Chicago 3, Isles 2
Michael Handzus broke a 2-2 tie midway through the second period and that proved to be the difference as the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks handed the Isles their first regulation defeat of the season, as they edged the Islanders 3-2 before 21,196 at United Center. It was the Blackhawks’ 230th consecutive home sellout.
09:32 CHI J. Nordstrom (1) Wrist shot - ASST: N. Hjalmarsson (4) 1 - 0 CHI
16:05 CHI J. Toews (2) Wrist shot - ASST: D. Keith (2), B. Seabrook (1) 2 - 0 CHI
19:06 NYI J. Bailey (2) Wrist shot - ASST: M. Grabner (5) 2 - 1 CHI
19:55 NYI K. Okposo (1) Backhand shot - ASST: J. Tavares (3) 2 - 2 Tie
06:45 CHI M. Handzus (1) Wrist shot - ASST: D. Keith (3), B. Smith (1) 3 - 2 CHI
Joakim Nordstrom’s opening goal was his first in the NHL … Josh Bailey scored for the second consecutive game; he did that only once last season (April 20-23) … Michael Grabner’s assist was his fifth of the season, matching his total from last season (16-5-21 in 45 games) … After being held pointless in the opener, John Tavares has a point in three straight games … Three of the Isles’ four games this season have been decided by one goal (and seven of eight, going back to last season) … Tavares’ assist was his 140th, tying Frans Nielsen for the club lead among current players … Kyle Okposo is looking to get off to a faster start – his late first period tally equaled his goal total through 20 games last season … The Isles are 10-2-5 in their last 17 regular season games; this was the Isles first loss to a team not from Pennsylvania since March 21 (lost to Montreal 5-2) … Eastern Conference teams are 7-14-4 against the West so far this season; the West is 18-5-2 against the East … The Isles are 1-1-0 against the West.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 2-1-1 overall, 1-0-1 at home and 1-1-0 on the road.
The Blackhawks are 2-1-1 overall, 2-0-1 at home and 0-1-0 on the road.
In the Nets
Kevin Poulin made 25 saves in his season debut.
Nikolai Khabibulin made 17 saves for Chicago as he improves to 6-11-0 against the Isles. This was his first win against the Isles in almost a decade (after four straight defeats); his last win against the Islanders came as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, on November 20, 2003.
The Islanders were 0-for-2 while the Blackhawks were 0-for-4.
The Isles are 1-0-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 1-1-0 when they do not.
The Isles are 0-0-1 when they allow at least one power play goal and 2-1-0 when they do not. The Isles have killed 10-of-11 opponents’ power plays this season.
Second to The One
Jack Capuano ranks second on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (199) and wins (86). He will coach his 200th game on Saturday in Nashville.
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.Al Arbour 740
2.Jack Capuano 86
3.Terry Simpson 81
4.Peter Laviolette 77
5.Ted Nolan 74
Most games coached (Islanders):
1.Al Arbour 1,500
2.Jack Capuano 199
3.Mike Milbury 191
4.Terry Simpson 187
5.Scott Gordon 181
They Said It
Andrew MacDonald: “We sacrificed… but we seemed to back off at times."
They Tweeted It
@NHLexpertpicks: #Isles John Tavares pulls out own tooth, doesn't miss a shift. #warrior
We want to obviously respect them, but we can’t fear any opponent. To me, we didn’t close quick enough … we lost some battles… and we didn’t manage the puck very well.
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 254 career points; he is 57 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks. No other player in that draft is anywhere close. Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player in that draft.
119 NHL Goals
Moulson has 119 career goals (113 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, only 16 have more goals.
Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald played 24:46 to lead the Isles for the fourth straight game. Duncan Keith led Chicago with 24:02.
The Isles are 2-1-1 when MacDonald leads them in ice time.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 30-of-65 draws. Peter Regin won 8-of-13 and Frans Nielsen won 10-of-16 to lead the Isles, but the other face-off men won only 12-of-36; Jonathan Toews won 16-of-23 for Chicago.
The Islanders out-hit Chicago 29-18. Reigning NHL hit leader Matt Martin led the Isles with five hits. There were no fights for the fourth straight game.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 27 blocked shots; Travis Hamonic, Lubomir Visnovsky and Matt Martin were each credited with four.
