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The Skinny: Islanders 2, Avalanche 1 (OT)

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
“The Skinny”

Game 46
Isles 2, Colorado 1 (OT)

Michael Grabner scored 1:46 into overtime and Kevin Poulin made 30 saves as the Islanders finally won a game without scoring three goals, as they defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 before a crowd of 17,430 at Pepsi Center. The Isles have won six straight on the road, matching the second longest road win streak in franchise history.   

The Scoring:
1st Period


2nd Period
18:15 COL Nathan MacKinnon (15) Wrist shot - ASST: Andre Benoit (14), Jamie McGinn (6) 1 - 0 COL    

3rd Period
04:28 NYI Brock Nelson (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Calvin de Haan (3), Frans Nielsen (19)     1 - 1 Tie    

OT Period

01:46 NYI Michael Grabner (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Brian Strait (4)     2 - 1 NYI

The Skinny:  
Nathan McKinnon’s goal ties him for the NHL’s rookie lead, with San Jose’s Thomas Hertl. .. Islander rookie Brock Nelson scored his second goal in the last three games to tie the game…Michael Grabner’s overtime goal is his second as an Islander; he completed his only Islander hat trick with an OT tally in Buffalo on February 13, 2011…Thomas Vanek (6-9-15 in 10 games) and John Tavares (7-8-15 in 6 games) both had point streaks ended… The Isles have allowed an NHL-high 64 goals in the second period this season… The win moves the Isles within seven points of a playoff spot, with 36 games still to play… The Isles have outscored their opponents 12-3 in the third period over the last seven games…Calvin deHaan had no points in first 17 games this season but is 1-3-4 in his last three games…Jamie McGinn recorded his 100th point for Colorado, who fall to 23-0-2 when leading after two periods.  The Isles win for the 5th time when trailing after 40 minutes (5-16-2), tying several teams for the NHL lead in win when trailing going to the 3rd period.

Most Points in the Eastern Conference since December 19
1 ISLANDERS 11 games, 16 points    

2 Rangers        11 games, 15 points    
3 Flyers              9 games, 14 points
4 Penguins         9 games, 13 points    
(Anaheim -18 points and St. Louis - 17 points are the only NHL teams with more points in that span)

First Time in a Long Time
The Islanders ended consecutive overtime games by scoring a goal for the first time since December 31, 2010-January 8, 2011; PA Parenteau won the New Year’s Eve game in Detroit while John Tavares gave Kevin Poulin his first NHL victory in Denver.
The Islanders have won 6 straight road games for the first time since October 2001, when the Isles won their first six road games under Peter Laviolette.

Six Pack
This is only the fifth time in franchise history that the Isles have won at least six straight on the road:
•    8 in 1980-81
•    6 in 1980-81, 1981-82 , 2001-02 and 2013-14

The Shots:
Isles    7- 9-5-3=24
Avs     9-13-7-2=31

Home and Road

The Islanders are 17-22-7 overall, 7-9-7 at home and 10-13-0 on the road.   The Isles are 9-4-2 in their last fifteen games overall.
The Avs are 27-12-5 overall; they are 16-6-3 at home and 11-6-2 on the road. It’s their best record after 44 games since 2003-04 (also 59 points in 44 games).

By Division
The Isles are 3-10-3 in Division games and are 14-12-4 in games against other divisions. They are 6-3-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 5-4-0 vs. Central Division, and 3-5-1 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles have won four straight games against Western Conference opponents.

In the Nets

Kevin Poulin made 30 saves and improves to 8-12-0 on the season.  He has won his last four decisions (for the first time in his NHL career) and is 5-1-0 in his last six games.
Semyon Varlamov made 22 saves for Colorado; he is 20-8-5.

Power Plays

The Islanders were 0-2 while the Avs were also 0-2.
The Isles are 10-6-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 7-16-3 when they do not.  The Isles are 8-14-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 9-8-4 when they do not.  
The Islander special teams have improved as of late.  The power play is 11-34 (32.4%) over the last 12 games while the Isles have killed 29 of 35 (82.9%) over the last 12 games while scoring two shorthanded goals.  

