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The Skinny - Devils 2, Islanders 1

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 68

New Jersey 2, Isles 1

David Clarkson and Marek Zidlicky scored 14 seconds apart, late in the third period, as the New Jersey Devils spoiled a 33-save effort from Anders Nilsson and defeated the Islanders 2-1 before a sellout crowd of 16,250 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. It’s the fourth one-goal game in five meetings between the teams this season.

The Scoring:

First Period - None

Second Period - None

Third Period

6:46 EV NYI 91 J.TAVARES (27) 15 P.PARENTEAU (45) 26 M.MOULSON (29)
18:21 EV N.J 23 D.CLARKSON (28) 16 J.JOSEFSON (6) 12 A.PONIKAROVSKY (15)
18:35 PP N.J 2 M.ZIDLICKY (1) 17 I.KOVALCHUK (39) 9 Z.PARISE (33)

The Skinny: Clarkson’s goal was the first allowed by Nilsson in 118:21 against New Jersey this season. Tavares’ goal was his first point in five games against New Jersey this season. It was the sixth home sellout of the season (and third straight, matching the longest consecutive streak since the Isles sold out the final five games of the 2002-03 season (March 8 - April 5, 2003)). Matt Martin missed the game with the flu; he had played in 90 consecutive games. The Isles surpassed last season’s attendance with six home games to play.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 28-31-9 overall and are 15-15-5 at home.
The Devils are 39-24-5 overall and 21-12-2 on the road. The Devils now have 93 points, two more than they had all last season. They are 4-1-1 in their last six games and have allowed one goal or fewer in five straight games.

In the Nets
Anders Nilsson stopped the first 33 Devils shots before allowing the two goals and fall to 1-2-0 on the season. He had gone 136:15 without allowing an NHL goal since early in the third period in Pittsburgh back on November 21, 2011.
Johan Hedberg made 23 saves for New Jersey to improve to 15-7-2 on the campaign. He has won both of his March starts, allowing onlythe goal to Tavares (after blanking Washington).

Leaning on #91
John Tavares has 64 points (27-37-64) on 152 Islanders goals this season (42.1%). No Islander since Zigmund Palffy has recorded points on over 40% of the team’s goals in a complete season.

Don’t Forget PA
With 60 points, Parenteau has points on 39.5% of the Islanders’ goals this season. He has 45 assists – most by any Islander since Travis Green had 45 in 1995-96.

As Seen on MSG+
Only two  NHL goaltenders since expansion have won their first two games by shutout: Roman Cechmanek and Mathieu Garon.

Power Plays
The Islanders went 0-3 on the power play while New Jersey was 1-4. The Isles are 2-29 in their last 10 games with the extra man and have killed only 22 of 32 in the same span.

They Said It
Hedberg on Nilsson: “He’s not only big, but he’s agile too. He’s playing with poise… I’m very impressed with him.”

They Tweeted It
@Ledger_NJDevils: Zach Parise on Anders Nilsson: "It took us 118 minutes to solve him but we finally did. You have to win games like that sometimes."

The Coach
“We had scoring chances after scoring chances… we had a physical edge to our game. Unfortunately we didn’t even get a point out of this one.”

Leading Ice Men
Mark Streit led the Isles with 25:40; Ilya Kovalchuk led New Jersey with 24:54.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 31 draws; New Jersey won 16. Marty Reasoner and Frans Nielsen won 6 of 8, while John Tavares won 14 of 20 for the Isles; Jacob Josefson won 6 of 10 for New Jersey.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders were out-hit 23-22. With NHL hits leader Matt Martin sidelined, three Islanders, including Micheal Haley, each had a team-leading four hits. Martin has a club record 314 hits (hits have only been recorded since 2005-06) and leads the NHL in hits by a wide margin. The NHL record is 356, set by Cal Clutterbuck of Minnesota in 2008-09.

Lots of Blocks

The Isles were credited with 20 blocks. They lead the NHL with 1,164. Travis Hamonic had a game-high four blocks.

Goals by Period (Season)
Isles:     53-47-49-3 = 152
Opponents: 60-60-73-6 = 199
Third period goals include eight empty-net goals for the Islanders and an NHL-leading 13 empty-net goals against the Isles.

All-time Winners
The Islanders fall to two games over all-time NHL .500 (1341-1339-430 in 3,110 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 89 goals in their 28 wins (3.18 per game) and 64 goals in their other 40 games (0-31-9; 1.60 per game). In their 31 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 39 goals (1.26 per game).

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 185 career points; he is 37 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks. No other player in that draft is anywhere close.

Longest Point Streaks in NHL, last two seasons

•    Sidney Crosby, 25 games (11/5/10-12/28/10)
•    Eric Staal, 12 games (2/8/12-3/6/12)
•    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 28 goals this season; John Tavares has earned assists on 19 of them. He has now been on-ice for 52 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 35 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa Bay.

