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The Skinny: Bruins 2, Islanders 1

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 52

Boston 2, Isles 1

Loui Eriksson broke a 1-1 tie at 12:26 for the winning goal as the Boston Bruins defeated the Islanders 2-1 before the 241st consecutive sellout crowd of 17,565 at TD Garden.

The Isles have lost four out of five games for the first time this season, and have scored only eight goals (not including a shootout winner) in that span.

The Scoring:
1ST PERIOD

09:06 NYI PPG - John Tavares (24) Slapshot - ASST: Frans Nielsen (19), Travis Hamonic (12) 1 - 0 NYI    
13:12 BOS PPG - Patrice Bergeron (14) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE    1 - 1 Tie    

2ND PERIOD
NONE

3RD PERIOD
12:26 BOS Loui Eriksson (12) Backhand shot - ASST: Carl Soderberg (23), Chris Kelly (17) 2 - 1 BOS

The Skinny:     
John Tavares’ goal was his 24th, matching last season’s total (in 59 games); his 11 power play goals matches a career high, set in his rookie season and was only the 3rd PP goal allowed by Boston in their last 12 games (killed 46-49)…The Isles have allowed power play goals in eight of the last nine games, dropping their penalty-kill percentage to 72.7%... Chad Johnson falls to 9-1-0 all-time at TD Garden…In their last 14 games, the Isles are 7-0-0 vs. Met Division opponents and are 0-7-0 vs. other divisions...The Isles fall to 13-5-0 when tied after two periods… Calvin deHaan played in his 100th Isles/NHL game while Frans Nielsen played his 499th Isles/NHL game…The Bruins are 9-2-1 in their last 12 games…Loui Eriksson’s game-winner was his 6th goal in 10 career goals against the Isles.

The Injury:
Cal Clutterbuck suffered an upper body injury and did not play in the third period. Calvin deHaan left the game when he was cut by a skate with 7:45 remaining and did not return.

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4) (Penguins late game not included)
•    Pittsburgh     30-14-8=68 points (28 ROW)  Late game at Vancouver
•    ISLES           33-18-1=67 points (26 ROW)  Lost 2-1 at Boston
•    Washington  28-15-10=66 points (27 ROW)  Idle
•    NY Rangers  30-16-4=64 points (28 ROW)  Lost 3-2 at Nashville

Upcoming Schedule:
•    Pittsburgh: Saturday @Vancouver, Wednesday vs Detroit
•    ISLES:  Sunday @ Buffalo, Tuesday vs. Edmonton
•    Washington: Sunday vs Philadelphia, Wednesday @San Jose
•    NY Rangers: Sunday vs Dallas, Tuesday @Toronto

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out seven of their last eight home games, nine of the last 11 and 13 of their 23 home dates this season. The 13 sellouts are the most for the Isles since they also had 21 full houses at the Old Barn in 2001-02.  

Month for the Fans:
February is the busiest home month in Islander history, as they will play ten home games this month.  The Isles have played ten home games three previous times (January 1980, December 1999 and December 2000) but all were in 31-day months.

After this three-game road trip, the Isles will play 9 of the final 11 February games at home.  

Comparable Records
The Isles are 33-18-1 thru 52 games.  The Isles were 21-24-7 through 52 games and 21-25-7 through 53 games last season, when they did not record their 33rd win until they defeated New Jersey, 2-0 on April 11th (33-37-11).
 
Most wins in first 52 games:
•    33-18-1 in 2014-15

•    33-9-10 in 1978-79
•    33-11-8 in 1980-81
•    33-13-6 in 1981-82
•    32-12-8 in 1977-78
•    31-19-2 in 1983-84
•    31-14-7 in 1976-77
•    28-14-10 in 1975-76

Most points in first 52 games:
•    76 in 1978-79
•    74 in 1980-81
•    72 in 1977-78
•    72 in 1981-82
•    69 in 1976-77
•    67 in 2014-15
•    66 in 1975-76
•    64 in 1983-84
 
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 17-6-0 on Coliseum ice; the club record for most wins through 23 home games is 19 (19-0-4 in 1978-79).  

Streakers
The Isles have had a season of streaks, going 4-0-0 to open the season and then (in succession) 0-2-0, 2-0-0, 0-3-0, 13-2-0, 0-3-0, 7-1-1, 0-2-0, 6-1-0 and are 1-4-0 in their last 5.

Winning Streaks (Season)
2 streaks of at least 5 games -- First time since the 1987-88 season that the Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games.
5 streaks of at least 4 games -- First time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had five winning streaks of at least four games.
7 streaks of at least 3 games -- First time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had at least seven winning streaks of at least three games.

The Shots:
Isles         13-16-11=40

Boston     15-9-12=36    

On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 1,732-1,420 for a +312 shot differential. The club record for differential for a season is +307 in 1976-77. The Isles have had only two other seasons over +150: (+254 in 1986-87 and +152 in 1975-76).

Isles had 2,537 shots on goal last season, most since a franchise-record 2,616 in 1992-93. Isles are currently on pace for a record-breaking 2,731 shots this year.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 33-18-1 overall; 17-6-0 at home and 16-12-1 on the road.  

