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The Skinny: Islanders 4, Capitals 1

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Eastern Conference First Round Game 1

Isles 4, Washington 1 [Isles lead series, 1 game to 0]


Brock Nelson scored two goals as the Isles got four goals from 1st round draft picks in a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series before a sellout crowd of 18,506 at Verizon Center.

Nine different Islanders participated in the scoring, including two points each for Nelson and Josh Bailey.

The Isles lead a playoff series for the first time since 2003, when they won game 1 vs. Ottawa.

The Scoring:
1ST PERIOD

06:06    NYI    Brock Nelson (1) ASST: Josh Bailey (1), Johnny Boychuk (1)    1 - 0 NYI    
19:03    WSH    Marcus Johansson (1) ASST: Brooks Laich (1)    1 - 1 Tie    

2ND PERIOD
03:50    NYI    Ryan Strome (1) ASST: John Tavares (1)    2 - 1 NYI    
10:36    NYI    Josh Bailey (1) ASST: Kyle Okposo (1), Frans Nielsen (1)    3 - 1 NYI    

3RD PERIOD
18:41    NYI    EN - Brock Nelson (2) ASST: Anders Lee (1), Michael Grabner (1) 4 - 1 NYI

The Series
•    WED APRIL 15, 2015    ISLANDERS 4,    Washington 1    
•    FRI APRIL 17, 2015    ISLANDERS @    Washington    7:00 PM (MSG+)        
•    SUN APRIL 19, 2015    Washington @ ISLANDERS    12:00 PM (NBC)
•    TUE APRIL 21, 2015    Washington @ ISLANDERS    7:30 PM (MSG+)    
•    THU APRIL 23, 2015    ISLANDERS @    Washington    IF NECESSARY (MSG+)        
•    SAT APRIL 25, 2015    Washington @ ISLANDERS    IF NECESSARY (TBD)
•    MON APRIL 27, 2015    ISLANDERS @    Washington    IF NECESSARY (MSG+)

The Skinny
The Isles scored four goals in the first game of a playoff series for the first time since a 4-3 win vs. New Jersey in the 1988 Patrick Division Semi-Finals.  It’s the first time that the Isles have scored four goals in the first game of a playoff series ON THE ROAD since winning game 1 of the 1983 Wales Conference Finals in Boston on April 26, 1983…The Isles are 9-19 all-time in game 1’s played on the road and 26-23 in game 1’s overall… Washington is 22-16 all-time in game 1s, including 14-9 at home…Josh Bailey now has five points in 7 career playoff games…Ryan Strome scored a goal in his first Stanley Cup Playoff game while Nelson scored twice in his 2nd career playoff game…Mark Streit had two goals in the last Isles playoff win (5-7-13 vs. Pittsburgh) but Nelson is the first Islander to do so on the road since Jason Blake did so on April 10, 2004 in Tampa Bay…Nelson is the first Islander to score twice in a playoff series opener since Pat LaFontaine did so on April 6, 1988 vs. New Jersey…The Isles held Alex Ovechkin without a point; Ovechkin, who earned his 5th Rocket Richard this season, began the game ranked first in career playoff goals per game among active NHL player…Anders Lee eaned an empty-net assist in his first career playoff game…Calvin deHaan also appeared in his first NHL playoff game…Karl Alzner went -4; it was the second consecutive playoff game that the Caps had a player go -4 (Mike Ribiero and Eric Fehr 5/11/13 vs. Rangers)..John Tavares was held without a shot; he had a shot in 79 of the Isles’ 82 games in the regular season; Tavares also went shotless in the 2013 playoff opener.

