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The Skinny - Devils 3, Islanders 1

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 80

Devils 3, Isles 1

Travis Zajac scored a power-play goal early in the second period to break a 1-1 tie and the New Jersey Devils made it stand up as they defeated the Islanders 3-1 before 15,482 at Prudential Center. Since winning 5 out of 7 to get to NHL-.500, the Isles have dropped three straight.

The Scoring:
1st Period

1:18 EV N.J 26 P.ELIAS (26) 15 P.SYKORA (23) 29 M.FAYNE (13)
3:57 EV NYI 26 M.MOULSON (35) 2 M.STREIT (39) 91 J.TAVARES (48)

2nd Period
0:22 PP N.J 19 T.ZAJAC (2) 9 Z.PARISE (36) 26 P.ELIAS (50)

3rd Period
19:05 EV-EN N.J 17 I.KOVALCHUK (35) 9 Z.PARISE (37)

The Skinny
Zajac’s goal was his first since returning from injury. The Devils lost Jacob Josefson to injury; he is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Kovalchuk’s empty-netter was his 337th career goal, tying Alex Ovechkin for the most since the start of the 2003-04 season; he has 51 points in 2012 – only Malkin (62) and Stamkos (52) have more. Moulson is the first Islander since Jason Blake to score 35 goals in a season; Tavares’ assist was his 200th NHL point – he is only one assist behind Parenteau for the club lead. Mark Streit’s assist was his 150th point as an Islander. The Isles finish the season 8-13-3 in Atlantic Division games.

The Shots:
Isles             8-8-4=20
Devils            6-8-6=20

The Isles did not have a shot in the first 16 minutes of the third period. It’s the first time since March 25, 2004 that both the Isles and the opposition were held to 20 shots on goal or fewer.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 33-36-11 overall and are 17-18-5 on the road. The Isles will finish below NHL-.500 for the fifth consecutive season.
New Jersey is 46-28-6 overall and 23-13-4 at home. New Jersey is 20-10-2 since the All-Star break.

In the Nets
Al Montoya stopped 17 shots but falls to 8-10-5 on the season.
Johan Hedberg made 19 saves for New Jersey as he improves to 17-7-2.

Power Plays
The Islanders did not have a power play (for the fourth time this season) while New Jersey was 1-4. The Isles are 6-25 in the last nine games and 9-36 in the last 12 games with the extra man. The Isles have killed 21 of their last 25. The Isles did not score on the power play vs. New Jersey this season (0-17) and are 0-20 in the last eight games vs. the Devils.

They Said It
Matt Donovan: “Overall it was a pretty good game for me. I was just trying to get the jitters out. I want to improve every game. It’s a dream come true being here.”

They Tweeted It
@StapeNewsday “Also, Matt Donovan not exactly easing in here -- out against Kovalchuk every time. Good stick breaking up 2-on-1 against just now. #Isles”

The Coach
“I thought we played well defensively, so did they. ... Neither team generated a whole lot. They had some power plays and we didn’t.”

Leading Ice Men
Mark Streit led the Isles with 23:05; Marek Zidlicky led New Jersey with 26:08.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 26 draws; the Devils won 18. Kyle Okposo won 4 of 5 for the Isles; Travis Zajac won 9 of 18 for the Devils.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders were out-hit 22-21. Nino Niederreiter led the Isles with five hits. Matt Martin had four hits, extending his NHL-record total to 365 hits (hits have only been recorded since 2005-06). Martin has also recorded 13 of the team’s 24 fighting majors this season; Haley, playing in only his 12th game of the season, has six of the other 11.

Lots of Blocks
The Isles were credited with 12 blocks, led by Matt Donovan, who had three. They lead the NHL with 1,338. Donovan was playing in his first NHL game.

Matt Donovan is the fourth Oklahoma native to play in the NHL, joining:

Tyler Arnason (88-157-245 in 487 NHL games in 2000's)
Burr Williams (0-1-1 in 19 NHL games in 1930's)
Dan Woodley (2-0-2 in five NHL games in 1988)

Williams is the only defender in the group, so Donovan is the first Oklahoman defenseman to play in the NHL in 75 years. Williams last appeared in an NHL game in the 1936-37 season. He didn't score a goal, so Donovan could be the first Oklahoman defenseman to ever do so. He has 10 goals and 32 assists for Bridgeport, leading all Sound Tigers defensemen in points.

Lucky 13
The Isles had 13 draft picks in the 2008 draft. Donovan (96th overall) is the ninth of the 13 to play in the NHL. All but Jared Spurgeon has done so for the Islanders.

Pick                                    NHL games
9        Josh Bailey           289
148    Matt Martin                151
53      Travis Hamonic       133
156    Jared Spurgeon      123
102    David Ullstrom        29
126    Kevin Poulin             16
40      Aaron Ness               9
175    Justin DiBenedetto  8
96      Matt Donovan             1

Goals by Period (Season)
Isles:     63-63-59-3 = 188
Opponents: 71-73-89-7 = 242

Third period goals include 10 empty-net goals for the Islanders and an NHL-leading 14 empty-net goals against the Isles.

