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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...

Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Skinny: St. Louis 4, Isles 0

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 56
St. Louis 4, Isles 0
The St. Louis Blues scored three times in a 32 second span of the 2nd period, including two from Pavel Buchnevich, as they defeated the Islanders 4-0 before a sellout crowd of 18,096 at Enterprise Center.

Buchnevich completed his hat trick by scoring an empty net goal at the 9:21 mark of the 3rd as the Blues blanked the Isles for the first time in nearly 33 years.

The Isles are 4-4-3 under Patrick Roy and 23-19-14 overall as they remain tied with New Jersey but now trail Tampa Bay by five points for the final wild card spot. The Isles host the Lightning on Saturday afternoon before ending February with road games in Dallas and Detroit. 

The Scoring:  
1st Period
No Goals

2nd Period
Brandon Saad (16) Oskar Sundqvist (15), Brayden Schenn (18) 04:38 NYI 0,STL 1 PPG
Pavel Buchnevich (20) Robert Thomas (44), Jordan Kyrou (25) 04:45 NYI 0,STL 2
Pavel Buchnevich (21) Jordan Kyrou (26), Robert Thomas (45) 05:10 NYI 0,STL 3

3rd Period
Pavel Buchnevich (22)EN Robert Thomas (46) 09:21 NYI 0,STL 4

The Skinny     
The Isles are 3-2-2 since the All-Star Break and are 7-11-5 since the Christmas break…Since Christmas the Isles are 4-3-3 at home and 3-7-2 on the road… The Isles' defense has 71 points in the last 32 games and have 52 points in the last 25 games (13-39-52)…The Isles have outscored their opponents 46-36 in the first period but have been outscored 75-58 in the second period and 76-60 in the third period and overtime this season…The Isles have been outscored 37-19 in the second period since the Christmas break; they have allowed the most 2nd period goals over that span and have allowed at least two goals in 13 of the 23  …The Isles are 7-16-5 when they allow the opening goal…. Mathew Barzal saw his point streak end at eight games, one shy of his career high…Barzal still has 299 career assists …  The Isles have allowed 12 power play goals under Patrick Roy; they have allowed only 17 goals at 5-on-5… Pavel Buchnevich reached the 20-goal mark for the 4th straight season (and 5th time in his career); it was his 4th career hat trick and second this season…Robert Thomas assisted on the last three goals to give him seven assists in the last four times… The Blues have eleven players who have appeared in every game this season…Twelve minor penalties were called in a game between two of the four least-penalized teams in the NHL this season…The Isles were credited with 20 shots in the 2nd period; it was their most in any period this season…Semyon Varlamov is 0-3-3 with two no decisions (pulled in both due to injury) since beating Anaheim December 13th…The Isles had 16 power play shots in a game for the 2nd time this season (also January 25th in Montreal)…Jordan Binnington recorded his 15th career shutout as he tied Curtis Joseph for third place in Blues history with his 137th win…St. Louis is 24-2-0 when scoring first.

Milestone Men
Matt Martin played his 800th game as an Islander
Brock Nelson played his 814th game as an Islander (tying Bob Bourne for 7th)

First Times in a Long Time
The Isles were shutout by St. Louis for the first time since Vincent Riendeau did so on March 28, 1991.
Pavel Buchnevich's two goals in 25 seconds were the fastest by a Blue since Pavol Demitra had two in 25 seconds in 2000.

Record-Setters
The three goals in 32 seconds were the fastest in Blues history, and the fastest allowed by the Islanders. Buffalo scored three times in 41 seconds against the Isles in 1980.
The empty-netter was by far the earliest allowed by the Isles in an end-of-game situation. Tom Wilson scored with 4:16 to play in Game 81 last season (April 10th) in DC.  [The only earlier ENG allowed was a 2nd period goal to the Rangers' Brad Shaw in 1987 on a delayed penalty situation – Ranger goalie Bob Froese had originally been credited with it, but it was changed to Shaw five days later.]

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 75 assists; Denis Potvin holds the club record for assists by a defenseman (70 in 1978-79). Dobson is on pace for 86 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).

The New Coach
The Isles are 4-4-3 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 0-3-1.

Inter-Division Games
Tonight was the first of eleven consecutive inter-division games; the Isles are 0-1-0 in that stretch. The next divisional opponent will be 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 eighteen 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 49 power play goals; they allowed 39 all last season. 

Under Patrick Roy, the Isles Power Play is 7-31 (22.6%) and the Penalty Kill is 12-35 (65.7%)
 
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 3,947
2. Matt Martin 3,811

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. 

