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The Skinny: Isles 5, Boston 1

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Sunday, December 24, 2023

The Skinny: Isles 5, Carolina 4

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 33
Isles 5, Carolina 4
Anders Lee completed a three-point game with his 250th career goal as the Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 before a sellout crowd of 18,921 at PNC Arena. The Isles head into the Christmas break with points in 17 of their last 19 games (11-2-6).

The Isles jumped on top with a three goal first period and never trailed as they improve to 8-1-3 in their last twelve games.  Each Sebastian Aho scored in the game, but it was the Isles' Aho who went a career-best +4.

The Isles are 16-8-9 on the season and will spend the Christmas break in 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division, six points behind the first place Rangers. The Isles have three games remaining in 2023, all against Metro opponents, beginning on Wednesday against Pittsburgh at UBS Arena. 

The Scoring:
1st Period
Sebastian Aho (1) Kyle Palmieri (11), Brock Nelson (14) 11:19 NYI 1,CAR 0
Teuvo Teravainen (13) Seth Jarvis (13), Dmitry Orlov (12) 12:22 NYI 1,CAR 1
Brock Nelson (16) Mike Reilly (5), Kyle Palmieri (12) 14:43 NYI 2,CAR 1
Bo Horvat (14) Mathew Barzal (24), Anders Lee (4) 18:25 NYI 3,CAR 1

2nd Period
Sebastian Aho (13) Michael Bunting (16), Andrei Svechnikov (11) 00:59 NYI 3,CAR 2 PPG
Mike Reilly (2) Mathew Barzal (25), Anders Lee (5) 14:12 NYI 4,CAR 2

3rd Period
Jaccob Slavin (4) Martin Necas (15), Andrei Svechnikov (12) 01:56 NYI 4,CAR 3
Anders Lee (10) Noah Dobson (29), Bo Horvat (19) 03:44 NYI 5,CAR 3
Stefan Noesen (10) Martin Necas (16), Brady Skjei (15)  09:17 NYI 5,CAR 4 PPG

The Skinny
Sixteen of the last 19 games have been decided by one goal; it is the first time in club history that 21 of the first 33 games were decided by one goal (or ended in a tie)… Bo Horvat is 9-10-19 in the last 13 games, Brock Nelson is 5-5-10 in the last seven games and Mathew Barzal is 3-9-12 in the last 9 games…Noah Dobson had an assist and played 28:08. It was the 15th straight game he has played at least 25 minutes, tying Adrian Aucoin's club record from February 10-March 9, 2004 (no Islander has averaged 25 minutes per game since 2013-14)…Anders Lee has five goals in the last eight games to become the 9th player in club history with 250 career goals; Lee was also credited with his 40th game-winning goal (tying Brock Nelson for 6th place in club history)…The Isles' defense went 2-2-4 and now have 27 points in the last ten games.… The Isles have outscored their opponents 30-19 in the first period and 39-38 in the second period but have been outscored 48-34 in the third period and overtime this season … The Isles are now three points ahead of last season's pace (16-8-9 vs. 18-13-2)… The Isles have scored at least three goals twelve times in the last thirteen games… The Isles have trailed after one period only four times in their first 33 games …. The Isles have not lost by more than three goals this season…  The Isles have scored 23 PP goals this season; they had only 23 at the All-Star Break (52 games) last season…Cal Clutterbuck played his 669th game as an Isle, matching John Tavares for 14th place in club history…Sebastian Aho is the 4th Islander to go +4 this season, joining Noah Dobson, Bo Horvat and Mathew Barzal… Ilya Sorokin is 5-0-2 in December…The Canes' Sebastian Aho now has 499 career points; Mathew Barzal now has 397 points…The Isles are 13-1-4 when leading after two periods (4-1-1 when holding a multiple goal lead)….The Hurricanes have sold out PNC Arena for every game this season…Brent Burns played his 795th consecutive game; it is the longest active streak in the NHL and second-longest all-time for an NHL defenseman (Keith Yandle-989).

First Time in a Long Time
Brock Nelson's goal and assist gave the Isles four players with at least 30 points over the first 33 games.  It is the first time since the 1986-87 season that this has happened; they had six players that season (Mike Bossy, Brent Sutter, LaFontaine, Patrick Flatley, Denis Potvin, and Bryan Trottier).