A Familiar Playoff Foe
This is the 7th meeting of the Isles and Washington in the playoffs (Isles are 5-1 and have won 19 of 31 games)
•    1983 Patrick Division Semi-Finals  Isles won series 3-1
•    1984 Patrick Division Finals  Isles won series 4-1
•    1985 Patrick Division Semi-Finals  Isles won series 3-2
•    1986 Patrick Division Semi-Finals  Caps won series 3-0 (Arbour retired thereafter)
•    1987 Patrick Division Semi-Finals  Isles won series 4-3 (LaFontaine 4 OT; only playoff series won by anyone other than Arbour)
•    1993 Patrick Division Semi-Finals  Isles won series 4-2
•    2015 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals.  Isles lead series 1-0.

Playoffs All-time
The Isles improve to 137-110 in 247 all-time playoff games.  They are 78-40 at home and 59-70 on the road.

Year of the Fan:
The Isles sold-out 27 of their 41 regular season home dates this season, including each of the last eleven dates. The 27 sellouts are the most for the Isles since the 1980s.  The Isles have drawn at least 15,000 fans 32 times this season.

Home Sweet Home
The Isles went 25-14-2 on Coliseum ice, equaling their most home wins since 1984-85 (they finished 25-11-4-1 in 2003-04 and went 26-11-3 in 1984-85).

The Isles went 831-610-224 in 1,665 regular season games all-time at the Coliseum.

Road Warriors
The Isles finished the season 22-14-5 on the road, including 6-2-4 in their last 12.  The Isles have won at least 20 road games in consecutive seasons for the second time in franchise history (1981-82 and 1982-83).

The Shots:
Isles            11-6-10=27
Washington  7-10-8=25

The Isles outshot 61 of their 82 opponents in the regular season and have outshot the Caps in the only game of this series. The 61 times outshooting their opponent is the highest total in the NHL this season.

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves in his first playoff appearance since 2012. He is 11-11 all-time in playoff games.

Braden Holtby made 23 saves. He is 10-12 all-time in playoff games.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play, while Washington was 0-2.

For the series, the Isles are 0-2 and the Caps are also 0-2.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles went 40-8-4 in the regular season when they scored at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-20-3 when they did not.  

In the playoffs, the Isles are 1-0 when scoring at least three goals.

One Goal Games
The Isles are 0-0 in games decided by a single goal; they are 0-0 in games decided in regulation and are 0-0 in games decided in overtime.  

First Goal
The Isles are 1-0 when they score first and are 0-0 when they allow the opening goal.   

Coach Cappy
Jack Capuano improves to 3-4 in playoff games 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.

Capuano is only the 4th Isles coach to lead at least 2 Islander teams to the playoffs, joining Al Arbour, Terry Simpson, and Peter Laviolette.

Most playoff wins by Islander coaches:
•    Al Arbour 123
•    Terry Simpson 9
•    Peter Laviolette 4
•    Jack Capuano 3
•    Ted Nolan 1
•    Steve Stirling 1

Most playoff games coached (Islanders):
•    Al Arbour 209
•    Terry Simpson 20
•    Peter Laviolette 12
•    Jack Capuano 7
•    Steve Stirling 5
•    Ted Nolan 5
 
They Said It
Josh Bailey: “It was a hard fought game …both Fransy & Okie did a great job (on his goal) – I was just the beneficiary.”
Ryan Strome: “(Jaro) is the backbone. If we’re going to go far, he is going to lead us.”
Kyle Okposo:  “It was a good win for us tonight; we played a pretty solid game.”

They Tweeted It
@jjuston Johnny Boychuk has done some great things during this game #Isles
@MCatlin1984 @Bnelson may be the best player on the ice tonight #isles
@mattcallahan Heart palpitations, nausea, forgetting to breathe. Been too long since I had these feelings during the #StanleyCupPlayoffs
@DumpandChase80 I thought Grabner was very good tonight, also Kulemin is not human he is a beast. Young guys didn't look overwhelmed either #isles
@mikeymarsch Couldn't ask for a better start! Love what I saw! Love this team!  #Isles

The Coach
“We wanted to be a better defensive team (this season)… Our goalie did a real good job… Our penalty killing has been a bit more aggressive.”

