Washington 2, Isles 1 [Caps win series, 4 games to 3]
The Barn door has shut closed. Evgeny Kuznetsov broke a 1-1 tie with 7:18 remaining in the third period as the Washington Capitals defeated the Islanders 2-1 to win the Eastern Conference First Round series in 7 hard-fought games before a sellout crowd of 18,506 at Verizon Center.
The Capitals advance to face the Rangers in the second round of the playoffs.
The Scoring: 1st Period No scoring
2nd Period 18:35 WSH Joel Ward (1) Assists: Brooks Orpik, Alex Ovechkin
3rd Period 3:13 NYI Frans Nielsen (1) Assists: Thomas Hickey, Ryan Strome 12:42 WSH Evgeny Kuznetsov (3) Assists: Jason Chimera, John Carlson
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 Washington 5, ISLANDERS 1 • SAT APRIL 25, 2015 ISLANDERS 3, Washington 1 • MON APRIL 27, 2015 Washington 2, ISLANDERS 1
The Skinny The Isles finished with only 11 shots, their fewest ever in a playoff game; the 11 shots are the fewest in a game 7 by any team in at least 27 years…John Tavares led the Isles in scoring in the series with 6 points; Josh Bailey and Nick Leddy each had 5; Nicklas Backstrom led Washington with 6 points... The Caps outscored the Isles 16-15 in the series…The Isles are 26-19 when facing elimination…The Islander forwards had a total of three shots on goal in the game…Joel Ward’s goal was his 2nd career game 7 goal; Frans Nielsen’s tally was his first-ever playoff goal.
Game 7 history This was the 3,589th game in Isles history (regular season/playoffs) but only the 8th game 7: 26-Apr-75 @ Pittsburgh QF 1975 1 0 W 13-May-75 @ Philadelphia SF 1975 1 4 L 29-Apr-78 Vs Toronto QF 1978 1 2 L 18-Apr-87 @ Washington DSF 1987 3 2 W 02-May-87 @ Philadelphia DF 1987 1 5 L 14-May-93 @ Pittsburgh DF 1993 4 3 W 30-Apr-02 @ Toronto CQF 2002 2 4 L 27-Apr-14 @ Washington 1st 2015 1 2 L
The Isles fall to 3-5 all-time in Game 7 (0-1 at home, 3-4 on the road). The Isles have played four other winner-take-all games (1975 game 3 vs. Rangers, 1982 game 5 vs. Pittsburgh, 1984 game 5 vs. the Rangers, 1985 game 5 vs. Washington) and won them all.
Washington improves to 4-9 all-time in game 7.
This was the second time the Isles and Caps have met in a game 7, with Pat LaFontaine’s Easter Epic game being the only previous meeting.
From the Geniuses at the Elias Sports Bureau
Kuznetsov is the first Capitals rookie to score a game-winning goal in a game 7.
A Familiar Playoff Foe This was the 7th meeting of the Isles and Washington in the playoffs (Isles are 5-2 and have won 21 of 37 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 Caps won series 4-3
Playoffs All-time The Isles fall to 139-114 in 253 all-time playoff games. They are 80-41 at home and 59-73 on the road. The Isles were 77-32 in home playoff games from 1975 to 2002, but won only three of their last 12 home games in the Barn.
Year of the Fan: The Isles sold-out 27 of their 41 regular season home dates this season and also sold out their three home playoff dates. Counting regular season and playoffs together, the Isles sold out the final 14 games and drew at least 15,000 fans 35 times this season (32 regular season and 3 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 3-4-4=11 Washington 11-10-5=26
The Caps outshot the Isles 221-199. The team with more shots won five of the seven games.
The Isles outshot 61 of their 82 opponents in the regular season but outshot the Caps only three out of seven times in this series. The 61 times outshooting their opponent is the highest total in the NHL this season.
In the Nets Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves and falls to 3-4 in this series. He is 13-15 all-time in playoff games.
Braden Holtby made 10 saves to improve to 3-3 in this series and 13-14 all-time in playoff games.
Halak is now 6-2 in his career when his team is facing elimination, including 2-1 in game 7s.
Power Plays The Islanders were 0-1 on the power play with 0 shots, while Washington did not have a power play.
For the series, the Isles were 0-14 (with 22 shots) while the Caps were 2-13 (with 25 shots).
The Isles were 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 were 2-1 when scoring at least three goals and 1-3 when they did not.
One Goal Games The Isles are 1-3 in playoff games decided by a single goal; they are 0-2 in games decided in regulation and are 1-1 in games decided in overtime. They are also 1-0 in games decided by two goals, where the second goal is an empty net goal.
