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The Skinny: Isles 5, Boston 1

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Thursday, December 28, 2023

The Skinny: Pittsburgh 7, Isles 0

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 34
Pittsburgh 7, Isles 0
It was an historical night for Kris Letang as he recorded six assists (five in the second period) and went +6 as the Pittsburgh Penguins handed the Isles their first regulation shutout loss of the season by a 7-0 score before a sellout crowd of 17,255 at UBS Arena. It was only the third regulation loss for the Isles in their last 20 games (11-3-6).

After a scoreless first, Pittsburgh scored six against the Isles in the middle period, including a pair from Jake Guentzel in a 12 second span. Valtteri Puustinen completed the scoring with his first NHL goal midway through the third period as Pittsburgh scored seven times in a 23:04 span.

The Isles are 16-9-9 on the season and remain in 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division, now eight points behind the first place Rangers. The Isles will host Washington on Friday before ending 2023 with a New Years Eve game in Pittsburgh. 

The Scoring:
1st Period
No Goals

2nd Period
Rickard Rakell (2) Jake Guentzel (22), Marcus Pettersson (11) 06:44 PIT 1,NYI 0
Jake Guentzel (15) Kris Letang (15), Marcus Pettersson (12) 10:15 PIT 2,NYI 0
Jake Guentzel (16) Rickard Rakell (6), Kris Letang (16) 10:27 PIT 3,NYI 0
Evgeni Malkin (12) Reilly Smith (11), Kris Letang (17) 12:48 PIT 4,NYI 0
Evgeni Malkin (13) Kris Letang (18), Marcus Pettersson (13) 16:06 PIT 5,NYI 0
Radim Zohorna (4) Valtteri Puustinen (5), Kris Letang (19) 17:13 PIT 6,NYI 0

3rd Period
Valtteri Puustinen (1) Kris Letang (20), Marcus Pettersson (14) 09:48 PIT 7,NYI 0

The Skinny    
Sixteen of the last 20 games have been decided by one goal… Noah Dobson played 26:03 but went -4. It was the 16th straight game he has played at least 25 minutes, breaking Adrian Aucoin's club record from February 10-March 9, 2004 (no Islander has averaged 25 minutes per game since 2013-14)… The Isles' defense has 27 points in the last eleven games.… The Isles have outscored their opponents 30-19 in the first period  but have been outscored 44-39 in the second period and 49-34 in the third period and overtime this season … The Isles remain three points ahead of last season's pace (16-9-9 vs. 18-14-2)… The Isles have trailed after one period only four times in their first 34 games …. It was the first time the Isles 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 670th game as an Isle, passing John Tavares for 14th place in club history… Ilya Sorokin lost for the first time in regulation in December (5-1-2)…Mathew Barzal remains three points shy of 400… Tristan Jarry recorded his NHL-leading fourth shutout….It was the first time this season that both Islander goalies played in the same game; Sorokin was pulled for the first time since April 1, 2013 in Tampa Bay…It was the Isles' first home loss in regulation time in ten games (6-0-3)…. Valtteri Puustinen is the first player to score his first NHL goal against the Isles since Marcus Bjork did do for Columbus on November 12, 2022, also against Sorokin…Jake Guentzel is the 113th player to score twice in 12 seconds or less; it is the third-fastest by one player against the Isles (Nathan Gerbe/BUF 1/21/2011 – 5 seconds; Taylor Hall/EDM 10/17/2013 – 8 seconds)…Evgeni Malkin scored twice to give him 484 career goals, passing Sergei Federov for 2nd place among Russian-born players.

First Time in a Long Time
The Isles allowed six goals in a period for the first time since March 21, 2000, also at home against Pittsburgh. It was only the tenth time in club history that they allowed at least six goals in a period.
The seven-goal margin matches the worst in a home game – done four times previously, most recently in the only other 7-0 home shutout (February 18, 2013, vs Philadelphia). It was the first seven-goal loss in any locale since February 25, 2017, in Columbus, and only the 17th time in the Isles' nearly-4,000 game history that this has happened.
Kris Letang (who tied the NHL record with five assists in a period, set by Dale Hawerchuk in 1984) is the first opponent with six assists against the Isles since Guy Chouinard did so for Calgary on February 25, 1981.
Letang is the first opponent with six points against the Isles since Sidney Crosby (January 19, 2010).
Letang tied the record for best +/- against the Isles (+6), set by defensemen Harry Howell and Barry Long for Los Angeles on November 4, 1972, and equaled by Olli Jokinen on March 17, 2007, for Florida. Letang is the first to do so in an Islander home game.
Letang had three assists in a 2:33 span-only the 50th time in NHL history that has happened. It is the 2nd-fastest ever against the Isles (Chouinard – 1:35).

