John Tavares tied the game late in the third period and then scored in overtime as the New York Islanders moved into sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the New Jersey Devils before a sellout crowd of 16,592 at Prudential Center. The overtime win, the Isles’ fifth in as many OT decisions, snaps a two game losing streak and gives the Isles a one point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were idle tonight.
The Scoring: 1st Period NONE
2nd Period 11:57 NJD Travis Zajac (7) ASST: Patrik Elias (12), Adam Larsson (6) 1 - 0 NJD
3rd Period 01:02 NYI Josh Bailey (7) ASST: Calvin de Haan (9), John Tavares (20) 1 - 1 Tie 07:23 NJD Scott Gomez (4) ASST: Adam Henrique (14), Michael Ryder (11) 2 - 1 NJD 13:47 NYI John Tavares (18) ASST: Kyle Okposo (28), Johnny Boychuk (15) 2 - 2 Tie
OT Period 03:05 NYI John Tavares (19) ASST: NONE 3 - 2 NYI
The Skinny: John Tavares is now 12-11-23 on the road; he is tied for the road lead in goals with Alex Ovechkin and is tied-5th in road points…The Devils have actually led more games (17) after two periods than the Isles (15) but New Jersey is 11-0-6 in those games…The Isles improve to an NHL-best 13-4-0 when allowing the first goal; Detroit and Nashville are the only other NHL teams to win more than one-half of the games that they allowed the opening goal… Scott Gomez’ four goals match his total for the last two seasons, combined…Kyle Okposo added to his club-leading assist total with his 28th; he is now tied-6th in the NHL in assists… John Tavares scored twice, to hit the halfway point with 19 goals (tied-8th); he had 16 goals in the first 41 games last season…It was Tavares’ first 3-point game since Opening Night in Carolina, and the 28th of his career…Jaroslav Halak wins his 22nd game (tied-2nd with Fredrik Anderson and Carey Price); only Pekka Rinne (27) has more wins…Halak has won 13 straight games vs. Eastern Conference opponents and is 15-2-0 this season vs. the East…The Isles have won three straight games at Prudential Center (all in OT/SO) and have won five straight over New Jersey…Six of the last eight Isles-Devils games have been decided by one goal…Josh Bailey has two goals in his last four games, and is 2-2-4 in his last six games.
The Injury: Mikhail Grabovski left the game in the second period with a lower body injury and did not return.
Overtime is Our Time The Isles improve to 5-0 in games decided in overtime and 11-1 in overtime/shootout games. John Tavares has three of the overtime goals (Johnny Boychuk and Thomas Hickey have the others)…The Isles have not allowed an overtime goal in their last 16 overtime periods.
Mr. Overtime Tavares joins Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson as the only players in the NHL with three overtime goals this season. Tavares has 7 career overtime goals; since Tavares debuted in the NHL in 2009, only Alex Ovechkin (8) and Steven Stamkos (8) have more OT goals than Tavares.
Tavares’ seven career goals are a franchise record; he also tied his own franchise record with three overtime goals in a season, having also done so in 2010-11.
Both teams play on Saturday as the Isles visit Columbus and the Penguins visit Montreal.
The Isles lead the Division lead this late in the season, for the first time since February 18, 1990:
Patrick Division W-L-T Pts NY Islanders 28-27-6 62 NY Rangers 25-25-10 60 Pittsburgh 27-28-5 59 New Jersey 25-27-7 57 Washington 26-30-4 56 Philadelphia 24-29-8 56
The Road Trip The Isles are 3-2-0 on their franchise-record-tying 7-game road trip with two games to play: 31-Dec-14 @ Winnipeg (Won 5-2) 2-Jan-15 @ Calgary (Won 2-1) 4-Jan-15 @ Edmonton (Lost 5-2) 6-Jan-15 @ Vancouver (Lost 3-2) 9-Jan-15 @ New Jersey (Won 3-2 OT) 10-Jan-15 @ Columbus 13-Jan-15 @ New York
The Isles also had 7 consecutive road games in 1981-82 (when they went 1-5-1), 2000-01 (2-3-2), and 2009-10 (3-2-2).
Year of the Fan: The Isles have sold-out their last three home games, five of the last six and nine of their eighteen home dates this season. 108,146 fans enjoyed Islander hockey in 7 home dates (15,449 average) at the Coliseum in December. The 9 sellouts are the most for the Isles since they had 12 full houses at the Old Barn in 2007-08.
