Casey Cizikas scored the winning goal with 4:37 to play as the Isles reached the 35-win mark for the first time since 2007-08 with a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers before a crowd of 15,608 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Colin McDonald, playing in his second game since his recall from Bridgeport, assisted on the winning tally and also scored his 2nd goal in as many games. It’s the first time in his NHL career that McDonald, who was named the game’s 1st Star, had scored goals in consecutive games.
With the win, the Isles extend their Metropolitan lead over the idle Penguins to three points, although Pittsburgh now has a game in hand. The Isles also close within three points of Tampa Bay (who lost in OT in Nashville) for the Conference lead.
The Scoring: 1st Period 10:17 EDM PPG - Ryan Hamilton (1) ASST: Nail Yakupov (9), Iiro Pakarinen (1) 1 - 0 EDM 13:20 NYI Colin McDonald (2) ASST: Matt Martin (3), Travis Hamonic (15) 1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period 11:27 NYI Josh Bailey (9) ASST: Thomas Hickey (15), Anders Lee (6) 2 - 1 NYI 16:34 EDM PPG - Anton Lander (2) ASST: Jordan Eberle (21), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (20)2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period 15:23 NYI Casey Cizikas (5) ASST: Colin McDonald (1), Thomas Hickey (16) 3 - 2 NYI
The Skinny: Casey Cizikas’ goal was his first in 25 games. His last goal, on December 4th in Ottawa, also was a third period game-winning goal…Ryan Hamilton scored his first NHL goal for Edmonton (14th game); Iiro Pakarinen earned his first NHL assist on the play… Edmonton scored two power play goals in a game for the first time since Opening Night vs. Calgary…The Isles have allowed 13 power play goals in their last 30 times short…The Isles improve to 13-0-0 in games that they allow the first goal but score the second goal…The Isles have won 18 of their first 24 home games for the first time in the post-Cup era; they were also 18-6-0 to start the 1983-84 season… Travis Hamonic has four assists in the last three games; the Isles now have four defensemen with at least 15 assists (Calgary is the only other team with 4 defensemen with at least 15 helpers); it’s the first time since 2010-11 season that 4 Isles defenders have reached this mark…Casey Cizikas’ goal gives the Isles 14 players with at least 5 goals…The Isles improve to 4-4-0 since the All-Star break.
This Team is Deep! When a scoring change gave Josh Bailey credit for the Isles second goal, it left John Tavares without a point for the 19th time this season. The Isles are 14-5-0 when Tavares is held pointless. Prior to this season the Isles had won only 40 of the 151 games in which Tavares was scoreless.
Get Your Rest! Entering play tonight, rested teams were 126-46-26 (.702) when they play against teams that played the night before. Edmonton beat New Jersey on Monday…The Isles will also be the rested team, facing a team that plays the night before, on Saturday vs. Columbus.
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4) • ISLES 35-18-1=71 points / 54 games (28 ROW) Beat Edmonton 3-2 • Pittsburgh 30-15-8=68 points / 53 games (28 ROW) Idle • NY Rangers 31-16-5=67 points / 52 games (29 ROW) Won 5-4 in Toronto • Washington 28-16-10=66 points / 54 games (27 ROW) Idle
Upcoming Schedule: • ISLES: Thursday vs. Toronto, Saturday vs. Columbus, Monday vs. Rangers • Pittsburgh: Wednesday vs Detroit, Thursday @ Ottawa, Sunday @ Chicago • NY Rangers: Thursday @ Colorado, Saturday @ Arizona, Monday @ Islanders • Washington: Wednesday @ San Jose, Saturday @ Los Angeles, Sunday @ Anaheim
Year of the Fan: The Isles have sold-out seven of their last nine home games, nine of the last 12 and 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.
Tonight began a stretch in which the Isles will play 9 of the final 11 February games at home. The Isles are 1-0-0 in this stretch.
What a Season: The Isles are 35-18-1 thru 54 games. It’s the first time since the 2007-08 season (35-38-9) that the Isles won 35 games in a season
Most wins in first 53 games: • 35-18-1 in 2014-15 • 35-13-6 in 1981-82 • 34-10-10 in 1978-79 • 33-13-8 in 1980-81 • 33-12-9 in 1977-78 • 31-15-8 in 1976-77 • 32-20-2 in 1983-84
Most points in first 53 games: • 78 in 1978-79 • 76 in 1981-82 • 75 in 1977-78 • 74 in 1980-81 • 71 in 2014-15 • 70 in 1976-77 • 67 in 1975-76
Home Sweet Home The Isles are 18-6-0 on Coliseum ice; the club record for most wins through 24 home games is 19 (19-1-4 in 1978-79 and 19-3-2 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 3-1-0 in their last 4.
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. 7 streaks of at least 3 games -- First time since the 1984-85 season that the Isles have had at least seven winning streaks of at least three games.
The Shots: Isles 11-12-5=28 Edmonton 8-13-15=36
The Isles were outshot for only the 3rd time in the last 25 games.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 1,791-1,466 for a +325 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 2,720 shots this year.
Home and Road The Islanders are 35-18-1 overall; 18-6-0 at home and 17-12-1 on the road.
Edmonton is 15-31-9 overall; 9-16-2 at home and 6-15-7 on the road. The Oilers are 8-9-2 since Todd Nelson became the head coach on December 30th.
