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The Skinny: Devils 2, Islanders 1

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 1

Devils 2, Isles 1

David Clarkson scored the winning goal midway through the third period as the Devils spoiled the Islanders’ season opener, 2-1, before a sellout crowd of 16,170 at the Nassau Coliseum. It’s the 10th time in the last twelve seasons that the Isles have sold out the home opener.

The Scoring:

1st Period


2nd Period

14:01 EV N.J 19 T.ZAJAC(1) 17 I.KOVALCHUK(1) 7 H.TALLINDER(1)

3rd Period


8:17 EV N.J23 D.CLARKSON(1)26 P.ELIAS(1)21 M.TEDENBY(1)

The Skinny Marty Brodeur extended his own NHL record by starting the season opener for the 18th straight season. The Isles have used five starting goaltenders (Rick DiPietro-Joey MacDonald-Dwayne Roloson-Al Montoya-Evgeni Nabokov) in the last five openers. Travis Hamonic matches his career high in power play goals in a season; he now has three career PP goals (one in each season). It was his 50th career point.

The Shots:

Isles 3-7-9=19

Devils 9-12-7=28

The 19 shots are the fewest for the Islanders in a season opener since they had 18 in Washington on October 9, 2003.

Home and Road

The Islanders are 0-1-0 overall, 0-1-0 at home and 0-0-0 on the road. All-time, the Isles are 24-12-4 in home openers and 9-21-10 in their first game of the regular season. The Isles are 2-5-2 when they play the season opener at home.

New Jersey is 1-0-0 overall, and 1-0-0 on the road.

In the Nets

Evgeni Nabokov stopped 26 shots but loses his first season opener as an Islander.

Martin Brodeur made 18 saves as he defeated the Islanders for the 50th time in his career (50-27-6) He has now won 657 NHL games.

Power Plays

The Isles went 1-4 on the power play while New Jersey was 0-2. Six of the eight goals that the Isles have scored in their last four openers have come on the power play. Ilya Kovalchuk played all four minutes of the two New Jersey power plays.

They Tweeted It

@StapeNewsday: “Just got a text from Jack Capuano: "Out of surgery, feeling much better."

The Coach

With Jack Capuano out ill, Doug Weight handled the post-game press conference: “Nabby looked in control tonight. I’ve played a lot of hockey against Evgeni. He’s a confident individual. He brings it every night and I knew he’d have a good game tonight. He looked quick and agile. I think he was a little screened on that second one. That was a tough break.” (Video showed it was even a tougher break; the puck deflected off the skate of Islander defenseman Brian Strait.)

Leading Ice Men

Andrew MacDonald led the Isles with 27:13; Ilya Kovalchuk led New Jersey with 24:37.

Lots of Ice for Okposo

Kyle Okposo played 23:43; among Islander forwards only John Tavares (25:31) played more. It’s the most ice time for Okposo in a game since he played 28:20 in the 2009-10 season finale.

In the Circle

The Islanders won 30 draws; the Devils won 21. Newcomer Keith Aucoin won 8 of 10 for the Isles; Travis Zajac won 8 of 15 for the Devils.

Heavy Hitters

The Islanders were out-hit 23-19. Newcomer Joe Finley led the Isles with three. There were no fights in the game

Lots of Blocks

The Isles, who led the NHL in blocked shots last year with 1,364, blocked 16 shots. Andrew MacDonald led the way with 5.

Slow Starters

The Isles are winless since 2007 on Opening Night (0-3-2). With Anaheim and Chicago both winning today, the Isles now have the longest active Opening Night winless streak.

Who are the New Guys?

Seven players made their first appearance as Islanders: Matt Carkner, Keith Aucoin, Colin McDonald, Brad Boyes, Eric Boulton, Brian Strait and Joe Finley. One other: Thomas Hickey made the opening night roster but did not dress.

More O from D

In addition to getting a power play goal from Hamonic, eight of the Islanders’ 19 shots came from defensemen.

It’s Been a Loooong Time

This was the Islanders’ first game in exactly 41 weeks (287 days) and their first Coliseum tilt in 289 days.

