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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, February 20, 2024

The Skinny: Isles 5, Pittsburgh 4 (OT)

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 56
Isles 5, Pittsburgh 4 (OT)
Adam Pelech scored his first career overtime goal just 57 seconds into the extra session as the Islanders overcame two third period Penguin goals in a 56 second as the Isles defeated Pittsburgh, 5-4, before a sellout crowd of 18,016 at PPG Paints Arena.

The Isles had goals from five different players for the second straight game but allowed the Penguins to come back from 3-1 and 4-2 deficits to force overtime. 

The Isles are 4-3-3 under Patrick Roy and are 5-8-4 in their last seventeen games and 23-18-14 overall as they tie New Jersey and climb within four points of Detroit for the final wild card spot. The Isles head to  St. Louis on Thursday to conclude their two-game road trip. 

The Scoring:  
1st Period
Marcus Pettersson (3) Rickard Rakell (16), Erik Karlsson (32) 12:48 NYI 0,PIT 1

2nd Period
Brock Nelson (24) Ryan Pulock (5), Adam Pelech (7) 03:40 NYI 1,PIT 1
Mathew Barzal (17) Ilya Sorokin (2) 06:37 NYI 2,PIT 1
Simon Holmstrom (13) 13:15 NYI 3,PIT 1
Lars Eller (10) Chad Ruhwedel (3), Ryan Graves (7) 16:35 NYI 3,PIT 2

3rd Period
Mike Reilly (4) Brock Nelson (21), Anders Lee (8) 10:42 NYI 4,PIT 2
Valtteri Puustinen (2) Kris Letang (28), Reilly Smith (13) 12:06 NYI 4,PIT 3
Drew O'Connor (7) Evgeni Malkin (26) 13:02 NYI 4,PIT 4

OT
Adam Pelech (1) Mathew Barzal (42), Bo Horvat (27) 00:57 NYI 5,PIT 4

The Skinny     
The Isles have points in three straight games (1-0-2), are 3-1-2 since the All-Star Break and are 7-9-5 since the Christmas break…Since Christmas the Isles are 4-3-3 at home and 3-6-2 on the road…The Isles have won consecutive road games for the first time since November 30-December 2… The Isles' defense has 71 points in the last 31 games and have 52 points in the last 24 games (13-39-52)…The Isles have outscored their opponents 46-36 in the first period but have been outscored 72-58 in the second period and 75-60 in the third period and overtime this season…The Isles have been outscored 34-21 in the second period since the Christmas break …The Isles are 18-1-6 when they lead after two periods and earn only their second win when trailing after one period (2-7-3) …. Mathew Barzal extended his point streak to eight games, one shy of his career high; Noah Dobson's point streak ended at four games.…Barzal now has 299 career assists; he and Bo Horvat both earned assists on the winning goal although neither was on the ice… Barzal regained the team scoring lead with the assist on the winner … The Isles have allowed eleven power play goals under Patrick Roy; they have allowed only 15 goals at 5-on-5…  The Isles did not allow a power play goal for the second time in the last nine games… The Isles have won 73 straight road games when scoring at least five goals…Sidney Crosby was held without a point against the Isles for the third straight time this season…Ilya Sorokin earned his second assist of the season and third of his career…Erik Karlsson recorded his 800th point; he is the 9th-fastest defenseman to do so…The Isles ended Bryan Rust's point streak at four games….Kris Letang had an assist, giving him seven against the Isles this season; he leads all active defensemen in goals (13), assists (36) and points (49) in games against the Isles….Larry Murphy, then with Minnesota had seven assists in 1989-90 vs. the Isles; he is the only other defenseman in a season he played four or fewer games against the Isles.

Milestone Chasers
*Mathew Barzal has 299 assists
*Matt Martin has played 799 games as an Islander
*Brock Nelson has played 813 games as an Islander (1 behind Bob Bourne for 7th)
*Ilya Sorokin has played 176 games as an Islander (tied with Glenn Healy for 7th, one game behind Jaroslav Halak for 6th ).

