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The Skinny: Bruins 6, Islanders 3

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
“The Skinny”

Game 55
Boston 6, Isles 3

Brad Marchand scored a goal and added three assists as the Boston Bruins broke a 3-3 tie with three unanswered goals as they defeated the Islanders 6-3 before a crowd of 13,819 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Overall six different Bruins scored goals and twelve players recorded points. Kyle Okposo had a goal and two assists for the Isles, who fall to 0-2-1 on their three-game homestand (all against potential division champions) and to 8-11-8 at the Coliseum this season.

The Scoring:
1st Period

07:47    BOS Loui Eriksson (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Daniel Paille (5), Torey Krug (17) 1 - 0 BOS   
15:29    NYI  Frans Nielsen (18) Wrist shot - ASST: Kyle Okposo (33)     1 - 1 Tie   

2nd Period
04:50    BOS Brad Marchand (17) Snap shot - ASST: Patrice Bergeron (21), Reilly Smith (22) 2 - 1 BOS   
08:20    NYI Michael Grabner (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Kyle Okposo (34), Thomas Hickey (12) 2 - 2 Tie   
12:21    BOS Reilly Smith (17) Wrist shot - ASST: Shawn Thornton (1), Brad Marchand (14) 3 - 2 BOS   
15:08    NYI Kyle Okposo (23) Wrist shot - ASST: Michael Grabner (11)     3 - 3 Tie   
19:27    BOS Carl Soderberg (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Milan Lucic (21), Jarome Iginla (19)     4 - 3 BOS   

3rd Period
02:17    BOS Patrice Bergeron (14) Snap shot - ASST: Brad Marchand (15)     5 - 3 BOS   
08:12    BOS Zdeno Chara (12) Wrist shot - ASST: Brad Marchand (16), Dougie Hamilton (7) 6 - 3 BOS

The Skinny: 
Frans Nielsen set a career high with his 18th goal; the Islanders are the only NHL team to have four players with at least 18 goals…Kyle Okposo’s two assists give him 34, which is a new career high; his previous high of 33 was set in 2009-10; his 23rd goal ties John Tavares for the team lead….The Isles are 8-5-1 in 2014 and are 12-7-1 in their last 20… …Okposo extended his point streak six games but John Tavares’ point streak ended at 6 games…Brad Marchand recorded his third career game with at least four points (and first this season). ..Former Islander Zdeno Chara’s third period goal was his 500th NHL point…Casey Cizikas was -4 for the Isles while Colin McDonald and Matt Martin both went -3…Brad Marchand and Torey Krug each went +3 for Boston….Each team scored in a delayed penalty situation in the second period…The Isles have allowed six goals in each of their last three regulation losses; the six goals allowed matches a season high, now done five times…The Isles are 1-17-0 when they allow three goals in a period…The Isles have been outscored 76-67 in the second period; more goals have been scored in second period of Islander games than any other teams…There were 14 second period goals scored in the three Islander-Bruin games this season; only 73 goals have been scored in the second period of the Bruins’ other 48 games…Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith all extended point streaks to six straight games.

Le Magnifique
If the Bruins had gotten a vote, Kyle Okposo would have been heading to Socchi.  The Isles scored eleven goals against Boston this season, and Okposo earned points on nine of them (2-7-9).  Okposo is the first opponent to record three games with at least three points against the Bruins in the same season since Mario Lemieux did it for Pittsburgh in 1995-96.
Okposo now has four three-point games this season; he had never had had more than two in a season prior to this year.

Eight’s Not Enough!
The Isles are 8-5-1 in January, with two games to play. However, the Isles are 0-2-1 in the last three
It’s the first time since 2003 that the Isles have earned 8 wins in January and matches their most January wins since they earned 9 in January 1990.  The Isles have earned ten victories in January only once in franchise history, going 10-4-1 in 1980 (April and May were pretty good that year, too!)

The Shots:
Isles     18-9-10=37
Bruins  12-17-8=37

It’s the third time this month and the fifth time this season that the shots in an Islander game have been exactly even.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 21-26-8 overall, 8-11-8 at home and 13-15-0 on the road.   The Isles are 7-4-1 in their last 12, 12-7-1 in their last 20 and are 13-8-3 in their last 24 games overall.
The Bruins are 33-15-3 overall; they are 19-5-2 at home and 14-10-1 on the road. The Bruins have won three straight and are 4-0-1 in their last five.

By Division
The Isles are 5-12-3 in Division games and are 16-14-5 in games against other divisions. They are 7-5-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-4-1 vs. Central Division, and 3-5-1 vs. the Pacific Division.