Comparable Records The Isles are 27-13-1 thru 41 games. The Isles were 13-21-7 through 41 games and 14-21-7 through 42 games last season, when they did not record their 27th win until they shutout Columbus on March 23rd (27-35-9).
Most wins in first 41 games: • 28-5-8 in 1978-79 • 27-13-1 in 2014-15 • 26-13-2 in 1983-84 • 25-10-6 in 1976-77 • 25-8-8 in 1980-81 • 25-11-5 in 1981-82
Most points in first 41 games: • 64 in 1978-79 • 58 in 1980-81 • 56 in 1976-77 • 55 in 2014-15 • 55 in 1981-82 • 54 in 1983-84
Home Sweet Home The Isles are 14-4-0 on Coliseum ice, tying the club record for most wins through 18 home games (14-0-4 in 1978-79 and 14-4-0 in 1984-85). They have had more than 28 points through 18 home games only once: 14-0-4 for 32 points in 1978-79.
Streakers The Isles have had a season of streaks, going 4-0-0 to open the season and then (in succession) 0-2-0, 2-0-0, 0-3-0, 13-2-0, 0-3-0, 7-1-1, 0-2-0, before winning tonight.
Winning Streaks (Season) 2 streaks of at least 5 games -- First time since the 1987-88 season that the Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games. 4 streaks of at least 4 games -- First time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had four winning streaks of at least four games. 6 streaks of at least 3 games -- First time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had at least six winning streaks of at least three games.
The Shots: Isles 7-13-10-1=31 New Jersey 2-11-7-3=23
The Isles have held their last 12 opponents to under 30 shots and have held their last 10 opponents to 26 shots or fewer; it’s the first time that they have done either in at least 27 years.
Hot Shots: The Isles have outshot their last ten opponents 337-224 and have outshot their last 12 opponents 411-277.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 1,331-1,110 for a +221 shot differential. The club record for differential for a season is +307 in 1976-77. The Isles have had only two other seasons over +150: (+254 in 1986-87 and +152 in 1975-76).
Isles had 2,537 shots on goal last season, most since a franchise-record 2,616 in 1992-93. Isles are currently on pace for a record-breaking 2,662 shots this year.
Home and Road The Islanders are 27-13-1 overall; 14-4-0 at home and 13-9-1 on the road.
New Jersey is 15-21-8 overall; 7-7-6 at home and 8-14-2 on the road.
By Division The Isles are 11-2-0 in Division games and are 16-11-1 in games against other divisions. They are 7-3-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 4-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 5-3-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met.
Metropolitan Hockey Club, Inc. The Isles are 11-2-0 against the Met Division. They are 7-0-0 at home and 4-2-0 on the road. The Isles are 6-0 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 2-0 on the road.
In the Nets Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves to improve to 22-8-0 on the season. He is 6-4-1 in his career against New Jersey. Halak is 19-4-0 in his last 23 decisions.
Keith Kinkaid made 28 saves; Kinkaid is 1-2-3 on the season. He is 0-0-2 in his career against the Isles.
22-Win Club Halak is the 12th goalie in Islander history to win at least 22 games in a season:
Player 22-win seasons Chico Resch 5 Billy Smith 4 Rick DiPietro 4 Roland Melanson 2 Jaroslav Halak 1 Kelly Hrudey 1 Glenn Healy 1 Evgeni Nabokov 1 Tommy Salo 1 Ron Hextall 1 Chris Osgood 1 Dwayne Roloson 1
The club record for wins in a season is 32, shared by Billy Smith, Chris Osgood and Rick DiPietro.
Power Plays The Islanders were 0-4 on the power play, while New Jersey was 0-1.
The power play is 7-27 (25.9%) in the last six games after going 1-19 (5.3%) in the previous seven games.
The penalty kill is 24-25 (96.0%) over the last 10 games.
The Isles are 15-5-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 12-8-1 when they do not. The Isles are 10-9-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 17-4-1 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 21-4-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-9-0 when they do not.
One Goal Games The Isles are 18-3-1 in games decided by a single goal including 7-3-0 in regulation. They are 5-0 in games decided in overtime and are 6-1 in shootouts. Four games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter. The Isles are 3-1 in those games.
First Goal (and Second Goal) The Isles are 14-9-1 when they score first and are 13-4-0 when they allow the opening goal. However, the Isles are 12-0-0 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal.
