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The Skinny: Isles 5, Boston 1

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Saturday, December 16, 2023

The Skinny: Montreal 5, Isles 3

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 30
Montreal 5, Isles 3 
Josh Anderson scored twice as part of a four-goal second period and the Montreal Canadiens held on to defeat the Isles 5-3 before a sellout crowd of 21,105 at Bell Centre. The Isles scored three times in the third period (two by Brock Nelson, one by Bo Horvat), but could not get equal as they saw their season-best point streak end at eight games (6-0-2).

Noah Dobson assisted on all three goals, tying Mathew Barzal for the team scoring lead.

The Isles still have points in fourteen of their last sixteen games (9-2-5); fourteen of those games have been one-goal games. 

The Isles are 14-8-7 on the season and have fallen into third place in the Metropolitan Division, seven  points behind the first place Rangers. The Isles host Edmonton on Tuesday in the front-end of another back-to-back. 

The Scoring:
1st Period
No Goals

2nd Period
Joel Armia (4) Brendan Gallagher (6), Kaiden Guhle (7) 07:45 NYI 0,MTL 1
Josh Anderson (2) Justin Barron (4), Sean Monahan (9) 10:35 NYI 0,MTL 2
Josh Anderson (3) Sean Monahan (10), Justin Barron (5) 19:06 NYI 0,MTL 3
Cole Caufield (8) Nick Suzuki (16), Juraj Slafkovsky (6) 19:21 NYI 0,MTL 4

3rd Period
Brock Nelson (14) Noah Dobson (25) 02:07 NYI 1,MTL 4 SHG
Brock Nelson (15) Noah Dobson (26) 03:43 NYI 2,MTL 4
Bo Horvat (12) Noah Dobson (27), Alexander Romanov (5) 14:06 NYI 3,MTL 4
Christian Dvorak (2)EN Nick Suzuki (17) 19:40 NYI 3,MTL 5

The Skinny    
Bo Horvat extended his point streak to ten games (7-9-16), to set a new career high … Noah Dobson had three assists and played 26:43; it is the 12th straight game he has played at least 25 minutes (no Islander has averaged 25 minutes per game since 2013-14)…The Isles' defense now has 22 points in the last seven games.… The Isles have outscored their opponents 27-16 in the first period  but have been outscored 36-34 in the middle period and 45-32 in the third period and overtime this season … The Isles are now one point ahead of last season's pace (14-8-8 vs. 17-12-1)… The Isles have scored at least three goals in ten straight and in 15 of the last 16 games.… Brock Nelson had two goals, giving him 17 in 27 career games against Montreal; the two points allowed him to tie and pass Patrick Flatley for 13th place in points… Josh Anderson scored twice in 8:31 after scoring only once in his first 29 games…Nick Suzuki played his 321st consecutive game – longest active streak for an NHL forward (Brent Burns -791 and Ryan Suter -400 have longer streaks)…The Isles have played three consecutive scoreless first periods (and four of the last five games)…It was the 28th time in 30 games that the Isles were ahead or even after one period.. Joel Armia joined Pius Suter and Luke Glendenning as the only NHL players with four goals but no assists….The Isles allowed 40 shots for the 8th time this season (5 vs. Sorokin and 3 vs. Varlamov)…The Isles have not lost by more than three goals this season… It was the first time since March 24th in Columbus that the Isles allowed four goals in a period…The 21 Montreal shots in the second period were the most allowed by the Isles in a period since 1/23/2023 in Toronto (22)…Montreal scored five goals for the third time this season (1-1-1)….The Isles scored their seventh shorthanded goal; only St. Louis (8) has more…Montreal is 6-0-0 when leading after two periods…The Isles trailed for the final 32:15 tonight after trailing for a combined 20:24 in their prior six losses (0-1-5).

First Time in a Long Time (Almost)
The Isles have only one 4-goal comeback in the third period in their history; it happened on March 14, 1987, in New Jersey.

First Time in a Long Time
Brock Nelson scored his second career shorthanded goal and his first since December 6, 2018, vs. Pittsburgh.