In the Nets
Kevin Poulin made 30 saves but was pulled after the last Bruins goal as he falls to 11-16-1 on the season. 
Evgeni Nabokov returned to action for the first time in three weeks and stopped the only shot he faced.
Chad Johnson made 34 saves for the Bruins and improves to 9-3-0 on the season as he evens his career mark to 1-1 against the Isles.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-5 while the Bruins were 0-2. 
The Isles are 13-6-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-20-4 when they do not.  The Isles are 10-15-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 11-11-5 when they do not. 
The Islander power play went 0-13 in the three game homestand.  The Isles have killed 24 of 27 (88.9%) over the last ten games. 

Tale of Four Seasons
The Isles PP went 10-33 in the first 10 games, before going 7-79 in the next 24 games. They rebounded to go 10-32 in the following 11 games but are only 4-38 in their 11 games.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 19-7-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-19-5 when they do not. 

Comeback Kids
The Isles are 9-7-6 when they score first and are 12-19-2 when they allow the opening goal.  The Isles have allowed the first goal in 13 of their last 17 games. The Isles have scored first in 15 of their 27 home games but are 6-3-6 in those games.

Second to The One
Jack Capuano became the 2nd coach in Islander history to win 100 games in Toronto on January 7th and tonight became the 2nd coach in Islander history to coach 250 games. He is 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (250) and wins (105).

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.    Al Arbour 1,500
2.    Jack Capuano 250
3.    Mike Milbury 191
4.    Terry Simpson 187
5.    Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.    Al Arbour 740
2.    Jack Capuano 105
3.    Terry Simpson 81
4.    Peter Laviolette 77
5.    Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Kyle Okposo: “"We came out sluggish, but I think we had a real good second period. But at the end of the day, we have to bear down, bury our chances, and clean up a few things in the D-zone.”

They Tweeted It
@tsnscottcullen Islanders RW Kyle Okposo 11 G, 12 A in past 15 GP
@munzy24 Leaving Bobby Ryan off the U.S. roster for the Olympics was crazy, but even crazier to me is they left Okposo off. That's insane to me. #NHL

The Coach
"There's a few guys that are struggling, no question. There's a few guys trying to play through [struggles]. It's a grind.”

The Isles are 6-6-0 in the front-end and 5-5-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  The Isles have swept three back-to-backs:  November 1st/2nd vs. Ottawa and Boston; January 6th/7th vs. Dallas and Toronto and January 20th/21st vs. Philadelphia and the Rangers.
In the twelve sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points three times, 3 points once, 2 points four times, 1 point once and no points on three occasions. 
The Islanders do not play back-to-back again until they host New Jersey and Florida on March 1st and 2nd.

Leading Ice Men
John Tavares led the Isles with 23:03 of ice-time; it’s the second time in three games that a forward has led the Isles in ice-time. Zdeno Chara led the Bruins with 22:50 of ice-time.
The Isles are 14-14-6 when MacDonald leads in ice-time, are 7-10-2 when Hamonic leads, are 0-1-0 when Okposo leads and are 0-1-0 when Tavares leads.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 43 of 70 draws.  Casey Cizikas won 7 of 10 draws for the Isles; no Bruin won more draws than he lost.
It was the second-best night in the circle for Isles, who won 45 of 72 from Dallas on January 6th.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Boston 32-18. Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin led the Isles with six hits each; Martin’s 263 hits lead the NHL by a wide margin.  He had now recorded at least 200 hits in four straight seasons. 
There were no fights.  The Isles have been involved in 20 fights this season: Martin (7), Boulton (5), Carkner (5), McDonald (2), and Okposo (1).

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 19 blocked shots. Matt Carkner and Brian Strait led the way with three blocks; Andrew MacDonald added two, as he extended his NHL-leading total to 180.

Four Over All-Time .500
The Islanders fall to four games over all-time NHL .500 (1392-1388-447 in 3,227 games). The Isles have been 1-under all-time .500 after six games this season and have gone 4-0-2 in the following game. 
The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 above all-time NHL .500 and have not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978.

Frans Nielsen is the Islanders’ reigning ironman.  He has played 185 consecutive games, and is one of four Islanders to have played in every game this season.  Other ironman streaks: Andrew Mac Donald (156), Matt Martin (116), and Thomas Hickey (56). 

