Nicklas Backstrom became the first player in Capital history with three career overtime goals, as he beat Jaroslav Halak for the winner at 11:09 of overtime as the Washington Capitals defeated the Isles 2-1 in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series before a sellout crowd of 16,170 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The series is tied, 2-2, with game 4 set for 7:00pm on Thursday at Verizon Center. The Scoring: 1ST PERIOD 13:06 WSH Alex Ovechkin (2) Tip-in - ASST: John Carlson (2), Nicklas Backstrom (3) 1 - 0 WSH 19:47 NYI Casey Cizikas (1) Tip-in - ASST: Cal Clutterbuck (1), Nick Leddy (2) 1 - 1 Tie
2ND PERIOD NONE
3RD PERIOD NONE
1ST OT PERIOD 11:09 WSH Nicklas Backstrom (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Joel Ward (2), Alex Ovechkin (1) 2 - 1 WSH
The Series • WED APRIL 15, 2015 ISLANDERS 4, Washington 1 • FRI APRIL 17, 2015 Washington 4, ISLANDERS 3 • SUN APRIL 19, 2015 ISLANDERS 2, Washington 1 (OT) • TUE APRIL 21, 2015 Washington 2, ISLANDERS 1 (OT) • THU APRIL 23, 2015 ISLANDERS @ Washington 7:00 (MSG+) • SAT APRIL 25, 2015 Washington @ ISLANDERS TBA (TBD) • MON APRIL 27, 2015 ISLANDERS @ Washington IF NECESSARY (MSG+)
The Injury Washington’s Tom Wilson was assessed a charging penalty against Lubomir Visnovsky in the second period. Visnovsky was injured on the play, and did not return. Visnovsky, who is now a team-leading +5 in this series, is the oldest player to ever appear in a Stanley Cup playoff game for the Isles, breaking Ed Westfall’s club record. Visnovsky is about 1 month older than Westfall was when 18 appeared in his final game (1979) and about two months older than Cliff Ronning was when Ronning appeared for the Isles in the 2004 playoffs.
The Skinny This was the 250th playoff game in Islander history…The series is even 2 games to 2 for the second consecutive playoff series. However, the results of the games are reverse of those in 2013 vs. Pittsburgh, when the Isles lost games 1 and 3 but won games 2 and 4 …Nicklas Backstrom has goals in three straight games for Washington after going the final 7 weeks of the regular season without scoring…It’s the second time in Backstrom’s career that he has scored in overtime vs. Jaroslav Halak (4/17/10 at 0:31 of overtime – Washington 6, Montreal 5)… Casey Cizikas has 3 goals in 10 career playoff games; among homegrown Islanders, only Kyle Okposo (5) and John Tavares (4) have more…With Cizikas scoring, each of the 11 Islander forwards who have played every game in this series has at least one point…The Isles have outscored the Caps 10-8 in the series…All 4 meetings between the Isles/Caps at the Coliseum in 2014/15 (regular season and playoffs) have gone to overtime (the Isles won the first three)…Alex Ovechkin recorded his 33 goals in 62 career playoff games (33-31-64)…Three of Backstrom’s 18 playoff goals have come in overtime; among active players only Jaromir Jagr, Patrick Marleau, Patrick Kane and Martin St. Louis have scored more OT goals – each have 4…Washington had lost six straight road playoff games.
A Familiar Playoff Foe This is the 7th meeting of the Isles and Washington in the playoffs (Isles are 5-1 and have won 20 of 34 games) • 1983 Patrick Division Semi-Finals Isles won series 3-1 • 1984 Patrick Division Finals Isles won series 4-1 • 1985 Patrick Division Semi-Finals Isles won series 3-2 • 1986 Patrick Division Semi-Finals Caps won series 3-0 (Arbour retired thereafter) • 1987 Patrick Division Semi-Finals Isles won series 4-3 (LaFontaine 4 OT; only playoff series won by anyone other than Arbour) • 1993 Patrick Division Semi-Finals Isles won series 4-2 • 2015 Eastern Conference First Round Series tied 2-2
Overtime is (Usually) Our Time This was the 9th time that the Isles have gone into overtime in a playoff game with Washington; the loss ended a 5-game overtime win streak vs. the Caps: 04/13/84 Vs Anders Kallur W 07:35 04/10/85 @ Alan Haworth L 02:28 04/11/85 @ Mike Gartner L 21:23 04/18/87 @ Pat LaFontaine W 68:47 04/20/93 @ Brian Mullen W 34:50 04/22/93 Vs Ray Ferraro W 04:46 04/24/93 Vs Ray Ferraro W 25:40 04/19/15 Vs John Tavares W 00:15 04/21/15 Vs Nicklas Backstrom L 11:09
Backstrom’s goal ended an Islander overtime shutout streak vs. Washington that totaled 145:27. It was the first Caps win in 5 OT games as the Coliseum, totaling 48:25 of play.
The Isles have played more playoff OT games with Washington (9) than any other opponent; their six OT wins vs. Washington matches the six that they have against the Rangers (6-0) for the most against any opponent.