The Isles scored three goals in the first period for the first time in 125 games (4/12/2022 vs. Pittsburgh); it ended a streak of five games where they had not scored a first period goal.

The Isles' Sebastian Aho scored for the first time in 40 games (2/22 vs. Winnipeg)
 
It's a Festivus Miracle (not really)
The Isles have earned more points on December 23rd than any other day on the calendar (20-13 with 2 ties for 42 points). This is largely driven by the fact that the Isles have played 35 times on this date.  The Isles game on Friday will be their 30th game on December 29th, and that is second on the list of most-common dates in Isles history.

Woah, Noah!
Noah Dobson is 5-29-34 on the season, just one point behind Mathew Barzal for the club lead in points. Dobson has eighteen assists in the last thirteen games; he is the first Islander to do that since Tom Kurvers did so in 1992. 

Dobson, who earlier in the week became the first Islander defenseman to ever be named one of the NHL's Three Stars of the Week, now has 29 assists through 33 games; only Denis Potvin (30 in 1983-84) has had more assists by an Isles defenseman through 33 games. (The Award did not exist in Potvin's era.)

Dobson now has 51 assists in 2023. Among Isles defensemen, only Denis Potvin (10x with a high 68 in 1978) and Stefan Persson (61 in 1978) have had more in a calendar year.

Metropolitan Holiday 
The Isles are ending 2023 by playing five straight games against division foes.  They are 1-0-1 in this stretch:
12/20 @ Washington (3-2 OTL)
12/23 @ Carolina (5-4 W)
12/27 vs. Pittsburgh
12/29 vs. Washington
12/31 @ Pittsburgh

Following this stretch, the Isles will play 17 straight inter-division games and will play only two division foes in their next 30 games.

Fewest Regulation Losses Thru 33 Games (Post-Cup era)
8 (2019-20; 23-8-2)
8 (2021; 21-8-4)
8 (2023-24; 16-8-9) 
9 (2001-02; 17-9-5-2)
10 (2014-15; 23-10-0)
10 (2015-16; 18-10-5)

Overtime Is Our Time
The Isles have played 13 overtime games. They are 3-6 in games decided by an overtime goal, and they are 1-3 in shootouts. Ilya Sorokin is 2-5 in overtime and 1-2 in shootouts, while Semyon Varlamov is 1-1 in overtime and 0-1 in shootouts. 

The NHL record for overtime games is 30, played by Boston in 2003-04.  The Isles are on pace to play 32 overtime games.

The Isles have won 14 of the last 37 games decided by an overtime goal (since January 11, 2020).

Most OT/SO Losses Thru 33 Games
9 (2023-24)
7 (2009-10)
The Isles played 10 ties through 33 games in 1973-74 and 9 ties through 33 games in 1973-74.  In 1985-86, the Isles played 9 ties and also lost once in overtime.

Killing Their Own PP
The Isles have taken a penalty to interrupt their power play eleven times this season.

Power Play Up; Penalty Killing Down
The Isles have scored 23 power play goals; they scored 35 all last season.
The Isles have allowed 29 power play goals; they allowed 39 all last season. Only 11 of those 39 were at home; the Isles have already allowed 14 home power play goals this season.

Heavy Hitters
Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin are 1-2 all-time in hits:
1. Cal Clutterbuck 3,839
2. Matt Martin 3,734

Martin (7) and Clutterbuck (3) have combined for the 10-biggest hits seasons in Isles history in the Real-Time era, which began in 2005-06. 

Last Year vs. This Year
2023-24  16-8-9 for 41 points in 33 games
2022-23  18-13-2 for 38 points in 33 games

Offense from Defense
Today:   2-2-4
Season: 12-54-66
Last Season (Final) 41-132-173

The Islander defense scored 41 goals last season, which was the most since they scored 42 in 2003-04. The 173 points were their most since 1993-94, when they had 174 points in an 84-game season.

Best of the Best
Ilya Sorokin has 18 shutouts in 151 career starts. He has recorded a shutout in 11.9% of his starts, which is the second-highest in NHL history (since 1943-44) among goalies with at least 100 starts:
Roman Cechmanek 12.2%
Ilya Sorokin 11.9%
Ken Dryden 11.8%
Dominik Hasek 11.3%

Lots of Work for Sorokin
Ilya Sorokin has faced 765 shots in his 21 games (an average of 36.4 per game). To put that number in perspective, Los Angeles goalies had faced only 766 shots in 29 games entering play on Saturday. Only Jusse Soros (779) has faced more shots this season. No goalie has ever played the full season for the Islanders and led the NHL in this category; Kelly Hrudey did so in 1988-89, the season he was traded at the deadline to Los Angeles.