Second to The One Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 145-133-40 behind the Islander bench. Among the 9 New York teams, only the Giants’ Tom Coughlin and the Yankees’ Joe Girardi have led their respective teams longer than Capuano.
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 318 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 145 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It John Tavares: "I just had a good beat on [Larsson] and disrupted him enough and was able to strip him and make a quick turn to the net. I saw Calvin deHaan coming down the pipe and my original thought was to go to him, but their forward stayed there and didn't come to me. I saw Kinkaid challenge me and I hit the far corner."
Josh Bailey on his goal: "It's a meat-and-potatoes type goal. We talked after the second period about getting bodies in front and I just tried to get there, get a piece of it."
They Tweeted It @wewantthecup "YES! YES! YES! Woooooo!" #Tavares with the sick OT Celly saluting the fans making the trip to New Jersey. #isles #YesYesYes #Islanders @vikk_torious just watched the goal by JT in over time like 20 times. It was so nice. #isles @Ed_OM_ Can we appreciate the fact that Jaro Halak has not lost to an Eastern Conference team since 10/21? #isles #wow @BrettCyrgalis Tavares said he saw the #Isles fans after game-winner and thought of the "Yes! Yes! Yes!" chant. That was totally intentional. @dixonstrategy John Tavares rescues #Isles w/ late tying goal, OT winner. He's got a lot of Mike #Piazza in him w/ flair for dramatic.
The Coach "It was a big win, and we showed a lot of character and accountability. You could feel it during the game; we were generating zone time and it was just a matter of time before we got one."
Back-to-Backs Counting tonight, the Isles are 6-1-0 in the front-end and 5-1-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles have swept 4 sets of back-to-back this season and are 1-1-0 in two sets.
This set of back-to-backs will conclude Saturday in Columbus.
Leading Ice Men Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 23:06 of ice-time; Andy Greene led New Jersey in ice-time with 27:18.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (10-3-0), Travis Hamonic (8-1-1), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-4-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-2-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).
John Tavares led all Isles forwards with 21:36 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (14-12-1), Kyle Okposo (9-0-0), Ryan Strome (1-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Casey Cizikas (1-0-0).
In the Circle The Islanders won 37 of 62 draws (60%). John Tavares won 11 of 17 for the Isles; no Devil center won more than he lost. The Isles won 8 of 17 draws (47%) in the first period but then won 29 of 45 (64%) the rest of the way. The Isles won 7 of 9 draws on the power play and 1 of 2 draws on the penalty kill.
Heavy Hitters The Isles out-hit Vancouver 38-30. Travis Hamonic led the Isles with six hits.
Matt Martin fought Mark Fraser in the second period. The Isles have been involved in nine fights this season: Martin (6), 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 6 blocked shots, including two from Johnny Boychuk.
For the Corsi Crowd The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 52-37 (including 18-7 in the third period), which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).
Kyle Okposo led the Isles with a +14 even-strength Corsi rating and was also on-ice for a team-leading 79% of Corsi For events. Scott Gomez (+3) led New Jersey.
Head of the Class Islander Captain John Tavares has 353 career points; he is 66 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 20 games over all-time NHL .500 (1432-1412-451 in 3,295 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 293 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 93 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Missing Men Matt Carkner and Lubomir Visnovsky are on injured reserve. Brian Strait replaced Matt Donovan in the lineup; it was Strait’s first game since December 9th. Josh Bailey replaced Cal Clutterbuck (injured) in the lineup. Eric Boulton was scratched.
The Isles have lost 148 games this season due to injury/illness.
All-time Islander Leader Board: John Tavares has: • 155 goals (14th all-time, 5 behind Pat Flatley and 13 behind Ziggy Palffy) • 199 assists (14th all-time and 50 behind Tomas Jonsson) • 354 points (14th all-time and 15 behind Stefan Persson) • 391 games played (40th among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Bert Marshall, 5 behind David Volek and 11 behind Jean Potvin)
Kyle Okposo has: • 107 goals (23rd all-time, 9 behind Ray Ferraro and 11 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish) • 183 assists (17 all-time, 10 behind Pierre Turgeon and 16 behind John Tavares) • 290 points (tied-21st with Alexei Yashin, 2 behind Duane Sutter and 5 behind Mariusz Czerkawski) • 431 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Josh Bailey and 19 behind Scott Lachance)
Frans Nielsen has: • 93 goals (Tied-32nd all-time with Greg Gilbert & Garry Howatt, 2 behind Mikko Makela and David Volek and 6 behind Trent Hunter) • 182 assists (18th all-time, 1 behind Kyle Okposo, 11 behind Pierre Turgeon and 17 behind John Tavares) • 275 points (23rd all-time, 11 behind Ed Westfall and 14 behind Kyle Okposo) • 487 games played (25th among Islander skaters all-time, 6 behind Ed Westfall and 21 behind Rich Pilon)
Michael Grabner has: • 84 goals (tied-37th all-time with Tomas Jonsson and 3 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has: • 435 games played (31st among Islander skaters all-time, 15 behind Scott Lachance and 24 behind Trent Hunter)
Season Series Stats The Isles lead the season series 3 games to 0 (and 6 points to 2).
