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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

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Friday, December 31, 2021

The Skinny: Isles 4, Buffalo 1

"The Skinny"      

By Eric Hornick

Game 27
Isles 4, Buffalo 1
Mathew Barzal scored a goal and added two assists while Noah Dobson had two points and was on-ice for all four Islander goals as the Isles defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1, before another sellout crowd of 17,255 at UBS Arena.

Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves for his second straight win as the Isles stretched their home-ice dominance of the Sabres to ten straight games.  The Isles end December with a 4-2-4 record and will carry a three-game point streak into 2022.

The Scoring:
1st Period
Mathew Barzal (6) Josh Bailey (10), Noah Dobson (8) 12:35 BUF 0,NYI 1
Kyle Okposo (7) Brett Murray (3), Victor Olofsson (14) 19:00 BUF 1,NYI 1 PPG

2nd Period
Kieffer Bellows (3) Andy Greene (4) 06:45 BUF 1,NYI 2
Anders Lee (9) Kieffer Bellows (4), Mathew Barzal (13) 11:25  BUF 1,NYI 3 PPG

3rd Period
Noah Dobson (4) Josh Bailey (11), Mathew Barzal (14) 11:43 BUF 1,NYI 4

The Skinny         
The Isles have scored 28 goals in the last nine games after scoring only 33 goals in their first eighteen games…Anders Lee extended his point streak to four games…Mathew Barzal played seven games in October and has points in all of them (2-10-12, including four multiple-assist games)…Josh Bailey had his first multiple-assist game of the season…Kieffer Bellows had a goal and an assist, giving him six points in his last six games…Noah Dobson is 4-4-8 in his last eight games; his four goals are all at home; he leads all players in goals on UBS ice…Kyle Okposo, who scored 139 goals with the Isles, had the Sabre goal. It was his third goal against his former team…Semyon Varlamov earned his second straight win, stopping 76 of 78 shots in the two games; Varly has allowed only eight goals in the last four games (2-1-1)…In the fifteen games that the Isles have earned points, their power play is 10-38 (26.3%); the Islander power play is 3-35 (8.6%) in their 12 regulation losses…The Isles are 3-0-1 in their last four games at home after going 0-5-2 to open UBS Arena.

The COVID List!
Mathew Barzal, Robin Salo and Matt Martin all returned to the lineup after missing games with COVID; Zach Parise and Cal Clutterbuck both were on the list but returned without missing a game.  Brock Nelson, Oliver Wahlstrom, Sebastian Aho and Anthony Beauvillier are on the COVID protocol list; fifteen Islanders have missed games due to COVID. Ryan Pulock (LTIR) and Kyle Palmieri (IR) missed the game with injuries.

Hey Josh Bailey!
Josh Bailey had two assists to first tie and then pass Clark Gillies for fourth place on the all-time Isles list.

1. Bryan Trottier 853 
2. Denis Potvin 742 
3. Mike Bossy 553 
4. Josh Bailey 360
5. Clark Gillies 359

Gillies had been fourth on this list since Mike Bossy passed him during the 1982-83 season.  No other Islander had been in the top four of assists since Bossy passed Billy Harris on March 2, 1982!

Dobson's in Good Company
Noah Dobson is tied for the NHL lead in goals by a defenseman in December (4).  Erik Karlsson, Viktor Hedman, Cale Makar, and Evan Bouchard have all scored four goals this month; Hedman and Dobson are the only players to scored them all at home.

Lots of Home Cooking
The Isles are in a stretch where they are playing six out of seven games at home.  The Isles are 3-2-1 in this stretch:
12/9 vs. Nashville L 3-4
12/11 vs. New Jersey W 4-2
12/14 @ Detroit L 1-2
12/16 vs. Boston W 3-1
12/19 vs. Vegas L 3-4 (SO)
12/30 vs. Buffalo W 4-1
1/1/2022 vs. Edmonton

Four games that were originally in this stretch (home games with Montreal, Washington, and Detroit as well as a game in Buffalo) have been postponed.

The Schedule
This was only the 8th time Isles have had at least 10 days off during a regular season.

Five of the other seven were due to Olympics (ranging from 13 to 18 off-days).  In 1992 a player strike led to 13 consecutive off-days.  The only "normal" break of this kind occurred in early 2020, when the Isles had ten consecutive off-days around the all-star break. 

