Isles 3, Toronto 2 Anders Lee scored twice and Jaroslav Halak became the fourth goaltender in Islander history to reach 30 wins in as the Isles reached the 36-win mark for the first time since 2006-07 with a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs before a crowd of 15,388 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Casey Cizikas added his sixth goal for the Islanders, matching a career high. It was the first time this season that he scored in a period other than the third period. Colin McDonald assisted on the goal; he has points in all three games since returning from Bridgeport.
The Isles have won three straight games, all by 3-2 scores. It is the first time in franchise history that three consecutive games have ended with the same score for both the Islanders and their opponents.
With the win, the Isles maintain their two point lead in the Metropolitan Division over the Penguins, who won a shootout in Ottawa tonight. The Isles also close within one point of Tampa Bay (who lost to St. Louis) and Montreal (who lost to Edmonton in overtime) for the Conference lead.
The Scoring: 1ST PERIOD 01:11 NYI Anders Lee (17) ASST: NONE 1 - 0 NYI 04:03 NYI Casey Cizikas (6) ASST: Colin McDonald (2), Matt Martin (4) 2 - 0 NYI
2ND PERIOD 01:32 TOR Richard Panik (9) ASST: Korbinian Holzer (5), Leo Komarov (15) 2 - 1 NYI 04:09 TOR Trevor Smith (2) ASST: Richard Panik (2), Tyler Bozak (21) 2 - 2 Tie 12:02 NYI Anders Lee (18) ASST: Josh Bailey (16), Travis Hamonic (16) 3 - 2 NYI
3RD PERIOD NONE
The Skinny: Anders Lee’s two goals temporarily gave him a share of NHL rookie goal-scoring lead; Nashville’s Filip Forsberg scored his 19th goal later in the evening. It was Lee’s 4th 2-goal game of his career and second this season. He is 5-1-6 in the last six games. The Isles are 13-3-0 when he scores a goal…Lee was also credited with his 6th game-winning goal of the season, tops on the Isles and most of any NHL rookie…The Isles’ #1 line combined for 16 shots on goal…Casey Cizikas has goals in consecutive games for the first time this season; he had a three-game goal streak last season...The Isles have won 19 of their first 25 home games for the first time in the post-Cup era; it’s their most wins since they were a club-record 20-3-2 to start the 1981-82 season… Travis Hamonic has five assists in the last four games and eight assists in nine games since the All-Star break…The Isles improve to 5-4-0 since the All-Star break and have matched a season-high by going 18 games over NHL-.500…Brian Strait went +3 for the second time in his career; he also did it on 1-24-2013, also vs. Toronto…The Leafs are winless in their last 12 on the road (0-11-1).
This Team is Deep! For the second straight game a scoring change took away an assist from John Tavares, leaving him without a point for the 20th time this season. The Isles are 15-5-0 when Tavares is held pointless. Prior to this season the Isles had won only 40 of the 151 games in which Tavares was scoreless.
Most Game-Winning Goals, Rookie (since 2006-07) • Logan Couture (SJ) 8 in 2010-11 • Anders Lee (NYI) 6 in 2014-15 • Matt Read (Pha) 6 in 2011-11 • Niclas Bergfors (NJ/Atl) 6 in 2009-10 • James Van Riemsdyk (Pha) 6 in 2009-10 • Evgeni Malkin (Pit) 6 in 2006-07 • Paul Stastny(Col) 6 in 2006-07
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4) • ISLES 36-18-1=73 points / 55 games (29 ROW) Beat Toronto 3-2 • Pittsburgh 32-15-8=72 points / 55 games (29 ROW) Beat Ottawa 5-4 (SO) • NY Rangers 32-16-5=69 points / 53 games (30 ROW) Beat Colorado 6-3 • Washington 29-16-10=68 points / 55 games (28 ROW) Idle
Upcoming Schedule: • ISLES: Saturday vs. Columbus, Monday vs. Rangers, Tuesday @ Carolina, Thursday vs Nashville • Pittsburgh: Sunday @ Chicago, Tuesday vs. Washington, Thursday vs. Columbus • NY Rangers: Saturday @ Arizona, Monday @ Islanders, Thursday vs. Vancouver • Washington: Saturday @ Los Angeles, Sunday @ Anaheim, Tuesday @ Pittsburgh, Thursday vs. Winnipeg
Year of the Fan: The Isles have sold-out 13 of their 24 home dates this season. The 13 sellouts are the most for the Isles since they also had 21 full houses at the Old Barn in 2001-02. Tonight’s 15,608 attendance was the largest for an Islander home game vs. Edmonton since 1988.
