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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...

Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Skinny: Tampa Bay 4, Isles 2

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick

Game 57
Tampa Bay 4, Isles 2
The Isles scored two sixth attacker goals in the third period to make it close, but the Tampa Bay Lightning held off the Isles 4-2 before a sellout crowd of 17,255 at UBS Arena.

Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman each had an assist on an empty-net goal to complete a three-point game as the Lightning snapped their own three-game losing streak.

The Isles are 4-5-3 under Patrick Roy and 23-20-14 overall as they now trail Tampa Bay by seven points for the final wild card spot. The Isles will end February with road games in Dallas on Monday and Detroit on Thursday.

The Scoring:  
1st Period
Nicholas Paul (16) Brandon Hagel (34), Darren Raddysh (17) 04:12 TBL 1,NYI 0
Nikita Kucherov (37) Victor Hedman (46), Nick Perbix (18) 05:34 TBL 2,NYI 0

2nd Period
Brayden Point (29) Nikita Kucherov (60), Victor Hedman (47) 05:00 TBL 3,NYI 0 PPG

3rd Period
Anders Lee (15) Mathew Barzal (43), Noah Dobson (52) 13:44 TBL 3,NYI 1
Brock Nelson (25) Noah Dobson (53) 17:25 TBL 3,NYI 2 PPG
Luke Glendening (9)EN Victor Hedman (48), Nikita Kucherov (61) 19:29 TBL 4,NYI 2

The Skinny     
The Isles are 3-3-2 since the All-Star Break and are 7-12-5 since the Christmas break…Since Christmas the Isles are 4-4-3 at home and 3-7-2 on the road… The Isles' defense has 73 points in the last 33 games and have 54 points in the last 26 games (13-41-54)…The Isles have outscored their opponents 46-38 in the first period but have been outscored 76-58 in the second period and 77-62 in the third period and overtime this season…The Isles have been outscored 38-21 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 24 games …The Isles are 7-17-5 when they allow the opening goal…. Mathew Barzal recorded his 300th career assist on Anders Lee's 6-on-5 goal; Noah Dobson tied Barzal for the team scoring lead (60) points with assists on both goals …  Mathew Barzal now has 32 primary assists while Noah Dobson had 31 primary assists; Dobson leads all NHL defensemen in that category…The Isles have allowed 13 power play goals under Patrick Roy; they have allowed only 19 goals at 5-on-5… The Isles were credited with 19 shots in the third period… The Isles have allowed the first goal in 10 of the last 12 games…Nikita Kucherov leads the NHL with 98 points; he is two points shy of his fourth 100-point season…Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his eighth consecutive 20-win season, matching Connor Hellebuyck and Marc-Andre Fleury for most by an active goalie….Anders Lee's goal stopped a 113:44 team scoreless streak; he now has scored at least 15 goals in nine of the last ten seasons, missing only in the shortened 2021 season when he scored 12 goals in 27 games.

First Time in a Long Time
Brayden Point's power play goal was the 50th allowed by the Isles this season; it is the first time since 2017-18 they have allowed at least 50.  (They allowed 63 that season)

Milestone Men
Matthew Barzal is the 12th player in Islander history to record 300 assists.
Brock Nelson played his 815th game as an Islander (passing Bob Bourne for 7th)
Noah Dobson had two assists to pass both Mark Streit and Ryan Pulock on the Isles point list; he is now 8th among defensemen.
Ilya Sorokin played in his 177th game, passing Glenn Healy and tying Jaroslav Halak for 7th place in club history.

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 60 points since 1984-85 when Denis Potvin had 68, and the first with at least 53 assists since 1983-84, when Denis Potvin also recorded 63.

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 86 points, which would trail only three seasons by Potvin.

Dobson has recorded the 14th 60-point season by an Islander defenseman (Denis Potvin 10, Stefan Persson 2, Jean Potvin 1) and he needs just four assists to record only the fifth 57 assist season by an Islander defensemen (Denis Potvin has the other 4).

The New Coach
The Isles are 4-5-3 under Patrick Roy and have allowed only two goals in three of their four wins. Ilya Sorokin is 4-2-2 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 0-2-0 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)

Empty Netters 
The Isles have scored 0 empty-net goals (10:17) and allowed 14 (10:04); they have scored six overtime goals and allowed ten.

This is the latest that the Islanders have gone into a season without scoring an empty net goal. They have now gone 63 consecutive games dating back to last season without an ENG.  The club record of 76 games was set between December 2, 1997, and November 21, 1998. 

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 36 power play goals; they scored 35 all last season.
The Isles have allowed 50 power play goals; they allowed 39 all last season. 

Under Patrick Roy, the Isles Power Play is 8-36 (22.2%) and the Penalty Kill is 13-38 (65.8%)
 
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 3,812

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 25-Goal Club
Brock Nelson is the 8th player in club history to have at least six seasons of at least 25 goals:
Bryan Trottier 12
Mike Bossy 10
John Tavares/ Clark Gillies 7
Pat LaFontaine/ Brent Sutter/ Anders Lee/ Brock Nelson 6

Anders Lee needs ten more goals this season for his 7th season with at least 25 goals.

Last Year vs. This Year
2023-24  23-20-14 for 60 points in 57 games
2022-23  27-23-7 for 61 points in 57 games

Offense from Defense
Today:   0-2-2
Season: 23-94-117
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 1,386
Alexandar Georgiev 1,312 (*)
Juuse Saros 1,289 (*)
Thatcher Demko 1,278 (*)
(*) Game on Saturday night

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 (177 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 177 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 23-20-14 overall; they are 13-8-9 at home and 10-12-5 on the road.
Tampa Bay is 31-23-5 overall; they are 18-8-3 at home and 12-16-2 on the road.