The Isles are the most successful team in Stanley Cup overtime, winning 30 and losing 14, but they have lost seven of their last eight OT games.
The Isles are 16-7 in 23 overtime games played at the Coliseum and are 14-7 on the road.
Playoffs All-time The Isles fall to 138-112 in 250 all-time playoff games. They are 79-41 at home and 59-71 on the road. The Isles were 77-32 in home playoff games from 1975 to 2002, but they have loss 9 of their last 11 home games.
Four of the last five playoff games at the Coliseum have gone to overtime.
Year of the Fan: The Isles sold-out 27 of their 41 regular season home dates this season and have also sold out their two home playoff dates. Counting regular season and playoffs together, the Isles have sold out 13 straight games and have drawn at least 15,000 fans 34 times this season (32 regular season and 2 playoff).
Home Sweet Home The Isles went 25-14-2 on Coliseum ice, equaling their most home wins since 1984-85 (they finished 25-11-4-1 in 2003-04 and went 26-11-3 in 1984-85).
The Isles went 831-610-224 in 1,665 regular season games all-time at the Coliseum.
Road Warriors The Isles finished the regular season 22-14-5 on the road, including 6-2-4 in their last 12. The Isles have won at least 20 road games in consecutive seasons for the second time in franchise history (1981-82 and 1982-83).
The Shots: Isles 13-15-6-3=37 Washington 10-6-7-7=30
The Isles have outshot the Caps 127-115 through four games of this series. The team with the most shots has won three of the four games.
The Isles outshot 61 of their 82 opponents in the regular season and have outshot the Caps twice in the three games of this series. The 61 times outshooting their opponent is the highest total in the NHL this season.
In the Nets Jaroslav Halak made 28 saves but falls to 2-2 in this series. He is 12-13 all-time in playoff games.
Braden Holtby made 36 saves to improve to 1-2 in this series and 11-13 all-time in playoff games.
Halak is 2-3 all-time in Stanley Cup overtime games, while Holtby is 5-5.
Power Plays The Islanders were 0-4 on the power play with 8 shots, while Washington was 0-1 with 3 shots.
For the series, the Isles are 0-10 (with 20 shots) while the Caps are 1-7 (with 11 shots).
The Isles are the only team in this year’s playoffs who have not scored a power play goal.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles went 40-8-4 in the regular season when they scored at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-20-3 when they did not.
In the playoffs, the Isles are 1-1 when scoring at least three goals and 1-1 when they do not.
One Goal Games The Isles are 1-2 in playoff games decided by a single goal; they are 0-1 in games decided in regulation and are 1-1 in games decided in overtime.
First Goal The Isles are 2-1 when they score first and are 0-1 when they allow the opening goal.
Coach Cappy Jack Capuano is now 4-6 in playoff games 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.
Capuano is only the 4th Isles coach to lead at least 2 Islander teams to the playoffs, joining Al Arbour, Terry Simpson, and Peter Laviolette.
Most playoff wins by Islander coaches: • Al Arbour 123 • Terry Simpson 9 • Jack Capuano 4 • Peter Laviolette 4 • Ted Nolan 1 • Steve Stirling 1
Most playoff games coached (Islanders): • Al Arbour 209 • Terry Simpson 20 • Peter Laviolette 12 • Jack Capuano 10 • Steve Stirling 5 • Ted Nolan 5
Most playoff series wins: • Al Arbour 29 • Terry Simpson 1
Most overtime wins/overtime record: • Al Arbour 26 (26-9) • Terry Simpson 3 (3-0) • Jack Capuano 1 (1-3) • Peter Laviolette 0 (0-1) • Steve Stirling 0 (0-1)
They Said It Kyle Okposo: “(Wilson) runs around. He hits recklessly. He jumps & leaves his feet. There is no place for that." Casey Cizikas: “It’s tough, we battled hard. We had our chances to score and they just threw a floater on net. I don’t know if it hit something, but those are the ones that go in, in OT.”
They Tweeted It @gniemczyk15 My heart/mind can't take any more of this this series, #Isles. @peteyb1029 Outstanding game. Amazing atmosphere. Unfortunate result. Two very evenly matched teams. Inability to cash in on PP was killer #isles @JakeAsman It's going to be a long two days... Islanders played well tonight but the Caps are a very good team. Game 5 we go. #Isles @ BigTight87 Just when you thought today was an important game, wait until Thursday. #Isles @nlnfoxco Would like to not see that floater from the point fall in. Oh well. Onto game 5. #isles
The Coach "That's the third goal now with a broken stick. We're all in good position, everybody's got good position, D-side positioning as we call it, and I don't know if he shoots the puck if Johnny's got stick on puck, but [Backstrom is] a smart player, he recognized that Johnny didn't have his stick. When he did, he got a puck to the net. It hit off a player and it goes in the back of the net. Two goals like that tonight."
Leading Ice Men Johnny Boychuk led all Isles with 30:00 of ice-time. Matt Niskanen led Washington in ice-time with 28:08. Isles playoff record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (2-2)
John Tavares led Isles forwards with 24:53 of ice-time. Isles playoff record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (2-1), Kyle Okposo (0-1).
