By Eric Hornick
Isles 5, Columbus 2
Kyle Palmieri scored the lead goal early in the third period and Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves as the Islanders closed out the busiest month in franchise history with a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets before a sellout crowd of 17,255 at UBS Arena.
The Isles scored twice in 11 seconds to grab the lead in the first period, but Columbus countered with a pair of second period goals 99 seconds apart.
The Isles sweep the home-and-home to improve to 30-27-9 on the season and tie the Jackets for 9th place in the Eastern Conference.
Sebastian Aho (1) Brock Nelson (17) 08:39 CBJ 0,NYI 1
Oliver Wahlstrom (13) Zach Parise (17), Mathew Barzal (33) 08:50 J 0,NYI 2
Emil Bemstrom (4) Eric Robinson (14), Jake Bean (14) 08:47 CBJ 1,NYI 2
Justin Danforth (6) Vladislav Gavrikov (25), Yegor Chinakhov (6) 10:26 CBJ 2,NYI 2
Kyle Palmieri (12) Josh Bailey (25), Adam Pelech (21) 03:16 CBJ 2,NYI 3
Mathew Barzal (13) 09:52 CBJ 2,NYI 4
Ryan Pulock (3) ENG 19:03 CBJ 2, NYI 5
Columbus held both Brock Nelson and Anders Lee without a goal but Nelson extended his points streak to six games (5-5-10)…Semyon Varlamov started for the second straight game, ending a streak where the Isles alternated goalies for 16 straight games ... Anders Lee is 11-9-20 in the last fourteen games …Cory Schneider served as the back-up for the 2nd straight game)…Josh Bailey's assist was his 544th point, tying John Tonelli for 8th place in club history …The Jackets are winless in their last five games (0-3-2)… There was an 8:10 stretch of uninterrupted play leading to Ryan Pulock's empty net goal…It was the first time this season the opposition erased a two-goal deficit…Kyle Palmieri now has 11 goals in the last 24 games…The Isles are now a plus team in the first period, outscoring opponents 54-53…The Isles killed 14 of 15 Columbus power plays this season…Adam Pelech's assists was his 99th NHL point…Mathew Barzal is now two points shy of 300.
Sebastian Aho scored his third career goal for the Islanders; Carolina's Sebastian Aho scored seconds later in his game. It is the second time that both Aho's have scored on the same night.
Whoa, NEL – LEE!
Brock Nelson and Anders Lee reached goal totals this month rarely seen by an Islander in recent years:
• Nelson finished the month with 13 goals, becoming the first Islander since Zigmund Palffy (13 in March 1996) to score at least 13 goals in any month.
• They were the first Islander teammates since Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner (February 2011) to reach double figures in the same month.
• They were the first Islander teammates since Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier (January 1986) to each score at least 11 goals in a month.
• They were the first Islanders since Lee had eleven goals in December 2017 to score at least 10 goals in a month.
Sebastian Aho and Oliver Wahlstrom scored 11 seconds apart; it was the fastest two goals for the Isles since Jordan Eberle and Johnny Boychuk scored also scored 11 seconds apart on January 5, 2019, in St. Louis.
Home is Where The Sorokin Is
Ilya Sorokin falls to 12-4-3 at UBS Arena. His 1.86 GAA is the lowest of any goalie who has played at least ten home games.
Since February 1st, he has been even better, going 6-1-1 in eight home starts (1.55 GAA, .950 save percentage); both the goals against and save percentage are the best in the NHL among goalies who have played at least four home games in that stretch.
Great in the Nets
• Ilya Sorokin is 5-2-0 in his last seven games; he has allowed just eleven goals in those seven games (1.66, .951). Both the goals against and save percentage are the best in the NHL among goalies who have played at least four games in that stretch.
• Semyon Varlamov is 5-1-1 in his last seven decisions.
Special Special Teams
The Isles went 0-1 on the power play and are 12-38 (31.6%) in their last thirteen games. Since March 5th, only Colorado (15) and Florida (13) has more power play goals than the Isles.
The Isles killed all three of their penalties and have now killed 45 of 51 in the last 18 games (88.2%). At home they are even better, having killed 33 of 35 since the beginning of February; their 94.3% home PK in that span is second in the NHL to Carolina's 94.4%.
Zach Parise, the 100th-leading goal scorer in NHL history, has 404 goals, leaving him two behind Rod Gilbert and John LeClair, three behind Marian Gaborik and four behind Patrik Elias and Ray Ferraro.
All-Star Break Splits
The Islander offense has improved significantly since the All-Star break. The Isles scored 92 goals in 39 games before the break (2.4/gm) and have scored 91 in 27 games since the break (3.4/gm).
