Kyle Okposo and Lubomir Visnovsky scored 51 seconds apart in the third period as the Islanders rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits for a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks before a sellout crowd of 16,170 on Clark Gillies Locker Night at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The win snapped the Isles’ three-game losing streak and established a new club record for wins in the first 30 games of a season (20), while tying the club record for most wins in the first 14 home games (11-3-0). The Isles also broke Chicago’s 8-game winning streak as they handed the Blackhawks only their second loss in their last 13 games (11-2-0).
The Islanders remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division, climbing within two points of the first place Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Scoring: 1st Period NONE
2nd Period 14:25 CHI Daniel Carcillo (4) ASST: Johnny Oduya (2), Niklas Hjalmarsson (6) 1 - 0 CHI 14:31 NYI Cal Clutterbuck (4) ASST: NONE 1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period 03:46 CHI Patrick Kane (14) ASST: Brandon Saad (14) 2 - 1 CHI 10:10 NYI PPG - Kyle Okposo (7) ASST: John Tavares (15), Nick Leddy (10) 2 - 2 Tie 11:01 NYI Lubomir Visnovsky (2) ASST: Ryan Strome (14), Matt Martin (2) 3 - 2 NYI
The Skinny: John Tavares had an assist for his team-leading 27th point. It was his 194th assist, breaking a tie with Pierre Turgeon; Tavares now has a point in four straight games… Kyle Okposo’s tying goal in the third period was his 2nd in consecutive games after going 16 games without a goal; it was his 106th career goal, breaking a tie with Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue for 24th all-time…The Isles snapped a franchise-record, NHL record-tying streak of three games in which they were outscored by at least three goals in the third period…The Isles improve to 5-0-0 in games that are scoreless after one period and 9-0-0 in games in which they allow the first goal but score the second goal…Visnovsky’s goal gives the Isles five defensemen with at least two goals; it was the 14th goal for the Isles’ defense this season (23 last season)…Okposo’s goal was only the 8th PP goal allowed by Chicago all season; it’s the first time all season that the Blackhawks have LOST a game in which they allowed a PP goal (6-1-0).
Fast Response Cal Clutterbuck tied the game just six seconds after Chicago took the lead.
Fast 14 John Tavares now ranks 14th in Islander history in goals, assists, and points; he passed Pierre Turgeon in assists tonight after having passed Turgeon in goals and points on Thursday.
Comparable Records The Isles are 20-10-0 thru 30 games. The Isles were 8-17-5 through 30 games and 8-18-5 through 31 games last season, when they did not win their 20th game until January 20th (20-24-7).
Most wins in first 30 games: • 20-10-0 in 2014-15 • 19-4-7 in 1978-79 • 19-7-4 in 1976-77 • 19-9-2 in 1983-84 • 18-10-2 in 1987-88
Most points in first 30 games: • 45 in 1978-79 • 42 in 1976-77 • 41 in 1980-81 • 40 in 2014-15 • 40 in 1983-84
Home Sweet Home The Isles are 11-3-0 on Coliseum ice, matching the club record for most wins through 14 home games (11-3-0 in 1984-85). They have had more than 22 points through 14 home games only twice: 10-0-4 in 1978-79 and 10-1-3 in 1974-75.
Streakers The Isles won their first four games, lost their next two games, won the two games after that, lost the next three games, went 13-2-0 in their next 15 and had lost their last three before winning tonight.
The Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games this season. It’s the first time since the 1987-88 season that the Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games.
The Shots: Isles 8-17-16=41 Chicago 10-7-8=25
The 41 shots equals the most that the Isles have had against Chicago since they had 47 on October 27, 1987 (4-4 tie). The Isles are 4-0-0 this season when they have at least 40 shots at home.
Home and Road The Islanders are 20-10-0 overall, 11-3-0 at home and 9-7-0 on the road.
Chicago is 20-9-1 overall; 9-3-1 at home and 11-6-0 on the road.
By Division The Isles are 8-2-0 in Division games and are 12-8-0 in games against other divisions. They are 5-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 3-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 4-1-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles did not win their eighth divisional game last season until March 25th (8-15-3); they finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met.
Central Time Zone This was the last of four consecutive games against the Western Conference’s Central Division. The Isles finish this stretch 1-3-0. The Isles have only one game against the Central in the next two months – New Year’s Eve in Winnipeg.
In the Nets Jaroslav Halak made 23 saves and improves to 15-6-0 on the season. He is 7-1-3 in his career against Chicago.
Scott Darling made 38 saves but falls to 5-2-0 on the season.
