 home, 1 away)
New Jersey W-L-W-W-W-Wso Remaining games: 2  (2 home, 0 away)
Rangers         W-L-W-L-Wot-W-W-W Remaining games: 0
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-L-L Remaining games: 0

Home and Road
The Isles are 31-16-5 overall; they are 20-3-3 at home and 11-13-2 on the road.
Buffalo is 14-32-7 overall; they are 7-16-4 at home and 7-16-3 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 876-634-60-156 in 1,726 games. 

Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman  1,244
2. Joel Quenneville  960
3. Barry Trotz    876

Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman   2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,759
3. Barry Trotz        1,726

Sweet Lou
Lou Lamoriello has the second-highest win total for any general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,444
2. Lou Lamoriello 1,325
3. Glen Sather 1,319

It All Starts at the Top
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have 2,201 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 22-2-2 when scoring first and are 9-14-3 when allowing the opening goal. 
At home, Isles are 14-0-2 scoring first and 6-3-1 trailing first
On road, Isles are 8-2-0 scoring first and 3-11-2 trailing first

The Isles have won 84.6% of the games that they have scored first, which is the highest percentage in the NHL (just behind Edmonton - .875 and Vegas - .871).   

The Shots
Isles    11-10-15=36
Buffalo    9-14-17=40
The Isles are 19-5-2 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-1-0 when the shots are even and 11-10-3 when they are outshot.  Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 64-35-13 when outshot.

In the Nets
Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves but falls to 19-10-4 on the season and 12-3-1 in his career against the Buffalo.
Michael Houser made 34 saves to win his NHL debut.  Houser is the oldest goalie to ever debut against the Isles. 

Special Teams
The Isles were 0-1 on the power play (2:00); the Buffalo were 1-3 on the power play (5:32). 

The Isles are 13-5-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 18-11-2 when they do not.  The Isles are 6-10-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 25-6-3 when they do not.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 23-4-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 8-12-2 when they do not.  Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 88-9-10 when scoring three or more.

One-Goal Games
The Isles are 14-5-5 in games decided by a single goal including 6-5 in regulation. They are 4-3 in games decided in overtime and are 4-2 in shootouts.  The Isles are 0-1 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
2014-15 -- .605
2018-19 -- .594
2020-21 -- .583

Back-to-Backs
Including tonight, the Isles are 4-2-2 in the front-half and 4-2-1 in the back-half. The final back-to-back of the season concludes in Buffalo on Tuesday.
 
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: 20-8-3 (.694).

Series
The Isles are playing the same opponent in consecutive games sixteen times this season (including three-game stretches vs. the Sabres, Devils, Flyers, and Capitals).
  
In two-game series, the Isles are 4-6-2 in the first game and 4-6-1 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), NYR (W/W), BUF (L/-)

In three-game series, the Isles are 2-1-1 in the first game, 3-1-0 in the second game, and 3-1-0 in the third:
BUF (W/W/W), NJ (W/W/W), PHI (L/W/Wot), WAS (Lso/L/L)

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Ryan Pulock (22:41); Buffalo: Rasmus Dahlin (23:34)
Brock Nelson led Isles forwards with 19:54 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Nick Leddy (9-5-1), Ryan Pulock (16-8-3), Scott Mayfield (1-1-0), Mathew Barzal (1-1-1), Adam Pelech (4-1-0).

Face-offs
Isles 30, Buffalo 26 (54%)
Casey Cizikas won 9 of 13 for the Isles; Sam Reinhart won 12 of 20 for Buffalo.

The Isles are 19-9-2 when they win more face-offs than the opposition, 0-4-1 when they are tied, and 12-5-1 when they win fewer.