East and West
The Isles are 16-9-8 against the East (8-4-5 vs. Metropolitan and 8-5-3 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 111 games at UBS Arena and recorded 77 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 7-17-5 when allowing the opening goal. Under Patrick Roy, the Isles are 3-0-0 when they score first and are 1-5-3 when they do not.

The Shots
Isles       6-9=19=34
Tampa Bay 9-7-5=21
The Isles are 7-7-5 when they outshoot their opponents, 1-1-0 when the shots are even and 15-12-9 when the opposition has more shots.

Ilya Sorokin made 17 saves; he is 17-13-11 on the season 2-5-0 vs. Tampa Bay.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves; he is 20-14-0 on the season and 12-4-0 vs. the Isles. 

Special Teams
The Isles were 1-5 on the power play (9:22); Tampa Bay was 1-3 on the power play (4:28).

The Isles are 12-7-8 when they score at least one power play goal and 11-13-6 when they do not. The Isles are 9-14-9 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 2-16-4 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 0-6 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 (24:28); Tampa Bay: Victor Hedman (25:40)
Mathew Barzal led Islander forwards with 22:57 of ice-time. 

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

Face-offs
Isles 26, Tampa Bay 27 (49%)
Bo Horvat won 12 of 20 for the Isles; Brayden Point won 8 of 13 for Tampa Bay.

Hit Count
Isles 11 (Alex Romanov - 4)
Tampa Bay 14 (Mitchell Chaffee -3)

Fights 
None. Season total: 7 (Martin 3, Pelech 1, Lee 1, Mayfield 1, Horvat 1)
 
Blocked Shots
Isles 20(Alexander Romanov -6)
Tampa Bay 12 (Luke Glendenning -4)

For the Analytics Crowd 
Corsi: All situations: Isles 63, Tampa Bay 60
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 38, Tampa Bay 50
 
5-on-5 leaders:
Isles:  Jean-Gabriel Pageau +11
Tampa Bay: Michael Eyssimont +18

High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 15, Tampa Bay 8
5-on-5: Isles 7, Tampa Bay 7

Scratches
(Robert Bortuzzo -LTIR), Kyle MacLean, (Scott Mayfield – INJ)
Games Lost to injury: 140

The Ironmen
Anders Lee is the Islanders' ironman, having played 169 consecutive games. Brock Nelson (141) is the only other Islander to have played at least 100 consecutive games.  Four other Islanders (Noah Dobson, Cal Clutterbuck, Kyle Palmieri, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau) have played every game this season.

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.

Matinee Isles
The Isles are 0-2-1 in matinee games (all at home, including an OT loss at Met Life).  The remaining matinee games are March 16th vs OTT, March 17th at NYR, March 23rd vs WPG, and April 13th at NYR. The NHL considers games that start before 5:00 local time to be afternoon games.

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: 3 successful, 2 failures – BUF no offsides (10/21), CAR no high-stick (11/30); ANA goalie interference (12/13), CGY offside (2/10), TB offside (2/24)

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. Brock Nelson 815 *** 7. Bob Bourne 814 *** 8. Matt Martin 801 *** 9. Casey Cizikas 790*** 10. Mike Bossy 752 *** 11. Anders Lee 735 *** Patrick Flatley 712 *** 13. Brent Sutter 694 *** 14. Cal Clutterbuck 693…
32. Rich Pilon and Mick Vukota 509 *** 34. Ed Westfall 493 *** 35. Radek Martinek 479 *** 36. Gerry Hart 476 *** 37. Mathew Barzal 475 *** 38. Adam Pelech 474 *** 39. Mariusz Czerkawski 470 *** 40. Scott Mayfield 468 *** 41. Ryan Pulock 460

Goals    
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
7. John Tavares 272 *** 8. Brock Nelson 266 *** 9. Anders Lee 255 …
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 300…
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 144 ***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 507 *** 13. Derek King 499 *** 14. Patrick Flatley 488 *** 15. Billy Harris 443 *** 16. Anders Lee 439 *** 17. Mathew Barzal 422…
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. Garry Howatt +75 *** 18. Adam Pelech +73 *** 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 144 *** 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. Noah Dobson 181 *** 9. Ryan Pulock 180 … 
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. Ilya Sorokin and Jaroslav Halak 177 *** 9. 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 heading into their game at Wilkes Barre-Scranton on Saturday.  The Babay Isles will host Springfield on Sunday afternoon.

Season Series Stats
The season series is tied, 1 game to 1 (and 2 points to 2). The teams will meet in Tampa Bay on March 30th to conclude the season series.

The Isles have won just two of their last nine regular season games against Tampa Bay. 

UP NEXT
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26th –ISLANDERS AT DALLAS– 8:00pm
[MSGSN(pre-game at 7:30), WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN Radio].
The Isles begin a two-game road trip on Monday as they make their only trip to Dallas this season.

The Isles defeated the Stars 3-2 in Patrick Roy's debut and will be looking to sweep the season series from Dallas for the first time since 2016-17 (ironically the first meeting that season was Doug Weight's coaching debut).

While the Isles are 3-0-1 in their last four home games with the Stars, they have lost their last three games at American Airlines Center.

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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