Boston is 28-17-7 overall; 17-7-4 at home and 11-10-3 on the road.  

By Division
The Isles are 17-2-0 in Division games and are 16-16-1 in games against other divisions. They are 7-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 4-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 5-3-0 vs. the Pacific Division.

The Isles finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met and 24-21-7 against other Divisions.  

Metropolitan Hockey Club, Inc.
The Isles are 17-2-0 against the Met Division, including 10 straight wins.  They are 10-0-0 at home (outscoring opponents 39-20) and 7-2-0 on the road. The Isles are 7-0 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 3-0 on the road.  

It’s the Isles’ longest home winning streak vs. Divisional opponents to start the season since they went a perfect 16-0-0 vs. the Rangers, Flyers, Penguins and Capitals in the 1981-82 season.

The Isles’ next division game will be on Valentine’s Day vs. Columbus.

In the Nets
Chad Johnson made a season-high 34 saves but falls to 6-7-0 on the season. He is 1-1-0 in his career against Boston.  

Tuukka Rask made 39 saves to improve to 23-12-7 on the season. He is 8-3-0 in his career against the Isles.  Rask has the lowest career goals against average and save percentage of any active goalie.

27-Win Club
Halak is the 6th goalie in Islander history to win at least 27 games in a season:

Player        27-win seasons
Rick DiPietro    2 (30 in 2005-06 and 32 in 2006-07)
Billy Smith     1 (32 in 1981-82)
Chris Osgood    1 (32 in 2001-02)
Chico Resch    1 (28 in 1977-78)
Jaroslav Halak    1 (27 in 2014-15)
Ron Hextall    1 (27 in 1993-94)

The club record for wins in a season is 32, shared by Billy Smith, Chris Osgood and Rick DiPietro.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 1-4 on the power play, while Boston was 1-3.  It’s the eighth time in nine games that the Isles have allowed a power play goal.

The power play is 7-27 in the last nine games (25.9%).

The penalty kill has allowed 11 goals in 23 times short over the last nine games (52.2%) after killing 27-29 (93.1%) over the prior 12 games.  

The Isles are 18-9-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 15-9-1 when they do not.  The Isles are 14-14-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 19-4-1 when they do not.  

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 27-5-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-13-0 when they do not.  

One Goal Games
The Isles are 19-4-1 in games decided by a single goal including 7-4-0 in regulation. They are 5-0 in games decided in overtime and are 7-1 in shootouts.  Five games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter.  The Isles are 3-2 in those games.

First Goal (and Second Goal)
The Isles are 18-11-1 when they score first and are 15-7-0 when they allow the opening goal.  However, the Isles are 12-0-0 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal.  The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win three times this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO), Pittsburgh on January 16th, and Philadelphia on February 5th)

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 151-138-40 behind the Islander bench. Among the 9 New York teams, only the Giants’ Tom Coughlin and the Yankees’ Joe Girardi have led their respective teams longer than Capuano.
 
Most games coached (Islanders):
1.    Al Arbour 1,500
2.    Jack Capuano 329
3.    Mike Milbury 191
4.    Terry Simpson 187
5.    Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.    Al Arbour 740
2.    Jack Capuano 151
3.    Terry Simpson 81
4.    Peter Laviolette 77
5.    Ted Nolan 74
 
They Said It
Johnny Boychuk: “They’re a good team; they’re used to playing in these kinds of battles….They’re going to just block everything.”

They Tweeted It
@aiavarone For the #isles at this point its simple.  Beat the teams you should beat. They play like they did tonight and they'll be fine.
@BSutterFan Better to lose 4 out of 5 now than in late April and May! #isles
@Ed_OM_ Rask stole that one tonight. Isles played well, and maybe Johnson can build off this game. #isles

The Coach
“I’m really proud of the effort…we played a solid game against a good hockey team.  We have to find a way to score more goals….We’ve got some injuries now and we have to evaluate our team for tomorrow night.  (It’s) disappointing to come out without a point.”

Back-to-Backs
Including tonight, the Isles are 7-2-0 in the front-end and 6-2-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  The Isles have swept 5 sets of back-to-back this season and are 1-1-0 in three sets.

This back-to-back set concludes tomorrow in Buffalo.

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 25:55 of ice-time; Zdeno Chara led Boston in ice-time with 23:28.

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (12-4-0), Travis Hamonic (12-2-1), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-5-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-3-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Kyle Okposo (0-1-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).

Josh Bailey led Isles forwards with 20:56of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (17-17-1), Kyle Okposo (12-1-0), Ryan Strome (1-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Casey Cizikas (1-0-0), and Josh Bailey (0-1-0).  

In the Circle
The Islanders won 23 of 64 draws (36%).  Frans Nielsen won 10 of 16 for the Isles but his teammates won only 13 of 48; Gregory Campbell won 8 of 9 for Boston. The Isles won only 5 of 22 draws in the final 20 minutes. The Isles lost six of seven draws on the power play and split four draws on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles were out-hit 32-31.  Cal Clutterbuck led the Islanders with 8 hits while Nikolay Kulemin added six.