The Injury
Casey Cizikas missed part of the 1st and 2nd periods following a collision with Simon Holmstrom. He left the game in the 3rd period after blocking a shot. He did not return.

The Penalty Kill
The Isles killed all three Penguin power plays and are 10-10 against Pittsburgh this season on the PK. 

Most OT/SO Losses in a Season (Isles Goalie)
1. Ilya Sorokin 11 (2023-24; CURRENT)
2. Rick DiPietro 9 (2006-07)
3. Ilya Sorokin 8 (2022-23)
Evgeni Nabokov 8 (2013-14)

Most Career OT/SO Losses (Isles Goalie)
Ilya Sorokin 29 (CURRENT)
Rick DiPietro 28 

Woah Noah
Dobson is the first Islander defenseman with at least 58 points since 1989-90 when Doug Crossman had 59, and the first with at least 51 assists since 1984-85, when Denis Potvin also recorded 51.

Dobson is on pace for 76 assists; Denis Potvin holds the club record for assists by a defenseman (70 in 1978-79). Dobson is on pace for 87 points, which would trail only three seasons by Potvin.

Dobson has recorded the 14th 50-assist season by an Islander defenseman (Denis Potvin 9, Stefan Persson 3, Jean Potvin 1) and is the 10th Islander with 50 assists thru 54 games (Bryan Trottier 5, Mike Bossy 3, Denis Potvin 1).

Most Assists Since New Year's Day
27- Connor McDavid
23- Nikita Kucherov
22- Matthew Tkachuk
22- Noah Dobson

The New Coach
The Isles are 4-3-3 under Patrick Roy and have allowed only two goals in three of their four wins. Ilya Sorokin is 4-1-2 under Roy while Semyon Varlamov is 0-2-1.

The 20-Goal Club
Brock Nelson is the 7th player in club history to have at least eight seasons of at least 20 goals:
Bryan Trottier 13
Brent Sutter/Mike Bossy 10
John Tavares/Denis Potvin 9
Clark Gillies/Brock Nelson 8

Anders Lee needs seven more goals this season for his 8th season with at least 20 goals.

Inter-Division Games
The Isles went 1-0-1 against Metro foes after opening 2024 with 17 straight inter-division games. They will now play 11 more inter-division games before facing the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick's Day.
 
Overtime is Our Time
The Isles have played 21 overtime games. They are 6-10 in games decided by an overtime goal, and they are 1-4 in shootouts. Ilya Sorokin is 5-7 in overtime and 1-3 in shootouts, while Semyon Varlamov is 1-3 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 31 overtime games.

The Isles have won 17 of the last 44 games decided by an overtime goal (since January 11, 2020).

Most Islander OT/SO Losses 
14 (2023-24; CURRENT)
13 (2010-11)

Most OT/SO Losses (since 1999-00)
1. ISLES 14 (2023-24;CURRENT)
2. Dallas 14 (2021)

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

Power Play Up; Penalty Killing Down
The Isles have scored 35 power play goals; they scored 35 all last season.
The Isles have allowed 48 power play goals; they allowed 39 all last season. 

Under Patrick Roy, the Isles Power Play is 7-26 (26.9%) and the Penalty Kill is 11-30 (63.3%)
 
Building on a Lead
The Islanders have had a two-goal lead 38 times this season:
Score the next goal: 9 times
Allowed the next goal: 27 times
Game ended with 2-goal difference: twice 

Heavy Hitters
Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin are 1-2 all-time in hits:
1. Cal Clutterbuck 3,944
2. Matt Martin 3,809

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  23-18-14 for 60 points in 55 games
2022-23  27-23-5 for 59 points in 55 games

Offense from Defense
Today:   2-2-4
Season: 23-92-115
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
Most shots against:
Ilya Sorokin 1,366
Alexandar Georgiev 1,312
Juuse Saros 1,261 (*)
Thatcher Demko 1,249
(*) Late game Tuesday

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.

Facing 40
Ilya Sorokin has faced at least forty shots ten times this season and 27 times in his career. 