The Islanders are now 10 games over .500 all-time (1373-1363-440 in 3,176 games). The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 with an all-time record above .500.
John Tavares is the reigning Islanders’ ironman. Tavares has now played in 211 consecutive games.
Frans Nielsen (134) and Kyle Okposo (117) also have streaks of at least 100 consecutive games.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Post Cup Era
•Matt Moulson 10/3/2009- 4/4/2013 284
•Richard Park 10/5/2006 – 2/18/2009 221
•Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220
•Bryan Trottier 3/7/1981- 1/12/1984 219
•Mariusz Czerkawski 12/23/1999 – 4/14/2002 215
•John Tavares 10/16/10 – CURRENT 211
Cal Clutterbuck was activated from Injured Reserve and made his Islander debut; Griffin Reinhart was returned to Edmonton and the Oil Kings’ captain made his WHL season debut tonight. Eric Boulton and Matt Carkner were scratched for the fourth straight game; Brock Nelson was also scratched. The Isles have lost three games this season due to injury.
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 669
2. Roberto Luongo 350
3. Evgeni Nabokov 337
4. Nikolai Khabibulin 333
17. Roberto Luongo 350
18. Evgeni Nabokov 337
19. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 333
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 121
2. Roberto Luongo 62
3. Evgeni Nabokov 55
4. Tomas Vokoun 51
18 Clint Benedict 57
19 Evgeni Nabokov 55
20 Bernie Parent 54
20 Ed Giacomin 54
Career Goals as an Islander
21Ray Ferraro 116
22John Tavares 114
23Matt Moulson 113
24Benoit Hogue 105
24Ed Westfall 105
Career Assists as an Islander
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
39Randy Wood 381
40Frans Nielsen 371
44Marty McInnis 337
45Josh Bailey 333
46Robert Goring 332
46Oleg Kvasha 332
48Bruno Gervais 331
50Shawn Bates 330
51Eric Cairns 327
52Alan Kerr 326
53Kyle Okposo 323
54Brad Dalgarno 321
55Ray Ferraro 316
55Steve Webb 316
55Richard Park 316
58Gerald Diduck 314
59Mikko Makela 307
60Gordon Lane 304
61Arron Asham 300
61Roman Hamrlik 300
63Matt Moulson 297
64John Tavares 295
65Gordon Dineen 287
Career Points as an Islander
23John Tavares 254
32Matt Moulson 215
37Frans Nielsen 201
42Kyle Okposo 187
Season Series Stats
The Blackhawks lead the season series one game to none (and two points to none) with one game to play. The teams will also play on January 2 on Long Island.
The Isles are 6-2-2 in their last ten games against Chicago, but fall to 0-2-2 in their last four meetings.
38 years ago tonight (10-11-75): Bryan Trottier scored a hat trick and added two assists, tying the Islander club record for points in a game by a rookie and Chico Resch did the rest, blanking the Los Angeles Kings for a 7-0 shutout in the home opener. Later than evening George Carlin was the host on the opening edition of NBC’s Saturday Night (the “Live” was added later).
All-time, the Isles are 11-6-0 on this date, including a 5-2 win over Boston (1980) in the first game the Isles played as the reigning Stanley Cup Champions.
On The Farm
Bridgeport has split a pair of games to open their season. Andrey Pedan and Ryan Strome each have earned three points to share the scoring lead, while Anders Nilsson is 1-1-0 with a 3.84 GAA in net. Bridgeport hosts Manchester (Saturday at 7:00 p.m.) and Springfield (Sunday at 3:00 p.m.) this weekend.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12—ISLANDERS AT NASHVILLE 8:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 7:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
Jack Capuano will become only the second coach in Islander history to coach a 200th game as the Isles finish their second set of back-to-backs as they visit Nashville on Saturday.
This is the first of two meetings between the teams, who have not played each other in a regular season game since early in 2012 (the teams split a pair of preseason games last month).
Nashville has not been a friendly place for the Isles to visit; they have lost five straight games (including three by shutout) in Music City since Garth Snow led the Isles to a 5-2 victory in April, 2002. Overall, the Isles are 1-6-1 in their last eight against the Preds (with the win coming in a shootout); Nashville is 7-0-2 against the Isles overall since that Snow victory in 2002.
Welcome to the world, George Benjamin Moulson! Your dad was penalized on the day you were born – his first minor penalty since February 7.
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.