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The Skinny: Islanders 2, Lightning 1 (SO)

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
“The Skinny”

Game 49
Isles 2, Tampa Bay 1 (SO)

Martin St. Louis and Thomas Vanek traded power play goals in regulation, and Frans Nielsen scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning before a crowd of 18,333 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Islanders have won 5 of 6 overall (5-1-0) and eight of nine on the road (8-1-0).  They are 4-1-0 on their six-game road trip, which concludes in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The Scoring:
1st Period

05:45 TBL PPG - Martin St Louis (21) Wrist - ASST: Valtteri Filppula (19), Tyler Johnson (15) 1 - 0 TBL   

2nd Period
18:22 NYI PPG - Thomas Vanek (17) Wrist shot - ASST: Frans Nielsen (21), John Tavares (36) 1 - 1 Tie   

3rd Period


The Shootout:
Filppula (NG), Nielsen (G), Kucherov (NG), Vanek (NG), Hedman (NG)

The Skinny: 
Martin St. Louis extended his point streak to six games, including every game since he was left off the Canadian Olympic team...Thomas Vanek scores in the second straight game and extends his point streak to three… Calvin deHaan’s point streak ended at five… Valtteri Filppula has points on all three Tampa goals vs. the Isles…The teams have swapped shootout wins against each other this season...The Isles have outscored their opponents 16-3 in the third period over the last 10 games… The Isles are 9-1-0 in their last 10 games outside the Metropolitan Division…Victor Hedman played his 300th NHL game…It’s the first time that the Isles scored 1 goal or less (prior to the shootout) and won since a 1-0 win over New Jersey on March 4, 2012 (0-18-5)…The Isles now have 10 wins in games in which the opponent scored first (and only 9 in which they scored first); Tampa Bay is now 18-3-2 when scoring first…The Islander win moves the team within seven points of the final wild card spot, and within eight points of second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Road Warriors:
The Isles are 8-1-0 in their last 9 on the road; the 16 points matches the club record for most points in 9 consecutive road games (single season).  It also had happened with the nine games ending with the win in Dallas over the weekend, but that was the first time it had happened since 1982.
The Isles are 9-2-0 in their last 11 on the road; the 18 points matches the 2nd highest point total in 11 consecutive road games (single season).  The club record of 19 was set in the 1976-77 season (9-1-1).

Road Trips with at Least 8 points
•    11/21/78-12/2/78 4-0-1  9 points
•    1/27/83-2/3/83 4-0-1  9 points
•    10/6/01-10/11/01 4-0-0 8 points
•    3/17/12-3/27/12 4-1-0 8 points
•    1/7/14-Current 4-1-0 8 points
•    11/29/83-12/10/83  3-1-2 8 points
•    11/11/09-11/23/09 3-2-2 8 points
If the Isles can defeat Philadelphia on Saturday, they will complete the first 10-point road trip in franchise history.

The Shots:
Isles           10-13-3-4=30
Lightning    12- 8-8-2=30 

It’s the second time in the last three games that the Isles finished with the same number of shots as their opponent.

Even (Without)-Steven
Each team had 30 shots on goal, 21 hits, and won 33 face-offs.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 19-23-7 overall, 7-9-7 at home and 12-14-0 on the road.   The Isles have won 5 of 6, are 10-4-0 in their last 14 and are 11-5-2 in their last 18 games overall.
The Lightning are 28-15-5 overall; they are 14-5-3 at home and 14-10-2 on the road. The Lightning are 10-4-2 in their last 16 games.

By Division
The Isles are 3-10-3 in Division games and are 16-13-4 in games against other divisions. They are 7-4-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-4-0 vs. Central Division, and 3-5-1 vs. the Pacific Division.

In the Nets
Kevin Poulin made 29 saves and improves to 10-13-0 on the season, including 3-0 in the shootout. 
Ben Bishop made 29 saves for Tampa Bay; he is now 23-5-4 on the season, including 9-0-3 in his last 12.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 1-4 while the Lightning were 1-3.
The Isles are 11-6-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-17-3 when they do not.  The Isles are 9-14-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 10-9-4 when they do not. 
The Islander special teams are much improved as of late.  The power play is 12-43 (27.9%) over the last 14 games while the Isles have killed 38 of 45 (84.4%) over the last 15 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 12-43 in the last 15 games (including 10-29 in the last nine games (34.5%)). 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 17-4-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-19-5 when they do not. 

Helps to Score First
The Isles are 9-5-5 when they score first and are 10-18-2 when they allow the opening goal.  The Isles have allowed the first goal in 10 of their last 11 games including seven straight on the road.

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 (244) and wins (103).

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.    Al Arbour 1,500
2.    Jack Capuano 244
3.    Mike Milbury 191
4.    Terry Simpson 187
5.    Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.    Al Arbour 740
2.    Jack Capuano 103
3.    Terry Simpson 81
4.    Peter Laviolette 77
5.    Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Kevin Poulin: “I love the shootout, so far.” (He’s 3-0 this season)
John Tavares: “We played a good road game…Poolie did a good job….We didn’t give them a whole lot in the middle of the ice.”

They Tweeted It
@_legohead_ Rule 1 of the NHL, you do not beat Poulin in a shootout #Isles
@tazman19 Kevin Poulin very good again and the pairing of 44 and 46 was excellent in my eyes. Showed a lot without Hamonic. #isles
@TealGiant777 This is one great road trip for the #Isles Great response after L to Cat's, #Bolts are a good team this year & we walked in & took 2pts!

The Coach
“They’re a fast hockey club… overall it was a good hockey game…  (Poulin)’s getting that opportunity and he’s taking advantage of it.”