Tale of Three Seasons
The Isles PP went 10-33 in the first 10 games, before going 7-79 in the next 24 games.  Since then, the Isles are 11-34 in the last 12 games (including 9-20 in the last six games (45.0%)).  

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 16-4-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 1-18-5 when they do not.  The win ends a 26-game winless streak (0-19-7) when the Isles scored two goals or fewer, dating back to a 2-1 win in Boston last April 11th.

Helps to Score First
The Isles are 9-5-5 when they score first and are 8-17-2 when they allow the opening goal.  

Second to The One

Jack Capuano became the 2nd coach in Islander history to win 100 games in Toronto on January 7th. He is 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (241) and wins (101).

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.    Al Arbour 1,500
2.    Jack Capuano 241
3.    Mike Milbury 191
4.    Terry Simpson 187
5.    Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.    Al Arbour 740
2.    Jack Capuano 101
3.    Terry Simpson 81
4.    Peter Laviolette 77
5.    Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Michael Grabner: “That’s how we played last year.  If we get down or up, our mood doesn’t change.”

Thomas Hickey:  “We talked about not getting down after giving up a goal….This was healthy for us to win one, when we don’t score five goals.  We had to use the extra time, but we got it done.”

They Tweeted It
@JasonYellin #Isles have their own speed demon in @grabs40! Awesome OT win @NYIslanders  6 road wins in a row!
@JamesPiccoli Kudos To Chris King Who Did A Fine Job In His TV Debut Working With @91Butch On @NYIslanders Hockey @MSGNetworks #Kinger
@waybeyondcrazy might be poulin best game as a Pro

The Coach
“We maintained our poise and composure in the third…as the game got going I thought we did a better job…Kevin Poulin really kept us in the game today…Michael’s been getting his chances…he had three or four real goal chances before he got that goal.”

The Isles are 5-6-0 in the front-end and 4-5-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.
In the eleven sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points twice, 3 points once, 2 points four times, 1 point once and no points on three occasions.
The next set of back-to-backs will be on January 20th-21st as they will host Philadelphia before visiting the Rangers.

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 303 career points; he is 72 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks.  No other player from that draft is anywhere close.  Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player from that draft. Neither player figured in the scoring tonight.

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic played 26:58 to lead the Isles for the 19th time this season.  Erik Johnson led the Avs with 24:11 of ice-time.
The Isles are 10-12-5 when MacDonald leads them in ice-time and 7-10-2 when Hamonic leads them.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 25 of 60 draws.  John Tavares split 12 draws for the Isles but his teammates won only 19 of 48; Matt Duchene won 12 of 18 for the Avs.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Colorado 33-32.  Calvin deHaan led the Isles with 7 hits, giving him 50 in just 20 games played. Matt Martin added six hits; his 226 hits lead the NHL by a wide margin.  He had now recorded at least 200 hits in four straight seasons.  
There were no fights.  The Isles have been involved in 15 fights this season: Martin (6), Boulton (4), Carkner (4), McDonald (1).  

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 15 blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald left the Isles with five blocks, extending his NHL-leading total to 155.  

Four Over All-Time .500
The Islanders improve to four games over all-time NHL .500 (1388-1384-446 in 3,218 games) for the first time since November 23rd. The Isles have been 1-under all-time .500 after six games this season and have gone 4-0-2 in the following game.  
The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 above all-time NHL .500 and have not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978.

Frans Nielsen is the Islanders’ reigning ironman.  He has played 176 consecutive games, and is one of five Islanders to have played in every game this season.  Other ironman streaks: Travis Hamonic (116), Matt Martin (107), Andrew Mac Donald (94) and Thomas Hickey (47).  

Century Club

Travis Hamonic is the only defenseman in Islander history with two streaks in which he played at least 100 consecutive games. Those are two of only 10 streaks of at least 100 consecutive games by a defenseman in Islander history:
1.    Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979  262
2.    Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220 (*)(**)
3.    Gerry Hart 3/1/1975-11/22/1977 198
4.    Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136 (**)
5.    Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134 (*)
6.    Mark Streit  10/8/2011-4/26/2013 130
7.    Travis Hamonic 2/24/2012- CURRENT 116
8.    Travis Hamonic 11/24/2010 – 2/4/2012 113 (*)

9.    Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110
10.    Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104

(*) Start of NHL career.
(**) Entire career with Islanders

Missing Men
Lubomir Visnovsky, Radek Martinek and Evgeni Nabokov remain on injured reserve. Peter Regin was scratched for the 2nd straight game. Matt Donovan and Colin MacDonald took Matt Carkner’s and Eric Boulton’s spots in the line-up. The Isles have lost 119 games this season due to injury.