Month for the Fans: February is the busiest home month in Islander history, as they will play ten home games this month. The Isles have played ten home games three previous times (January 1980, December 1999 and December 2000) but all were in 31-day months.
This was the second game of a stretch in which the Isles will play 9 of the final 11 February games at home. The Isles are 2-0-0 in this stretch.
What a Season: The Isles are 36-18-1 thru 55 games, matching the 1981-82 team for most wins through 55 games, which included the first 11 games of their 15-game win streak. It’s the first time since the 2006-07 season (40-30-12) that the Isles have won at least 36 games in a season.
Most wins in first 55 games: • 36-18-1 in 2014-15 • 36-13-6 in 1981-82 • 35-10-10 in 1978-79 • 34-12-9 in 1977-78 • 34-13-8 in 1980-81 • 33-20-2 in 1983-84 • 32-15-8 in 1976-77
Most points in first 55 games: • 80 in 1978-79 • 78 in 1981-82 • 77 in 1977-78 • 76 in 1980-81 • 73 in 2014-15 • 72 in 1976-77 • 68 in 1983-84
Home Sweet Home The Isles are 19-6-0 on Coliseum ice; the club record for most wins through 25 home games is 20 (20-3-2 in 1981-82). 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, 6-1-0, 0-3-0, and are 4-1-0 in their last 5.
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. 5 streaks of at least 4 games -- First time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had five winning streaks of at least four games. 8 streaks of at least 3 games -- First time in the Post-Cup era that the Isles have had at least eight winning streaks of at least three games. The Isles had nine separate winning streaks of at least three games in their 1983-84 defense of the Stanley Cup.
The Shots: Isles 18-8-15=41 Toronto 8-12-14=34
The Isles have outshot 23 of their last 26 opponents.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 1,832-1,500 for a +332 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 2,731 shots this year.
Home and Road The Islanders are 36-18-1 overall; 19-6-0 at home and 17-12-1 on the road.
Toronto is 23-29-4 overall; 16-12-0 at home and 7-17-4 on the road. The Maple Leafs are 2-13-1 since Peter Horacek became the head coach on January 8th.
By Division The Isles are 17-2-0 in Division games and are 19-16-1 in games against other divisions. They are 9-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 4-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 6-3-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met and 24-21-7 against other Divisions.
Metropolitan Hockey Club, Inc. The Isles are 17-2-0 against the Met Division, including 10 straight wins. They are 10-0-0 at home (outscoring opponents 39-20) and 7-2-0 on the road. The Isles are 7-0 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 3-0 on the road.
It’s the Isles’ longest home winning streak vs. Divisional opponents to start the season since they went a perfect 16-0-0 vs. the Rangers, Flyers, Penguins and Capitals in the 1981-82 season.
The Isles’ next division game will be on Saturday vs. Columbus.
In the Nets Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves to improve to 30-11-0 on the season. He is 8-3-3 in his career against Toronto.
Jonathan Bernier made 38 saves but falls to 16-17-4 on the season. He is 2-2-1 in his career against the Isles.
30-Win Club Halak is the 4th goalie in Islander history to win at least 30 games in a season:
Player 28-win seasons Rick DiPietro 2 (30 in 2005-06 and 32 in 2006-07) Billy Smith 1 (32 in 1981-82) Chris Osgood 1 (32 in 2001-02) Jaroslav Halak 1 (30 in 2014-15)
The club record for wins in a season is 32, shared by Billy Smith, Chris Osgood and Rick DiPietro.
Power Plays The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play, while Toronto was also 0-2. The Isles have allowed at least one power play goal in 9 of the last 12 games.