Noah Dobson is the first Islander defenseman with three assists in a road period since Chris Campoli (October 18, 2007). Dobson matched the club record for assists in a period by a defensemen, done numerous times- most recently by Ryan Pulock on 11/26/2022 vs Philadelphia.

Dobson played at least 25 minutes for the twelfth straight game. It is the longest streak of its kind since Adrian Aucoin did so in fifteen straight games from February 10-March 9, 2004.

Streak Busters
Several Isles streaks ended tonight:
Isles had points in eight straight (6-0-2)
Semyon Varlamov had won four straight
Mathew Bazal had a point in five straight
The Isles had scored a power play goal in seven straight road games (first time since 2008)

Woah, Noah!
Noah Dobson is 5-27-32 on the season, tying Mathew Barzal for the club lead in points. Dobson has sixteen assists in the last ten games; he is the first Islander to do that since Tom Kurvers did so in 2002. (No Islander has had more since Mike Bossy had 18 in a 10-game span in 1986) 

Dobson is also +12 in this stretch – he is the only Isles defenseman with 16 assists and a +12 rating in a 10-game stretch in franchise history. Four forwards have done so: Bryan Trottier, Clark Gillies, Mike Bossy and Brent Sutter.

Dobson now has 27 assists through 30 games; Denis Potvin had 28 assists in the team's first 30 games in 1975-76 and 27 through 30 in 1974-75 and is the only other defenseman to do so.

It is Dobson's third 3-assist game of the season; it is only the 10th time in club history that has happened in the first 30 games (Trottier 5x, including two years he did it 4 times; Potvin twice; Gillies and Josh Bailey).

Fewest Regulation Losses Thru 30 Games (Post-Cup era)
7 (2019-20; 21-7-2)
7 (2021; 19-7-4)
8 (2023-24; 14-8-8) 
8 (2001-02; 16-8-5-1)

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

The Isles have won 14 of the last 36 games decided by an overtime goal (since January 11, 2020).

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 21 power play goals; they scored 35 all last season.
The Isles have allowed 26 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 3,828
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  14-8-8 for 36 points in 30 games
2022-23  17-12-1 for 35 points in 30 games

Offense from Defense
Today:  1-1-2
Season: 10-51-61
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 149 career starts. He has recorded a shutout in 12.1% 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 12.1%
Ken Dryden 11.8%
Dominik Hasek 11.3%

Lots of Work for Sorokin
Ilya Sorokin has faced 694 shots in his 19 games (an average of 36.5 per game). Only Jordan Binnington has faced more shots. No goalie has ever played the full season for the Islanders and led the NHL in this category; Kelly Hrudey did in the season he was traded at the deadline to Los Angeles (1988-89).

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 (276) and tied-third in shutouts (40).

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

Home and Road
The Isles are 14-8-8 overall; they are 8-3-6 at home and 6-5-2 on the road.
Montreal is 13-13-4 overall; they are 7-9-2 at home and 6-4-2 on the road.

East and West
The Isles are 10-5-5 against the East (5-2-3 vs. Metropolitan and 5-3-2 vs. Atlantic) and 4-3-3 against the West (1-2-0 vs. Central and 3-1-3 vs. Pacific).

Home is Where the Fans Are
The Isles have played 99 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 1,420
3. Glen Sather 1,319

First Things First
The Isles are 9-2-7 when scoring first and are 5-6-0 when allowing the opening goal. They are 0-0-1 when the game heads to a shootout following a scoreless tie.

The Shots
Isles       10-6-17=33
Montreal  15-21-5=41
The Isles are 4-2-3 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-0-0 when the shots are even and 9-6-5 when they are outshot.

In the Nets
Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves; he is 6-4-1 on the season and 6-2-2 vs. Montreal. 
Sam Montembault made 30 saves; he is 7-4-2 on the season and 2-2-2 vs. the Isles. 

Special Teams
The Isles were 0-1 on the power play (2:00); Montreal was 0-2 on the power play (4:00) and allowed a shorthanded goal.

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

Three is (Usually) a Magic Number
The Isles are 12-3-7 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-5-1 when they do not. Under Lane Lambert the Isles are 47-9-11 when scoring at least three goals.