Ryan Strome fought Torrey Krug in the first period. It was Strome’s first NHL fight and his second as a professional.

The Isles have been involved in 12 fights this season: Martin (8), Hamonic (2), Lee (1), Strome (1) and nine of the 12 have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 11 blocked shots; Travis Hamonic led the Isles with three.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 69-55 (including 27-13 in the 2nd period). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).

Travis Hamonic led the Isles with a +15 even-strength Corsi rating; Brock Nelson was on-ice for a team-leading 78% of Corsi For events (Cal Clutterbuck was at 80%, but only had 5 events). Carl Soderberg (+7) led Boston.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 365 career points; he is 71 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.

All-time Winners
The Islanders fall to 21 games over all-time NHL .500 (1438-1417-451 in 3,306 games).

The Isles have not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978 and have finished every season since 1977-78 over all-time NHL .500.

Ironmen
Nick Leddy and Brock Nelson are the Islanders’ reigning ironmen.  Leddy has played 304 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 105 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Kyle Okposo, Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton are on injured reserve. Lubomir Visnovsky  & Matt Donovan was scratched.

The Isles have lost 183 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
•    160 goals (tied-13th all-time with Pat Flatley and 8 behind Ziggy Palffy)
•    205 assists (15th all-time, 44 behind Tomas Jonsson and 54 behind Billy Harris)
•    365 points (14th all-time, 4 behind Stefan Persson and 78 behind Billy Harris)
•    402 games played (tied-37th among Islander skaters all-time with Jean Potvin, 9 behind Wayne Merrick and 20 behind Dave Langevin)

Kyle Okposo has:
•    113 goals (24th all-time, 3 behind Ray Ferraro and 5 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish)
•    185 assists (18th all-time, 3 behind Frans Nielsen, 8 behind Pierre Turgeon and 20 behind John Tavares)
•    298 points (18th all-time, 33 behind Ziggy Palffy and 35 behind Tomas Jonsson)
•    436 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 9 behind Josh Bailey and 14 behind Scott Lachance)

Frans Nielsen has:
•    94 goals (tied-31st all-time with Randy Wood, 1 behind Mikko Makela and David Volek and 5 behind Trent Hunter)
•    188 assists (17th all-time, 5 behind Pierre Turgeon and 17 behind John Tavares)
•    282 points (23rd all-time, 4 behind Ed Westfall, 8 behind Alexei Yashin and 10 behind Duane Sutter)
•    499 games played (24th among Islander skaters all-time, 10 behind Rich Pilon and 11 behind Mick Vukota)

Michael Grabner has:
•    87 goals (tied-36th all-time with Butch Goring and 5 behind Travis Green)

Josh Bailey has:
•    446 games played (31st among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Scott Lachance and 13 behind Trent Hunter)

Season Series Stats
The Bruins win the season series 2 games to 1 (and 4 points to 2).

The Isles had won three straight games in Boston but were denied a fourth consecutive regular season win in Beantown for the first time in their history.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 7th
31 years ago tonight (1984) – Denis Potvin scored twice and Butch Goring added a goal and an assist as the 4-time defending Stanley Cup champions defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-3.
The Isles raced to a 3-0 first period lead on goals by Potvin, Clark Gillies, and Goring.  But the young Oilers, who would dethrone the Islanders that spring, fought back on goals by Tim Hunter, Charlie Huddy and Rick Chartraw to tie the game midway through the 3rd period.

John Tonelli scored the winning goal at the 10:24 mark of the 3rd. Potvin’s second goal, shorthanded and into an empty net, cemented the win with ten seconds to play and gave the Isles a 10-game winning streak against Edmonton.

“You like to think every game is a big one,” Al Arbour told Newsday’s Pat Calabria.  “But from their point of view, you’d have to think that this was a little extra special.”

Oilers coach Glen Sather echoed what everyone was saying:  “We have to improve on defense….(The Islanders) move people out from in front of their net and they move the puck out of their end much better under pressure than we do.”

With the win, the Isles moved into sole possession of first place in the Patrick Division.

Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri were out injured for Edmonton while the Isles were without a quintet of injured players, including Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier.

Also on this date: (2007) – Rick DiPietro made 27 saves as the Isles blanked Philadelphia 2-0. Viktor Kozlov and Miro Satan scored for the Islanders.

All-time, the Isles have played eight February 7th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 5-1-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 21-20-5-1 after back-to-back overtime wins. Bridgeport defeated Syracuse 2-1 on a Kael Mouellierat overtime goal on Friday and defeated Hartford 3-2 on a Chris Langkow overtime goal on Saturday.  The Sound Tigers will host Wilkes-Barre-Scranton on Sunday to conclude the three games in three days weekend.

Up Next
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8th— ISLANDERS AT BUFFALO 5:00PM
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 LI News]


The Islanders play the final game of this three-game road trip and the final game of a back-to-back set on Sunday in Buffalo against the Sabres.

This will be the Isles’ second trip this season to Western New York; the Sabres rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Isles 4-3 in a shootout on December 27th.  Kevin Poulin was in the goal for the Isles in his only game of the season.

The Sabres will visit the Islanders on April 4th in the penultimate regular season home game.

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.  
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