Letang and the Record Book
Letang is the first defensemen in NHL history with five assists in NHL history and ties the NHL record (six others) for assists in a game by a defenseman. Bobby Orr is the only other d-man to do so on the road.

Metropolitan Holiday 
The Isles are ending 2023 by playing five straight games against division foes. They are 1-1-1 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
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 34 Games (Post-Cup era)
8 (2019-20; 23-8-3)
8 (2021; 2288-4)
9 (2023-24; 16-9-9) 
9 (2001-02; 17-9-5-2)
11 (2014-15; 23-11-0)
11 (2015-16; 18-11-5)

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 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 34 Games
9 (2023-24)
7 (2009-10)
The Isles played 11 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 3,843
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  16-9-9 for 41 points in 34 games
2022-23  18-14-2 for 38 points in 34 games

Offense from Defense
Today:   0-0-0
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.

Lots of Work for Sorokin
Ilya Sorokin has faced 790 shots in his 22 games (an average of 36.0 per game, which remains near the top of the league. 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 16-9-9 overall; they are 9-4-6 at home and 7-5-3 on the road.
Pittsburgh is 16-13-4 overall; they are 8-6-1 at home and 8-7-3 on the road.

East and West
The Isles are 11-6-6 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 101 games at UBS Arena and recorded 69 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 6-7-1 when allowing the opening goal. They are 0-0-1 when the game heads to a shootout following a scoreless tie.

The Shots
Isles       4-7-11=22
Pittsburgh 5-20-7-32
The Isles are 4-2-3 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 19 saves over two periods; he is 10-5-7 on the season and 6-4--0 vs. Pittsburgh. Semyon Varlamov stopped six of seven shots in the third period.
Tristan Jarry made 22 saves; he is 10-11-2 on the season and 10-4-1 vs. the Isles. 

Special Teams
The Isles were 0-2 on the power play (4:00); Pittsburgh was 0-3 on the power play (6:00).

The Isles are 9-4-5 when they score at least one power play goal and 7-5-4 when they do not. The Isles are 6-5-6 when they allow at least one power play goal and 10-4-3 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 2-6-2 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 (26:03);  Pittsburgh: Marcus Pettersson (22:47)
Mathew Barzal led Islander forwards with 19:44 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Ryan Pulock (2-0-2), Noah Dobson (12-7-6), Alex Romanov (2-2-0), Adam Pelech (0-0-1).

Face-offs
Isles 28, Pittsburgh 34 (41%)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau won 11 of 18 for the Isles; Sidney Crosby won 15 of 24 for Pittsburgh.

Hit Count
Isles 19 (Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas -4)
Pittsburgh 10 (Ten with 1)

Fights 
None. Season total: 4 (Martin 1, Pelech 1, Lee 1, Mayfield 1)
 
Blocked Shots
Isles 18 (Alex Romanov -4)
Pittsburgh 13 (Noel Acciari -3)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 47, Pittsburgh 68
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 43, Pittsburgh 58
 
5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Mathew Barzal +10
Pittsburgh: Kris Letang +11

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 9, Pittsburgh 22
5-on-5: Isles 9, Pittsburgh 18

Scratches
Matt Martin, Adam Pelech (upper body – LTIR), (Scott Mayfield -IR), (Ryan Pulock-IR), Julien Gauthier, Grant Hutton
Games Lost to injury: 65

The Ironmen
Anders Lee is the Islanders' ironman, having played 146 consecutive games. Brock Nelson (118) 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 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 792 *** 8. Matt Martin 780 *** 9. Casey Cizikas 779…
11. Patrick Flatley and Anders Lee 712 *** 13. Brent Sutter 694 *** 14. Cal Clutterbuck 670

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 158 *** 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 fell to 8-17-2-0 with a 5-4 loss to Providence on Wednesday. The loss ended a season-high three game point streak (2-0-1-0). The Baby Isles will close out 2023 with games in Springfield on Friday and Hartford on Saturday.

Season Series Stats
Pittsburgh leads the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0). The teams will next meet on New Year's Eve in Pittsburgh.

The lost ended an Islander four game win streak against the Penguins and was only their second in their last fifteen games against Pittsburgh (9-2-4). 

UP NEXT
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29th  —WASHINGTON AT ISLANDERS - 7:30pm ET
[MSGSN (pre-game at 7:00),  WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN Radio].
The Isles wrap up their 2023 home schedule as they host the Washington Capitals in the final meeting of the teams this season. 

The Isles are 1-1-1 this season against the Caps, including a 4-1 loss at UBS Arena that was their last home loss before tonight. 

The Isles are 1-4-2 in their last seven home games against Washington.

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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