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The Skinny: Islanders 3, Red Wings 0

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
“The Skinny”

Game 38
Isles 3, Detroit 0

The Islanders exploded for three goals in a 5:58 span in the first period and Evgeni Nabokov recorded his 56th career shutout as the Islanders blanked the Red Wings 3-0 before a sellout crowd of 20,066 at Joe Louis Arena.  It’s the Isles’ fourth straight win at The Joe, where they have not lost since 2003.

The Scoring:
1st Period
10:57 NYI Kyle Okposo (12) Wrist shot - ASST: John Tavares (26), Thomas Vanek (13)     1 - 0 NYI   
15:07 NYI Michael Grabner (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Josh Bailey (9), Frans Nielsen (17)     2 - 0 NYI   
16:55 NYI Casey Cizikas (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Matt Martin (3), Colin McDonald (2)     3 - 0 NYI   

2nd Period

3rd Period

The Skinny: 
Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen each extended point streaks to four games; Thomas Vanek and Josh Bailey each extended point streaks to three games….In a total team effort, nine Islanders recorded points and 14 Isles were “+” players… The Isles have outscored the opposition 6-1 over the first periods of the last five games and are now even in the first period (26-26) on the season… The Isles have scored at least three goals in a period six times this season, including four times on the road…The Isles have earned points in four of the five games since Evgeni Nabokov returned to action (2-1-2).  Nabby has a 1.96 GAA and a 92.8 save percentage in that stretch… The win keeps the Isles within nine points of third place in the Metropolitan Division…The Isles have scored 14 goals since John Tavares last scored (in Phoenix)… It’s only the Isles second win this season by at least three goals (2-10)…Detroit has been shutout four times this season, all at home.

What a First Period!
The Isles got goals from three different lines in the first period.  It was the first time all season that the Isles had scored three goals in the first period and the first time since October 13, 2011 (vs. Tampa) that the Isles held a 3-goal lead after 20 minutes.  The Isles had not held a 3-goal lead in any game since leading Nashville 3-0 on November 12th.

Four Dozen
The Isles now have four players who have scored at least 12 goals this season.  John Tavares has 13 goals, as does Thomas Vanek (9 in an Islander jersey). Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo each have 12.  The Islanders reach the break as the only team in the Eastern Conference with four players with at least 12 goals.

Catching Ziggy
Two of the most popular Islanders in the Post-Cup era are now tied in assists.  John Tavares recorded career assist 163, tying Ziggy Palffy for 22nd all-time in Isles history.  Palffy played 331 games for the Isles; Tavares has played 329. Ziggy added another 221 assists after leaving the Isles, finishing with 384. 

The Shots:
Isles            7-2-10=19
Red Wings  6-11-6=23

The Isles have had only 60 shots in the last three games (2-1-0).  It’s their fewest shots in any 3-game period since having 59 from December 23-27, 2010 (also went 2-1-0).
The 42 shots for the two teams combined are the fewest in any Islander shutout since they blanked Buffalo 6-0 on October 11, 2003, outshooting the Sabres 24-13 in Rick DiPietro’s first shutout.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 11-20-7 overall, 5-7-7 at home and 6-13-0 on the road.   The Isles are 3-2-2 in their last seven games and are 3-1-0 in their last four on the road.
The Red Wings are 17-13-9 overall; they are 6-10-6 at home and 11-3-3 on the road. Detroit is 2-5-2 in their last nine games and their 16 losses/loser points at home lead the NHL.  The Wings have sold out 124 consecutive games.

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for his 56th career shutout and first of the season. Nabokov is 7-6-5 on the season and 10-17-2 in his career against the Red Wings.
Petr Mrazek made 16 saves but falls to 1-2-0.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-1 while the Red Wings were 0-1.
The Isles are 6-5-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 5-15-3 when they do not.  The Isles are 4-14-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 7-6-4 when they do not. 
The Islander special teams have improved as of late.  The power play is 2-8 (25%) over the last 4 games while the Isles have killed 11 of 13 (84.6%) over the last five games while scoring two shorthanded goals.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 11-4-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 0-16-5 when they do not. 

Helps to Score First
The Isles are 8-5-5 when they score first and are 3-15-2 when they allow the opening goal. 

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is now 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (233) and wins (95).

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.    Al Arbour 1,500
2.    Jack Capuano 233
3.    Mike Milbury 191
4.    Terry Simpson 187
5.    Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.    Al Arbour 740
2.    Jack Capuano 95
3.    Terry Simpson 81
4.    Peter Laviolette 77
5.    Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Evgeni Nabokov: “You have to figure out for yourself how to win”
John Tavares: “We understood how we could make things difficult for them, and make it coming up the ice, it would be tough for them to get back in it.”

They Tweeted It
@MikeBlazowski #isles probably played their most complete game of the season, tons of secondary scoring, good D and solid goaltending for 60 mins
@katiescee If we can just win like this for the rest of the season we should be okay #isles

The Coach
“We competed hard and the way we wanted to. We got some timely goals, nice goals. We played pretty hard against a pretty good team.”

The Isles are 4-5-0 in the front-end and 2-5-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.
In the nine sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points once, 3 points once, 2 points three times, 1 point once and no points on three occasions.
The next back-to-back set will be December 28th (vs. New Jersey) and December 29th (at Minnesota).

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 288 career points; he is 62 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks.  No other player from that draft is anywhere close.  Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player from that draft.

Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald played 23:53 to lead the Isles for the 25th time this season.  Niklas Kromwell led the Red Wings with 26:44 of ice-time.
The Isles are 8-12-5 when MacDonald leads them in ice-time and 3-8-2 when Hamonic leads them.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 20 of 46 draws.  Frans Nielsen won 4 of 6 for the Isles; Joakim Andersson won 10 of 16 for Detroit.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles were out-hit 30-18. Colin MacDonald led the Isles with four hits, while Matt Martin extended his NHL-leading total to 183 with three hits.
There were no fights.  The Isles have been involved in 13 fights this season: Martin (6), Boulton (4), and Carkner (3), while the Red Wings have had only 4.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 11 blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald was one of three Isles with two, extending his NHL-leading total to 131.

Back To All-Time .500
The Islanders regain all-time NHL .500 (1382-1382-446 in 3,210 games). The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 above all-time NHL .500 and have not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978.

John Tavares is the reigning Islanders’ ironman. Tavares has now played in 245 consecutive games, which is the fifth-longest streak in Islander history.
Frans Nielsen (168) and Kyle Okposo (151) also have streaks of at least 150 consecutive games.

Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History 
1. Billy Harris 576 
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Matt Moulson 284
4. Denis Potvin 262
5. John Tavares 245
6. JP Parise 240

Missing Men
Lubomir Visnovsky and Radek Martinek remain on injured reserve.  Peter Regin was scratched for the third straight game while Colin McDonald and Aaron Ness replaced Eric Boulton and Matt Carkner in the lineup. The Isles have lost 89 games this season due to injury.

Nobody Beats the Viz
The Isles were 19-12-4 last season and are 3-3-2 this season with Lubomir Visnovsky in the lineup.  They were 5-5-3 last season and are 8-17-5 this season without him in the lineup.

Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 679
2. Roberto Luongo 364
3. Evgeni Nabokov 342
4. Nikolai Khabibulin 333

Career Wins
17. Rogie Vachon 355
18. Evgeni Nabokov 342
19. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 333

Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 124
2. Roberto Luongo 65
3. Evgeni Nabokov 56
4. Tomas Vokoun 51

Career Shutouts
18 Clint Benedict       57
19 Evgeni Nabokov 56
20 Bernie Parent       54
20 Ed Giacomin        54

Career Goals as an Islander
15    Mariusz Czerkawski    145
16    Jason Blake    127
17    John Tavares     125
18    Duane Sutter    121

Career Assists as an Islander
20    Jean Potvin    167
21    Jeff Norton    166
22    Zigmund Palffy    163
22    John Tavares    163
24    David Volek    154
25    Frans Nielsen    153
26    Mariusz Czerkawski    150
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
24    Eddie Westfall    493
25    Radek Martinek    476
25    Gerry Hart    476
27    Mariusz Czerkawski    470
33    Wayne Merrick  411
34    Frans Nielsen     405
35    Jean Potvin    402
36    David Volek     396
37    Bert Marshall    392
38    Travis Green     388
39    Anders Kallur     383
40    Randy Wood     381
41    Josh Bailey     365
42    Kyle Okposo     357

43    Dave Scatchard    347
47     Butch Goring    332    
47     Oleg Kvasha     332    
49     Bruno Gervais     331    
49     Ziggy Palffy     331    
51     Shawn Bates     330    
52    John Tavares     329
53    Eric Cairns     327

Career Points as an Islander
17    Mariusz Czerkawski    295
18    Duane Sutter    292
19    Alexei Yashin    290
20    John Tavares     288
21    Ed Westfall    286
27    Kenny Jonsson    232
28    Greg Gilbert    231
29    Benoit Hogue    229
29    Trent Hunter    229
31    Frans Nielsen     225
32    Matt Moulson    223
33    Mikko Makela    219
34    Kyle Okposo     218
35    Mark Parrish    214

Season Series Stats
The Isles win the season series two games to one (and four points to three). 
The Isles have won their last four trips to Detroit and have not lost at Joe Louis Arena since November 28, 2003.  They are 7-1-1 in their last nine games against the Wings overall.

Happy Anniversary
35 years ago tonight: December 23, 1978.   Bryan Trottier became the first Islander to score five goals in a game and set an NHL record with six points in the second period as the Islanders pounded the Rangers 9-4.  Trottier finished with a club record eight points. The Isles scored 7 goals in the second period, setting club records for goals, assists (13) and points (20) in a period.
Overall, the Isles are 15-11-2 on this date.

On The Farm
Dallas Jackson scored the winning goal with 93 seconds to play as Bridgeport edged Albany 4-3 in a penalty-filled game at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon. Kenny Reiter made 12 saves for the win as Bridgeport held Albany to 15 shots.  Bridgeport is 12-14-1-3 on the season and is off until Thursday when they host Hartford.
Mike Halmo leads Bridgeport with 12 goals; Anders Lee leads current Sound Tigers in both assists (13) and points (24).  Ryan Strome still leads both the team and the AHL assists (24) and still leads the team in points (33). 

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
Following the Christmas break, the Isles begin a set of three games in four days to close out 2013 when they entertain the Devils on Saturday.
It will be the first meeting of the teams since the Isles prevailed in a six-round shootout on Opening Night.

This will be the first of three Devils visits to the Coliseum this season.  It is the second straight season that New Jersey is the only opponent to visit Long Island three times.

The Isles have won three straight overall from the Devils for the first time since winning six straight from 4/8/2007 – 1/16/2008.

The Isles will be looking to snap a seven-game home winless streak (0-3-4), which matches their longest home winless streak since late in the 1998-99 season; the Isles also went 7 straight games without a home win in January/February 2008. 

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.

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