Century Club
Andrew MacDonald has the 4th longest consecutive game streak for a defenseman in Islander history:
1.    Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979  262
2.    Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220 (*)(**)
3.    Gerry Hart 3/1/1975-11/22/1977 198
4.    Andrew MacDonald 12/19/11- CURRENT 156
5.    Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136 (**)
6.    Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134 (*)
7.    Mark Streit  10/8/2011-4/26/2013 130
8.    Travis Hamonic 2/24/2012-1/12/2014 117
9.    Travis Hamonic 11/24/2011– 2/4/2012 113 (*)

10.    Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110
11.    Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104

(*) Start of NHL career.
(**) Entire career with Islanders

Missing Men
Lubomir Visnovsky and Evgeni Nabokov were activated from injured reserve; both players dressed as Matt Donovan and Anders Nilsson were both returned to Bridgeport. Travis Hamonic missed his eighth game with an upper body injury.  Radek Martinek was scratched for the second straight game while Eric Boulton was scratched for the fourth straight game.
The Isles have lost 145 games this season due to injury, including 46 from Visnovsky, who made his first appearance since being injured on October 19th.

Career Goals as an Islander
15    Mariusz Czerkawski    145
16    John Tavares     135
17    Jason Blake    127

28    Mikko Makela     95
28    Kyle Okposo    95
28    David Volek     95
31    Randy Wood     94
32    Greg Gilbert     93
32    Garry Howatt     93
34    Travis Green     92
35    Butch Goring    87
36    Tomas Jonsson    84
37    Wayne Merrick    81
37    Dave Scatchard    81
39    Michael Grabner 79
39    Marty McInnis    79
41    Miroslav Satan    78
41    Frans Nielsen    78
43    Claude Lapointe 76

Career Assists as an Islander
16    Ed Westfall    181
17    John Tavares    178
18    Kenny Jonsson    175
19    Alexei Yashin    171
20    Duane Sutter    171
21    Jean Potvin    167
22    Jeff Norton    166
23    Zigmund Palffy    163
24    Frans Nielsen    161
25    David Volek    154
26    Mariusz Czerkawski 150
27    Kyle Okposo    147   
28    Travis Green    145
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
24    Eddie Westfall    493
25    Radek Martinek 479
26    Gerry Hart    476
32    Dave Langevin  422
33    Frans Nielsen     422
34    Wayne Merrick  411
35    Jean Potvin    402
36    David Volek     396
37    Bert Marshall    392
38    Travis Green     388
39    Anders Kallur     383
40    Randy Wood     381
41    Josh Bailey     379
42    Kyle Okposo     373

43    Dave Scatchard    347
44     Alexei Yashin    346
45       Mark Parrish     345
45    John Tavares     345
47     Marty McInnis    337    

Career Points as an Islander
16    Ziggy Palffy    331
17    John Tavares     313
18    Mariusz Czerkawski    295
24    David Volek    249
25    Kyle Okposo     241
26    Frans Nielsen     239

27    Ray Ferraro    238

Season Series Stats
The Islanders win the season series 2 games to 1 (and 4 points to 2). The loss breaks a three game winning streak against Boston.
The Islanders fail to sweep the season series against Boston for the first time since winning all four games in 2005-2006

Happy Anniversary

24 years ago today (1-27-90):  Patrick Flatley matched a career high with five points as the Isles pounded Pittsburgh 9-3 at the Coliseum.  Pat Lafontaine had two goals for the Isles, giving him 42 goals on the season. 
All-time, the Isles are 6-10-3 on this date.

On The Farm
Bridgeport completed a great weekend with a 6-5 win over Syracuse on Sunday, giving them three wins in three days and four straight wins overall. John Persson recorded his first pro hat trick as Bridgeport improves to 18-22-1-4 on the season.
Anders Lee leads Bridgeport (and is tied for the AHL rookie lead) with 17 goals. Ryan Strome leads the team (and all AHL rookies) in assists (30); he also leads the Sound Tigers in points (40).  Strome’s 40 points place him 7th in league scoring despite playing at least eight fewer games than anyone ahead of him in AHL scoring.
Bridgeport is off until Friday when they visit Albany.

Up Next
[NBCSN (pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM, 880 WCBS-AM]

After 3,227 regular season games indoors, the Islanders head outdoors to face the Rangers at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.  The game will be nationally televised in both the United States and Canada.

This is technically an Islander home game, only the third that the Isles have ever played away from Nassau Coliseum.  Back in 1992-93 and 1993-94 each team played two neutral-site games and the Islander home games were played in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Bronx will be the 4th New York county that the Isles have played in this season, having played in Nassau County, Manhattan County and a pre-season game in Kings County (Brooklyn).  The Isles will play in a fifth New York county in April, when they visit the Sabres in Buffalo, Erie County.

This is the first of a most unusual home-and-home series between the teams, who will complete their season series on Friday at Madison Square Garden.

Note the additional radio outlet for Wednesday’s game: WCBS 880.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since January 21, 1982. Information contained in “The Skinny” has been gathered from various sources.  Follow Eric @ehornick on Twitter.

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