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The Skinny on the Playoff Race

Updating for all of Saturday's results: Saturday's Games Rangers 3, Isles 2 (SO) Philadelphia 1, New Jersey 0 Washington 4, Tampa Ba...

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

The Skinny: Isles 3, Sabres 2

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 66
Isles 3, Buffalo 2
Hudson Fasching deflected home the winning goal with 12:23 to play as the Isles earned a key 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres before a sellout crowd of 17,255 at UBS Arena.   Dylan Cozens and Casey Cizikas traded second period goals while Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo traded goals in the third period before Fasching's winner was awarded after video review.

Ilya Sorokin made 22 saves for the victory as he improved to 5-1-1 over his last seven decisions.

The Isles improve to 33-25-8 and visit Pittsburgh on Thursday as they look to sweep the season series from the Pens. The Isles retained the 1st Wild Card spot; they are one point ahead of Pittsburgh and four points ahead of Florida.  The Penguins have three games in hand and the Panthers have one.

The Scoring:
1st Period
No Goals

2nd Period
Dylan Cozens (25) Henri Jokiharju (10) 05:00 BUF 1,NYI 0
Casey Cizikas (5) Hudson Fasching (6), Alexander Romanov (17)  12:38 BUF 1,NYI 1

3rd Period
Josh Bailey (8) Casey Cizikas (12), Alexander Romanov (18) 01:51 BUF 1,NYI 2
Kyle Okposo (8) Owen Power (20), Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (1) 04:59 BUF 2,NYI 2
Hudson Fasching (4) Josh Bailey (17), Otto Koivula (2) 07:37 BUF 2,NYI 3

The Skinny    
The Isles are 10-3-3 in their last 15 games and 7-2-1 in their last ten home games…. The Isles have outscored the opposition 15-1 in their last nine third periods… The Isles' third period differential improves to +13; the Isles were +16 in the third period through 23 games, -17 over the next 34 games but are +14 over the last nine games … Brock Nelson has points in 17 of the last 19 games… The Isles are a season-high eight games over NHL-.500; it's the first time since the end of the 2021 Covid-shortened season (32-17-7) that the Isles are eight games over NHL-.500 … The Isles have won 15 games when trailing at some point matching their total from the 68-game 2019-20 season…Matt Martin became the 8th player to appear in 750 games for the Islanders; he is just two games behind Mike Bossy (752) for 7th place…Casey Cizikas scored for the first time in 22 games…Hudson Fasching recorded his first career game-winning goal…Josh Bailey scored for the 2nd time in three games and extended his point streak to three games; it was Bailey's 184th career goal, matching Billy Harris for 14th place on the club's all-time list…Both Bailey and Fasching went +3; it was the first time in Fasching's career he has gone +3….Otto Koivula earned his 2nd assist in three games on the winner…Kyle Okposo scored for the 5th time against his former team; Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen earned his first career assist on the play…Alexander Romanov had a pair of assists for the 2nd time this season and third time in his career.

Heavy Hitters
Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin are now 1-2 all-time in hits:
1. Cal Clutterbuck 3,692
2. Matt Martin 3,656

Last Year vs. This Year
2022-23  33-25-8 for 74 points in 66 games
2021-22  30-27-9 for 69 points in 66 games; finished 37-35-10 for 84 points.

Offense from Defense
Today:  0-2-2
Season: 35-99-134
Last Season (Final) 32-128-160

The Islander defense have scored 35 goals, three more than they did last season and the most that they have scored since tallying 39 goals in 2017-18.

Best of the Best
Ilya Sorokin has 15 shutouts in 116 career starts. He has recorded a shutout in 12.8% of his starts, which is the best in NHL history (since 1943-44) among goalies with at least 100 starts:
Ilya Sorokin 12.8%
Roman Cechmanek 12.2%
Ken Dryden 11.8%
Dominik Hasek 11.3%

Zach Attack 
Zach Parise scored his 424th career goal, good for 9th among actives and tying Steve Shutt for 84th all-time. Brian Propp is next with 425.

