Isles 4, Canadiens 3 (OT)
Thomas Hickey scored his first career goal 3:12 into overtime as the Islanders rallied from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 before a sellout crowd of 21,273 at Bell Centre. Hickey is the first Islander since Radek Martinek (10/18/01 vs. Carolina) to record his first NHL goal in overtime. The win ends the Canadiens’ five-game winning streak; Montreal had allowed only five goals in the five games, including only two goals in their last four games.
00:49MTLT. Moen (2) Wrist - ASST: C. Armstrong (2) 1 - 0 MTL
11:02MTLPPG - M. Pacioretty (3) Wrist - ASST: D. Desharnais (5) AND P. Subban (4) 2 - 0 MTL
00:34NYIPPG - M. Moulson (8) Tip-In - ASST: M. Streit (5) AND L. Visnovsky (5) 2 - 1 MTL
08:30MTLM. Pacioretty (4) Wrist - ASST: D. Desharnais (6) 3 - 1 MTL
16:57NYIPPG - M. Moulson (9) Snap - ASST: J. Tavares (10) AND B. Boyes (9) 3 - 2 MTL
09:51NYIF. Nielsen (2) Wrist - ASST: J. Bailey (2) AND E. Nabokov (3) 3 - 3 TIE
03:12NYIT. Hickey (1) Wrist - ASST: M. Grabner (3) AND J. Tavares (11) 4 - 3 NYI
Montreal has outscored its opponents 15-7 in the first period this season …The Isles were held to only one shot over a 19+ minute stretch of the first period … Pacioretty recorded his 10th multi-goal game (second against the Isles); he now has four goals in the last three games … Moulson recorded his 105th and 106th goal as an Islander, allowing him to first tie, and then pass Benoit Hogue and Ed Westfall for 22nd all-time … Moulson now has three multi-goal games; only Patrick Marleau (4) has more …Tavares now has seven multi-point games; only Steven Stamkos (8) has more … Despite having the most points in the East, Montreal is 7-1-3 (.636 win percentage) leading after 2 periods; only Washington has a lower winning percentage … Nabokov leads all NHL goalies in assists (3); it’s the most assists by an Isles goalie since Rick DiPietro had a club-record six assists in 2007-08 … Montreal was called for six icings in the first half of the third period.
Not the Way to Start
The Isles have allowed a goal on the opponent’s first shot three times this season:
•JT Miller (NYR) 2/7/13
•Daniel Briere (PHI) 2/18/13
•Travis Moen (MTL) 2/21/13
The Isles are 1-2-0 in those games.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 7-9-1 overall, 2-6-0 at home and 5-3-1 on the road.
The Islanders’ 5-3-1 road record matches their second-best road record through nine games in the past 25 years:
•2001-02 7-2-0 14 points
•2006-07 5-3-1 11 points
•2012-13 5-3-1 11 points
•1997-98 4-2-3 11 points
The Canadiens are 11-4-2 overall, 7-3-1 at home and 4-1-1 on the road.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 30 saves as he improves to 7-6-1 on the season. Nabokov also added his third assist of the season, matching his career-high (2001-02, but in 67 games). In 302 games over his last five NHL seasons, Nabokov had three assists total. Nabokov now has one goal and 12 assists in his career.
Carey Price made 21 saves for Montreal. He is 9-3-1 on the season.
The Isles went 2-for-4 on the power play while the Habs were 1-for-4. It’s the fourth time in the last 11 games that the Isles have scored at least two power play goals. The Isles have allowed a power play goal in six straight games.
The Isles power play is 9-for-27 (33.3%) on the road this season.
They Said It
John Tavares: “We have to be better over the full 60 minutes … but it’s a big win for us.”
They Tweeted It
RT @tsnjamesduthie: Congrats to former Team Canada World Jr. Captain Thomas Hickey. First NHL goal is an OT winner for the Islanders.
“(The first period was) the tightest we’ve played…but we played a good second and third.”
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 224 career points; he is 57 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.
Friends, Friends, Friends
Matt Moulson has nine goals this season; John Tavares has earned an assist on six of them. Tavares has now been on-ice for 69 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 46 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa Bay.
112 NHL Goals
Moulson has 112 career goals (106 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 entry draft, only 17 have more goals.
Six of Matt Moulson's nine goals this season have come on the road. Scoring on the road is nothing new for Moulson; 23 of his 36 goals last season also came on the road. Only Steven Stamkos (24) had more.
John Tavares has 13 road points this season. Only Patrick Kane (18) has more.
Leading Ice Men
Lubomir Visnovsky played a season-high 28:05 to lead the Isles. He was on ice for three of the four Islander goals (14 of 19 since joining the team). It was only the second time this season that neither Andrew MacDonald nor Mark Streit led the team in ice time.
Raphael Diaz led the Habs with 22:33.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 33 draws; the Canadiens won 36. Marty Reasoner won 8-of-13 for the Isles; Tomas Plekanec won 13-of-19 for Montreal.
The Islanders out-hit Montreal 26-20; Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas led the Isles with four hits each. Every Islander defenseman and winger had at least one hit. Joe Finley fought Brandon Prust in the second period, raising the season total to 10.
