Isles 2, Lightning 0
John Tavares converted the Islanders’ only power play into the winning goal and Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves for his 54th career shutout as the Isles regained a .500 record (12-12-3) with a 2-0 shutout of the Tampa Bay Lightning before a sellout crowd of 19,204 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Isles are 4-1-2 in their last seven games.
10:22 NYI PPG - J. TAVARES (17) BACKHAND - ASST: M. MOULSON (17) & B. BOYES (16) 1 - 0 NYI
19:20NYI EN - B. BOYES (7) WRIST - ASST: A. MACDONALD (5) 2 - 0 NYI
The Isles are 8-2-3 when scoring first and 7-1-1 when leading after two periods … The Isles held Tampa Bay to exactly six shots in each period … It’s Evgeni Nabokov’s 324th career win, tying Sean Burke for 21st place all-time, and his 54th shutout, matching the career totals of Bernie Parent and Ed Giacomin for 19th place all-time … Nabokov has allowed three goals or fewer in five of his last six starts … Tavares’ goal was his 101st, matching Anders Kallur for 25th on the all-time Isles list … It’s the first time since March 4, 2012 that the Isles have won a game in regulation/overtime when scoring twice or fewer (0-16-1) … The Isles stopped Marty St. Louis’ seven-game point streak; it was the longest active streak in the NHL … Matt Moulson has an assist in three straight games; he leads the Isles with 17 assists … The Isles have scored three empty-net goals and allowed 6 ENG this season; however, this was the first ENG that cushioned a one-goal lead … The Isles kept Steven Stamkos at 199 career goals; only Wayne Gretzky, Dale Hawerchuk and Mario Lemieux have reached 200 goals at a younger age … The Lightning were shut-out for the first time since February 14, 2012 (Ottawa) …Brad Boyes now has eight points in the last six games (3-5-8).
The 18 Lightning shots are the fewest that they have had against the Isles since December 29, 1998, when they had 17. It’s the fewest Tampa Bay has had in a game in which they were shutout at home since March 17, 1999 (16 vs. Pittsburgh).
Home and Road
The Islanders are 12-12-3 overall, 5-8-2 at home and 7-4-1 on the road. With the win, the Isles remain three points behind 8th place Winnipeg and are only one point behind the 9th place Rangers.
The Lightning are 11-15-1 overall, 6-7-1 at home and 5-8-0 on the road. Since opening 6-1-0 (losing only to the Isles), Tampa is 5-14-1 in their last 20 games.
The Isles have 15 points in their first 12 road games, matching their most in the last 24 seasons.
Most points in first 12 road games (Post-Cup era):
•16: 1987-88 (8-4-0)
•15: 2012-13 (7-4-1)
•15: 2001-02 (7-4-1)
•15: 1997-98 (6-4-3)
If the Isles can beat Florida on Saturday, they will have 17 points in their first 13 road games, matching their best road record in the first 13 games since 1978-79 when they were 9-2-2.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves for his 324th career win and 54th career shutout as he improves to 12-8-2 on the season. All four of Nabokov’s shutouts as an Islander have come on the road; it’s the first time in his career he has blanked Tampa Bay.
Anders Lindback made 27 saves for the Lightning as he falls to 9-7-1 on the season. Lindback has allowed only 5 goals in three starts against the Isles, but falls to 1-2-0.
The Islanders went 1-for-1 while the Lightning were 0-for-2.
The Isles have 12 PP goals in their last 12 games (with all 12 goals coming in five games).
The Isles are 10-2-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 2-10-2 when they do not.
The Isles are 11-for-35 on the road power play this season (NHL-leading 31.4%).
In (Almost) Every Game
The Isles have been tied or ahead in the third period in 21 of 27 games this season (12-6-3).
They Said It
Evgeni Nabokov: “I thought we did a pretty good job on their big guys. We didn’t give them a lot of great looks, so this was a team effort in the zone, not only from the defense, but also the forwards helping out and staying on the puck.”
They Tweeted It
@NHLHabes: “Nice dish by Moulson, huh? Kid doesn't just score dirty goals.”
“We had a good night. Thought we did a good job with our sticks & keeping their skilled guys to the outside.”
As Tavares Goes…
The Isles are 1-0-0 when Tavares has four points, 1-0-1 when he has three points, 5-2-0 when he has two points, 4-2-0 when he has one point, and 1-8-2 when Tavares is pointless.
What a Pair!
John Tavares and Matt Moulson have combined for 28 goals this season. Moulson has assisted on 12 Tavares goals this season after assisting on 12 of his 31 goals last season. Tavares has earned an assist on seven Moulson goals this season. Since November 2011, Tavares has been on ice for 39 of Moulson’s last 40 goals, earning 25 assists. Since November 2010, he has earned 47 assists on Moulson’s last 71 goals, while being on ice for 69 of them.
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 232 career points; he is 56 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.
114 NHL Goals
Moulson has 114 career goals (108 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, only 17 have more goals. Moulson is one goal behind Nikolai Zherdev for 16th place.
Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic played 24:24 to lead the Isles. Steven Stamkos led the Lightning with 23:49, but was held pointless for only the fifth time this season.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 28-of-50 draws. Casey Cizikas continued his strong play in the circle, and won 7-of-9.