First Goal The Isles are 3-2 when they score first and are 0-2 when they allow the opening goal.
Coach Cappy Jack Capuano is now 5-8 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 5 • Peter Laviolette 4 • Ted Nolan 1 • Steve Stirling 1
Most playoff games coached (Islanders): • Al Arbour 209 • Terry Simpson 20 • Jack Capuano 13 • Peter Laviolette 12 • 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 John Tavares: “It’s hard to believe it really over…we believed that we would win the series.” Johnny Boychuk:“It’s a tough one to swallow…it’s a learning experience for everyone in the room.”
They Tweeted It @AaronHowie Fun Fact: Cal Clutterbuck scored the final goal at Nassau Coliseum. That should be fun to use in trivia soon. #Isles @RobPatch29 Really excited for what the future holds for the #Isles. Hopefully this is just the start of something good. @4_slythErin I couldn't have asked for a better place to grow up. I sure am going to miss this barn. #isles
The Coach “We had a little breakdown in the third period…it’s tough to swallow after the year we had.”
Leading Ice Men Nick Leddy led all Isles with 26:15 of ice-time. Matt Niskanen led Washington in ice-time with 23:05.
Isles playoff record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (2-3), Nick Leddy (1-1)
John Tavares led Isles forwards with 20:40 of ice-time. Isles playoff record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (2-2), Kyle Okposo (1-1), Nikolay Kulemin (0-1).
In the Circle The Islanders won 21 of 53 draws (40%). No Islander won more than he lost; Nicklas Backstrom won 16 of 21 for Washington. The Isles won 8 of 14 draws in their own zone, but lost 26 of 39 in the other zones. The Isles won 0 of 1 draws on the power play and 0 of 0 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 • Game 5: Isles 18, Caps 31 • Game 6: Isles 33, Caps 40 • Game 7: Isles 21, Caps 32 • Series: Isles 183, Caps 233
The Caps have won the face-off battle in all 6 games, although the difference was only one face-off in games 2, 3, and 4.
Jay Beagle won 56 of 83 draws in the series (67.5%); Overall, Washington won 56.0% of the draws.
Heavy Hitters The Isles out-hit Washington 54-46. Matt Martin, Colin McDonald and Scott Mayfield led the Isles with 7 hits; Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Orpik had 7 hits for Washington.
There were no fights in the game. The only fight of the series came in game 5 when Anders Lee fought Tom Wilson.
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 • Game 5 Isles 49, Caps 49 • Game 6 Isles 46, Caps 32 • Game 7: Isles 54, Caps 46 • Series: Isles 317, Caps 313
Martin had 52 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 20 blocked shots; Thomas Hickey led the team with 4.
For the Corsi Crowd The Caps finished with a total Corsi advantage of 60-49, including a 41-11 margin over the final 11 minutes of the first period and the entire second period. The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Nick Leddy led the Isles with a +6 even-strength Corsi rating; Matt Martin was on-ice for a team-leading 60% of Corsi For events. Mike Green led Washington with a +10 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 • Game 5: Isles 60, Caps 67 • Game 6: Isles 66, Caps 65 • Game 7: Isles 49, Caps 60 • Series: Isles 445, Caps 452
Missing Men Injured: Lubomir Visnovsky, Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan.
Healthy extras: Colin McDonald, Eric Boulton, Michael Grabner, Anders Lee, Tyler Kennedy and Griffin Reinhart. Additionally, Ryan Pulock, Matt Carkner, Kael Mouellierat, Johan Sundstrom and Kevin Poulin were recalled from Bridgeport following the end of the Sound Tigers’ season; all were scratched.
The Isles lost 16 games this post-season due to injury/illness.
It Happened at the Coliseum … on APRIL 27th 33 years ago tonight (1982) The Coliseum has hosted only one game on this date, a 4-1 Islander win over Quebec in the Wales Conference Finals.
The Isles grabbed the lead in the first period on a Bryan Trottier power play goal that was scored with Dale Hunter (yes, that Dale Hunter) in the penalty box.
Butch Goring doubled the advantage with a power play goal of his own in the second period; Isles held a 24-14 shot advantage through 40 minutes as well as a 2-0 lead.
Peter Stastny got the Nords on the scoreboard with a power play tally of his own at 7:02 of the third period, and the game stayed tight until Denis Potvin and Wayne Merrick scored at 13:46 and 15:40 to put the game away.
All-time, the Isles have played just one playoff game on April 27th at the Coliseum; they have compiled a 1-0 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 Summer Time … and the Move to Brooklyn.
And Finally… 89 games, 89 editions of The Skinny. It’s a perfect season, at least in attendance. Thanks to all who have contributed to The Skinny this season and special thanks to you, for reading.
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.