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The Skinny: Islanders 3, Capitals 2

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders

Game 33

Isles 3, Washington 2

John Tavares became the second player in the NHL this season to reach 20 goals, converting a Matt Moulson pass for the game winning goal with 5:18 to play as the Isles earned a key 3-2 regulation time win over the Washington Capitals before a crowd of 18,506 at Verizon Center. The win, coupled with the Rangers’ 5-2 win in Philadelphia, leaves the Isles in ninth place, just two points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Scoring:

1st Period

05:24NYIM. Grabner (11) Wrist - ASST: K. Aucoin (4) 1 - 0 NYI

07:56NYIJ. Bailey (5) Snap - ASST: K. Okposo (11) AND F. Nielsen (15) 2 - 0 NYI

2nd Period

10:05WSHM. Ribeiro (11) Snap - ASST: T. Brouwer (11) 2 - 1 NYI

13:28WSHJ. Carlson (5) Slap - ASST: M. Johansson (6) AND A. Ovechkin (16) 2 - 2 TIE

3rd Period

14:42NYIJ. Tavares (20) Snap - ASST: M. Moulson (23) 3 - 2 NYI

The Skinny:

Michael Grabner’s goal was his first in his six games; Josh Bailey’s goal was his third in the last five games … The Isles defense was held without a goal for the first time in six games, ending the club’s longest scoring streak by the defense since 2002 … Ribiero was the first opponent to score against Nabokov in over 110 minutes (the Penguins also scored into the empty net) … Tavares’ game-winner extended his point streak to four games … Tavares also broke a tie with Chris Kunitz for second place in the NHL in goals; only Steven Stamkos (23) has more … Matt Moulson’s assist on the winning goal was his team-leading 23rd of the season and the 100th of his career … The Isles broke the Capitals’ three-game winning streak while stopping Alex Ovechkin’s five game goal scoring streak … The Isles have won three straight on the road … Thomas Hickey had an even rating, and remains the team leader in plus-minus at plus-5 … Hickey is plus-10 in his last 17 games and has not been a “minus” player in any game in that stretch … The Isles are 7-2-3 in games decided by a single goal, including 5-1-0 on the road … For the second straight game, the Isles won without a multi-point player; seven Isles had points tonight after eight Isles had points on Sunday.

First Time in a Very Long Time I (Like Ever)

The Isles are five games over .500 on the road while being .500 or below overall for the first time in their history.

First Time in a Very Long Time II

The Isles are five games over .500 on the road for the first time since finishing the 2001-02 season with a 21-15-3-2 road record. The Isles have made the playoffs in every season that they have a record of five games over .500 on the road at any point.

Matching a Season High

The Isles have won two straight games for the seventh time this season (14 of their 15 wins have come in these seven two-game winning streaks).

Road Warriors

The Isles have 19 points in their first 14 road games, matching their second-highest total in franchise history.

Most points in first 14 road games (all time):

•21 in 1976-77 (10-3-1)

•19 in 1980-81 (9-4-1)

•19 in 1983-84 (9-4-1)

•19 in 2001-02 (9-4-1)

•19 in 2012-13 (9-4-1)

The Shots:

Isles 7-11-13=31

Capitals 9-6-7=22

Home and Road

The Islanders are 15-15-3 overall, 6-11-2 at home and 9-4-1 on the road. Their 33 points in 33 games are their highest total since they had 34 points in 33 games in 2007-08.

The Isles had a four game road winning streak from January 31-February 14, 2012. However, it’s the first time that they have won three straight road games in regulation since January 13- 22, 2008.

The Capitals are 15-17-1 overall, 8-8-0 at home and 7-9-1 on the road.

In the Nets

Evgeni Nabokov made 20 saves for his 327th career win. He is 15-10-3 this season, with three shutouts. No other Islander goalie owns a win this season.

Braden Holtby made 28 saves for the Capitals but falls to 13-11-0 on the season.

Power Plays

The Islanders went 0-for-2 while the Capitals were 0-for-3.

The Isles have 14 PP goals in their last 18 games (with all 14 goals coming in seven games).

The Isles are 11-3-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 4-12-2 when they do not.

The Isles have killed all seven opposition power plays in the last three games and 13 of 15 over the last seven games.

In (Almost) Every Game

The Isles have been tied or ahead at some point in the third period in 27 of 33 games this season (15-9-3).

They Said It

Tavares: “We finally found our game and Matt made a great play (for the winning goal).”

They Tweeted It

@JKreiser77NHL: 20th goal for Tavares, who's on pace that would make him 50-goal scorer in 82-game season.

The Coach

“When you need a big goal, it's that (Tavares) line that usually comes up for us. It was good to see those guys respond in the third."

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, 7-4-0 when he has one point, and 1-9-2 when Tavares is pointless.

What a Pair!

John Tavares and Matt Moulson have combined for 31 goals this season. Moulson has assisted on 15 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 237 career points; he is 55 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

Andrew MacDonald played 25:14 to lead the Isles. Mike Green led the Capitals with 25:21, but was victimized for the winning goal.

In the Circle

The Islanders won 27-of-52 draws. Frans Nielsen won 8-of-12 for the Isles.

Heavy Hitters

The Islanders were out-hit 22-18. Matt Carkner led the Isles with five hits. Matt Martin had three hits, raising his season total to an NHL-leading 160. There were no fights, leaving the Isles’ season total at 12.