The Isles just ended their third break of at least five consecutive off-days (no games Oct 25-29, Nov 27-Dec 1, and Dec 20-29); that's happened only once before - in 2006-07.  It happened once last season - when Buffalo's COVID outbreak postponed games in early February.

The Isles reach New Year's having played only 27 games; prior to this season the latest the Isles played game 27 was on Dec 14.  The Isles will have completed one-third of their 82-game schedule after the first period on Saturday.

Zdeno Chara played in his 1,632nd NHL game. Chara is 3rd among defensemen in games played:
Chris Chelios 1,651  
Scott Stevens 1,635
Zdeno Chara 1,632

Chelios is 8th among all players in games played, Stevens is 10th and Chara is 11th.

Home and Road
The Isles are 9-12-6 overall; they are 3-5-3 at home and 6-7-3 on the road.
Buffalo is 10-17-5 overall; they are 6-9-2 at home and 4-8-3 on the road.

Home is Where the Fans Are
The Isles have played eleven home games and sold out all of them. They are the eleven largest indoor crowds to ever see the Islanders play at home.

Leader of the Pack
Barry Trotz has coached more games and recorded more victories than any other active coach. Trotz' NHL record is 886-647-60-164 in 1,757 games. 

Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman  1,244
2. Joel Quenneville  969
3. Barry Trotz    886

Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman   2,141
2. Joel Quenneville 1,768
3. Barry Trotz        1,757

Sweet Lou
Lou Lamoriello has the second-highest win total for any general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,464
2. Lou Lamoriello 1,335
3. Glen Sather 1,319

It All Starts at the Top
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have 2,221 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 8-4-4 when scoring first and are 1-8-2 when allowing the opening goal. 

The Shots
Isles    9-12-11=32
Buffalo    14-9-14=37
The Isles are 1-3-2 when they outshoot their opponents, 0-1-0 when the shots are even and 8-8-4 when they are outshot. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 72-44-17 when outshot.

In the Nets
Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves; he is 9-12-6 on the season and 13-3-1 vs. Buffalo. 

Malcolm Subban made 28 saves; he is 0-2-1 on the season and 0-1-1 vs. the Isles.   

Special Teams
The Isles were 1-2 on the power play (2:46); Buffalo was 1-2 on the power play (2:42).

The Isles are 4-3-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 5-9-2 when they do not. The Isles are 3-6-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 6-6-3 when they do not.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 7-2-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-10-4 when they do not. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 95-11-13 when scoring three or more.

One-Goal Games
The Isles are 0-3-6 in games decided by a single goal including 0-3 in regulation. They are 0-3 in games decided in overtime and are 0-3 in shootouts. The Isles are 0-2 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1-goal game into a 2-goal game.

The Isles are 2-2-1 in the front end and 1-3-1 in the back end. The next back-to-back is scheduled for January 4th in Seattle and January 5th in Vancouver.
Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 22-7-5 (.727) in back-ends. 

Matinee Isles
The Isles are 0-0-2 in matinees this season; the next matinee will be on January 1st against Edmonton. The Isles will play a total of fourteen matinees this season.

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Zdeno Chara (22:11); Buffalo: Rasmus Dahlin (27:04)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau led Isles forwards with a season-high 17:59 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Ryan Pulock (2-1-1), Anthony Beauvillier (0-1-0), Mathew Barzal (0-0-1), Adam Pelech (4-2-2), Zdeno Chara (2-1-0), Sebastian Aho (0-1-0), Robin Salo (0-2-0), Scott Mayfield (0-2-0), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (0-1-0), Noah Dobson (1-1-2).

Isles 31, Buffalo 16 (66%)
Casey Cizikas won 9 of 13 for the Isles; no Sabre won more than he lost. 

The Isles are 6-8-4 when they win more face-offs than the opposition, 0-0-1 when face-offs are even, and 3-4-1 when they win fewer.