Three Different Leaders
Matt Moulson continues to lead the Isles in goals (28); PA Parenteau leads the Isles in assists (45); John Tavares leads the Isles in points (64).

25-25-25, 30-30-30?
Matt Moulson is the first Islander since Ziggy Palffy to have at least three consecutive 25-goal seasons. He is two goals away from a third consecutive 30-goal season; Palffy was also the last Islander to accomplish that feat. Moulson has 89 goals as an Islander – the most by any Islander since the work stoppage. Moulson has opened the scoring 10 times this season and the Isles are 9-1-0 when he does so. He is the first Islander with at least 10 opening goals since Alexei Yashin had 12 in 2001-02.

20-20-20 x 2
Moulson and Tavares are the first Islanders teammates to record at least 20 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)
•    Mike Bossy (all 10 seasons: 1977-78 through 1986-87)

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 232 games since joining the team. Moulson’s streak is the longest for an Islander in the Post-Cup era. Billy Harris played in the first 576 games in Islanders history; that figure still stands as the club record.
Three other forwards: PA Parenteau, Frans Nielsen and John Tavares have also played in every game this season while Mark Streit is the only Islanders defender to do so. The Isles have not had as many as four players play in every game since 1986-87.

Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islanders History
1.    Billy Harris  576
2.    Bob Nystrom   301
3.    Denis Potvin  262
4.    J.P. Parise   240
5.    Matt Moulson  232

Missing Men
Milan Jurcina, Matt Martin (ill) and Casey Cizikas (ill) were scratched as was Al Montoya (upper body injury). Rick DiPietro is on injured reserve. The Isles have lost 318 man-games to injury so far this season. Evgeni Nabokov served as the back-up goaltender.

Career Years
•    Matt Moulson: 28 assists and 56 points are new career highs. He has 28 goals, three shy of his career best.
•    PA Parenteau: 45 assists and 60 points are new career highs. He has 15 goals, five shy of his career best.
•    John Tavares is 27-37-64; he is two goals, one assist and three points shy of career highs, all set last season.
•    Frans Nielsen has 13 goals, matching a career-high set last year.
•    Kyle Okposo has 15 goals, four shy of his career-high set in 2009-10.

List Time

Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 649
2. Roberto Luongo 335
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 328
4. Evgeni Nabokov 309
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 306

Career Wins
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov 309
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 306

Most First Goals of Game (NHL This Season)
1    Matt Moulson     10
1    Ilya Kovalchuk     10

Career Goals as an Islander
31    Travis Green     92
32    Matt Moulson     89
33    Butch Goring     87
34    Tomas Jonsson     84
35    Wayne Merrick     81
35    Dave Scatchard     81
37    John Tavares     80
38    Marty McInnis    79
Career Assists as an Islander – active players
1    Mark Streit    108
2    John Tavares    106
3    Frans Nielsen    103
4    Kyle Okposo      90
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
56    Mikko Makela     307
57    Frans Nielsen     305
58    Gord Lane     304
59    Arron Asham     300
59    Roman Hamrlik     300
61    Gord Dineen     287
62    Jeff Norton     282
63    Josh Bailey     277
64    Steve Thomas    275
65    Blake Comeau     261
65    Andre St. Laurent 261
69    Kyle Okposo     257
70    Pierre Turgeon    255
71    Jude Drouin     250
81    Matt Moulson     232
82    Zdeno Chara     231
82    Billy MacMillian 231
84    John Tavares     229
85    Chris Campoli    228
86    Bryan Smolinski    227
87    Mark Streit     224
88    Michael Peca    222

Career Points as an Islander
38    Jeff Norton    188
39    John Tavares     185
40    Lorne Henning     184
47    Miroslav Satan    166
48    Matt Moulson     158
48    Oleg Kvasha    158
50    Alan Kerr    154
51    Roman Hamrlik    153
51    Frans Nielsen     153
53    Kyle Okposo     149
54    Michael Peca     142
Season Series Stats
The Devils lead the season series three games to two (and six points to four). The teams will finish the season series April 3 at The Rock. Four of the five games in the season series have been decided by one goal.

Happy Anniversary
Five years ago tonight (3/10/07): Rick DiPietro played in his 200th NHL game and defeated the Washington Capitals 5-2.
All-time, the Isles are 8-8-4 on this date, with their loss Saturday stopping a 4-0-2 streak in March 10th contests.

On The Farm
The first place Sound Tigers played twice this weekend, losing both games in shootouts. Bridgeport is 32-19-3-5 overall, having earned points in 24 of their last 26 games. Bridgeport now has 72 points, two points ahead of Connecticut for the division lead. The Sound Tigers also hold a game in hand. The Sound Tigers host Norfolk at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Up Next
[MSG+2 (Islanders Game Night at 6:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]

The Islanders and Rangers meet for the final time this season when they play Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Eastern Conference–leading Rangers have lost three straight regulation games for the first time this season. The Isles took two of three from the Rangers on Long Island, but the Rangers have won six straight games between the two teams in Manhattan.

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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