Giving Up the Body

The Isles were credited with 26 blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald had five to lead the team; he was one of eight Isles who had multiple blocked shots.

All –time Winners

The Islanders move two games over .500 all-time (1362-1360-435 in 3157 games). The Isles were 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 7-4-1 in March.


Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 279 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 192 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 115.

Kyle Okposo played his 98th consecutive game. Four other Islanders have played every game this season Travis Hamonic (55 consecutive games), Matt Martin (46), Andrew MacDonald and Brad Boyes (33).

Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History

1. Billy Harris 576

2. Bob Nystrom 301

3. Matt Moulson 279

4. Denis Potvin 262

Century Club

Mark Streit now has the sixth longest consecutive game streak of any 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-CURRENT 115

7.Travis Hamonic 11/24/2010 – 2/4/2012 113

8.Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110

9.Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 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.

Missing Men

Joe Finley, Eric Boulton and Radek Martinek were scratched. David Ullstrom 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 61 goals in their 15 wins (4.07 per game) and 33 goals in their other 18 games (0-15-3; 1.83 per game). In their 15 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 24 goals (1.60 per game).

Career Wins, Active Goalies

1. Martin Brodeur 666

2. Roberto Luongo 346

3. Nikolai Khabibulin 330

4. Evgeni Nabokov 327

5. Miikka Kiprusoff 317

Career Wins

19. Nikolai Khabibulin 330

19. Harry Lumley 330

21. Evgeni Nabokov 327

22. Sean Burke 324

23. Miikka Kiprusoff 317

Career Shutouts, Active Goalies

1. Martin Brodeur 120

2. Roberto Luongo 62

3. Evgeni Nabokov 55

4. Tomas Vokoun 49

5. Nikolai Khabibulin 45

6. Miikka Kiprusoff 44

Career Shutouts

18 Clint Benedict 57

19 Evgeni Nabokov 55

20 Bernie Parent 54

20 Ed Giacomin 54

Career Goals as an Islander

21Ray Ferraro 116

22Matt Moulson 108

23Benoit Hogue 105

23Ed Westfall 105

25John Tavares 104

26Anders Kallur 101

27 Trent Hunter 99

Career Assists as an Islander

27Greg Gilbert138

28John Tavares133

29Jason Blake131

30Trent Hunter130

31Mark Streit129

32Frans Nielsen128

33Benoit Hogue124

33Mikko Makela124

Career Games as an Islander (skaters)

25Gerry Hart476

26Mariusz Czerkawski470

27Radek Martinek462

28Trent Hunter459

39Randy Wood 381

40Frans Nielsen 352

41Dave Scatchard347

53Ray Ferraro 316

53Steve Webb 316

53Richard Park 316

56Josh Bailey 314

56Gerald Diduck 314

58Mikko Makela 307

59Kyle Okposo 304

59Gordon Lane 304

61Arron Asham 300

61Roman Hamrlik 300

63Gordon Dineen 287

64Jeffrey Norton 282

65Matt Moulson 279

66John Tavares 276

67Steve Thomas275

68Mark Streit 271

69Blake Comeau261

69Andre St. Laurent261

Career Points as an Islander

24Ray Ferraro238

25John Tavares 237

25Travis Green237

27Kenny Jonsson232

35Anders Kallur211

36Matt Moulson 203

37Marty McInnis198

38Wayne Merrick197

39Robert Goring195

40Jeffrey Norton188

41Frans Nielsen 185

42Lorne Henning184

43Kyle Okposo 174

44Randy Wood172

45Claude Lapointe171

45Jean-Paul Parise171

47Shawn Bates170

48Jude Drouin169

49Dave Scatchard168

50Mark Streit167

51Miroslav Satan166

Season Series Stats

The Islanders lead the season series two games to none (and four points to zero). The final meeting of the season will be on April 4th in DC.

Happy Anniversary

35 years ago tonight (March 26, 1978): It wasn’t an Epic, but it was Easter. In a makeup of a game postponed by the Blizzard of ‘78, the Islanders rallied from a 3-0 deficit midway through the game and defeated Minnesota 6-3 at the Coliseum. Bob Nystrom had two goals and three assists; Bob Bourne also scored twice. This was the only Sunday home game the Islanders played between 1973 and 1990.

All-time, the Isles are 9-7-1 on this date.

On The Farm

Bridgeport is 27-26-6-5 on the season. The Sound Tigers are six points out of a playoff spot with 12 games to play. Bridgeport begins a three-game road trip in Springfield on Thursday. Following that trip, seven of their final nine games are at home.

Up Next


[MSG+ (pre-game show at 6:30), WRHU (88.7FM]

Game 2 of this four-game road trip will be in Philadelphia on Thursday. The Isles have 15 games remaining this season and three of them will be against the Flyers, who handed the Isles a 7-0 defeat in February at the Coliseum.

The Wells Fargo Center had been a house of horrors for the Isles for about five years (0-11-2) before Evgeni Nabokov defeated the Flyers twice in a span of less than three weeks last season.

The Isles lead the Flyers (who fell into 14th place in the East with their 5-2 loss to the Rangers Tuesday) by five points.

For the seventh time this season, the Isles will carry a two-game winning streak into the game. They’ll be looking for their first three-game winning streak in almost exactly a year (March 25-29, 2012), having gone 0-5-1 this season when they enter a game with a two-game win streak.

The Isles will also be looking for their fourth consecutive road win in regulation, a feat last accomplished November 19-December 6, 2005.

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.

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