The Isles have won the first three games of this season, both at the Coliseum (all by one goal, including one in overtime and one in a shootout), and have won five straight overall against New Jersey for the first time since a 6-game streak from April 2007 to January 2008.
The final meeting of the season will be at The Rock on March 21st.
It Happened at the Coliseum … on JANUARY 9th 29 years ago tonight (1986) – Kelly Hrudey made 27 saves for his 3rd career shutout as the Isles pummeled the Pittsburgh Penguins 9-0. However, it was the offense that was really the story. The Isles scored four times in the first 9:02, and five times in the first period as they cruised to an easy win.
It must have felt a bit like the Cup era, as Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Denis Potvin each had three points as the Isles outshot Pittsburgh 41-27.
Trottier was the only Islander with multiple tallies against Pittsburgh’s Roberto Romano, who absorbed the full beating. Romano told Newsday’s Tim Moriarty: “"That was the best any team has played against us this season”.
As the Isles go through this 2014-15 season with a lot of Coliseum “lasts”, this game had several. The Isles blanked the Penguins for the 4th time ever in regular season play; it has not happened since. The 9-goal margin matched the club record (for the 7th time); the Isles have played over 2,200 games since and have not matched or beaten that record. The game was the start of the biggest one-sided explosion in Islander history; two nights later the Isles raced to a 6-0 lead over Detroit. The 15 consecutive goals are also a franchise record.
Here's the boxscore from that historic game: First Period 1 - NYI : Denis Potvin 10 (Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier) (PP) 1:46 2 - NYI : Duane Sutter 12 (Pat LaFontaine, Stefan Persson) (EV) 3:33 3 - NYI : Bryan Trottier 18 (EV) 6:51 4 - NYI : Bryan Trottier 19 (Mike Bossy) (SH) 9:02 5 - NYI : Brent Sutter 8 (Paul Boutilier, John Tonelli) (PP) 15:08
Second Period 6 - NYI : Patrick Flatley 13 (John Tonelli, Randy Boyd) (PP) 3:56 7 - NYI : Bob Bourne 3 (Roger Kortko, Denis Potvin) (EV) 12:07
Third Period 8 - NYI : Pat LaFontaine 21 (Mikko Makela, Ken Morrow) (EV) 9:55 9 - NYI : Mike Bossy 28 (Denis Potvin) (EV) 11:42
Also on this date: (1979) – Lorne Henning scored twice in 33 seconds as the Isles blasted Los Angeles 7-1, extending their home record to 17-0-4.
All-time, the Isles have played nine January 9th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 4-4-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm Bridgeport is 17-14-3-1 on the season after Kevin Poulin made 34 saves and Harry Zolnierczyk’s 13th goal proved to be the winner in a 4-1 win in Portland. The Sound Tigers now head to Albany on Saturday and Hartford on Sunday.
Up Next SATURDAY, JANUARY 10th—ISLANDERS AT COLUMBUS 7:00PM [MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders did not face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first half of the season but will face their division rivals four times in the second half, including Saturday at Nationwide Arena.
The Isles are 1-7-2 all-time in Columbus, with the win coming courtesy of a Josh Bailey overtime goal in 2010. The Isles haven been to Columbus three times since then, and have been outscored 16-5 in three straight defeats.
The last Isles regulation win in the state of Ohio came on March 27, 1977, when the Isles beat the Cleveland Barons 6-3. Denis Potvin scored twice for the Isles while Lorne Henning had three assists.
The Blue Jackets will be at the Coliseum on Valentine’s Day and then the team won’t see each other until they play twice in the final five games of the regular season, including the April 11th finale.
And Finally… Rest in Peace, JP Parise. Your contributions to hockey, to the Islanders, and to my childhood will never be forgotten.
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.