is the type of player that has a knack for scoring. Over an eight day period, culminating Sat. Dec. 3, Moulson tallied seven goals in four games on the road. He scored one goal in each of the first three contests and added four more on Saturday night to lift the Islanders over the Dallas Stars, 5-4.
Being the first player in the National Hockey League this season to score four goals in one game earned the Isles winger recognition across the league, as he was awarded First Star of the Week honors for the first time in his career Monday.
“I probably owe a lot of it to my linemates,” said a humble Moulson. “They did more than I did out there. It was a good win for the team. That’s the biggest thing.”
|Corey Crawford defelects a shot by Matt Moulson during a shootout at the United Center on December 2, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) |
While Moulson’s 13 goals lead the Islanders, his 19 points are third on the team behind linemates John Tavares
(8 goals, 13 assists) and PA Parenteau
(4 goals, 17 assists).
So it was no surprise when Moulson credited his linemates for his four-goal night.
“I watched (my goals) over again and I didn’t really have to do too much for them,” Moulson said. “I didn’t even know (Tavares) put it through his legs on that one play (third goal) and then he made a great play on the (second goal), when he made a nice move on the D.”
He continued, “Streiter (Mark Streit
) had a good shot that led to the first one. PA (Parenteau) made an unbelievable pass on that fourth one where he had a breakaway, but he’s a disher at heart, so I knew it was coming.”
Sometimes luck is on your side, but numbers don’t lie. Amongst the league’s top goal scorers over the last three-seasons (beginning in 2009-10, Moulson’s first full NHL season), Moulson ranks 12th with 74 goals.
|Christian Ehrhoff battles for position in front of the net against Matt Moulson at First Niagara Center on November 29, 2011. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images) |
“I don’t really look at stuff like that, so I didn’t know that,” said a surprised Moulson. “I just try to go out there and score as many as I can and try to help the team win.”
He scored a career-high 31 goals last season after posting 30 goals the year before. Barely one-third of the way through the 2011-12 season, Moulson is on pace to record a career-high 44 goals this season. Even if that number drops off a bit, he deserves to be seen as one of the league’s most lethal goal scorers.
“I don’t think people thought much of it when he signed here, but I knew the kind of guy he was and his knack for scoring goals and just getting it done,” Tavares said of his long-time friend. “It’s not very pretty, it’s not stuff you’re going to see on the highlights every night, but at the end of the day he puts them in the net and makes it count.”
Moulson’s 13 goals this season are tied for eighth-best in the league, just three behind scoring leaders Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Milan Michalek of the Ottawa Senators. Of the seven players ahead of him, Moulson has played in at least one less game and as many as three fewer games this season.
His goals might not all be pretty, but as Parenteau would put it, Moulson has a nose for the net.
“It’s a great accomplishment for him,” Parenteau said. “He’s kind of a late bloomer like me, so it’s fun to see. He’s the kind of the guy who is very serious and works very hard. Hopefully I can feed him a few more so he can keep going.”
As the team returns to Long Island, Moulson will look to keep his goal scoring streak alive.