Power Plays The Islanders were 1-3 on the power play while Chicago was 0-1.
The power play is 5-19 (26.3%) in the last five games after going 2-14 (14.3%) in the previous five games.
The penalty kill is 7-13 (54%) over the last four games. The Isles have allowed 10 goals in 25 times short over the last nine games (60% penalty kill).
The Isles are 12-4-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-6-0 when they do not. The Isles are 8-9-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 12-1-0 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 16-4-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 4-6-0 when they do not.
Two Column Team The Isles are the only NHL team without an overtime or shootout loss this season and have tied a club record by going the first 30 games of the season without an overtime/shootout loss or tie: • 30 games (2014-15; current) • 30 games (1998-99; 12-18-0 before tying Anaheim in game 31)
One Goal Games The Isles are 13-2-0 in games decided by a single goal including 5-2-0 in regulation. They are 3-0 in games decided in overtime and are 5-0 in shootouts. Three games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter. The Isles are 2-1 in those games.
First Goal (and Second Goal) The Isles are 11-7-0 when they score first and are 9-3-0 when they allow the opening goal. However, the Isles are 9-0-0 when they allow the first goals, but score the second goal.
Second to The One Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history and was behind the bench for his 300th game on November 28th in Washington. Capuano is 138-130-39 behind the Islander bench.
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 307 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 138 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It Lubomir Visnovsky: "We showed everybody we're a good team…I try to play the best that I can. Sometimes I am the hero. We have another game Monday."
They Tweeted It @gmen8069 I think @ehornick should add that the #isles are 10-0 this season at home when i wear my Tavares jersey. #theskinny #meaninglessstat (I just did!) @M4dds79 #Isles and #Blackhawks are really fun to watch. What a great game. @Shannon_Hogan Oh hey there Stanley Cup. I sure would like to see you again here at the Coliseum in June. #ISLES @JillianSakovits #Isles Lubomir Visnovsky nets his 20th career game winning goal, his first this season to get NYI must needed win @Dyannot The #isles pulled it out tonight in the third. Happy to have been there. The atmosphere is amazing in the old barn
The Coach “Against a very good team, we held our composure…and played well from top to bottom."
Back-to-Backs The Isles are 4-1-0 in the front-end and 4-1-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.
The Isles will play only one set of back-to-backs in December. They will visit Detroit on December 19th and then host Tampa Bay on December 20th.
Leading Ice Men Thomas Hickey led all Isles with 21:20 of ice-time; Duncan Keith led Chicago with 26:11. Every Islander saw at least 10 minutes of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (9-2-0), Travis Hamonic (4-1-0), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (1-3-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-2-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (0-1-0).
John Tavares led all Isles with 19:34 of ice-time Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (10-9-0), Kyle Okposo (7-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Casey Cizikas (1-0-0).
In the Circle The Islanders won 21 of 51 draws (41%). No Islander who took more than two draws won at least 50% of their goals. Jonathan Toews won 10 of 13 for Chicago.
The Isles won only 12 of 34 (35%) in the first two periods but won 9 of 17 (53%) in the third period. The Isles won 3 of 5 draws on the power play but 0 of 2 on the penalty kill.
Heavy Hitters The Isles out-hit Chicago 42-29. Matt Martin led the Isles with seven hits while Cal Clutterbuck added six.
There were no fights. The Isles have been involved in eight fights this season: Martin (5), Hamonic (2), Lee (1), and all but one of the fights (Martin vs. Minnesota) have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 18 blocked shots, including 3 from Matt Donovan and Lubomir Visnovsky.
For the Corsi Crowd The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 71-58, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks). This included a 58-28 advantage in the last two periods. Over the final 15:28, the Isles had 25 attempts to Chicago’s 4.
Calvin deHaan led the Isles with a +13 even-strength Corsi. Kyle Okposo had a team-leading 74% of Corsi For events. Andrew Shaw (+11) led Chicago.
Head of the Class Islander Captain John Tavares has 342 career points; he is 60 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.
All-time Winners The Islanders improve to 16 games over all-time NHL .500 (1425-1409-450 in 3,284 games).
The Isles have not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978 and have finished every season since 1977-78 over all-time NHL .500.
Ironmen Nick Leddy and Brock Nelson are the Islanders’ reigning ironmen. Leddy has played 282 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 82 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Missing Men Matt Carkner, Travis Hamonic, Johnny Boychuk, and Casey Cizikas are all on injured reserve. Josh Bailey and Griffin Reinhart replaced Eric Boulton and Brian Strait in the lineup; Cory Conacher cleared waivers and has been loaned to Bridgeport.