The power play is 8-34 in the last 12 games (23.6%).
The penalty kill has allowed 13 goals in 31 times short over the last 12 games (58.1%) after killing 27-29 (93.1%) over the prior 12 games.
The Isles are 19-9-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 17-9-1 when they do not. The Isles are 15-14-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 21-4-1 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 30-5-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-13-0 when they do not.
One Goal Games The Isles are 22-4-1 in games decided by a single goal including 10-4-0 in regulation. They are 5-0 in games decided in overtime and are 7-1 in shootouts. Five games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter. The Isles are 3-2 in those games.
First Goal (and Second Goal) The Isles are 20-11-1 when they score first and are 16-7-0 when they allow the opening goal. However, the Isles are 13-0-0 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal. The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win three times this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO), Pittsburgh on January 16th, and Philadelphia on February 5th)
Second to The One Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 154-138-40 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 332 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 154 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It Anders Lee: "A couple of bounces tonight. A couple of plays benefitted from five guys out there playing well."
John Tavares: "This is the way you win hockey games this time of year and in the playoffs. For us, it's good to see us handle these games a lot better than we did last year."
Jaroslav Halak: “I'm just trying to help the guys win the games... [Thirty wins is] great, but we still have plenty of hockey left. Hopefully I can add some more."
They Tweeted It @iamipp You can't spell Islanders without Anders @leeberr09 #isles @LHHockey Tangential, but #Isles fans are blessed to have Bruce Bennett shoot so much of the team's history. Constant, fantastic photography. @cunningham61 18 goals for Lee. 30 wins for Halak. 36 wins already for the #Isles. What a year. @EarlTSB Spring Training hasn't even started yet and Jaro Halak has 30 wins. Wins matter for goalies, not pitchers. #isles @One30Three This sounds familiar - #Isles win
The Coach “When you have the determination to get to the front of the net, you’re going to score a lot of goals. You go there and good things happen.”
Back-to-Backs The Isles are 7-2-0 in the front-end and 7-2-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles have swept 5 sets of back-to-back this season and are 1-1-0 in four sets.
The next back-to-back set will be on February 16th vs. the Rangers and February 17th at Carolina.
Leading Ice Men Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 23:10 of ice-time; Cody Franson led Toronto in ice-time with 23:41.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (12-4-0), Travis Hamonic (15-2-1), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-5-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-3-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Kyle Okposo (0-1-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).
John Tavares led Isles forwards with 18:18 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (20-17-1), Kyle Okposo (12-1-0), Ryan Strome (1-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Casey Cizikas (1-0-0), and Josh Bailey (0-1-0).
In the Circle The Islanders won 32 of 61 draws (52%). John Tavares won 11 of 18 for the Isles; Tyler Bozak won 14 of 22 for Toronto. The Isles won 13 of 21 draws in the first period but only 19 of 40 in the final 40 minutes. The Isles won 2 of 3 draws on the power play and 3 of 4 on the penalty kill.
Heavy Hitters The Isles out-hit Toronto 47-39. Cal Clutterbuck and Brian Strait led the Islanders with 6 hits.
There were no fights. The Isles have been involved in 12 fights this season: Martin (8), Hamonic (2), Lee (1), Strome (1) and nine of the 12 have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 12 blocked shots; no Islander had more than two.
For the Corsi Crowd The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 70-59 (including 28-15 in the 1st period). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with a +16 even-strength Corsi rating; Boychuk also was on-ice for a team-leading 71% of Corsi For events. Tyler Bozak (+11) led Toronto.
Head of the Class Islander Captain John Tavares has 366 career points; he is 70 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 24 games over all-time NHL .500 (1441-1417-451 in 3,309 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 307 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 108 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Missing Men Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner, Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton are on injured reserve. Calvin deHaan missed the game due to an injury. Matt Donovan was scratched. Cal Clutterbuck returned to the lineup and Harry Zolnierczyk was re-assigned to Bridgeport.
The Isles have lost 200 games this season due to injury/illness.
