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The Skinny - Blackhawks 3, Islanders 2

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders

Game 4

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.

The Scoring:

1st Period

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

2nd Period

06:45 CHI M. Handzus (1) Wrist shot - ASST: D. Keith (3), B. Smith (1) 3 - 2 CHI

3rd Period


The Skinny:

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.

The Shots:

Isles 7-6-6=19

Blackhawks 13-8-7=28

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.

Power Plays

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

The Coach

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.

Heavy Hitters

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.

All–time Winners

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

Missing Men

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

Career Wins

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

Career Shutouts

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

24Mariusz Czerkawski150

25Travis Green145

26Frans Nielsen140

26Steve Thomas140

26John Tavares140

29Mark Streit139

30Greg Gilbert138

31Jason Blake131

Career Games as an Islander (skaters)

39Randy Wood 381

40Frans Nielsen 371

41Dave Scatchard347

44Marty McInnis 337

45Josh Bailey 333

46Robert Goring 332

46Oleg Kvasha 332

48Bruno Gervais 331

48Zigmund Palffy331

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

20Ed Westfall286

21Jason Blake258

21Steve Thomas258

23John Tavares 254

24David Volek249

29Benoit Hogue221

29Trent Hunter221

31Mikko Makela219

32Matt Moulson 215

33Mark Parrish214

34Garry Howatt213

34Jean Potvin213

36Anders Kallur211

37Frans Nielsen 201

38Marty McInnis198

39Wayne Merrick197

40Robert Goring195

41Jeffrey Norton188

42Kyle Okposo 187

43Lorne Henning184

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.

Happy Anniversary

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.

Up Next


[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.

And Finally….

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.

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