By Division The Isles are 17-2-0 in Division games and are 18-16-1 in games against other divisions. They are 8-8-1 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 34 saves to improve to 29-11-0 on the season. He is 8-2-1 with three shutouts and a 1.99 goals against average in his career against Edmonton.
Viktor Fasth made 25 saves but falls to 5-14-2 on the season. It was his first career appearance against the Isles.
29-Win Club Halak is the 4th goalie in Islander history to win at least 29 games in a season:
Player 29-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 (29 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 Edmonton was 2-3. The Isles have allowed at least one power play goal in 9 of the last 11 games.
The power play is 8-32 in the last 11 games (25.0%).
The penalty kill has allowed 13 goals in 30 times short over the last 11 games (56.7%) 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 16-9-1 when they do not. The Isles are 15-14-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 20-4-1 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 29-5-1 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 21-4-1 in games decided by a single goal including 9-4-0 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 19-11-1 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 153-138-40 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 331 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 153 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It Colin McDonald: “We were playing desperate hockey…We found a way to win a game, and this is most important.”
Matt Martin: “It wasn’t a great game...We played well defensively and found a way to win.”
They Tweeted It @LifesomSerbian Colin McClutch #isles @nicholas_nigro Than you zeeker! Best 4th line in hockey #YesYesYes #isles @DSpogolf Watched 2nd half of #isles game in Aruba at Champions with other islander fans. Not expecting that. Game was on when we walked in. @islescolts26 Say what you want about the #Isles but we have the best fourth line in the NHL. And more importantly, best 4th line center @charlie_bee11 Seeing an #isles win at the coliseum is great but it's even better when your favorite player scores @zeeker11
The Coach You always worry about the first game back after a road trip… Not everybody had their game tonight, but we found a way to win…. They had the puck in our end for over a minute (in the third period, right before Cizikas’ goal) and had one shot; the structure of our team is good to see…last year we might not have had that structure and discipline.
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 23:13 of ice-time; Justin Schultz led Edmonton in ice-time with 22:37.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (12-4-0), Travis Hamonic (14-2-1), 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 19:27 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (19-17-1), 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 37 of 62 draws (60%). Casey Cizikas won 8 of 12 and Brock Nelson won 7 of 11 for the Isles; Derek Roy won 9 of 14 for Edmonton. The Isles won 28 of 42 draws in the first two periods but only 9 of 20 in the final 20 minutes. The Isles won 4 of 6 draws on the power play but lost 3 of 5 on the penalty kill.
Heavy Hitters The Isles out-hit Edmonton 47-36. Colin McDonald led the Islanders with 9 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 11 blocked shots; Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with three.
For the Corsi Crowd The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 57-53 (including 21-12 in the 1st period). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with a +7 even-strength Corsi rating; Boychuk, Josh Bailey and Anders Lee were on-ice for a team-leading 62% of Corsi For events. Anton Lander (+9) led Edmonton.
Head of the Class Islander Captain John Tavares has 366 career points; he is 72 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 23 games over all-time NHL .500 (1440-1417-451 in 3,308 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 306 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 107 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Missing Men Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner, Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton are on injured reserve. Cal Clutterbuck and Calvin deHaan missed the game due to injuries. Matt Donovan was scratched.
The Isles have lost 195 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) • 404 games played (37th among Islander skaters all-time, 8 behind Wayne Merrick and 19 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, 11 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) • 501 games played (24th among Islander skaters all-time, 8 behind Rich Pilon and 9 behind Mick Vukota)
Michael Grabner has: • 87 goals (tied-36th all-time with Butch Goring and 5 behind Travis Green)
Josh Bailey has: • 448 games played (31st among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Scott Lachance and 11 behind Trent Hunter)
Season Series Stats The teams split the season series 1 game to 1 (and 2 points to 2).
The Oilers haven’t beaten the Islanders on Long Island since 1999, with the Isles winning each of the last eight games, including one in a shootout.
It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 10th 32 years ago tonight (1983) – Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and John Tonelli combined for 4 goals and 6 assists as the Isles pounded Washington 8-3. Three of the four goals were Bossy’s, as he recorded his fourth career hat trick against the Caps and 37th of his career.
Mats Hallin got the Isles started with a goal just 1:16 into play. Clark Gillies, Denis Potvin and Brent Sutter had the other goals for the Isles, as they improved to 30-18-9 on the season.
Rollie Melanson needed to only make 15 saves for the Isles, who outshot Washington 30-18.
The Isles ended Washington’s eight game unbeaten streak (6-0-2).
Bossy gave a lot of the credit for the victory to Clark Gillies. Bossy told Newsday’s Helene Elliott: “When Clarkie plays that way, he certainly makes it look more enthusiastic than if some others guys did the same thing. He played a heck of a game.”
Also on this date: (2009) – Yann Danis (who up until Sunday was the only Islander to have played at Brown University) made 36 saves, but Jack Johnson scored the deciding goal in the shootout as Los Angeles beat the Isles 4-3.
All-time, the Isles have played six February 10th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 4-1-1 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 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12th— TORONTO AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 LI News]
The homestand continues with a visit from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. It’s the first game between the teams since Toronto earned a 5-2 win on Coliseum ice in mid-October.
The Isles are 5-2-1 in their last eight games with Toronto. The teams will also meet March 9th at the Air Canada Center.
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.