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The Skinny - Blues 5, Isles 1

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders

Game 56

Blues 5, Isles 1

Brian Elliott made 26 saves, and five different players scored for the Blues and Alex Pietrangelo had three assists as St. Louis overcame an early Frans Nielsen goal to defeat the Islanders 5-1 in front of 18,434 at Scottrade Center.  With the loss, the Isles remain eight points behind the eighth place Leafs.

The Scoring:
First Period

0:59 EV NYI 51 F.NIELSEN(11) 40 M.GRABNER(9) 47 A.MACDONALD(7)
14:40 EV STL 44 J.ARNOTT(13) 17 V.SOBOTKA(14) 46 R.POLAK(11)

Second Period

8:52 PP STL 57 D.PERRON(11) 27 A.PIETRANGELO(21) 74 T.OSHIE(24)
14:53 EV STL 74 T.OSHIE(15) 27 A.PIETRANGELO(22) 6 K.HUSKINS(3)

Third Period - None

The Skinny: The Isles are 5-3-1 since the All-Star Break, 5-3-2 in their last ten and 8-4-2 in their last 14 games.  For the third time in five games, the Islanders fail in their attempt to go over NHL .500. Parenteau now has 52 points, one shy of his career high – set last year.  The loss breaks a four-game Islander road winning streak – the Isles have not won five straight on the road since opening the Peter Laviolette era with six straight wins.  Nielsen’s goal came on the Islanders’ first shot on goal.

The Shots
Islanders: 10-7-10=27
Blues: 11-8-7=26

Home and Road
The Islanders are 24-25-8 overall and are 12-12-3 on the road.
The Blues are 35-15-7 overall and 24-3-4 at home.  St. Louis is 17-0-3 in their last 20 games at home, outscoring their opponents 58-31; their 52 points on home-ice are the most in the NHL.

In the Nets
Al Montoya made 21 saves but allowed five goals for the second time this season. Brian Elliot stopped 26 shots and improves to 19-5-2 on the season.

Leaning on #91
John Tavares has 55 points (22-33-55) on 131 Islander goals this season (42.0%).  No Islander since Zigmund Palffy has recorded points on over 40% of the team’s goals in a complete season.
Tavares is 0-2-2 in eight games in February after having 22 points on 35 Islander goals in January.

Don’t Forget PA
With 52 points, Parenteau has points on 39.7% of the Islanders’ goals this season.

Power Plays
The Islanders went 0-5 on the power play while the Blues were 2-3. The Isles are 2-19 in their last eight games with the extra man.  The Isles’ power play is now 18-77 (23.4%) on the road this season.
The Isles allowed two power play goals in a game for the first time in over three months (11/10 in Colorado) but have still killed 52-59 (88.1%) over the last 27 games, dating back to December 16th. 

They Said It
Blues Coach Ken Hitchcock, who coached Tavares at the World Championships last spring (before the game): “I think he’s still an underrated player.  He was arguably our best player by the end of the tournament. He is really strong on the puck. To me he's Jonathan Toews-strong on the puck.  He's got strength and puck patience where he's able to protect the puck. I don't think there are maybe five guys in the league who can play like that."

They (I) Tweeted It
Congrats to #isles voice Howie Rose --nominated for NY #Emmy today -- up against @CangyManMSG,  Doc, Gary Cohen & Ian Eagle

Leading Ice Men
Mark Streit led the Isles with 22:57; Alex Pietrangelo led St. Louis with 28:13 as he recorded his second career three-point game. It’s only the 3rd time in the last 11 games that MacDonald has did not lead the Isles in ice-time. 
In the Circle
The Islanders won 24 draws; St. Louis won 30 – the Isles lost the majority of draws for the sixth straight game. Marty Reasoner won 5-of-8 for the Isles; Patrik Berglund won 9-of-15 for St. Louis.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders were outhit 21-13. NHL hit leader Matt Martin led all players with six hits, raising his total to 264.  Martin, who had a club record 299 hits last season (hits have only been recorded since 2005-06) leads the NHL in hits by a wide margin.  He is on a pace to have 387 hits, which would be the highest total of any NHL player since the lockout. 

Lots of Blocks

The Isles were credited with nine blocks.  They lead the NHL with 980.  St. Louis had 20 blocks.

Third Periods

Neither team scored in the third period. The Isles have been outscored 58-42 overall in the third period (47-34 excluding empty nets). In the first two periods, the Isles have been outscored 99-86. 

All-time Winners
The Islanders are now four games over all-time NHL .500 (1337-1333-429 in 3,099 games).  The Isles have twice this season been one game below .500. Prior to this season, they had not been below NHL .500 since they were 177-178-83 prior to their victory on January 16, 1978.

The Isles have scored 78 goals in their 24 wins (3.25 per game) and 53 goals in their other 33 games (0-25-8; 1.59 per game).  In their 25 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 31 goals (1.24 per game).