Home and Road
The Isles are 33-25-8 overall; they are 20-11-3 at home and 12-14-5 on the road.
Buffalo is 32-27-4 overall; they are 13-17-2 at home and 19-10-2 on the road.

East and West
The Isles are 19-13-5 against the East (12-5-1 vs. Metropolitan and 7-8-5 vs. Atlantic) and 14-12-3 against the West (6-7-3 vs. Central and 8-5-0 vs. Pacific).

Home is Where the Fans Are
The Isles have played 75 games at UBS Arena and recorded 53 sellouts of 17,255. 

Sweet Lou
Lou Lamoriello has the second-highest win total for any general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,522
2. Lou Lamoriello 1,396
3. Glen Sather 1,319

First Things First
The Isles are 21-8-4 when scoring first and are 12-17-4 when allowing the opening goal. 

The Shots
Isles     8-17-14=39
Buffalo  8-7-9=24
The Isles are 17-10-3 when they outshoot their opponents, 0-0-0 when the shots are even and 16-15-5 when they are outshot. 

In the Nets
Ilya Sorokin made 22 saves; he is 22-18-6 on the season and 4-2-2 vs. Buffalo. 
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 36 saves; he is 15-10-2 on the season and 1-1-0 vs. the Isles. 

Special Teams
The Isles were 0-2 on the power play (2:08); Buffalo was 0-2 on the power play (2:08).

The Isles are 14-10-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 19-15-5 when they do not. The Isles are 14-12-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 19-13-6 when they do not.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 27-6-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-19-5 when they do not.

One-Goal Games
The Isles are 14-6-8 in games decided by a single goal including 10-6 in regulation. They are 4-3 in games decided in overtime and are 0-5 in shootouts. The Isles are 4-7 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1-goal game into a 2-goal game.

Back-to-Backs   
The next set of back-to-backs will be on March 14th in Los Angeles and on March 15th in Anaheim. The Isles are 7-5-0 in the front end and 7-4-1 in the back end. 

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Bo Horvat (22:40);  Buffalo: Rasmus Dahlin (25:01)
Bo Horvat led Isles forwards with 22:40 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Alexander Romanov (2-2-1), Noah Dobson (4-12-2), Adam Pelech (6-2-0), Ryan Pulock (7-5-1), Scott Mayfield (7-1-3), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Mathew Barzal (2-1-0), Sebastian Aho (0-1-0), Bo Horvat (3-0-1), Tied (0-1-0).

Face-offs
Isles 32, Buffalo 18 (64%)
Bo Horvat won 15 of 25 and Casey Cizikas won 6 of 8 for the Isles; no Sabre who took more than three face-offs won more than he lost. 

Hit Count
Isles 23 (Matt Martin -7)
Buffalo 9 (Two with 2)

Fights 
There were no fights. Season total: 16 (Martin-6, Johnston-3, Lee-2, Wahlstrom-2, Cizikas, Romanov, Martin)
 
Blocked Shots
Isles 32 (Three with 4)
Buffalo 8 (Three with 2)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 59, Buffalo 58
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 50, Buffalo 49

5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Zach Parise +10
Buffalo: Jeff Skinner +8

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 24, Buffalo 9
5-on-5: Isles 17, Buffalo 8

Scratches
Oliver Wahlstrom-IR), (Cal Clutterbuck – IR), (Jean-Gabriel Pageau-IR), (Mathew Barzal-INJ), Parker Wotherspoon, Ross Johnston
Games Lost: 164

The Ironman
Zach Parise played in his 148th consecutive Islander game; he has played in every game since joining the team in October 2021. Overall, his streak is 149 games, making it the 15th-longest active streak in the NHL. 

Challenges
Isles: 1 successful, 0 failures – STL goalie interference 11/3

Opponents: 2 successful, 0 failures – PIT offside 12/27, VAN goalie interference 2/9

League reviews: 6 (Isles goal – Salo vs ANA 10/16 – stood; Isles no goal vs NSH 12/2-stood; Isles goal- Martin vs CHI 12/4-awarded; MIN goal (Gaudreau) 1/12 – awarded); MTL goal (Matheson) 2/11-stood; Isles goal – Fasching vs BUF 3/7 -awarded.

