Isles 3, New Jersey 1
Josh Bailey scored in the opening minute of the game to give the Isles the lead, and the Devils never caught them, as the Isles went on to a key 3-1 victory over New Jersey before a sellout crowd of 17,625 at Prudential Center. The win, coupled with the Rangers’ 4-2 win over Winnipeg, leaves the Islanders in a tie for 8th place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the 7th place Devils.
00:52NYIJ. Bailey (6) Backhand - ASST: F. Nielsen (16) AND K. Okposo (12) 1 - 0 NYI
07:14NYIT. Hamonic (3) Wrist - ASST: F. Nielsen (17) 2 - 0 NYI
08:01NJDA. Ponikarovsky (4) Backhand - ASST: P. Elias (20) AND T. Zajac (9) 2 - 1 NYI
09:13NYIPPG - J. Tavares (22) Wrist - ASST: L. Visnovsky (7) AND M. Streit (13) 3 - 1 NYI
Josh Bailey’s goal was his fourth in the last eight games … Frans Nielsen assisted on both first period goals; he has five assists in the last six games and seven assists in the last nine games … John Tavares is now second in the NHL in both goals (22) and power play goals (9); he finishes the season with eight points (six goals, two assists) in five games vs. New Jersey … Andrew MacDonald was plus-2 for the first time this season … The Isles finish their road trip with a 3-1-0 record … Travis Hamonic’s goal was his first in 20 games and the 16th for the Islander defense this season … Matt Moulson has now gone 12 games without a goal.
•7 New Jersey 36 games 15-12-9 39 points Next game: Thursday at Boston
•8 NY Rangers 35 games 17-15-3 37 points Next game: Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh
•9 NY Islanders 36 games 17-16-3 37 points Next game: Tuesday vs. Winnipeg
The Isles and Rangers each have 14 regulation/overtime wins while the Devils have 13; the Rangers are still ahead of the Isles because they have one more game to play.
The Isles have 23 points in their first 17 road games, which is their highest total in the Post-Cup era.
Most points in first 17 road games (all time):
•26 in 1976-77 (12-3-2)
•24 in 1980-81 (11-4-2)
•23 in 1978-79 (10-4-3)
•23 in 2012-13 (11-5-1)
•22 in 1983-84 (10-5-2)
•22 in 2001-02 (10-5-2)
Home and Road
The Islanders are 17-16-3 overall, 6-11-2 at home and 11-5-1 on the road. Their 37 points in 36 games is their highest total since they had 38 points in 36 games in 2007-08.
The Devils are 15-12-9 overall, 10-6-2 at home and 5-6-7 on the road. New Jersey is winless in four straight (0-1-3).
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 24 saves and improves to 17-11-3 this season. No other Islander goalie owns a win this season.
Martin Brodeur made 18 saves but suffers his first regulation loss since February 12. Brodeur is now 10-3-6 on the season.
The Islanders went 1-for-2 while the Devils were 0-for-1.
The Isles have 15 PP goals in their last 21 games (with all 15 goals coming in eight games).
The Isles are 12-3-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 5-13-2 when they do not.
In (Almost) Every Game
The Isles have been tied or ahead at some point in the third period in 30-of-36 games this season (17-10-3).
Movin’ on Up
Jack Capuano recorded his 77th win as Islander coach, tying Peter Laviolette for third place on the all-time franchise win list.
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.Al Arbour 740
2.Terry Simpson 81
3.Jack Capuano 77
4.Peter Laviolette 77
5.Ted Nolan 74
Most games coached
1.Al Arbour 1,500
2.Mike Milbury 191
3.Terry Simpson 187
4.Jack Capuano 183
5.Scott Gordon 181
They Said It
John Tavares: "I think we've shown as team that we've grown together and have been pretty resilient," Tavares said. "A lot of guys are maturing and coming around and playing big roles."
They Tweeted It
@MattyMarts17: Road Warriors. #Isles (He tweets as fast as he hits)
"We defended well. With guys like [David] Clarkson and [Dainius] Zubrus, it's easy to clutch and grab since they're big guys. But we defending well and properly; it was a good hockey game.”
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, 9-4-0 when he has one point, and 1-10-2 when Tavares is pointless.
What a Pair!