Before: 80-106-186 in 39 games (4.8/gm)
After: 79-97-176 in 27 games (6.5/gm)
Before: 12-47-59 in 39 games (1.5/gm)
After: 11-58-69 in 27 games (2.6/gm)
Most Career Goals by an Islander Wearing #27
1. Derek King 211
2. Anders Lee 209
3. John Tonelli 206
Most Shutouts In a Season
• 7 Chico Resch 1975-76
• 7 Semyon Varlamov 2020-21 (56-game season)
• 6 Ilya Sorokin 2021-22
• 6 Robin Lehner 2018-19
• 6 Jaroslav Halak 2014-15
The Isles played 17 games this month, most of any month in franchise history The Isles went 10-6-1 this month.
Home and Road
The Isles are 30-27-9 overall; they are 17-13-4 at home and 12-14-5 on the road.
Columbus is 32-31-5 overall; they are 18-14-3 at home and 14-19-2 on the road.
Home is Where the Fans Are
The Isles have played 35 home games and recorded 27 sellouts. The sellout crowds of 17,255 are the 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 907-663-60-166 in 1,796 games.
Most Coaching Wins
1. Scotty Bowman 1,244
2. Joel Quenneville 970
3. Barry Trotz 907
Most Games Coached
1. Scotty Bowman 2,141
2. Barry Trotz 1,796
3. Joel Quenneville 1,768
Lou Lamoriello has the second-highest win total for any general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,485
2. Lou Lamoriello 1,356
3. Glen Sather 1,319
It All Starts at the Top
Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have 2,263 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 24-8-5 when scoring first and are 6-19-4 when allowing the opening goal.
The Isles are 12-6-4 when they outshoot their opponents, 0-1-1 when the shots are even and 18-20-4 when they are outshot. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 84-56-17 when outshot.
In the Nets
Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves; he is 8-13-2 on the season and 9-5-2 vs Columbus.
Elvis Merzlikins made 31 saves; he is 22-17-5 on the season and 1-3-0 vs. the Isles.
The Isles were 0-1 on the power play (2:00); Columbus was 0-3 on the power play (6:00).
The Isles are 16-8-5 when they score at least one power play goal and 14-19-4 when they do not. The Isles are 6-12-4 when they allow at least one power play goal and 24-15-5 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 26-8-4 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 4-19-5 when they do not. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 113-17-15 when scoring three or more.
The Isles are 8-8-9 in games decided by a single goal including 6-8 in regulation. They are 1-3 in games decided in overtime and are 1-6 in shootouts. The Isles are 1-6 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1-goal game into a 2-goal game (including one game the Isles scored after allowing an empty-netter).
Including tonight, the Isles are 8-5-1 in the front end and 4-8-1 in the back end. This back-to-back will conclude at Madison Square Garden on Friday. The next back-to-back will be April 8th in Carolina and April 9th in St. Louis.
Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 25-12-5 in back-ends.
The Isles are 3-4-3 in matinees this season; the next matinee will be on April 3rd in New Jersey. The Isles will play thirteen matinees this season.
Isles: Ryan Pulock (22:59); Columbus: Jakub Voracek (21:04)
Brock Nelson led Isles forwards with 17:36 of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Adam Pelech (12-5-4), Noah Dobson (7-9-3), Ryan Pulock (7-4-1), Anthony Beauvillier (0-1-0), Mathew Barzal (0-0-1), Zdeno Chara (2-1-0), Sebastian Aho (0-1-0), Robin Salo (0-2-0), Scott Mayfield (0-3-0), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (0-2-0).
Isles 21, Columbus 28 (43%)
Casey Cizikas won 5 of 6 for the Isles; Jack Roslovic won 15 of 21 for Columbus.
Isles 21 (Jean-Gabriel Pageau -5)
Columbus 26 (Sean Kuraly -5)
There were no fights. Season total: 20 (Chara 5, Martin 5, Johnston 3, Pageau 2, Mayfield 2, Bellows 1, Nelson 1, Palmieri 1, Wahlstrom 1)
Isles 11 (Ryan Pulock -3)
Columbus 10 (Three with 2)
For the Analytics Crowd
Corsi: All situations: Isles 59, Columbus 53
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 55, Columbus 46
Isles: Adam Pelech +23
Columbus: Emil Bemstrom+12
High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 15, Columbus 11
5-on-5: Isles 14, Columbus 10
(Cal Clutterbuck-INJ), (Scott Mayfield-INJ), Ross Johnston, (Andy Greene-INJ), (Ilya Sorokin-INJ)
Games Lost: 143 (94 to injuries and 49 to COVID protocol)
Zach Parise is the only Islander to have played in every game this season.
