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The Skinny: Isles 5, Boston 1

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Saturday, December 30, 2023

The Skinny: Isles 5, Washington 1

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 35
Isles 5, Washington 1
Julien Gauthier scored twice in 18 seconds and Jean-Gabriel Pageau assisted on both goals and scored two of his own as the Isles rebounded from their loss on Wednesday with a 5-1 victory over the Washington Capitals before a sellout crowd of 17,255 at UBS Arena. The Isles are 12-3-6 in their last 21 games.

After a scoreless first, Pageau and Noah Dobson scored 1:10 apart in the second period. Gauthier's two goals and Pageau's second of the night came within a 4:16 span in the third. Ilya Sorokin nearly had his third clean sheet of the season, but Nicolas Aube-Kubel's shot took a bad bounce with 18 seconds to play to spoil the shutout. 

The Isles are 17-9-9 on the season and moved into a tie for 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division with Philadelphia and also climb within six points of the first place Rangers. The Isles will end 2023, and begin a four-game road trip, with a New Year's Eve game in Pittsburgh. 

The Scoring:
1st Period
No Goals

2nd Period
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (3) Alexander Romanov (6), Julien Gauthier (4) 04:51 WSH 0,NYI 1
Noah Dobson (6) Mathew Barzal (26), Bo Horvat (20) 06:01 WSH 0,NYI 2

3rd Period
Julien Gauthier (3) Jean-Gabriel Pageau (12), Bo Horvat (21) 10:10 WSH 0,NYI 3
Julien Gauthier (4) Jean-Gabriel Pageau (13), Samuel Bolduc (2) 10:28 WSH 0,NYI 4
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (4) Simon Holmstrom (4) 14:26 WSH 0,NYI 5
Nicolas Aube-Kubel (3) Rasmus Sandin (8), Nick Jensen (6) 19:42 WSH 1,NYI 5

The Skinny    
It was the first time since November 7- November 13 (0-4-0) that the Isles played consecutive games decided by more than one goal… Noah Dobson played 25:16 and was +3 as he scored for the first time in 19 games; it was his 36th career goal, breaking a tie with Johnny Boychuk for 10th place in club history... It was the 17th straight game Dobson played at least 25 minutes, extending his own club record (no Islander has averaged 25 minutes per game since 2013-14)…Dobson is now averaging 25:45, which is 2nd in the NHL to Los Angeles' Drew Doughty (25:52) ... The Isles' defense has 30 points in the last twelve games.… The Isles have outscored their opponents 30-19 in the first period but have been outscored 44-41 in the second period and 50-37 in the third period and overtime this season … The Isles remain three points ahead of last season's pace (17-9-9 vs. 19-14-2)… The Isles have trailed after one period only four times in their first 35 games …. It was the third time the Isles won by at least three goals this season (twice against the Caps)…  The Isles are 0-11 on the power play in the last four games but have killed 15 of their last 18…Anders Lee played his 713th game as an Isle, passing Patrick Flatley for 11th place in club history… Ilya Sorokin is 6-1-2 in December…Mathew Barzal had an assist to give him 398 career points…The Isles are 7-1-3 in their last 11 home games…Julien Gauthier had his first two-goal game and his first three-point game….JG Pageau had his third career four point game (regular season play); Mathew Barzal (twice) is the only other Isle with a four point game this season…Matt Martin returned to the Isles lineup for the first time since November 15th, replacing Casey Cizikas (ill)…The Caps have scored just seven goals in their 11 regulation losses…Alex Ovechkin has scored on 170 different NHL goalies, but has been blanked in three games against Ilya Sorokin; Ovechkin has just six goals this season and remains 66 behind Wayne Gretzky…Ken Appleby, who last appeared in an NHL game in January 2018, served as the back-up goalie to Sorokin…Sorokin, who has eighteen career shutouts, allowed a shutout-breaking goal in the final minutes for the fourth time in his career; he also did this last December 29th (vs. Columbus)...It was only the 8th Isles game this season decided by at least three games (3-5), and three of them have been against Washington.

The Injuries 
Charlie Lindgren and Martin Fehervary both left the games with upper body injuries at the 6:46 mark; neither returned and both will be out for "the foreseeable future" according to Capitals coach Spencer Carberry.

The EBUG
With Lindgren injured, Thomas Sullivan, a 25-year-old native of Floral Park dressed as the back-up goalie. Sullivan played college club hockey for Stony Brook University.

First Times in a Long Time
Julien Gauthier is the first Islander since Alexei Yashin (0:12 on March 25, 2003, in Chicago) to score two goals in 18 seconds or less. It is the 8th fastest two goals ever by one Islander and the 85th time the team has done so (one player or multiple players).
Noah Dobson is the first Islander to go -4 or worse in one game (Wednesday) and +3 or better in the next (Friday) since Adrian Aucoin went -5 on February 19, 2004 at the Rangers and then went +3 two nights later against Buffalo at the Coliseum.

Building on a Lead
Noah Dobson's goal gave the Islanders a two-goal lead for the 28th time this season  However, it was only the sixth time that they scored the next goal, to make it a three-goal advantage. They have allowed the next goal twenty times; two games ended with a two-goal advantage.