Quickies
The Isles have scored two goals in under a minute six times this season (five times at home and once on road):
0:17 10/29 vs. COL (Mayfield and Beauvillier)
0:59 11/7 vs. CGY (Lee and Palmieri)
0:22 11/26 vs PHI (Nelson and Beauvillier)
0:43 12/4 vs CHI (Parise and Nelson)
0:21 12/6 vs STL (Fasching and Pageau)
0:34 12/9 @ NJD (Cizikas and Wahlstrom)

Multi-Goal 3rd Period Comeback Wins
The Isles have come from two goals behind after two periods to win three times this season and have allowed the opposition to do so once.
For: Trailed 3-1, Won 5-3 vs. COL 10/29
Trailed 3-1, Won 4-3 (OT) vs CGY 11/7
Trailed 3-1, Won 4-3 at NYR 11/8
Vs  Led 4-2, Lost 6-5 vs VAN 2/9

Last Minute Heroes:
The Isles have scored two goal and allowed one goal in the final three minutes of the third period that were either the winning goal or forced overtime. 
For(2): Brock Nelson vs COL 10/29 (18:39;EN/GW)
Josh Bailey @ TOR 11/21 (17:02; Isles won in OT)
Zach Parise Vs PIT 2/17 (17:17; GW)
Vs (1): Kappo Kaako @NYR  12/22 (17:13: GW)

Overtime Winners
For (4): Noah Dobson vs CGY 11/7 (4:02)
Zach Parise vs CBJ 11/12 (0:39) 
Anthony Beauvillier @ TOR 11/21 (1:56)
Mathew Barzal vs VEG 1/28 (4:28)
Vs. (3): Dimitry Orlov Vs WAS 1/16 (4:27)
Dylan Cozens @ BUF 1/19 (0:12)
Mike Matheson @ MTL 2/11 (4:38)

Shootout Winners
For (0): 
Vs (5):  David Pastrnak @ BOS 12/13
Evan Rodrigues @ COL 12/19
Jason Robertson Vs DAL 1/10
Tim Stutzle Vs OTT 2/14
Frederick Gaudreau @MIN 2/28

All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1. Bryan Trottier 1,123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1,060 *** 3. Josh Bailey 1,051…
6. Bob Bourne 814 *** 7. Mike Bossy 752 *** 8. Matt Martin 750 *** 9. Brock Nelson 742 *** 10. Casey Cizikas 729…
12. Brent Sutter 694 *** 13. John Tavares 669 *** 14. Anders Lee 662 *** 15. Derek King 638 *** 16. Billy Harris 623 *** 17. Stefan Persson 622 *** 18. Cal Clutterbuck 621

Goals    
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
8. Bob Bourne 238 *** 9. Anders Lee 236 *** 9. Bobby Nystrom 235 *** 11. Brock Nelson 232 *** 12. Derek King 211 *** 13. John Tonelli 206  *** 14 Billy Harris and Josh Bailey 184…
28. Ray Ferraro 116 *** 29 Mathew Barzal, Benoit Hogue, and Ed Westfall 105

Assists
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 *** 4. Josh Bailey 396…
13. Pat LaFontaine 279 *** 14. Bob Nystrom 278 *** 15. Billy Harris 259 *** 16. Mathew Barzal 257 *** 17. Tomas Jonsson 249 *** 18. Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo 230 *** 20. Brock Nelson 216…
23. Ed Westfall 181 *** 24. Kenny Jonsson 175 *** 25. Anders Lee 174

Points
1. Bryan Trottier 1,353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1,126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1,052…
6.  Brent Sutter 610 *** 7. Josh Bailey 580  …
13. Patrick Flatley 488 *** 14. Brock Nelson 448 *** 15. Billy Harris 443 ***  16. Anders Lee 410 *** 17. Kyle Okposo and Stefan Persson 369…19. Mathew Barzal 362