All-time Winners

With the loss, the Islanders are now one game over all-time NHL .500 (1347-1346-432 in 3,125 games). The Isles twice last season fell one game below .500. Prior to that, they had not been below NHL .500 since they were 177-178-83 prior to their victory on January 16, 1978.


Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 247 games since joining the team. Moulson’s streak is the longest for an Islander in the Post-Cup era and the 4th longest in club history. Billy Harris played in the first 576 games in Islander history; that figure still stands as the club record.

Three other Islanders, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares and Mark Streit, also played in every game last season. Tavares extended his streak to 161 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 83.

Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History

1. Billy Harris 576

2. Bob Nystrom 301

3. Denis Potvin 262

4. Matt Moulson 247

Missing Men

Casey Cizikas, Radek Martinek and Thomas Hickey were scratched. Josh Bailey and Jesse Joensuu remain suspended after suffering injuries in Europe. Lubomir Visnovsky has not yet reported.

List Time

Career Wins, Active Goalies

1. Martin Brodeur 657

2. Roberto Luongo 339

3. Nikolai Khabibulin 328

4. Evgeni Nabokov 312

5. Miikka Kiprusoff 311

Career Wins

21. Sean Burke 324

22. Evgeni Nabokov 312

23. Miikka Kiprusoff 311

Career Goals as an Islander

25Trent Hunter 99

26Matt Moulson 97

27Mikko Makela 95

27David Volek 95

32Travis Green 92

33Butch Goring 87

34Tomas Jonsson 84

34John Tavares 84

36Wayne Merrick 81

36Dave Scatchard 81

Career Assists as an Islander – active players

1John Tavares118

1Mark Streit118

3Frans Nielsen113

4Kyle Okposo 94

Career Games as an Islander (skaters)

51Brad Dalgarno 321

52Frans Nielsen 320

53Steve Webb 316

53Ray Ferraro 316

53Richard Park 316

59Arron Asham 300

59Roman Hamrlik 300

61Josh Bailey 291

62Gord Dineen 287

63Jeff Norton 282

64Steve Thomas275

65Kyle Okposo 272

66Blake Comeau 261

66Andre St. Laurent 261

72Brad Isbister 247

72Brendan Witt 247

72Matt Moulson 247

75Sean Bergenheim 246

76John Tavares 244

77Miroslav Satan 243

78Bryan Berard 242

79JP Parise 240

80Mark Streit 239

81Adrian Aucoin 235

Career Points as an Islander

34Anders Kallur211

35John Tavares 202

36Marty McInnis198

44Matt Moulson 170

44Shawn Bates170

46Jude Drouin169

47Dave Scatchard168

48Frans Nielsen 167

49Miroslav Satan166

50Kyle Okposo 162

51Oleg Kvasha158

52Alan Kerr154

53Roman Hamrlik153

54Mark Streit151

Season Series Stats

The Devils lead the season series 1-0-0 and two points to zero. New Jersey is the only team that will visit the Coliseum three times this season. Since moving to New Jersey, the Devils have faced the Islanders four times on opening night, and New Jersey has won all four games. The teams will next meet on January 31st at the Prudential Center.

Happy Anniversary

35 years ago tonight (1-19-78): Billy Smith stopped 23 shots and recently-acquired Wayne Merrick had the winning goal as the Isles blanked the St. Louis Blues 3-0 in St. Louis.

Overall, the Isles are 8-9-3 on this date.

On The Farm

Kevin Poulin made 24 saves and rookie Scott Campbell had the winning goal as the Sound Tigers defeated Binghamton 4-2 Saturday night. Bridgeport has won two straight and improved to 19-16-2-2. The Sound Tigers host Springfield on Sunday afternoon.

Up Next


[MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 12:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]

The season-opening homestand concludes with an MLK Day matinee, as the Islanders host Tampa Bay. The Lightning defeated Washington 5-3 in their opener; former Islander Eric Brewer scored twice (after scoring only once all last season). Vinny Lecavalier is scheduled to play in his 1,000th NHL game. This is the first of three meetings this season between the teams; they split four games last season, with the home team winning all four. Both Islander wins last season were by a 5-1 score.

And Finally…


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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