John Tavares and Matt Moulson have combined for 33 goals this season. Moulson has assisted on 16 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 239 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 22:23 to lead the Isles. Andy Greene led the Devils with 23:54.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 24-of-53 draws. Three Islander forwards (Keith Aucoin, Marty Reasoner and Frans Nielsen) won 5-of-10 draws each. Travis Zajac won 10-of-15 for New Jersey.
The Islanders were out-hit 24-21. Matt Martin led the Isles with four hits. He has an NHL-leading 173 hits. Martin also fought Tom Kostopoulos in the first period. It was Martin sixth fight and the Isles’ 14th.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 21 blocked shots. Travis Hamonic and Lubomir Visnovsky each had four to lead the team.
The Islanders move three games over .500 all-time (1364-1361-435 in 3160 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.
Good Start to April
The Isles were 4-2-1 in January and 4-9-1 in February, and 8-5-1 in March. They are 1-0-0 in April.
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 282 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 195 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 118.
Five other Islanders have played every game this season: Kyle Okposo (101 consecutive games), Travis Hamonic (58 consecutive games), Matt Martin (49 consecutive games), Andrew MacDonald & Brad Boyes (36).
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1. Billy Harris 576
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Matt Moulson 282
4. Denis Potvin 262
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 118
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.
Anders Lee signed his Entry-Level Contract with the Isles, was assigned #27, and took the morning skate but did not dress. Matt Carkner was replaced by Radek Martinek in the lineup. Eric Boulton was also scratched. Joe Finley, 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 67 goals in their 17 wins (3.94 per game) and 33 goals in their other 19 games (0-16-3; 1.74 per game). In their 16 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 24 goals (1.50 per game).
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 666
2. Roberto Luongo 346
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 331
4. Evgeni Nabokov 329
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 317
19. Nikolai Khabibulin 331
20. Harry Lumley 330
21. Evgeni Nabokov 329
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 51
5. Nikolai Khabibulin 46
6. Miikka Kiprusoff 44
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
23John Tavares 106
24Benoit Hogue 105
24Ed Westfall 105
26Anders Kallur 101
Career Assists as an Islander
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
39Randy Wood 381
40Frans Nielsen 355
52Brad Dalgarno 321
53Josh Bailey 317
54Ray Ferraro 316
54Steve Webb 316
54Richard Park 316
57Gerald Diduck 314
58Mikko Makela 307
58Kyle Okposo 307
60Gordon Lane 304
61Arron Asham 300
61Roman Hamrlik 300
63Gordon Dineen 287
64Jeffrey Norton 282
64Matt Moulson 282
66John Tavares 279
68Mark Streit 274
69Andre St. Laurent261
Career Points as an Islander
24John Tavares 239
36Matt Moulson 205
41Frans Nielsen 187
43Kyle Okposo 176
Season Series Stats
The Isles win the season series three games to two (and six points to five). The Isles swept the two games in Newark, marking the first time since 1998-99 that the Isles have swept the season series in New Jersey.
The Isles will climb within two points of the Devils; each team has 12 games to play.
34 years ago tonight (4-1-78): Mike Bossy becomes the first NHL rookie to score 50 goals in a season, tying a game with the Washington Capitals with a power play goal at 11:12 of the third period. He would then score the winning goal with five seconds to play as the Islanders closed in on their first division championship.
Also on this date: 1973 – Bobby Nystrom and Billy Harris score third period goals as the Isles rally to tie Atlanta 4-4 in the final game of their inaugural season.
All-time, the Isles are 7-6-8 on this date.
On The Farm
Bridgeport is 27-28-6-5 on the season heading into their game at Worcester on Tuesday. The Sound Tigers are eight points out of a playoff spot with ten games to play. Following Tuesday’s game, seven of their final nine games are at home.
TUESDAY, APRIL 2 WINNIPEG AT ISLANDERS (7:00PM)
[MSG+ (pre-game show at 6:30), WRHU (88.7FM]
The Isles return home for one game as they entertain Winnipeg on Tuesday.
It’s the second meeting of the season between the teams. The Jets rallied to defeat the Islanders in overtime in Winnipeg back in January.
Al Montoya has been the winning goaltender in each of the last two games between the teams, earning his final win as an Islander last April and his first win as a Jet in January.
This is the sixth set of back-to-backs for the Isles this season; the Isles are 0-5-0 on the back-end so far this season.
With both the Devils and Rangers idle, the Islanders can pass New York and catch New Jersey with a win on Tuesday.
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.