All-time Winners
The Islanders drop to two games over all-time NHL .500 (1346-1344-432 in 3,121 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 108 goals in their 33 wins (3.27 per game) and 81 goals in their other 47 games (0-36-11; 1.72 per game). In their 36 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 49 goals (1.36 per game).

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 200 career points; he is 51 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks. No other player in that draft is anywhere close. Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player in that draft.

Youngest Islanders to Record 200 Points (as seen on MSG+)
21 125 Bryan Trottier
21 260 John Tavares
22  55 Mike Bossy
22 112 Denis Potvin
22 217 Brent Sutter
22 235 Pat LaFontaine

Longest Point Streaks in NHL, last two seasons
•    Sidney Crosby, 25 games (11/5/10-12/28/10)
•    Pascal Dupuis, 15 games (CURRENT)
•    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 35 goals this season; John Tavares has earned assists on 23 of them. He has now been on ice for 59 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 39 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa Bay.

102 NHL Goals
Moulson has 102 career goals (96 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected ahead of Moulson in the 2003 entry draft, only 18 have more goals.

Road Warrior
23 of Moulson’s 35 goals have come on the road. Moulson is tied with Marian Gaborik for the NHL lead in this department.

14 of Moulson’s goals have come on the power play. Only James Neal (18) and Scott Hartnell (16) have more. Moulson is the first Islander since Jason Blake (14 in 2006-07) to have 14 power-play goals in a season.

Matt Moulson is the first Islander since Ziggy Palffy (1995-96 to 1997-98) to have at least three consecutive 30-goal seasons. Only four players in Islanders history have had more 30-goal seasons: Trottier (11), Bossy (10), Gillies (6), LaFontaine (6). Moulson has 95 goals as an Islander – the most by any Islander since the work stoppage. Moulson has opened the scoring an NHL-leading 11 times this season and the Isles are 9-1-1 when he does so. He is the first Islander with at least 11 opening goals since Alexei Yashin had 12 in 2001-02.

35-Goal Club
Moulson is the first Islander to score at least 35 goals since Jason Blake, who tallied 40 goals in 2006-07. With one more goal, Moulson will become only the second Islander since Ziggy Palffy (1997-98) to record at least 36 goals.

Tavares and Moulson give the Isles two 30-goal scorers for the second straight season (Grabner 34, Moulson 31 last year). Prior to last year, the Isles had not had two 30-goal scorers since 2001-02 (Alexei Yashin & Mark Parrish). It’s the first time since 1992-93 and 1993-94 that the Isles have had multiple 30-goal scorers in consecutive seasons (four in both 92-93 and 93-94).

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 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)

Leaning on #91
John Tavares has 79 points (32-47-79) on 188 Islanders goals this season (42.0%). Zigmund Palffy (41.0% in 1997-98) is the only Islander to record points on over 40% of the team’s goals in a complete season. Tavares is the first Islander since Palffy (87 in 1997-98) to record 79 points in a season.

Highest Percentage of Team’s Points by Club Scoring Leader (Isles history)
•    John Tavares     2011-12    42.0%
•    Ziggy Palffy    1997-98    41.0%
•    Pierre Turgeon    1992-93    39.4%
•    Mike Bossy    1982-83    39.1%
•    Mike Bossy    1981-82    38.2%
Most Points, Islanders, Since 1993-94
•    Pierre Turgeon     1993-94     94
•    Ziggy Palffy     1996-97     90
•    Ziggy Palffy     1997-98     87
•    Ziggy Palffy     1995-96     87
•    John Tavares     2011-12        79
•    Alexei Yashin     2001-02     75
•    Steve Thomas     1993-94     75

Tavares is the third player in Islanders history to record at least 79 points at age 21 or younger. The others have banners hanging at the Coliseum: Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier. (Denis Potvin had 76 points as a 21-year old).

Parenteau’s Helping Hands
PA Parenteau has 49 assists – most by any Islander since Pierre Turgeon had in 1993-94. He now has 67 points on the season. His next assist will make him the first Islander to reach 50 in the last 18 seasons.

Most Assists, Islanders, Since 1989-90
•    Pierre Turgeon 1992-93 74
•    Pierre Turgeon 1993-94 56
•    Pat Lafontaine 1989-90 51
•    Steve Thomas 1992-93  50
•    PA Parenteau 2011-12 49
•    Pierre Turgeon 1991-92 49
•    Jeff Norton 1989-90 49
•    John Tavares 2011-12 48

New York 67’s
The Isles now have three players with at least 67 points (Tavares, Moulson, Parenteau). It’s the first time since 1993-94 that the Isles have at least three players with 67 points.