Varly, Varly
Semyon Varlamov has 40 career shutouts and 278 career wins. Among active NHL goalies (and excluding Carey Price, who is technically still active), Varlamov is 6th in wins and tied-third in shutouts.

All-time Goalie Wins
50. Brian Elliott 279
51. Semyon Varlamov 278
52. Marty Turco 275

It's an SH SH (Simon Holmstrom Shorthanded) Goal
Only seven players in Isles history have scored more shorthanded goals in a season than Simon Holmstrom, who now has five:

1 Bob Bourne       1980-81    7
  Frans Nielsen      2010-11   7
3 Shawn Bates       2002-03   6
Michael Grabner  2010-11   6
Lorne Henning    1976-77    6
Anders Kallur      1980-81    6
Michael Peca      2001-02    6

It's a JG SH Assist
Jean-Gabriel Pageau is the first Isle in 42 years with at least five shorthanded assists in a season:
1 Lorne Henning  1976-77 8
2. Bryan Trottier  1980-81 5
    Denis Potvin    1980-81 5
    Bryan Trottier  1981-82 5
    Billy Carroll      1981-82 5
    J-G Pageau       2023-24 5

Home and Road
The Isles are 16-8-9 overall; they are 9-3-6 at home and 7-5-3 on the road.
Carolina is 17-12-4 overall; they are 9-3-3 at home and 8-10-1 on the road.

East and West
The Isles are 11-5-6 against the East (6-2-4 vs. Metropolitan and 5-3-2 vs. Atlantic) and 5-3-3 against the West (1-2-0 vs. Central and 4-1-3 vs. Pacific).

Home is Where the Fans Are
The Isles have played 100 games at UBS Arena and recorded 68 sellouts of 17,255. 

Sweet Lou
Lou Lamoriello has the second-highest win total for any general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,531
2. Lou Lamoriello 1,422
3. Glen Sather 1,319

First Things First
The Isles are 10-2-7 when scoring first and are 6-6-1 when allowing the opening goal. They are 0-0-1 when the game heads to a shootout following a scoreless tie.

The Shots
Isles       12-6-10=28
Carolina 15-10-15=40
The Isles are 4-2-3 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-0-0 when the shots are even and 11-6-6 when the opposition has more shots.

In the Nets
Ilya Sorokin made 36 saves; he is 10-4-7 on the season and 3-4-1 vs. Carolina. 
Pyotr Kochetkov made 23 saves; he is 7-7-3 on the season and 2-1-1 vs. the Isles. 

Special Teams
The Isles were 0-3 on the power play (4:04); Carolina was  2-4 on the power play (3:42).

The Isles are 9-4-5 when they score at least one power play goal and 7-4-4 when they do not. The Isles are 6-5-6 when they allow at least one power play goal and 10-3-3 when they do not.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 14-3-7 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-5-2 when they do not. Under Lane Lambert the Isles are 49-9-11 when scoring at least three goals.

One-Goal Games
The Isles are 11-1-9 in games decided by a single goal including 7-1 in regulation. They are 3-6 in games decided in overtime and are 1-3 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.

Back-to-Backs     
The Isles are 2-0-3 in the front end and 0-2-3 in the back end this season. The next set of back-to-backs will be on January 15th in Minnesota and January 16th in Winnipeg; the following back-to-back set will be on March 10th in Anaheim and March 11th in Los Angeles. 

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Noah Dobson (28:08);  Carolina: Brent Burns (22:08)
Mathew Barzal led Islander forwards with 19:47 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Ryan Pulock (2-0-2), Noah Dobson (12-6-6), Alex Romanov (2-2-0), Adam Pelech (0-0-1).

Face-offs
Isles 35, Carolina 33 (51%)
Casey Cizikas won 10 of 17 for the Isles; Jordan Staal won 11 of 19 for Carolina.