One-Goal Games
The Isles are 10-1-8 in games decided by a single goal including 6-1 in regulation. They are 3-5 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     
Including tonight, the Isles are 1-0-3 in the front end and 0-2-2 in the back end this season. The next set of back-to-backs will be on Tuesday vs. Edmonton and Wednesday in Washington. 

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Noah Dobson (26:43);  Montreal: Mike Matheson (25:12)
Mathew Barzal led Islander forwards with a season high 21:04 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Ryan Pulock (2-0-2), Noah Dobson (10-6-5), Alex Romanov (2-2-0), Adam Pelech (0-0-1).

Face-offs
Isles 16, Montreal 36 (31%)
No Isles won more than he lost; Christian Dvorak won 8 of 10 for Montreal.

Hit Count
Isles 23 (Cal Clutterbuck -5)
Montreal 14 (Juraj Slafkovsky-4)

Fights 
None. Season total: 4 (Martin 1, Pelech 1, Lee 1, Mayfield 1)
 
Blocked Shots
Isles 14 (Kyle Palmieri -3)
Montreal 17 (Jonhathan Kovacevic -4)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 63, Montreal 71
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 55, Montreal 58
 
5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Sebastian Aho +10
Montreal: Johnathan Kovacevic +5 

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 14, Montreal 20
5-on-5: Isles 13, Montreal 16

Scratches
Matt Martin (IR), Adam Pelech (upper body – LTIR), (Scott Mayfield -IR), (Ryan Pulock-IR), Oliver Wahlstrom, Grant Hutton
Games Lost to injury: 49

The Ironmen
Anders Lee is the Islanders' ironman, having played 142 consecutive games. Brock Nelson (114) 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 (5):   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

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 788 *** 8. Matt Martin 780 *** 9. Casey Cizikas 775…
11. Patrick Flatley 712 *** 12. Anders Lee 708 *** 13. Brent Sutter 694 *** 14. John Tavares 669 *** 15. Cal Clutterbuck 666

Goals    
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
7. John Tavares 272 *** 8. Brock Nelson 256 *** 9. Anders Lee 247 …
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 …
12. Derek King 288 *** 13. Pat LaFontaine and Mathew Barzal 279…
17. Tomas Jonsson 249  *** 18. Brock Nelson 233…
22. Pierre Turgeon 193 *** 23. Ed Westfall 181 *** 24. Anders Lee 179…
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 489 *** 14. Patrick Flatley 488 *** 15. Billy Harris 443 ***  16. Anders Lee 426 *** 17. Mathew Barzal 394…
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 120 *** 11. Noah Dobson 118 *** 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. Roman Hamrlik and Noah Dobson 153… 
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 155 *** 10. Semyon Varlamov 146

Wins
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 130…
6. Jaroslav Halak 88 *** 7. Ilya Sorokin 78 *** 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  
Robin Salo scored 1:46 into overtime as Bridgeport rallied from a 3-1 third period deficit for a 4-3 victory  in Charlotte on Saturday to earn a split of their weekend in North Carolina. Bridgeport improves to 7-16-1-0 on the season. 

They will visit Hartford on Friday and Springfield next Saturday in their final games before the Christmas break.

Season Series Stats
Montreal leads the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0). The Isles will return to La Belle Province on January 25th to play the 4,000th game in franchise history before completing the season series on April 11th at UBS Arena.

It was the Isles' first regulation loss to Montreal since their final game played at Barclays Center on March 3, 2020.

UP NEXT
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19th  —EDMONTON AT ISLANDERS– 7:30pm ET
[ESPN+/Hulu,  WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN Radio].
The Isles play their final home game before Christmas as they face the Edmonton Oilers.

The Oilers beat the Isles 4-1 in their first game for Coach Kris Knoblauch back on November 13th; the Isles have gone 9-2-5 in the sixteen games since then. 

The Isles are 12-1-2 in their last 15 home games against the Oilers, who own only one win on Long Island since 1999 (October 8, 2019).

ESPN+/Hulu will nationally stream the game; John Buccigross and former Islander Ray Ferraro will have the call.

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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