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.

Heads of the Class
John Tavares has 307 career points; he is 74 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.
Victor Hedman, who was selected with the 2nd overall pick in 2009 has more goals, assists and points than any defenseman taken in that draft.

Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald played 27:12 to lead the Isles for the 30th time this season.  Victor Hedman led the Lightning with 24:43 of ice-time.
The Isles are 12-13-5 when MacDonald leads them in ice-time and 7-10-2 when Hamonic leads them.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 33 of 66 draws.  John Tavares won 13 of 20 draws for the Isles; Nate Thompson won 9 of 17 for Tampa.

Heavy Hitters
Each team had 21 hits.  Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with six hits while Colin MacDonald added four. Matt Martin and Brian Strait each added three.  Martin’s 237 hits lead the NHL by a wide margin.  He had now recorded at least 200 hits in four straight seasons. 
Colin McDonald fought former Islander Eric Brewer in the first period.  The Isles have been involved in 16 fights this season: Martin (6), Boulton (4), Carkner (4), and McDonald (2). 

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 12 blocked shots. Kyle Okposo led the Isles with 2 blocks; Andrew MacDonald, extend his NHL-leading total to 164 with 1 block. 

Five Over All-Time .500
The Islanders improve to five games over all-time NHL .500 (1390-1385-446 in 3,221 games). 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 179 consecutive games, and is one of four Islanders to have played in every game this season.  Other ironman streaks: Andrew Mac Donald (150), Matt Martin (110), and Thomas Hickey (50). 

Century Club
Andrew MacDonald has the 4th longest consecutive game streak for 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.    Andrew MacDonald 12/19/11- CURRENT 150
5.    Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136 (**)
6.    Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134 (*)
7.    Mark Streit  10/8/2011-4/26/2013 130
8.    Travis Hamonic 2/24/2012-1/12/2014 117
9.    Travis Hamonic 11/24/2011– 2/4/2012 113 (*)

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

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

Missing Men
Lubomir Visnovsky and Evgeni Nabokov remain on injured reserve. Travis Hamonic missed his second game with an upper body injury and has returned to New York.  Radek Martinek was activated from injured reserve and played in his first game since November 29th, replacing Matt Carkner. Peter Regin returned to the lineup after being scratched for four straight games while Eric Boulton was scratched for the 4th straight game.
Ryan Strome was sent to Bridgeport on loan on Wednesday. He had 1 goal and 3 assists in 15 games for the Islanders, with a -1 rating.  The Isles went 9-4-2 in those 15 games.
Strome had 9 goals and 24 assists in 23 AHL games.  Despite being with the Isles for about a month, he is still tied for the AHL lead in points among rookies; while his 33 points tie him for 7th in league, only three players have more than 34 points.  Despite playing only 23 games, he is tied for 4th in AHL assists as well.

The Isles have lost 126 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 16-20-5 this season without him in the lineup.

Career Goals as an Islander
15    Mariusz Czerkawski    145
16    John Tavares     133
17    Jason Blake    127

28    Mikko Makela     95
28    David Volek     95
30    Randy Wood     94
31    Greg Gilbert     93
31    Garry Howatt     93
33    Travis Green     92
34    Kyle Okposo    91
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
16    Ed Westfall    181
17    Kenny Jonsson    175
18    John Tavares    174
19    Alexei Yashin    171
20    Duane Sutter    171
21    Jean Potvin    167
22    Jeff Norton    166
23    Zigmund Palffy    163
24    Frans Nielsen    157
25    David Volek    154
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
24    Eddie Westfall    493
25    Radek Martinek 477
26    Gerry Hart    476
32    Dave Langevin  422
33    Frans Nielsen     416
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     373
42    Kyle Okposo     367

43    Dave Scatchard    347
44     Alexei Yashin    346
45       Mark Parrish     345
46    John Tavares     339
47     Marty McInnis    337    

Career Points as an Islander
16    Ziggy Palffy    331
17    John Tavares     306
18    Mariusz Czerkawski    295
25    Ray Ferraro    238
26    Travis Green    237
27    Frans Nielsen     233
28    Kenny Jonsson    232
29    Greg Gilbert    231
29    Kyle Okposo     231
31    Benoit Hogue    229
31    Trent Hunter    229

Season Series Stats
The season series is even at 1 game to 1 (and three points to three). The teams will also meet on March 27th in Tampa.
The Isles are 10-3-1 in their last 14 games against the Lightning.

Happy Anniversary
24 years ago tonight (1-16-90):  Glenn Healy made a career-high 51 saves as the Islanders blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 at the Coliseum.  It was Healy’s first shutout as an Islander and gave the Islanders their seventh straight win—a total that they have not matched since.
Overall, the Isles are 10-6-2 on this date.

On The Farm
Bridgeport is 14-20-1-4 on the season. The Sound Tigers should have Ryan Strome back in the lineup on Friday, when they begin a 3-game in 3-day weekend in Binghamton.
Anders Lee leads Bridgeport with 15 goals; Strome still leads the team in assists (24) and points (33).  Strome will look to extend an 8-game point streak on Friday; he has 5 goals and 12 assists in those eight games.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
After playing nine of their last 10 games outside the division, the Isles begin a stretch of seven games out of nine within the Metropolitan Division as they end their six-game road trip with the front-end of a home-and-home series with the Flyers.

The Isles are 16-13-4 in games against other divisions but are only 3-10-3 in Division games this season.  Nevertheless, they head into Philadelphia only eight points behind the Flyers, who are in 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Flyers have won both meetings this season by identical 5-2 scores, dropping the Isles to 2-6-0 in their last eight games against Philadelphia.

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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