Nobody Beats the Viz
The Isles were 19-12-4 last season and are 3-3-2 this season with Lubomir Visnovsky in the lineup.  They were 5-5-3 last season and are 14-19-5 this season without him in the lineup.

Career Goals as an Islander
15    Mariusz Czerkawski    145
16    John Tavares     132
17    Jason Blake    127

34    Kyle Okposo    89
35    Butch Goring    87
36    Tomas Jonsson    84
37    Wayne Merrick    81
37    Dave Scatchard    81
39    Marty McInnis    79
40    Miroslav Satan    78
41    Michael Grabner 77
42    Frans Nielsen    76

42    Claude Lapointe 76
44    Lorne Henning    73
44    J.P. Parise    73

Career Assists as an Islander
18    Alexei Yashin    171
18    Duane Sutter    171
18    John Tavares    171
21    Jean Potvin    167
22    Jeff Norton    166
23    Zigmund Palffy    163
24    Frans Nielsen    155
25    David Volek    154
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)

24    Eddie Westfall    493
25    Radek Martinek    476
25    Gerry Hart    476
27    Mariusz Czerkawski    470
32    Dave Langevin  422
33    Frans Nielsen     413
34    Wayne Merrick  411
35    Jean Potvin    402
36    David Volek     396
37    Bert Marshall    392
38    Travis Green     388
39    Anders Kallur     383
40    Randy Wood     381
41    Josh Bailey     370
42    Kyle Okposo     364

43    Dave Scatchard    347
46     Marty McInnis    337     
47    John Tavares     336
48     Butch Goring    332     
48     Oleg Kvasha     332     

Career Points as an Islander
16    Ziggy Palffy    331
17    John Tavares     303
18    Mariusz Czerkawski    295
27    Kenny Jonsson    232
28    Greg Gilbert    231
28    Frans Nielsen     231
30    Benoit Hogue    229
30    Trent Hunter    229
32    Kyle Okposo     228
33    Matt Moulson    223

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and two points to one). The teams will play again on February 8th at the Coliseum in the final game before the Olympic break.
The Isles are 8-0-3 in their last 11 games against Colorado since Patrick Roy, now the Avs Head Coach, blanked them 1-0 on November 16, 2001.

Happy Anniversary
2 years ago tonight (1-10-12): Matt Moulson scored twice and added an assist as the Islanders pounded the Detroit Red Wings 5-1.  Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for his 299th career victory.
Overall, the Isles are 8-9-3 on this date, having won their last two.

On The Farm
Bridgeport is 13-19-1-4 on the season after dropping a 4-1 decision Friday in Manchester. Joe Diamond have cut the Monarchs lead to 2-1 late in the contest, but Manchester added two empty-netters for the final margin.
Anders Lee leads Bridgeport with 13 goals; Lee also leads current Sound Tigers in both assists (13) and points (26).  Ryan Strome still leads the team in assists (24) and points (33).  
The Sound Tigers are back at Webster Bank Arena for the first time in 2014 to host Portland at 7pm Saturday and Hartford at 3pm Sunday.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 5:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]

The Isles will look to extend their winning streak to four and their road winning streak to seven as they face the Dallas Stars for the second time this week.  Note the unusual start: 6:00 New York time.

The Isles are 2-1-1 in their last four games against the Stars and are 3-1-1 in their last five trips to Dallas.  Their most recent visit was on December 3, 2011 and the Isles defeated Dallas 5-4 behind four goals from Matt Moulson. Al Montoya played the third period of what became Rick DiPietro’s final win as an Islander.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since January 21, 1982. Information contained in “The Skinny” has been gathered from various sources.  Follow Eric @ehornick on Twitter.

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