Most Games, 40+ Shots in a Season vs Isles Goalie
1. Jaroslav Halak 11  2017-18
2. Gerry Desjardins 10 1972-73
    Ilya Sorokin 10 2023-24

No other NHL goalie has faced 40+ shots more than six times this season.

Most games, 40+ Shots (Since 2021-22)
1. John Gibson 33
2. Ilya Sorokin 27
3. Darcy Kuemper 23
4. Sam Montembault 21
Karel Vejmelka 21

Most Games, 40+ Shots (Islander History)
1. Billy Smith 46    (674 games)
2. Kelly Hrudey 27 (241 games)
Ilya Sorokin 27 (176 games)

Sorokin has made at least 40 saves six times this season and a franchise-record 16 times in his career. James Reimer (29) is the only NHL goalie to debut in the last 30 years to have faced at least 40 shots more times in his first 176 career games.

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

Home and Road
The Isles are 23-18-14 overall; they are 13-7-9 at home and 10-11-5 on the road.
Pittsburgh is 24-21-8 overall; they are 13-10-4 at home and 11-11-4 on the road.

East and West
The Isles are 16-8-8 against the East (8-4-5 vs. Metropolitan and 8-4-3 vs. Atlantic) and 7-10-6 against the West (3-5-2 vs. Central and 4-5-4 vs. Pacific).

Home is Where the Fans Are
The Isles have played 110 games at UBS Arena and recorded 76 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 1,428
3. Glen Sather 1,319

Leaders of the Pack
Lou Lamoriello (1,428) and Patrick Roy (134) have combined for 1,562 wins as general manager and coach. That is the highest in the NHL among active combos by a wide margin.

First Things First
The Isles are 16-3-9 when scoring first and are 7-15-5 when allowing the opening goal. Under Patrick Roy, the Isles are 3-0-0 when they score first and are 1-3-3 when they do not.

The Shots
Isles         13-12-7-1=33
Pittsburgh 12-13-16-0=41
The Isles are 7-5-5 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-1-0 when the shots are even and 15-12-9 when the opposition has more shots.

In the Nets
Ilya Sorokin made 37 saves; he is 17-12-11 on the season 7-5-0 vs. Pittsburgh.
Alex Nedeljkovic made 28 saves; he is 9-4-4 on the season and 3-0-1 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 12-6-8 when they score at least one power play goal and 11-12-6 when they do not. The Isles are 9-12-9 when they allow at least one power play goal and 14-6-5 when they do not.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 21-4-10 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-14-4 when they do not. 

One-Goal Games
The Isles are 15-3-14 in games decided by a single goal including 8-3 in regulation. They are 6-10 in games decided in overtime and are 1-4 in shootouts. The Isles are 0-5 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1-goal game into a 2-goal game.

Back-to-Backs     
The Isles are 2-1-3 in the front end and 0-3-3 in the back end this season. The next back-to-back set will be on March 10th in Anaheim and March 11th in Los Angeles. 

Ice-time Leaders
Isles: Bo Horvat (24:07);  Pittsburgh: Erik Karlsson (25:22)
Bo Horvat led Islander forwards with 24:07 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Ryan Pulock (2-0-2), Noah Dobson (18-16-9), Alex Romanov (2-2-0), Adam Pelech (0-0-2), Matthew Barzal (0-0-1), Bo Horvat (1-0-0).

Face-offs
Isles 27, Pittsburgh 37 (42%)
Bo Horvat won 12 of 22 for the Isles; Lars Eller won 9 of 14 for Pittsburgh.

Hit Count
Isles 23 (Alex Romanov -5)
Pittsburgh 18 (Six with 2)

Fights 
None. Season total: 7 (Martin 3, Pelech 1, Lee 1, Mayfield 1, Horvat 1)
 
Blocked Shots
Isles 12 (Three with 2)
Pittsburgh 14 (Two with 3)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 55, Pittsburgh 65
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 43, Pittsburgh 57
 
5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Pierre Engvall +4
Pittsburgh: Two with +17

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 11, Pittsburgh 12
5-on-5: Isles 9, Pittsburgh 8

Scratches
(Robert Bortuzzo -LTIR), (Hudson Fasching-ILL), Sebastian Aho, Samuel Bolduc
Games Lost to injury: 135

The Ironmen
Anders Lee is the Islanders' ironman, having played 167 consecutive games. Brock Nelson (139) is the only other Islander to have played at least 100 consecutive games.