Hit Count
Isles 20 (Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas -4)
Buffalo 13 (William Borgen -5)
Fights 
There were no fights.  Season total: 5 (Martin -2, Cizikas -1, Wahlstrom -1, Johnston-1)
 
Blocked Shots
Isles 4 (Ryan Pulock -2)
Buffalo 15 (Sam Reinhart -4)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 59, Buffalo 53
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 49, Buffalo 42

5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Brock Nelson +12
Buffalo: Rasmus Ristolainen +8

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 12, Buffalo 7
5-on-5: Isles 8, Buffalo 7

Scratches
Sebastian Aho, Cory Schneider, (Anders Lee-LTIR), Ross Johnston, Braydon Coburn, Michael Dal Colle, Brian Bellows, (JG Pageau)
Games Lost: 58
COVID Games Lost -6

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 thirteen players in the NHL whose streak began no later than the start of the 2017-18 season.   

Ironman Streaks: Brock Nelson 297, Mathew Barzal 284, Ryan Pulock 247.  All three players have appeared in every game since Barry Trotz became the Isles' coach.

Iron Man
Brock Nelson has the longest active streak (and the 3rd -longest in club history); Mathew Barzal is tied-5th on this list while Ryan Pulock is 8th:
1. Billy Harris 10/7/1972 -11/30/1979 576 (*)
2. Bobby Nystrom 1/7/1975 - 11/25/1978 301
3. Brock Nelson 3/16/2017 – CURRENT 297
4. Anders Lee 1/26/2017 – 3/13/2021 295
5. Mathew Barzal 10/6/2017- CURRENT 284
    Matt Moulson 10/3/2009 - 4/4/2013 284
7. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975 - 1/17/1979 262
8. Ryan Pulock 12/29/2017 – CURRENT 247
9.   John Tavares 10/16/2010 - 12/23/2013 246
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.

Challenges
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: 2 successful, 1 failure (goalie interference 1/14 @ NYR, no goalie interference 3/11 vs NJ, goalie interference 5/3 @ BUF)
The Isles are 1-0-0 in games where opponents' challenges go their way and 1-1-0 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 915…
13. Stefan Persson 622 *** 14. Matt Martin 612 *** 15. Frans Nielsen 606 *** 16. Brock Nelson 600 *** 17. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 18. Garry Howatt 596 *** 19. John Tonelli 594 *** 20. Casey Cizikas 586 … 
27. Kyle Okposo 529 *** 28. Cal Clutterbuck 525 *** 29.  Anders Lee 520 *** 30. Dave Lewis and Nick Leddy 514

Goals
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

Assists
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 ***
4. Clark Gillies 359 *** 5. John Tavares 349 *** 6.  Josh Bailey 347 …
17.  Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen 230 *** 19.Nick Leddy 196

Points
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 509…
20. Ziggy Palffy 331 *** 21. Brock Nelson 324 ***  22. Anders Lee 320

Games Coached 
1. Al Arbour 1,500 *** 2. Jack Capuano 483 *** 3. Barry Trotz 202
 
Coaching Wins
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 114

On the Farm
Bridgeport is 8-13-2-0 on the season (4-6-1-0 vs. Hartford and 4-7-1-0 vs. Providence) following a 4-3 shootout win over the Bruins in the home finale at Harbor Yard. Cole Bardreau extended his point streak to seven games with his 10th goal of the season; he later added an assist.  Otto Koivula had the deciding goal in the shootout to make a winner out of Jakub Skarek as the Sound Tigers extended their point streak to six games (5-0-1).  

Bridgeport concludes the season on Tuesday afternoon in Hartford.

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 6 games to 1 (and 12 points to 2). 
The Isles are 6-1-0 while Buffalo is 1-6-0.

The Isles are 4-0-0 at the Coliseum vs. Buffalo and 2-1-0 on the road.  The loss today ended an Islander nine-game winning streak against Buffalo.

UP NEXT
TUESDAY, MAY 4th  –ISLANDERS AT BUFFALO 7:00pm
[MSG+ [pre-game at 6:30], WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN 1050]
The Isles play the back-end of their final back-to-back of the season as they again face the Sabres in the penultimate road game of the season.

Tuesday is May 4th – known informally as "Star Wars Day" so the Isles hope the force will be with them as they look to split the two games in Western New York.  

The regular season has never before gone this late into May; this will be the Isles' first May 4th game since 1993 (game 2 vs. Pittsburgh).

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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