Captain, My Captain
Mark Streit has 46 points. He joins a select group of Islanders defensemen to record 46 points at least three times in his career and the first to do so that frequently in nearly a quarter-century:
•    Denis Potvin - 13 times (1973-74 to 1987-88, except 1979-80 and 1986-87)
•    Tomas Jonsson - four times (1982-83 to 1984-85, and 1987-88)
•    Stefan Persson - three times (1977-78 to 1980-81, except 1979-80)

Only three other Islanders defenders have recorded 40 points in the 2000s: Tom Poti (2006-07), Adrian Aucoin (2003-04) and Roman Hamrlik (2000-01 and 2002-03).
Streit has 39 assists this season, which is one more than he recorded in 2009-10. Streit also joins D. Potvin and Persson as the only Isles defenders to have at least three seasons with at least 38 assists (Potvin - 10 times, Persson - three times). He is two assists shy of becoming the first Islanders defenseman since Vladimir Malakhov (47 in 1993-94) to record 41 assists in his season. Both Streit and Bryan Berard have had a 40-assist season for the Isles.

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 244 games since joining the team. He has now passed JP Parise for the fourth-longest streak in club history. 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.
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. Matt Moulson 244
5. JP Parise 240

Okposo in the Groove
Kyle Okposo has scored 19 of his 21 goals since the start of December. Okposo has scored 56 of his 65 career goals from December-April. It’s the first time in his career that Okposo has recorded 20 goals in a season.

Missing Men
Casey Cizikas (upper body), Milan Jurcina (healthy), Steve Staios (healthy) and Evgeni Nabokov (injured) were scratched. Rick DiPietro is on injured reserve. The Isles have lost 345 man-games to injury so far this season. Newly-signed John Grahame served as the back-up.

Career Years
•    Matt Moulson: 35 goals, 33 assists and 68 points are new career highs.
•    PA Parenteau: 49 assists and 67 points are new career highs. He has 18 goals, two shy of his career best.
•    John Tavares: 32 goals, 47 assists and 79 points are new career highs.
•    Frans Nielsen: 17 goals are a new career high. He has 44 points, matching his career best.
•    Travis Hamonic: He has 21 assists, matching a career high.
•    Andrew MacDonald: Five goals are a new career high.
•    Matt Martin: Seven goals are a new career high. He has 14 points, two shy of his career best.
•    Kyle Okposo: 21 goals is a new career high.
•    Josh Bailey has 13 goals, 18 assists and 31 points. His career highs are 16-19-35.

List Time

Career Wins, Active Goalies

1. Martin Brodeur 654
2. Roberto Luongo 338
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 328
4. Evgeni Nabokov 312
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 310

Career Wins
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov 312
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 310

Most First Goals of Game (NHL This Season)
1    Matt Moulson     11
1    Ilya Kovalchuk     11
3    Steven Stamkos    10

Career Goals as an Islander
25    Trent Hunter     99
26    Matt Moulson     96
27    Mikko Makela     95
27    David Volek     95
32    Travis Green     92
33    Butch Goring     87
34    Tomas Jonsson     84
34    John Tavares     84
36    Wayne Merrick     81
36    Dave Scatchard     81
Career Assists as an Islander – active players
1    Mark Streit    117
2    John Tavares    116
3    Frans Nielsen    110
4    Kyle Okposo      93
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
51    Brad Dalgarno     321
52    Frans Nielsen     317
53    Steve Webb     316
53    Ray Ferraro     316
53    Richard Park     316

59    Arron Asham     300
59    Roman Hamrlik     300
61    Josh Bailey     289
62    Gord Dineen     287
63    Jeff Norton     282
64    Steve Thomas    275
65    Kyle Okposo     269
66    Blake Comeau     261
66    Andre St. Laurent     261

72    Brad Isbister     247
72    Brendan Witt     247
74    Sean Bergenheim     246
75    Matt Moulson     244
76    Miroslav Satan     243
77    Bryan Berard     242
78    John Tavares     241
79    JP Parise     240
80    Mark Streit     236
81    Adrian Aucoin     235

Career Points as an Islander
34    Anders Kallur    211
35    John Tavares     200
36    Marty McInnis    198
44    Shawn Bates    170
45    Jude Drouin    169
45    Matt Moulson     169
47    Dave Scatchard    168
48    Miroslav Satan    166
49    Frans Nielsen     164
50    Oleg Kvasha    158
50    Kyle Okposo     158
52    Alan Kerr    154
53    Roman Hamrlik    153
54    Mark Streit    150
Season Series Stats
The Devils win the season series four games to two (eight points to four), outscoring the Isles 13-7. All but one of the games was settled by an empty-net goal or less. The Isles scored only three goals total in the final four games.

Happy Anniversary
Five years ago Tuesday (4-3-07): Miroslav Satan scored the shootout winner as the Islanders avoid elimination with a 3-2 win over the Rangers. Wade Dubielewicz picked up the victory; five days later he would poke check the Islanders into the playoffs.
All-time, the Isles are 4-5-3 on this date, despite going 0-4-2 on the road.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers have won five straight games (all at home) and are 37-24-3-6 overall. They have three games remaining on their eight-game homestand. Bridgeport has 83 points, three ahead of Connecticut for the division lead, and also holds the tie-breaker. Each team has six games to play. Bridgeport hosts Springfield at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and can clinch a playoff berth with a victory.

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

The Islanders conclude their home schedule on Thursday when they entertain Winnipeg. The Isles lead the season series two games to one, but the road team has won all three games (with one Islander win coming in a shootout).  The Isles are 21-11-6 in home finales but are 0-2-2 over the past four seasons.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islanders 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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