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 176 career points; he is 29 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks.  No other player in that draft is anywhere close. (Duchene suffered a knee injury in late December and has not yet returned to action.)
Longest Point Streaks in NHL, Last 2 Seasons
•    Sidney Crosby, 25 games (11/5/10-12/28/10)
•    John Tavares, 12 games (12/29/11-1/21/12)
•    Ilya Kovalchuk 12 games (2/1/11-2/25/11)

Friends, Friends, Friends
Moulson has 25 goals this season; John Tavares has earned assists on 17 of them.  He has now been on-ice for 49 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 33 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa. 

MOT-ley Crew?
Since being put together 23 games ago, Matt Moulson is 9-12-21, Kyle Okposo is 6-10-16, and John Tavares is 10-18-28.  The Isles are 13-8-2 in those games.

25-25-25, 30-30-30?
Matt Moulson is the first Islander since Ziggy Palffy to have at least three consecutive 20-goal seasons. He is five goals away from a third consecutive 30-goal season; Palffy was the last Islander to accomplish that feat. Moulson has 86 goals as an Islander – the most by any Islander since the lockout.

20-20-20 x 2
Moulson and Tavares are the first Islander teammates to record at least twenty goals in three straight seasons since Mark Parrish and Jason Blake did so in 2002-03, 2003-04, and 2005-06.  Tavares, by the way, is the fifth player to score at least 20 goals for the Islanders in each of his first three NHL seasons, joining:
•    Billy Harris (first six seasons: 1972-73 through 1977-78),
•    Clark Gillies (five: 1974-75 through 1978-79),
•    Bryan Trottier (13: 1975-76 through 1987-88) and
•    Mike Bossy (all 10 seasons: 1977-78 through 1986-87).

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 221 games since joining the team. Moulson’s streak is the longest for an Islander since Richard Park also played in 221 games from October 2006- February 2009.  Moulson is one of only five Islanders in the last thirty years to appear in 200 consecutive games:
•    Matt Moulson 10/3/2009-CURRENT  221
•    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
Billy Harris played in the first 576 games in Islander history; that figure still stands as the club record.
Mark Streit is the only Islander defender to appear in every game this season.

Missing Men
Travis Hamonic (broken nose), Tim Wallace and Steve Staios (flu) were scratched.  Dylan Reese, Mike Mottau, Rick DiPietro, and Mark Katic are on injured reserve.  The Isles have lost 276 man-games to injury so far this season.  Evgeni Nabokov was a late scratch as the starter and served as the back-up.

List Time
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 644
2. Roberto Luongo 332
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 328
4. Evgeni Nabokov  307
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 302

Career Wins
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov 307
23. Billy Smith 305

Most First Goals of Game (NHL This Season)
1    Matt Moulson     9
2    Ilya Kovalchuk     8
2    Six Players with     7

Career Goals as an Islander
32    Butch Goring     87
33    Matt Moulson     86
34    Tomas Jonsson     84
35    Wayne Merrick     81
35    Dave Scatchard     81
37       Marty McInnis    79
38    Miroslav Satan    78
39    Claude Lapointe    76
40    John Tavares     75
41    Lorne Henning    73
41    JP Parise     73
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
58    Arron Asham     300
58    Roman Hamrlik     300
60    Frans Nielsen     294
61    Gord Dineen     287
62    Jeff Norton     282
63    Steve Thomas    275
64    Josh Bailey     268
65    Blake Comeau     261
65    Andre St. Laurent     261
71    Brad Isbister    247
71    Brendan Witt    247
73    Kyle Okposo     246
73    Sean Bergenheim     246
75    Miro Satan    243
85    Michael Peca    222
86    Matt Moulson     221
87    Bob Lorimer    220
87    Bryan McCabe    220
89    John Tavares     218
89    Andy Hilbert    218
91    Mark Streit     214
92    Paul Boutilier     211

Career Points as an Islander
39    Lorne Henning     184
40    John Tavares     176
41    Randy Wood     172
50    Roman Hamrlik    153
51    Matt Moulson     150
52    Frans Nielsen     147
53    Kyle Okposo     146
54    Michael Peca     142
Season Series Stats
This was the only meeting of the teams this season. It was only their second visit to St. Louis since 2005.  The Isles are 3-2-3 in their last eight against the Blues.  St. Louis’ 5 goals were their most against the Isles since they had six on November 2, 2002.

Happy Anniversary

24 years ago today (2-16-88):  Bryan Trottier scored his 500th goal as the pounded the Flames 9-3 at the Coliseum.
All-time, the Isles are 9-4-2 on this date.  Tonight’s loss was their first on this date since 1980, ending an 8-0-2 streak.

On The Farm

The Sound Tigers got an overtime goal from David Ullstrom to defeat Connecticut 2-1 on Sunday after blasting Springfield 8-1 on Saturday. Bridgeport is 13-1-0-1 in their last 15 games and trail the Whale by three points. Bridgeport is off until Saturday, when they host Adirondack.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 6:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]

The Islanders will look to complete a sweep of the season series when they entertain Carolina on Saturday.  The Isles defeated Carolina three straight times in January; they have never swept a season series from Hartford/Carolina, although they did go unbeaten three times back when the NHL awarded ties after either 60 or 65 minutes.
The arrival of Kirk Muller’s team cannot come at a better time for John Tavares, who has nine points (4-5-9) against Carolina this season.

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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