National TV Games 
The Isles are 4-0-3 in games that air on one of the NHL's US national broadcast partners. The next nationally televised game will be on March 5th (ESPN+) vs. the Blues.

Challenges
Isles: 2 successful, 3 failures – WSH goalie interference (11/2), OTT offside (11/24), LA no goalie interference (12/9), VGK no goalie interference (1/6), PIT no hand pass (2/20)

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

Quickies
The Isles have scored two goals in under a minute six times this season (four times at home – CBJ 12/7 x2, WSH 12/29, NYR 2/18-MetLife and twice on road-@OTT 11/24, @ARI 1/4) and allowed two in the same span seven times (COL 10/25 x2, MIN 11/8, @MTL 12/16, PIT 12/27, @NAS 1/13, @PIT 2/20)

Multi-Goal 3rd Period Comeback Wins
The Isles have come from at least two goals behind in the third period to win one time this season and have allowed the opposition to do so five times.
For (1): LA 12/9 (trailed 0-2, won 3-2 in OT)
Vs (5): 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); NYR 2/18 (trailed 3-5, won 6-5 in OT)

Last Minute Heroes:
The Isles have scored four goals and have allowed six goals in the final three minutes of the third period to tie or go-ahead:
For (4): Bo Horvat 10/20 vs NJ 18:49 (Isles lost in OT); Simon Holmstrom 12/13 vs ANA 18:27 (GWG); Kyle Palmieri 1/27 vs FLA 18:31 (Isles lost in OT); Pierre Engvall 2/5 @ TOR 17:58 (GWG)
Vs (7): 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); Alexandre Carrier 1/13 @ NAS 19:52 (GWG); Sean Monahan 1/25 @ MTL 17:48 (GWG); Mika Zibanejad vs NYR – Met Life 18:31 (NYR won in OT)

OT Winners
For (6):   Mathew Barzal (vs CAR) 11/30, Jean Gabriel Pageau (vs LA) 12/9, Bo Horvat (vs TOR) 12/11, Mathew Barzal (vs TOR) 1/11, Bo Horvat (vs DAL) 1/21, Adam Pelech (vs PIT) 2/20
Vs (10):   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; Nathan MacKinnon (COL) 1/2; Seth Jones (CHI) 1/19, Oliver Ekman-Larsson (FLA) 1/27; Artemi Panarin (NYR) 2/18

Shootout Winners
For (1):  Oliver Wahlstrom (Vs CGY) 11/18
Vs (4):  Kailer Yamamoto (SEA) 11/16, Tyson Foerster (PHI) 11/25, David Pastrnak (BOS) 12/15, Tomas Tatar (SEA) 2/13

All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1. Bryan Trottier 1,123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1,060 *** 3. Josh Bailey 1,057…
5. Clark Gillies 872 *** 6. Bob Bourne 814 *** 7. Brock Nelson 813 *** 8. Matt Martin 799 *** 9. Casey Cizikas 789 *** 10. Mike Bossy 752 *** 11. Anders Lee 733 *** Patrick Flatley 712 *** 13. Brent Sutter 694 *** 14. Cal Clutterbuck 691…
32. Rich Pilon and Mick Vukota 509 *** 34. Ed Westfall 493 *** 35. Radek Martinek 479 *** 36. Gerry Hart 476 *** 37. Mathew Barzal 474 *** 38. Adam Pelech 473 *** 39. Mariusz Czerkawski 470 *** 40. Scott Mayfield 468 *** 41. Ryan Pulock and Trent Hunter 459

Goals    
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
7. John Tavares 272 *** 8. Brock Nelson 265 *** 9. Anders Lee 254 …
21. Jason Blake 127 *** 22. Duane Sutter 121 *** 23. Mathew Barzal 122…
30. Benoit Hogue and Ed Westfall 105 *** 32. Casey Cizikas 103