Hit Count
Isles 24 (Matt Martin -5)
Buffalo 12 (Two with 3)
There were no fights. Season total: 12 (Chara 3, Martin 3, Bellows 1, Mayfield 1, Nelson 1, Palmieri 1, Pageau 1, Wahlstrom 1)
Blocked Shots
Isles 11 (Zdeno Chara -3)
Buffalo 10 (Mark Pysyk -3)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 50, Buffalo 53
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 45, Buffalo 42

5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Adam Pelech +14
Buffalo: Rasmus Asplund +4

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 9, Buffalo 8
5-on-5: Isles 8, Buffalo 5

(Ryan Pulock -LTIR), (Kyle Palmieri-IR), Cole Bardreau, (Brock Nelson, Oliver Wahlstrom, Sebastian Aho and Anthony Beauvillier – COVID)
Games Lost: 79 (38 to injuries and 41 to COVID protocol)

Iron Man
Scott Mayfield played in his 116th consecutive game.

Isles: 0 successful, 1 failure
The Isles are 0-0-0 in games that they are successful and 0-1-0 in games that they are unsuccessful.(no goalie interference 10/14 @CAR)

Opponents: 3 successful, 0 failures  
The Isles are 1-1-1 in games where opponents' challenges go their way and 0-0-0 in games where challenges go the Isles' way. (goalie interference 10/16 @FLA and 10/23 @ARI; offside 12/19 vs VGK)

Last Minute Heroes:
The Isles have scored one goal and allowed two goals in the final three minutes of the third period that were either the winning goal or forced overtime:
For: 1  (Noah Dobson 19:56 – 12/5/21 vs CHI; Isles lost in SO)
Vs:  2 (Eeli Tolvanen 19:48 – 12/9/21 vs NSH; GWG, Shea Theodore 19:12 – 12/19/21 vs NSH; Isles lost in SO)

All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1. Bryan Trottier 1,123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1,060 *** 3. Josh Bailey 941…
11. Derek King 638 *** 12. Matt Martin 634 *** 13. Billy Harris and Brock Nelson 623 *** 14. Stefan Persson 622 *** 16. Casey Cizikas 611 … 
20. John Tonelli 594 *** 21. Cal Clutterbuck 555 *** 22. Ken Morrow  550 ***  23. Duane Sutter 547 *** 24. Lorne Henning and Anders Lee 543

1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
11. John Tonelli 206 *** 12. Anders Lee 193 *** 13. Billy Harris 184 *** 14. Brock Nelson 178 *** 15. Ziggy Palffy 168 *** 16. Josh Bailey 163

1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 *** 4. Josh Bailey 360…
20. Pierre Turgeon 193 *** 21. Mathew Barzal 189…
26. Jean Potvin 167 *** 27. Jeff Norton 166 *** 28. Ziggy Palffy and Brock Nelson 163

1. Bryan Trottier 1,353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1,126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1,052…
9. Bob Bourne 542 *** 10. Josh Bailey 523 …
17. Frans Nielsen 349 *** 18. Brock Nelson 341 *** 19. Pierre Turgeon 340 *** 20. Tomas Jonsson 333 *** 21. Ziggy Palffy and Anders Lee 331…
26. Ed Westfall 286 *** 27. Mathew Barzal 272

Games Coached 
1. Al Arbour 1,500 *** 2. Jack Capuano 483 *** 3. Barry Trotz 233
Coaching Wins
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 124

On the Farm
Bridgeport dropped a 3-2 decision to Hartford on Wednesday to end 2021 with a 10-16-1-3 record; they will open 2022 with a New Year's Day game in Lehigh Valley and a Sunday game in Hershey. 

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0).  

The Isles have won ten straight home games against Buffalo (three in Brooklyn, six at the Coliseum and one at UBS Arena).  

[MSG+ (pre-game begins at 1:30), WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN Radio]
The Isles often play (and win) on New Year's Eve, having gone 12-1-1 in their last 14 games on New Year's Eve. However, on Saturday the Isles will play their first New Year's Day game since 2007 as they face the Edmonton Oilers.

It will be the first meeting of the teams since a 5-2 Oiler win at the Coliseum on October 8, 2019.  That defeat snapped a six-game Isles point streak vs. Edmonton and left New York with a 2-1-4 record in their last seven games against the Oil.

Edmonton struggled into the holiday break going 3-7-0 in their last ten games after a 15-5-0 start.  The Oilers will be in New Jersey on Friday afternoon before heading to Long Island. 

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

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    


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