Back to .500
The Islanders regain an all-time .500 record (1354-1354-433 in 3141 games). The Isles have been one game below .500 twice last season and twice this season. Prior to that, they had not been below .500 since they were 177-178-83 before their victory on January 16, 1978.
3 Usually Enough
The Isles are 7-1-1 when scoring at least three goals and 0-8-0 when scoring two or less.
Here's a number that Howie Rose likes to refer to from time-to-time. Thomas Hickey is the fifth player to score his first goal as an Islander this season, joining Brad Boyes, Keith Aucoin, Casey Cizikas and Colin MacDonald. 326 players in Islander history have scored a goal.
Overtime is Our Time
The Isles are 2-1 in games decided in overtime and are 1-0 in games decided in a shootout. The Isles are also 7-1 in overtimes/shootouts vs. Montreal since December 2001.
Some Stats Make No Sense
The Isles improve to 3-3-0 in games that they trail after one period. They are 2-6-1 in games that are tied after one period.
A Tale of Two Months
The Isles were 4-2-1 in January, outscoring their opponents 27-23. The Isles are 3-7-0 in February, and have been outscored 37-22.
This was the middle game of a three game road trip, and the only five days that the Isles are away from the Metropolitan area in February. The Isles are 1-1-0 on the trip with a game remaining in Buffalo on Saturday.
Battling the Northeast
This was the second game of an eight game stretch in which the Isles will play seven Northeast opponents, one Southeast opponent, and no divisional (Atlantic) opponents. The Isles are 1-1-0 in this stretch.
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 263 games since joining the team, passing Denis Potvin for third place all-time. 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 176 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 99.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1. Billy Harris 576
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Matt Moulson 263
4. Denis Potvin 262
Radek Martinek, David Ullstrom and Eric Boulton were scratched. Matt Carkner and Brian Strait are on Injured Reserve. Jesse Joensuu remains suspended after suffering an injury in Europe.
The Isles have scored 31 goals in their seven wins (4.43 per game) and 17 goals in their other 10 games (0-9-1; 1.70 per game). In their nine regulation losses, the Isles have scored 13 goals (1.44 per game).
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 664
2. Roberto Luongo 343
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 329
4. Evgeni Nabokov 319
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 313
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov 319
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 313
Career Goals as an Islander
21Ray Ferraro 116
22Matt Moulson 106
23Benoit Hogue 105
23Ed Westfall 105
25Anders Kallur 101
26 Trent Hunter 99
27John Tavares 95
27Mikko Makela 95
27David Volek 95
Career Assists as an Islander
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
43Marty McInnis 337
44Frans Nielsen 336
45Butch Goring 332
45Oleg Kvasha 332
58Gord Lane 304
59Arron Asham 300
59Roman Hamrlik 300
61Josh Bailey 299
62Kyle Okposo 288
63Gord Dineen 287
64Jeff Norton 282
66Matt Moulson 263
67Andre St. Laurant261
69John Tavares 260
70Brad Lauer 259
71Benoit Hogue 258
72Pierre Turgeon 255
72Mark Streit 255
74Jude Drouin 250
Career Points as an Islander
30John Tavares 224
40Matt Moulson 189
42Frans Nielsen 177
49Kyle Okposo 166
Season Series Stats
The Islanders lead the season series one game to none (two points to one). This was the Islanders’ only visit to Montreal this season. The Canadiens will be at the Coliseum March 5 and March 21, and like this game, both of those meetings will occur two days after the Isles play Ottawa.
The Islanders improve to 5-3-1 over the past five seasons in Montreal; however, all five Isles wins have been in overtimes or shootouts, leaving Montreal 7-0-5 in the last 12 at home against the Isles since March 13, 2007.
Five years ago today (2-21-08): Rick DiPietro made 32 saves and Miroslav Satan scored the only goal as the Islanders blanked Tampa Bay 1-0 at the Coliseum. It was the Islanders sixth straight win, a feat that they have not matched since.
All-time, the Isles are 10-12-0 on this date, but have won six of the last seven.
On The Farm
Bridgeport is 22-21-3-3. The Sound Tigers are tied for third with Albany in the Northeast Division after being swept in a home-and-home series by Providence. Bridgeport visits Springfield on Friday. Nino Niederreiter continues to lead Bridgeport in goals (22) and points (39).
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23 ISLANDERS AT BUFFALO (7:00PM)
[MSG+ (Pre-game show at 6:30PM), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The Islanders conclude their three game road trip with a game in Buffalo against the Sabres. The Sabres, who fired Lindy Ruff on Wednesday, are now led by interim coach Ron Rolston. Buffalo lost their first game under Rolston on Thursday in Toronto by a 3-1 score.
The Sabres defeated the Isles 3-2 back on February 9 at the Coliseum despite the Islanders holding a 43-15 shot advantage.
Friday marks the 33rd anniversary of The Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid. Twenty years later, one of the Islanders’ biggest fans was born. Happy birthday, Evan! Hard to believe you’re a teenager.
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.