All-time Islander Leader Board: John Tavares has: • 160 goals (tied-13th all-time with Pat Flatley and 8 behind Ziggy Palffy) • 206 assists (15th all-time, 43 behind Tomas Jonsson and 53 behind Billy Harris) • 366 points (14th all-time, 3 behind Stefan Persson and 77 behind Billy Harris) • 405 games played (37th among Islander skaters all-time, 7 behind Wayne Merrick and 18 behind Dave Langevin)
Kyle Okposo has: • 113 goals (24th all-time, 3 behind Ray Ferraro and 5 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish) • 185 assists (18th all-time, 4 behind Frans Nielsen, 8 behind Pierre Turgeon and 21 behind John Tavares) • 298 points (18th all-time, 33 behind Ziggy Palffy and 35 behind Tomas Jonsson) • 436 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 13 behind Josh Bailey and 14 behind Scott Lachance)
Frans Nielsen has: • 94 goals (tied-31st all-time with Randy Wood, 1 behind Mikko Makela and David Volek and 5 behind Trent Hunter) • 189 assists (17th all-time, 4 behind Pierre Turgeon and 17 behind John Tavares) • 283 points (23rd all-time, 3 behind Ed Westfall, 7 behind Alexei Yashin and 9 behind Duane Sutter) • 502 games played (24th among Islander skaters all-time, 7 behind Rich Pilon and 8 behind Mick Vukota)
Michael Grabner has: • 87 goals (tied-36th all-time with Butch Goring and 5 behind Travis Green)
Josh Bailey has: • 449 games played (31st among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Scott Lachance and 10 behind Trent Hunter)
Season Series Stats The season series is even at 1 game to 1 (and 2 points to 2).
The Isles are 6-2-1 in their last nine games with Toronto. The teams will also meet March 9th at the Air Canada Center.
It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 12th 7 years ago tonight (2008) – The Isles were reeling when they entertained the Flyers on this date. Trent Hunter did his best to change that, scoring a goal and adding two assists as the Isles defeated Philadelphia 4-3.
Jeff Tambellini, Sean Bergenheim and Ruslan Fedotenko also scored for the Isles, who broke seven game winless streaks both overall (0-6-1) and at home (0-5-2).
Rick DiPietro recorded his 20th victory, stopping a personal 0-6-2 streak. It was DiPietro’s fourth consecutive 20-win season, one shy of Chico Resch's club record (5). DiPietro would win six more games that season, but only 14 NHL games in the seasons after that.
Fedotenko’s goal midway through the third proved to be the winner. He told Newsday’s Greg Logan: "(Isles coach Ted Nolan) just wanted me to find my game and go more to the front of the net, create some traffic and bring the puck to the net, I've been trying to find the perfect play on the outside and hold the puck and go in the corners, but you can't score goals from the corners. I just tried to bring my body to the front of the net, and hopefully, good things would happen like on the first goal."
The win was the start of a six-game win streak for the Isles; they have not won six straight during a single season since (the Isles won the last 3 games last season and the first four games this season).
Also on this date: (1980) – Chico Resch and Markus Mattsson were both perfect as the Islanders and Winnipeg played a scoreless tie. The game was played the same night the USA began their Miracle on Ice run in Lake Placid with a 2-2 tie with Sweden.
All-time, the Isles have played eleven February 12th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 5-6-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm The Sound Tigers are 21-21-5-1 after a 3-1 loss to Wilkes-Barre-Scranton on Sunday. Bridgeport visits Providence and Manchester Friday and Saturday, before hosting Hershey on Sunday.
Up Next SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14th— COLUMBUS AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 LI News]
The Isles will look to extend their winning streak to four games as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets. It’s the second of four meetings between the teams this season, and the first of two games at the Coliseum.
The Blue Jackets won their first two games ever at the Coliseum, but the Isles are 4-0-2 in their last six Long Island match-ups.
The Isles, who defeated the Jackets 5-2 in Columbus on January 10th, will return to Ohio on April 2nd. Nine days later the Blue Jackets will provide the opposition for the 1,665th (and final) regular season game in Nassau Coliseum history.
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.