Assists
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 …
10. Stefan Persson 317 *** 11. Bob Bourne 304 *** 12. Mathew Barzal 299…
16. Billy Harris 259 *** 17. Tomas Jonsson 249  *** 18. Brock Nelson 242…
22. Pierre Turgeon 193 *** 23. Anders Lee 184…
33. Travis Green 145 *** 34. Noah Dobson 142 ***35. Steve Thomas 140 *** 36. Mark Streit 139 *** 37. Greg Gilbert 136 *** 38. Ryan Pulock 134

Points
1. Bryan Trottier 1,353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1,126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1,052…
11. Bob Nystrom 513 *** 12. Brock Nelson 506 *** 13. Derek King 499 *** 14. Patrick Flatley 488 *** 15. Billy Harris 443 *** 16. Anders Lee 438 *** 17. Mathew Barzal 421…
32. Ray Ferraro 238 *** 33. Travis Green 237 *** 34. Casey Cizikas 234

+/-
1. Bryan Trottier +467 *** 2. Denis Potvin +456 *** 3. Mike Bossy +380…
15. Bob Lorimer +105  ***  16. Adam Pelech +77 *** 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 and Ryan Pulock 46 *** 6. Nick Leddy 45 *** 8. Roman Hamrlik 43 *** 9. Mark Streit 40 *** 10. Noah Dobson 37

Defense Assists
1. Denis Potvin 742 *** 2. Stefan Persson 317 *** 3. Tomas Jonsson 249…
7. Jeff Norton 166 *** 8. Noah Dobson 142 *** 9. Mark Streit 139 *** 10. Ryan Pulock 134…
13. Roman Hamrlik 110 *** 14. Tom Kurvers and Gerry Hart 109 *** 16. Adam Pelech 106… 
20. Dave Langevin and Thomas Hickey 95 *** 22. Scott Mayfield 91

Defense Points
1. Denis Potvin 1,052 *** 2. Stefan Persson 369 *** 3. Tomas Jonsson 333…
7. Jeff Norton 188 *** 8. Ryan Pulock 180 *** 9.Mark Streit and Noah Dobson 179… 
13. Dave Lewis 141 *** 14. Tom Kurvers 134 *** 15. Adam Pelech 132…
19. Vladimir Malakhov 125 *** 20. Thomas Hickey 117 *** 21. Scott Mayfield 116

Goalie Games
1. Billy Smith 674 *** 2. Rick DiPietro 318 *** 3. Glenn Resch 282 …
6. Tommy Salo 187 *** 7. Jaroslav Halak 177 *** 8. Ilya Sorokin and Glenn Healy 176 *** 10. Semyon Varlamov 152

Wins
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 130…
5. Thomas Greiss 101 *** 6. Jaroslav Halak 88 *** 7. Ilya Sorokin 86 *** 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 is 15-26-6-1 on the season after going 2-0-1-0 this past weekend. 

Bridgeport visits Hartford on Wednesday.

Season Series Stats
Pittsburgh leads the season series, 2 games to 1 (and 5 points to 2). The teams will meet in a nationally-televised game (TNT) on April 17th at UBS Arena to complete the season series. 

The Isles are 6-3-0 in their last nine games against the Penguins, with three of the wins coming in extra time; the Isles have scored at least four goals in all six wins and have scored a total of four goals in the three losses.

UP NEXT
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd –ISLANDERS AT ST. LOUIS – 8:00pm
[MSGSN2(pre-game at 7:30), WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN Radio].
The Isles have faced every team in the NHL except one, and they will face that one on Thursday in The Lou.

The teams have not met in 443 days; their last meeting was on December 6, 2022, at UBS Arena. The Blues won 7-4 in a game that Adam Pelech suffered an injury on a hit from now-teammate Robert Bortuzzo. 

The teams, who will meet again on March 5th at UBS Arena, have split the season series in each of the last three seasons that they have played.

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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