Isles 3, Florida 0
Andrew MacDonald scored a first period power play goal and that stood up long enough for the Isles to add two empty net goals in the final 31 seconds as the Isles broke a three-game losing streak with a 3-0 shutout win over the Florida Panthers before a crowd of 14,512 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The empty net goals ended a streak of nine consecutive opponent goals in the third period. The win, coupled with the Rangers’ shootout loss at MSG, leaves the Isles just two points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
06:05NYIPPG - A. MacDonald (2) Slap - ASST: F. Nielsen (14) AND K. Okposo (10) 1 - 0 NYI
19:29NYIEN - J. Tavares (19) Wrist - ASST: B. Boyes (19) AND M. Moulson (22) 2 - 0 NYI
19:47NYIEN - C. Cizikas (5) Wrist - ASST: M. Martin (3) 3 - 0 NYI
The Isles defense has now scored in five straight games; they have combined for 15 goals this season … Nabokov’s shutout is his third of the season and 55th of his career, passing Islander foes Bernie Parent and Ed Giacomin for 19th place in NHL history … It is the 20th time in Islander history that a goalie has recorded three shutouts in a season; Nabokov is the 10th goalie to do so … Casey Cizikas is now tied for fifth on the team with five goals; he is only the third NHL rookie to hit the empty net this season … The Isles have now scored five empty-net goals … Thomas Hickey was plus-1; the team leader in plus-minus at plus-5, Hickey is plus-10 in his last 16 games and has not been a “minus” player in any game in that stretch … Tavares’ empty-netter pushes him into a tie with Chris Kunitz with 19 goals; only Steven Stamkos (22) has more.
First Time in a Very Long Time I
An Islander defenseman has scored in five consecutive games for the first time since January 15-24, 2002. Adrian Aucoin scored in four of those games (six goals total) while Dick Tarnstrom tallied once in two different games.
First Time in a Very Long Time II
It’s the first time the Isles have shutout Florida since October 6, 2001 (Chris Osgood) and the first time that they have done so at home since February 15, 1997 (Tommy Salo).
Home and Road
The Islanders are 14-15-3 overall, 6-11-2 at home and 8-4-1 on the road. This game marked the two-thirds mark of this season Eleven of the final sixteen games will be on the road. With 31 points in 32 games, the Isles have matched their most points thru 32 games in the last five seasons (also had 31 in 2009-10).
The Panthers are 9-18-6 overall, 4-8-5 at home and 5-10-1 on the road. With 24 points, Florida remains in last place overall in the NHL.
Fewest Points, Isles, first 19 home games
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves for his 55th career shutout and 326th career win. He is 14-10-3 this season, with three shutouts.
Jacob Markstrom made 34 saves for the Panthers, allowing only one goal; he is now 3-6-1 on the season despite a 2.54 GAA.
The Islanders went 1-for-2 while the Panthers were 0-for-2.
The Isles have 14 PP goals in their last 17 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 3-12-2 when they do not.
In (Almost) Every Game
The Isles have been tied or ahead at some point in the third period in 26-of-32 games this season (14-9-3).
They Said It
Evgeni Nabokov: "Consistency is the word we preach. It's not like it hasn't been there, because it has, but we have to make sure we get the results that we want.”
They Tweeted It
@StapeNewsday: “Islanders finish strong, defeat Panthers 3-0”
“We sacrificed our bodies…34 hits again tonight…good goaltending…good special teams…Our guys did a lot of good things.”
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, 6-4-0 when he has one point, and 1-9-2 when Tavares is pointless.
What a Pair!
John Tavares and Matt Moulson have combined for 30 goals this season. Moulson has assisted on 14 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 236 career points; he is 54 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
Lubomir Visnovsky played 23:01 to lead the Isles. Brian Campbell led the Panthers with 25:31.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 28-of-58 draws. Keith Aucoin won 5-of-8 for the Isles.
The Islanders out-hit Florida 34-16. Colin MacDonald led the Isles with eight hits. Matt Martin had six hits, raising his season total to an NHL-leading 157. There were no fights, leaving the Isles’ season total at 12.
Giving Up The Body
The Isles were credited with 18 blocked shots. Mark Streit and Travis Hamonic each had four to lead the team.
Back Over .500
The Islanders once again go over all-time .500 (1361-1360-435 in 3156 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.
The Isles were 4-2-1 in January and 4-9-1 in February. The Isles are 6-4-1 in March.
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 278 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 191 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 114.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1. Billy Harris 576
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Matt Moulson 278
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 114
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.
Thomas Hickey replaced Joe Finley in the lineup. Eric Boulton and Radek Martinek were also 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 58 goals in their 14 wins (4.14 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 326
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 316
19. Nikolai Khabibulin 330
19. Harry Lumley 330
21. Evgeni Nabokov 326
22. Sean Burke 324
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 316
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
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 103
26Anders Kallur 101
27 Trent Hunter 99
Career Assists as an Islander
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
39Randy Wood 381
40Frans Nielsen 351
53Ray Ferraro 316
53Steve Webb 316
53Richard Park 316
56Gerald Diduck 314
57Josh Bailey 313
58Mikko Makela 307
59Gordon Lane 304
60Kyle Okposo 303
61Arron Asham 300
61Roman Hamrlik 300
63Gordon Dineen 287
64Jeffrey Norton 282
65Matt Moulson 278
66John Tavares 275
68Mark Streit 270
69Andre St. Laurent261
Career Points as an Islander
26John Tavares 235
36Matt Moulson 202
41Frans Nielsen 184
43Kyle Okposo 173
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 April 16 in the home finale.
The Isles have won three straight over Florida for the first time since 2006.
32 years ago tonight (March 24, 1981): In a battle between the top two teams in the NHL, the Isles close within one point of St. Louis with a 5-3 win at the Checkerdome. Duane Sutter scored the winning goal for the Isles with just 3:42 to play as the Isles rallied from a 3-1 deficit late in the second period.
All-time, the Isles are 7-9-5 on this date.
On The Farm
Jordan Hill scored two goals and Rick DiPietro made 19 saves as Bridgeport improved to 27-26-6-5 on the season with a 4-2 win over Albany on Sunday afternoon. 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.
TUESDAY, MARCH 26 ISLANDERS AT WASHINGTON (7:00PM)
[MSG+ (pre-game show at 6:30), WRHU (88.7FM]
The Islanders begin a four-game road trip as they visit the nation’s capital for the first time this season.
Washington has won three straight games. Alex Ovechkin has a goal in five straight games (four of which are Capitals victories). Washington now has 31 points and is tied with the Islanders for 10th place in the East. Both teams have 16 games to play, but Washington owns the victory tiebreaker.
The teams met on March 9 at the Coliseum, when the Isles won 5-2. The teams will also meet on April 4 in the District.
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.