Hit Count
Isles 12 (Three with 2)
Carolina 16 (Two with 5)

Fights 
None. Season total: 4 (Martin 1, Pelech 1, Lee 1, Mayfield 1)
 
Blocked Shots
Isles 23 (Alex Romanov -4)
Carolina 8 (Eight with 1)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 44, Carolina 84
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 37, Carolina 68
 
5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Pierre Engvall +3
Carolina: Dimitry Orlov +21

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 7, Carolina 16
5-on-5: Isles 7, Carolina 14

Scratches
Matt Martin (IR), Adam Pelech (upper body – LTIR), (Scott Mayfield -IR), (Ryan Pulock-IR), Oliver Wahlstrom, Grant Hutton
Games Lost to injury: 62

The Ironmen
Anders Lee is the Islanders' ironman, having played 145 consecutive games. Brock Nelson (117) is the only other Islander to have played at least 100 consecutive games:

Challenges
Isles:2 successful, 1 failures – WSH goalie interference (11/2), OTT offside (11/24), LA no goalie interference (12/9)

Opponents: 1 successful, 2 failures – BUF no offside  (10/21), CAR no high-stick (11/30); ANA goalie interference (12/13)

Quickies
The Isles have scored two goals in under a minute three times this season (twice at home – CBJ 12/7 x2 and once on road-11/24 @OTT) and allowed two in the same span four times (COL 10/25 x2, MIN 11/8, @MTL 12/16)

Multi-Goal 3rd Period Comeback Wins
The Isles have come from at least two goals behind after two periods to win one time this season and have allowed the opposition to do so four times.
For (1): LA 12/9 (trailed 0-2, won 3-2 in OT)
Vs (4): DET 10/30 (trailed 0-2, won 4-3 in OT); CAR 11/4 (trailed 1-3, won 4-3 in OT) ; @ NJ 11/28 (trailed 2-4, won 5-4 in regulation); SJ 12/5 (trailed 1-4; won 5-3 in OT)

Last Minute Heroes:
The Isles have scored two goals and have allowed four goals in the final three minutes of the third period to tie or go-ahead:
For (2: Bo Horvat 10/20 vs NJ 18:49 (Isles lost in OT); Simon Holmstrom 12/13 vs ANA 18:27 (GWG)
Vs (4): Curtis Lazar 11/28 @ NJ 19:37 (GWG); Sebastian Aho 11/30 @ CAR 19:57 (Isles won in OT); Tomas Hertl vs SJ 18:30 (SJ won in OT); Morgan Rielly 12/11 vs TOR 19:53 (Isles won in OT)

OT Winners
For (3):   Mathew Barzal (vs CAR) 11/30, Jean Gabriel Pageau (vs LA) 12/9, Bo Horvat (vs TOR) 12/11
Vs (6):   Jack Hughes (NJ) 10/20, Lucas Raymond (DET) 10/30, Sebastian Aho (CAR) 11/4, Quinn Hughes (VAN) 11/15; William Eklund (SJ) 12/5; Dylan Strome (WAS) 12/20

Shootout Winners
For (1):  Oliver Wahlstrom (Vs CGY) 11/18
Vs (3):  Kailer Yamamoto (SEA) 11/16, Tyson Foerster (PHI) 11/25, David Pastrnak (BOS) 12/15

All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1. Bryan Trottier 1,123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1,060 *** 3. Josh Bailey 1,057…
6. Bob Bourne 814 *** 7. Brock Nelson 791 *** 8. Matt Martin 780 *** 9. Casey Cizikas 778…
11. Patrick Flatley 712 *** 12. Anders Lee 711 *** 13. Brent Sutter 694 *** 14. John Tavares and Cal Clutterbuck 669

Goals    
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
7. John Tavares 272 *** 8. Brock Nelson 257 *** 9. Anders Lee 250 …
23. Alexei Yashin and Frans Nielsen 119 *** 25. Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish 118 *** 28. Ray Ferraro 116 *** 29. Mathew Barzal 115 *** 30.Benoit Hogue and Ed Westfall 105 *** 32. Anthony Beauvillier and Casey Cizikas 102

Assists
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 …
11. Bob Bourne 304 *** 12. Derek King 288 *** 13. Mathew Barzal 281…
16. Billy Harris 259 *** 17. Tomas Jonsson 249  *** 18. Brock Nelson 235…
22. Pierre Turgeon 193 *** 23. Ed Westfall and Anders Lee 181…
34. Steve Thomas 140 *** 35. Mark Streit 139 *** 36. Greg Gilbert 136 *** 37. Ryan Pulock 133