+/-
1. Bryan Trottier +467 *** 2. Denis Potvin +456 *** 3. Mike Bossy +380…
15. Bob Lorimer +105 *** 16. Tomas Jonsson +76 *** 17. Garry Howatt +75 *** 18. Adam Pelech +74 *** 19. Pat Price +70 *** 20. JP Parise +67 *** 21. Jude Drouin +58 *** 22. Patrick Flatley +57 *** 23. Greg Gilbert +54

Defense Goals
1. Denis Potvin 310 *** 2. Tomas Jonsson 84 *** Kenny Jonsson 57…
6. Nick Leddy 45 *** 7. Roman Hamrlik 43 **** 8. Ryan Pulock 41 *** 9. Mark Streit 40 *** 10. Johnny Boychuk *** 11. Adrian Aucoin 33 *** 12. Bryan Berard 31***13. Noah Dobson 29

Defense Assists
1. Denis Potvin 742 *** 2. Stefan Persson 317 *** 3. Tomas Jonsson 249…
8. Mark Streit 139 *** 9. Ryan Pulock 125…
15. Bryan Berard 100 *** 16. Vladimir Malakhov 98 *** 17. Johnny Boychuk 96 *** 18. Adam Pelech,  Dave Langevin and Thomas Hickey 95…
24. Adrian Aucoin 80 *** 25. Scott Mayfield and Noah Dobson 80

Defense Points
1. Denis Potvin 1,052 *** 2. Stefan Persson 369 *** 3. Tomas Jonsson 333…
8. Mark Streit 179 *** 9. Ryan Pulock 166…
17. Vladimir Malakhov 125 *** 18. Adam Pelech 119 *** 19. Thomas Hickey 117...20. Adrian Aucoin 113 *** 21. Radek Martinek 109 *** 22. Dave Langevin and Noah Dobson 109 *** 24. Scott Lachance and Ken Morrow 105 *** 26. Scott Mayfield 104

Wins
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 130…
8. Glenn Healy 66 *** 9. Tommy Salo 62 *** 10. Ilya Sorokin 61 *** 11. Semyon Varlamov 59

Shutouts
1. Glenn Resch 25 *** 2. Billy Smith 22 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 16 …
4. Ilya Sorokin 15 *** 5. Tommy Salo 14 *** 6. Semyon Varlamov 13 

On the Farm
Bridgeport is 25-22-7-1 on the season after splitting a pair of home shutouts over the weekend.  Hartford beat the Isles 9-0, but the Baby Isles rebounded the following day for a 3-0 victory over Springfield. 

Andy Andreoff leads the team with 22 goals, while Chris Terry continues to lead in assists (35) and points (52); his 52 points are tied-10th in the AHL. William Dufour has 19 goals, which is tied-6th among AHL rookies while All-Star Ruslan Iskhakov is 3rd  among AHL rookies with 29 assists and is tied for the  rookie point lead with 43 points.

Bridgeport is currently tied for the last playoff spot with Hartford.  The B-Isles will play their next three games in Charlotte, against the Checkers.  The games are on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

Season Series Stats
The season series is tied, 1 game to 1 (the Isles have 3 points to Buffalo's 2).   The teams will meet again at UBS Arena at 5:00 on March 25th to complete the season series.

The Isles have won eleven straight home games against the Sabres; Buffalo's last road win against the Isles was on April 9, 2016 (game 81) in overtime.  By not winning that game the Isles would eventually draw Florida in their first round series.

UP NEXT
THURSDAY, MARCH 9th –ISLANDERS AT PITTSBURGH 7:00pm
[MSGSN (Pre-game at 6:30), WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN Radio]
The Isles look to sweep the season series as they visit the Penguins in Pittsburgh.  It's the 4th and final meeting of the teams this season and the Isles have outscored the Pens, 14-7, using third period rallies to win each of the last two games. 

The Isles are one point ahead of the Penguins for the two wild card slots; while the Penguins have three games-in-hand, the Isles have five more regulation wins than the Penguins.

The Isles haven't won four straight games over Pittsburgh since 2014-15; their comeback win in Pittsburgh on February 20th ended their five-game losing streak at PPG Paints Arena.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 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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