The Islanders were out-hit 26-17. Matt Martin was one of several Isles with two hits, raising his season total to an NHL-leading 130. There were no fights, leaving the Isles’ season total at 10.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 15 blocked shots. Frans Nielsen and Radek Martinek each blocked three shots.
The Islanders are now two games over .500 all-time (1359-1357-435 in 3151 games). The Isles have been one game below .500 twice last season and four times this season. Prior to that, they had not been below .500 since they were 177-178-83 before their victory on January 16, 1978.
March to Victory
The Isles were 4-2-1 in January and 4-9-1 in February. The Isles are 4-1-1 in March.
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 273 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 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 186 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 109.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1. Billy Harris 576
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Matt Moulson 273
4. Denis Potvin 262
Mark Streit is the ninth Islander defenseman to play at least 100 consecutive games:
1.Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979 262
2.Bryan McCabe 10/7/95-2/4/98 220
3.Gerry Hart 3/1/75-11/22/77 198
4.Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136
5.Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134
6.Travis Hamonic 11/24/10 – 2/4/12 113
7.Jean Potvin 10/23/75-1/2/77 110
8.Mark Streit 10/8/11-CURRENT 109
9.Kenny Jonsson 12/26/96-2/4/98 104
Hamonic, McCabe and Morrow's streaks came at the start of their NHL careers. Both Niinimaa's streak and McCabe's streak encompassed their entire Islander careers.
Colin McDonald (sick) and Joe Finley were scratched. Keith Aucoin played 14:32 in his first game since February 24. Michael Grabner, Matt Carkner and Brian Strait are on Injured Reserve. Jesse Joensuu is skating with the team but has not yet been added to the active roster.
The Isles have scored 51 goals in their 12 wins (4.25 per game) and 26 goals in their other 15 games (0-12-3; 1.73 per game). In their 12 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 17 goals (1.42 per game).
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 664
2. Roberto Luongo 346
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 330
4. Evgeni Nabokov 324
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 315
19. Nikolai Khabibulin 330
19. Harry Lumley 330
21. Evgeni Nabokov 324
21. Sean Burke 324
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 314
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 120
2. Roberto Luongo 62
3. Evgeni Nabokov 54
4. Tomas Vokoun 49
5. Nikolai Khabibulin 45
6. Miikka Kiprusoff 44
18 Clint Benedict 57
19 Evgeni Nabokov 54
19 Bernie Parent 54
19 Ed Giacomin 54
22 Rogie Vachon 51
22 Dave Kerr 51
22 Curtis Joseph 51
Career Goals as an Islander
21Ray Ferraro 116
22Matt Moulson 108
23Benoit Hogue 105
23Ed Westfall 105
25John Tavares 101
25Anders Kallur 101
27 Trent Hunter 99
Career Assists as an Islander
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
40Alexei Yashin 346
40Frans Nielsen 346
42Mark Parrish 345
56Gerald Diduck 314
57Josh Bailey 308
58Mikko Makela 307
59Gordon Lane 304
60Arron Asham 300
60Roman Hamrlik 300
62Kyle Okposo 298
63Gordon Dineen 287
64Jeffrey Norton 282
66Matt Moulson 273
67John Tavares 270
68Mark Streit 265
69Andre St. Laurent261
Career Points as an Islander
26John Tavares 232
36Matt Moulson 198
42Frans Nielsen 180
47Kyle Okposo 169
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series two games to none (and four points to zero). The teams will play again April 6 at the Coliseum.
The Isles are 3-2-0 in their last five games and 8-3-0 in their last 11 games vs. Tampa Bay.
It’s the 12th time that the Isles have blanked the Lightning, but the first time they have done so in Tampa since Tommy Salo shutout the Lightning 2-0 on October 14, 1998.
The Isles have scored at least one power play goal (5-for-16) and have not allowed a power play goal (11-for-11) in each of their last four games against Tampa Bay.
7 years ago tonight (March 14, 2006): Rick DiPietro set a career high with his sixth straight win, as the Isles pounded the Devils 6-1.
All-time, the Isles are 7-8-2 on March 14, although they are 4-1-0 in their last five.
On The Farm
Bridgeport is 25-24-5-4 on the season after defeating Springfield 3-2 on Tuesday. The Sound Tigers are five points out of a playoff spot with 18 games to play. Bridgeport visits Manchester Friday.
SATURDAY, MARCH 16 ISLANDERS AT FLORIDA (7:30PM)
[MSG+ (pre-game show at 7:00), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The Isles conclude this three game road trip with their first meeting of the season with the Florida Panthers on Saturday in Sunrise, Florida.
The Isles own shootout wins in Sunrise in each of the last two March’s, but have not won in regulation in South Florida since November 18, 2006 (Two shootout wins, eight losses, and a shootout loss).
The Isles swept their Florida trip in March, 2011, but their win over the Panthers was in a shootout. The Isles will be looking for back-to-back regulation wins in Florida for the first time since opening the 2001-02 season with back-to-back wins in Peter Laviolette’s first two games as Islander coach.
The Isles have an opportunity to move over .500 in the second-half of an NHL season for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign. The Isles entered five games in the second half of last season with a .500 record as well as this past Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh but lost them all.
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.