Isles: 3 successful, 1 failure
Isles are 2-0-1 in games that they are successful (offside 1/18 @PHI, no goalie interference 2/22 @SEA, offside 3/15 @ WSH) and 0-1-0 in games that they are unsuccessful (no goalie interference 10/14 @CAR).
Opponents: 5 successful, 1 failure
The Isles are 2-2-1 in games where opponents' challenges go their way (goalie interference 10/16 @FLA and 10/23 @ARI; offside 12/19 vs VGK, goalie interference 3/5 vs STL, goalie interference 3/27 vs TB) and 0-0-1 in games where challenges go the Isles' way (goalie interference 3/15 vs WSH)
Last Minute Heroes:
The Isles have scored four goals and allowed two goals in the final three minutes of the third period that were either the winning goal or forced overtime:
For: 4 (Noah Dobson 19:56 – 12/5/21 vs CHI; Isles lost in SO) (Brock Nelson 17:03 – 2/20/22 vs OTT; Isles lost in SO), (Anders Lee 18:01 – 3/15/22 @ WSH; Isles lost in SO), (Kyle Palmieri 17:16 – 3/17/22 vs. NYR -GWG)
Vs: 2 (Eeli Tolvanen 19:48 – 12/9/21 vs NSH-GWG), (Shea Theodore 19:12 – 12/19/21 vs VGK; 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 977…
9. Brent Sutter 694 *** 10. John Tavares and Matt Martin 669 *** 12. Brock Nelson 661 *** 13. Casey Cizikas 649 …
18. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 19. Garry Howatt 596 *** 20. John Tonelli 594 *** 21. Cal Clutterbuck 587 *** 22. Anders Lee 580
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
9. Bobby Nystrom 235 *** 10. Derek King 211 *** 11. Anders Lee 209 *** 12. John Tonelli 206 *** 13. Brock Nelson 200 *** 14 Billy Harris 184 *** 15. Josh Bailey 170
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 *** 4. Josh Bailey 374…
17. Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo 230 *** 19. Mathew Barzal 209 ***20. Nick Leddy 198 *** 21. Pierre Turgeon 193 *** 22. Ed Westfall 181 *** 23. Brock Nelson 177
1. Bryan Trottier 1,353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1,126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1,052…
7. Pat LaFontaine 566 *** 8. Josh Bailey and John Tonelli 544 *** 9. *** 10. Bob Bourne 542 …
14. Billy Harris 443 *** 15. Brock Nelson 377 *** 16. Kyle Okposo and Stefan Persson 369 *** 18. Anders Lee 360…
22. Ziggy Palffy 331 *** 23. Mathew Barzal 298
1. Bryan Trottier +467 *** 2. Denis Potvin +456 *** 3. Mike Bossy +380…
19. JP Parise +67 *** 20. Adam Pelech +60 *** 21. Jude Drouin +58 *** 22. Patrick Flatley +57 *** 23. Greg Gilbert +54 *** 24. Gord Lane +48
1. Al Arbour 1,500 *** 2. Jack Capuano 483 *** 3. Barry Trotz 272
1. Al Arbour 740 *** 2. Jack Capuano 227 *** 3. Barry Trotz 145
On the Farm
Bridgeport has won three straight games and is 6-0-1-0 in their last seven games heading into Saturday's showdown in Wilkes-Barre-Scranton. Bridgeport is now 27-25-6-4 on the season and now trail Wilkes-Barre Scranton by two points (.008 in standings points)
Chris Terry continues to lead the team with 22 goals and 48 points while Otto Koivula has a team-leading 31 helpers. Jakub Skurek is 16-11-4 in goal on the season while Cory Schneider, 6-1-1 in his last eight games, is 10-10-3.
Bridgeport's next home game is against Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
Season Series Stats
The Isles win the season series, 3 games to 1 (and 7 points to 2).
The Isles are 8-2-1 in their last eleven games with the Jackets, including 5-1-0 in New York.
FRIDAY, APRIL 1st – ISLANDERS AT RANGERS 7:00 PM
[MSG+ (Pre-Game at 6:30), WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN Radio]
The Islanders begin a five-game road trip as they head to Madison Square Garden for the 2nd time in just over two weeks.
It's the third meeting of the season between the rivals and the Isles will be looking to sweep the MSG portion of the season series; the Isles are 16-5-0 in their last 21 games on Broadway.
The teams will conclude the season series on April 21st at UBS Arena.
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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