Leading Ice Men
Johnny Boychuk led all Isles with 23:05 of ice-time. John Carlson led Washington in ice-time with 23:03.
Isles playoff record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (1-0)

John Tavares led Isles forwards with 17:43 of ice-time. Isles playoff record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (1-0).  

In the Circle
The Islanders won 23 of 62 draws (37%).  Casey Cizikas won 7 of 13 draws for the Isles; Michael Latta won 7 of 9 draws and Nicklas Backstrom won 14 of 20 for Washington. The Isles won 7 of 23 in the first period but improved to win 16 of 39 in the final 40 minutes. The Isles won 2 of 3 on the power play and 2 of 4 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles were out-hit by Washington 46-36. Matt Martin led the Isles with eight hits; Brooks Orpik had 9 hits for Washington.
There were no fights in the game.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 19 blocked shots; Brian Strait and Johnny Boychuk led the team with 3.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 65-55, including 23-11 in the first period. The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).  

Nick Leddy led the Isles with a +10 even-strength Corsi rating; he was on-ice for a team-leading 65% of Corsi For event. Alex Ovechkin led Washington with a +8 rating.

Missing Men
Injured: Mikhail Grabovski & Travis Hamonic.

Healthy extras: Colin McDonald, Eric Boulton, Griffin Reinhart, Tyler Kennedy and Matt Donovan.

The Isles have lost 2 games this post-season due to injury/illness.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on APRIL 15th
32 years ago tonight (1983) – Duane Sutter never scored a regular season hat trick for the Isles, but he did get one in the playoffs, and it led the Isles to a 5-0 victory over the Rangers in game 2 of the Patrick Division Finals.

After John Tonelli got the scoring started just 54 seconds into the game, Duane scored twice in the first period as the Isles grabbed a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes.

Both goals in the second period were Sutter tallies as well, but brother Brent prevented Duane from earning a natural hat trick with a goal at 8:02.  Duane recorded the hat trick at 16:56 and fittingly Brent earned an assist.

Bob Bourne recorded three assists for the Isles, who grabbed a 2-0 lead in the series, outscoring the Rangers 9-1 in the first two games.

Glen Hanlon was in nets for the Rangers – he would play a more pivotal role at the Coliseum 361 days later.

Bill Smith made 23 saves as he recorded the fourth of his franchise-record 5 playoff shutouts. The Isles recorded a franchise-record-tying 47 shots (for a playoff game).

Sutter holds the Isles record for most goals without a regular season hat trick (121).  (Kyle Okposo was the only other Islander with at least 100 goals who did not have a hat trick, until he netted four vs. Pittsburgh in January.  The current leader in goals among players who have never had a hat trick for the Isles is Josh Bailey, who has 81.)
 
Also on this date: (1992) – Steve Thomas scored 4 goals as the Isles closed out the regular season with a 7-0 whipping of the New Jersey Devils.  Ray Ferraro scored his 40th goal while Benoit Hogue notched his 30th as Al Arbour coached his 1,438th NHL game- setting an NHL record at the time.

Chris Terreri was pulled after two periods, having allowed 2 of Thomas’ goals and 5 in all.  The final two goals were allowed by a teenager who wouldn’t even have his rookie season until 1993-94, Martin Brodeur.
 
All-time, the Isles have played two regular season and three playoff games on April 15th at the Coliseum; they have compiled a 2-0-0 regular season and 2-1 playoff record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 27-38-7-1, heading into the final weekend of their regular season.
Bridgeport plays Friday night in Hartford and Saturday night in Syracuse, before returning home for the season finale at 3:00pm on Sunday against Hartford.

Up Next
Eastern Conference First Round – Game 2
FRIDAY, APRIL 15th –ISLANDERS AT WASHINGTON 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 LI News]


The Isles look to take a 2-0 lead in the series when they play again at the Verizon Center.

The Isles have not led a playoff series 2-0 since sweeping Edmonton to win the Stanley Cup in 1983 and have not had a 2-game lead in a series since winning 3 of the first 4 vs. Washington in 1993.

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.

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