In the Circle The Islanders won 32 of 65 draws (49%). John Tavares won 10 of 18 draws for the Isles; Jay Beagle won 13 of 20 for Washington. The Isles won 12 of 20 in the offensive zone but won only 20 of 45 in the other two zones. The Isles won 6 of 9 draws on the power play and 2 of 2 draws on the penalty kill.
Face-offs Game by Game: • Game 1: Isles 23, Caps 39 • Game 2: Isles 27, Caps 28 • Game 3: Isles 29, Caps 30 • Game 4: Isles 32, Caps 33 • Series: Isles 111, Caps 130
It was the third consecutive game that the Isles have won exactly one fewer face-off than Washington.
Heavy Hitters The Isles out-hit Washington 50-38. Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with 9 hits while Matt Martin added 7; Troy Brouwer and Tom Wilson each had 5 hits for Washington.
There were no fights in the game and there have been no fights in the series.
Hits Game by Game: • Game 1: Isles 36, Caps 46 • Game 2: Isles 38, Caps 59 • Game 3: Isles 44, Caps 43 • Game 4: Isles 50, Caps 38 • Series: Isles 168, Caps 186
Martin now has 29 hits in the series, which leads the NHL in the post-season. Martin has led the league in hits in each of the last 4 regular seasons.
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 24 blocked shots; Thomas Hickey and Frans Nielsen led the team with 5. Seven of the Isles’ blocks were on shot attempts by Alex Ovechkin.
For the Corsi Crowd The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 78-66, including 29-17 in the first period. The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Casey Cizikas led the Isles with a +14 even-strength Corsi rating; Cizikas was on-ice for a team-leading 75% of Corsi For events. Alex Ovechkin led Washington with a +13 rating.
Total Corsi Game by Game: • Game 1: Isles 65, Caps 55 • Game 2: Isles 51, Caps 82 • Game 3: Isles 76, Caps 57 • Game 4: Isles 78, Caps 66 • Series: Isles 270, Caps 260
Missing Men Injured: Mikhail Grabovski & Travis Hamonic.
Healthy extras: Colin McDonald, Eric Boulton, Griffin Reinhart, Michael Grabner and Matt Donovan. Additionally, Ryan Pulock, Matt Carkner, Kael Mouellierat, Johan Sundstrom, Scott Mayfield and Kevin Poulin were recalled from Bridgeport following the end of the Sound Tigers’ season; all were scratched.
The Isles have lost 8 games this post-season due to injury/illness.
It Happened at the Coliseum … on APRIL 19th 35 years ago tonight (1980) - The Islanders were ready to sweep the Bruins and move on to the semi-finals, but Terry O’Reilly had other ideas.
O’Reilly scored at 17:13 of overtime as the Bruins defeated the Isles 4-3 to cut the Isles lead to 3 games to 1.
Ray Bourque had given the Bruins a 1-0 lead, but Mike Bossy, returning to the lineup after an injury scored twice for the Isles to turn the advantage in the Isles’ favor thru 40 minutes.
Peter McNab, who had a big series, tied the score for the Bruins early in the third but when Clark Gillies scored with 6:20 to play it looked like the Isles were poised to advance.
With Gerry Cheevers on the bench, a former Ranger, Rick Middleton, tied the game at a familiar time to Islander fans: 19:40 of the third. The Isles were outshot 32-17 through regulation but turned the tables in overtime, outshooting the Bruins 13-7. However, O’Reilly’s goal gave the Bruins the win.
The teams would play Game 5 in Boston the following night and the Bruins would jump to a 2-0 lead. However, the Isles got a goal from Stefan Persson in the second period and three goals in the third to eliminate the B’s.
The Isles wouldn’t lose another home playoff game in overtime for 13 years.
Also on this date: (1982) – Two years later, it was the Rangers’ turn to prolong a series, defeating the Isles 4-2 to cut the Isles’ lead to 3 games to 2. Don Maloney scored twice for the Rangers. The Isles would clinch the series two nights later at The Garden.
All-time, the Isles have played no regular season and four playoff games on April 21st at the Coliseum; they have compiled an 0-4 playoff record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm The Sound Tigers finished their season with a record of 28-40-7-1. Kael Mouellierat led the Tigers in goals with 24 this season, while Alan Quine led in assists (38) and points (61). Colton Gillies led Bridgeport in +/- with a +4 rating.
Rookie defensemen Griffin Reinhart went 7-15-22 in 59 games, while fellow first round pick Ryan Pulock went 17-12-29. Pulock led the Sound Tigers, all AHL rookies and all AHL defensemen with 13 power play goals.
Kevin Poulin finished the season with a 16-21-7 record and a 2.87 GAA.
Up Next Eastern Conference First Round – Game 5 THURSDAY, APRIL 19th –WASHINGTON AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG/MSG+ (Isles Pre-Game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 LI News]
With the teams splitting the first four games, the series is reduced to a best 2-out-of 3 when it resumes on Thursday in Washington.
This is the 10th time in Isles history that a best-of-7 series is tied 2 games to 2. The Isles have won 4 out of the previous 9, including their most recent series victory (vs Pittsburgh in 1993).
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.