Metropolitan Holiday 
The Isles are ending 2023 by playing five straight games against division foes. They are 2-1-1 in this stretch:
12/20 @ Washington (3-2 OTL)
12/23 @ Carolina (5-4 W)
12/27 vs. Pittsburgh (7-0 L)
12/29 vs. Washington (5-1 W)
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 35 Games (Post-Cup era)
9 (2019-20; 23-9-3)
9 (2021-22; 22-9-4)
9 (2023-24; 17-9-9) 
10 (2001-02; 18-10-5-2)
11 (2014-15; 23-11-1)
11 (2015-16; 19-11-5)

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 30 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 35 Games
9 (2023-24)
7 (2009-10 and 2013-14)
The Isles played 11 ties through 35 games in 1973-74 and 9 ties through 35 games in 1974-75. 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 twelve 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 3,846
2. Matt Martin 3,737

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  17-9-9 for 43 points in 35 games
2022-23  19-14-2 for 40 points in 35 games

Offense from Defense
Today:   1-2-3
Season: 13-57-70
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.

Lots of Work for Sorokin
Ilya Sorokin has faced 817 shots in his 23 games (an average of 35.5 per game, which is just four behind Juuse Soros for the NHL lead. No goalie has ever played the full season for the Islanders and led the NHL in this category; Kelly Hrudey led the NHL in 1988-89; 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 17-9-9 overall; they are 10-4-6 at home and 7-5-3 on the road.
Washington is 17-11-5 overall; they are 9-4-3 at home and 8-7-2 on the road.

East and West
The Isles are 12-6-6 against the East (6-3-4 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 102 games at UBS Arena and recorded 70 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 1,423
3. Glen Sather 1,319

First Things First
The Isles are 11-2-7 when scoring first and are 6-7-1 when allowing the opening goal. They are 0-0-1 when the game heads to a shootout following a scoreless tie.

The Shots
Isles       10-12-10=32
Washington 8-9-10=27
The Isles are 5-2-3 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-0-0 when the shots are even and 11-7-6 when the opposition has more shots.

In the Nets
Ilya Sorokin made 26 saves; he is 11-5-7 on the season and 3-3-1 vs. Washington. 

Charlie Lindgren played just 6:46, making three saves, before Darcy Kuemper replaced him. Kuemper made 29 saves; he is 8-8-2 on the season and 6-6-2 vs. the Isles. 

Special Teams
The Isles were 0-3 on the power play (4:00); Washington was 0-2 on the power play (2:13).

The Isles are 9-4-5 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-5-4 when they do not. The Isles are 6-5-6 when they allow at least one power play goal and 11-4-3 when they do not.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 15-3-7 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-6-2 when they do not. Under Lane Lambert the Isles are 50-9-11 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 (25:16);  Washington: John Carlson (28:06)
Mathew Barzal led Islander forwards with 19:45 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Ryan Pulock (2-0-2), Noah Dobson (13-7-6), Alex Romanov (2-2-0), Adam Pelech (0-0-1).

Face-offs
Isles 27, Washington 19 (59%)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau won 11 of 14 for the Isles; Nic Dowd won 7 of 12 for Washington.

Hit Count
Isles 20 (Four with 3)
Washington 13 (Three with 3)

Fights 
None. Season total: 4 (Martin 1, Pelech 1, Lee 1, Mayfield 1)
 
Blocked Shots
Isles 8 (Alex Romanov -2)
Washington 16 (John Carlson -5)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 71, Washington 51
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 62, Washington 46
 
5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Bo Horvat +18
Washington: Joel Edmundson +7

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 15, Washington 12
5-on-5: Isles 14, Washington 11

Scratches
Adam Pelech (LTIR), (Scott Mayfield -IR), (Ryan Pulock-IR), Semyon Varlamov (INJ), Oliver Wahlstrom, Casey Cizikas (ILL)
Games Lost to injury: 69

The Ironmen
Anders Lee is the Islanders' ironman, having played 147 consecutive games. Brock Nelson (119) 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 four times this season (twice at home – CBJ 12/7 x2, WSH 12/29, and once on road-11/24 @OTT) and allowed two in the same span five times (COL 10/25 x2, MIN 11/8, @MTL 12/16, PIT 12/27)

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 793 *** 8. Matt Martin 781 *** 9. Casey Cizikas 779… 10. Mike Bossy 752 *** 11. Anders Lee 713 *** Patrick Flatley 712 *** 13. Brent Sutter 694 *** 14. Cal Clutterbuck 671

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 282…
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 398…
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. Noah Dobson 36

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 156… 
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 159 *** 10. Semyon Varlamov 148

Wins
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 130…
6. Jaroslav Halak 88 *** 7. Ilya Sorokin 81 *** 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 improved to 8-17-2-0 with a 6-5 overtime win in Springfield on Friday; they are 3-1-1-0 in their last five games. Ruslan Iskhakov had the overtime winner, making Henrik Tikkanen the winner in his AHL debut. The Baby Isles will close out 2023 on Saturday in Hartford.

Season Series Stats
The Isles won the season series 5 points to 4 (each team won twice). 

If was only the second win for the Isles in their last eight home games with the Caps (2-4-2).

UP NEXT
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31st —ISLANDERS  AT PITTSBURGH – 6:00pm ET
[MSGSN (pre-game at 5:30),  WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN Radio].
The Isles wrap up the 2023 calendar year and begin a four-game road trip as they face the Penguins in Pittsburgh. 

The game comes just four days after Pittsburgh defeated the Isles 7-0 at UBS Arena to end an Islander four game winning streak over the Pens. 

This is the first time that the Isles are playing on New Year's Eve in four years. The Isles are 8-1-0 in their last nine New Year's Eve games and are 12-1-1 since 2002 on December 31st, despite playing twelve of the fourteen games on the road.

It will be the first time the Isles play on Sunday this season.

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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