Points
1. Bryan Trottier 1,353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1,126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1,052…
11. Bob Nystrom 513 *** 12. Derek King 499 *** 13. Brock Nelson 492 *** 14. Patrick Flatley 488 *** 15. Billy Harris 443 ***  16. Anders Lee 431 *** 17. Mathew Barzal 397…
32. Ray Ferraro 238 *** 33. Travis Green 237 *** 34. Kenny Jonsson and Casey Cizikas 232

+/-
1. Bryan Trottier +467 *** 2. Denis Potvin +456 *** 3. Mike Bossy +380…
15. Bob Lorimer +105 *** 16. Adam Pelech +83 ***  17. Tomas Jonsson +76 *** 18. Garry Howatt +75 *** 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 *** 3. Kenny Jonsson 57…
5. Jean Potvin 46 *** 6. Nick Leddy and Ryan Pulock 45 *** 8. Roman Hamrlik 43 *** 9. Mark Streit 40 *** 10. Johnny Boychuk and Noah Dobson 35

Defense Assists
1. Denis Potvin 742 *** 2. Stefan Persson 317 *** 3. Tomas Jonsson 249…
7. Jeff Norton 166 *** 8. Mark Streit 139 *** 9. Ryan Pulock 133 *** 10. Travis Hamonic and Noah Dobson 120 *** 12. Dave Lewis 117 ***  13. Roman Hamrlik 110 *** 14. Tom Kurvers and Gerry Hart 109 *** 16. Adam Pelech 102… 
20. Dave Langevin and Thomas Hickey 95 *** 22. Scott Mayfield 90

Defense Points
1. Denis Potvin 1,052 *** 2. Stefan Persson 369 *** 3. Tomas Jonsson 333…
7. Jeff Norton 188 *** 8. Mark Streit 179 *** 9. Ryan Pulock 178… 10. Noah Dobson 155… 
15. Johnny Boychuk and Bryan Berard 131 *** 17. Gerry Hart 128 *** 18. Adam Pelech 127…
20. Thomas Hickey 117 *** 21. Scott Mayfield 115

Goalie Games
1. Billy Smith 674 *** 2. Rick DiPietro 318 *** 3. Glenn Resch 282 …
8. Glenn Healy 176 *** 9. Ilya Sorokin 157 *** 10. Semyon Varlamov 147

Wins
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 130…
6. Jaroslav Halak 88 *** 7. Ilya Sorokin 80 *** 8. Roland Melanson 77 *** 9. Glenn Healy 66 *** 10. Semyon Varlamov 65

Shutouts
1. Glenn Resch 25 *** 2. Billy Smith 22 *** 3. Ilya Sorokin 18 *** 
4. Rick DiPietro 16 *** 5. Semyon Varlamov 15

On the Farm  
Bridgeport earned three points in games Friday and Saturday to reach the Christmas break with an 8-16-2-0 record. The Baby Isles beat Hartford 5-4 on Friday before dropping a 4-3 decision in overtime to Springfield on Saturday

The Baby Isles now have points in a season-high three games (2-0-1-0). They are back in action on Wednesday, as they host Providence.

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 2 game to 1 (and 5 points to 3). The teams will meet on March 19th at UBS Arena to conclude their season series.

The Isles sweep the season series in Raleigh (2-0-0) after going winless in their prior four regular season games against the Canes.  The Isles are 4-1-0 in their last five games in Raleigh and are 7-3-1 in their last 11 trips there. 

UP NEXT
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27th  —PITTSBURGH AT ISLANDERS - 7:30pm ET
[MSGSN (pre-game at 7:00),  WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN Radio].
The Isles have three games remaining in 2023 and two of them are against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Wednesday's meeting at UBS Arena is the first matchup of the teams this season; the Isles swept the season series last year, winning the four games (one in overtime) by a combined 18-10 score. 

The Isles have won four straight home games from the Penguins and are 9-1-4 in their last 14 home games (contested in three different buildings) against Pittsburgh; the only Penguin victory (1-0 on November 26, 2021) came in the fourth game played at UBS Arena, with the Isles missing nine regulars due to COVID and injuries.

AND FINALLY…
The Skinny hopes that your stockings are "plump"! Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays!

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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