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 six more goals this season for his 8th season with at least 20 goals.

Last Year vs. This Year
2023-24  23-19-14 for 60 points in 56 games
2022-23  27-23-6 for 60 points in 56 games

Offense from Defense
Today:   0-0-0
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 1,248 (*)
(*) Late game Thursday

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 sixth in wins and fourth in shutouts.

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

Home and Road
The Isles are 23-19-14 overall; they are 13-7-9 at home and 10-12-5 on the road.
St. Louis is 30-24-2 overall; they are 17-11-1 at home and 13-13-1 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 7-11-6 against the West (3-6-2 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 7-16-5 when allowing the opening goal. Under Patrick Roy, the Isles are 3-0-0 when they score first and are 1-4-3 when they do not.

The Shots
Isles       6-20-12=38
St. Louis 8-9-8=25
The Isles are 7-6-5 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
Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves; he is 6-7-3 on the season 10-12-3 vs. St. Louis.
Jordan Binnington made 28 saves; he is 20-15-2 on the season and 3-2-2 vs. the Isles. 

Special Teams
The Isles were 0-5 on the power play (9:41); St. Louis was 1-5 on the power play (9:10).

The Isles are 12-6-8 when they score at least one power play goal and 11-13-6 when they do not. The Isles are 9-13-9 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 2-15-4 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: Noah Dobson (22:42);  St. Louis: Colton Parayko (22:19)
Mathew Barzal led Islander forwards with 20:31 of ice-time. 

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Ryan Pulock (2-0-2), Noah Dobson (18-17-9), Alex Romanov (2-2-0), Adam Pelech (0-0-2), Matthew Barzal (0-0-1), Bo Horvat (1-0-0).

Face-offs
Isles 31, St. Louis 21 (42%)
Bo Horvat won 12 of 18 for the Isles; No Blue won more than he lost.

Hit Count
Isles 25 (Four with 4)
St. Louis 11 (Three with 2)

Fights 
None. Season total: 7 (Martin 3, Pelech 1, Lee 1, Mayfield 1, Horvat 1)
 
Blocked Shots
Isles 11 (Adam Pelech and Noah Dobson -3)
St. Louis 14 (Nick Leddy -3)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 58, St. Louis 44
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 26, St. Louis 28
 
5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Mathew Barzal +6
St. Louis: Pavel Buchnevich +8

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 13, St. Louis 8
5-on-5: Isles 3, St. Louis 5

Scratches
(Robert Bortuzzo -LTIR), (Hudson Fasching-LTIR), Sebastian Aho, Samuel Bolduc, (Casey Cizikas – INJ_
Games Lost to injury: 138

The Ironmen
Anders Lee is the Islanders' ironman, having played 168 consecutive games. Brock Nelson (140) 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 eight times (COL 10/25 x2, MIN 11/8, @MTL 12/16, PIT 12/27, @NAS 1/13, @PIT 2/20, @STL 2/22 (3 in :32))

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 and Brock Nelson 814 *** 8. Matt Martin 800 *** 9. Casey Cizikas 789 *** 10. Mike Bossy 752 *** 11. Anders Lee 734 *** Patrick Flatley 712 *** 13. Brent Sutter 694 *** 14. Cal Clutterbuck 692…
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. Tomas Jonsson +76 *** 17. Adam Pelech +75 *** 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 153

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 15-27-6-1 on the season after falling 2-1 to Hartford on Wednesday. Matthew Maggio had the only goal for the Islanders; it was his third goal in the last two games. 

Bridgeport visits Wilkes Barre-Scranton on Saturday before hosting Springfield on Sunday afternoon.

Season Series Stats
St. Louis leads the season series, 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0). The teams will meet in a nationally-streamed game (ESPN+) on March 5th at UBS Arena to complete the season series. 

The Isles will be looking to split the season series for the fourth straight season that they have faced the Blues.

UP NEXT
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24th –TAMPA BAY AT ISLANDERS– 2:00pm
[MSGSN(pre-game at 1:30), WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN Radio].
The Isles will look to climb within three points of the last playoff spot as they welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning back to UBS Arena on Saturday.

The Isles beat the Lightning 6-2 back on February 8th but are 1-2-2 in the five games since then. It was the Isles second straight win over the Bolts, after losing six straight regular season games to Tampa in regulation. They have not won three straight from the Lightning since November 2014-November 2015.

The teams will also meet on March 30th at Amalie Arena to conclude the season series.

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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