The Isles have lost 120 games this season due to injury/illness.
Good Company for Halak Jaroslav Halak became the 110th goalie in NHL history to record 150 wins with his shutout of Colorado on November 11th. His shutout of Philadelphia on November 24th was his 33rd career shutout, making him the 50th goalie in NHL history to reach that total.
All-time Islander Leader Board: John Tavares has: • 148 goals (14th all-time and 13 behind Pat Flatley) • 194 assists (14th all-time and 55 behind Tomas Jonsson) • 342 points (14th all-time and 27 behind Stefan Persson) • 380 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Randy Wood, 3 behind Anders Kallur and 8 behind Travis Green)
Frans Nielsen has: • 91 goals (35th all-time, 1 behind Travis Green and 2 behind Greg Gilbert & Garry Howatt) • 180 assists (18th all-time, 1 behind Ed Westfall, 13 behind Pierre Turgeon and 13 behind John Tavares) • 271 points (23rd all-time, 10 behind Kyle Okposo and 15 behind Ed Westfall) • 477 games played (26th among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Radek Martinek and 16 behind Ed Westfall)
Kyle Okposo has: • 106 goals (23rd all-time and 10 behind Ray Ferraro) • 175 assists (tied-19th all-time with Kenny Jonsson, 4 behind Frans Nielsen and 6 behind Ed Westfall) • 281 points (22nd all-time, 5 behind Ed Westfall and 9 behind Alexei Yashin) • 420 games played (35th among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Dave Langevin, 5 behind Josh Bailey, 5 behind Greg Gilbert and 6 behind Jason Blake)
Michael Grabner has: • 84 goals (tied-37th all-time with Tomas Jonsson and 3 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has: • 425 games played (tied-32nd among Islander skaters all-time with Greg Gilbert, 1 behind Jason Blake and 25 behind Scott Lachance)
Season Series Stats The Isles lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0). The teams will meet again on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago.
Each of the last four games between the teams have ended in a 3-2 score.
The Isles are 8-2-2 in the last 12 games against Chicago, including 5-0-1 at the Coliseum since a 3-2 Chicago win in December of 2002.
It Happened at the Coliseum … on DECEMBER 13th 31 years ago tonight (1983)- The Islanders scored four goals in the first 5:17 and cruised to an 8-5 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in a rematch of the previous year’s Stanley Cup Final.
Mike Bossy scored the first two goals but it would be Butch Goring’s big night as Goring tallied four goals. The Isles built a 7-2 lead through 40 minutes; Goring’s 4th tally came shorthanded and into an empty net with 2:45 to play. It was Goring’s 14th (and final) career hat trick and his 4th as an Islander.
Wayne Gretzky broke his own NHL record by extending his point streak to 31 straight games; he later recorded his first goal in nine games against the Isles, tallying his 300th career goal (in an NHL-record 350 games).
Oilers Coach/GM Glen Sather told the Philadelphia Daily News’ Jay Greenberg: “We were intimidated. A lot of our guys were afraid to touch the puck, giving it away like they don't want it. The Islanders are a great hockey club. I don't know whether they can come back when they're down because we've never had them in that position”
Goring noted “I think that the crowd has been waiting all year for this.”
It was the ninth straight time, including playoffs, over two seasons that the Isles had beaten the Oilers.
Also on this date: (2003) – Garth Snow recorded 18 saves for his only Coliseum shutout as an Islander as the Isles blanked Atlanta 4-0.
All-time, the Isles have played eight December 13th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 6-1-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm Bridgeport is 12-10-2-1 on the season after a 4-1 loss on Friday in Wilkes-Barre. Kael Mouillerat scored Bridgeport’s only goal. The Sound Tigers return home to host Hartford on Sunday at 3pm in the annual Teddy Bear Toss game.
Up Next MONDAY, DECEMBER 15th—NEW JERSEY AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG (Isles Pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The New Jersey Devils become the first Eastern Conference team to make their final regular season visit to the Coliseum as the local rivals meet for the second time this season.
The Isles defeated New Jersey 3-1 at the Coliseum on November 29th for their third straight win over the Devils.
The Isles will be looking for their fourth straight win over the Devils (dating back to last season), which is something that they haven’t accomplished since they beat New Jersey in six straight games from April 2007 to January 2008.
And Finally… Blackhawks TV announcer Pat Foley made his first visit to the Coliseum since being honored at the Hockey Hall of Fame last month. So in his honor, I tweeted after the game his signature sign-off: “We hope you enjoyed our broadcast -- I knowwww you enjoyed the outcome.”
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 & on his blog www.nyiskinny.com.