Isles 4, New Jersey 3(SO)
Michael Grabner scored two goals and added an assist but the Islanders needed a shootout goal from Matt Moulson to earn a 4-3 Opening Night win over the Devils before 16,624 at Prudential Center in Newark … It’s the Isles’ first Opening Night win since defeating Buffalo in 2007 and only their second in their last 11 Openers (2-7-2) … Grabner is the first Islander since Mike Comrie in 2007 to score twice in an Isles’ opener; no Islander has ever had a hat trick on Opening Night.
02:59NJD D. Brunner (1) Wrist shot - ASST: D. Zubrus (1), A. Loktionov (1)1 - 0 NJD
08:07NYI M. Grabner (1) Wrist shot - ASST: T. Hamonic (1)1 - 1 Tie
04:46NJD M. Ryder (1) Wrap-around - ASST: B. Salvador (1), M. Zidlicky (1)2 - 1 NJD
13:43NYI M. Grabner (2) Wrist shot - ASST: J. Bailey (1)2 - 2 Tie
01:01NYI F. Nielsen (1) Backhand shot - ASST: M. Grabner (1), M. Donovan (1)3 - 2 NYI
07:34NJD D. Brunner (2) Wrist shot - ASST: R. Clowe (1), A. Volchenkov (1)3 - 3 Tie
Damien Brunner (NG), Frans Nielsen(NG), Ryane Clowe(NG), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (NG). Patrik Elias(NG),John Tavares(NG), Travis Zajac (NG),Josh Bailey(NG),Michael Ryder(NG),Kyle Okposo(NG), Jaromir Jagr(NG), Matt Moulson (Goal; Game Deciding Goal)
This was the Isles’ longest shootout since a six-round shootout win against Montreal on March 17, 2012.
Michael Grabner is the first Islander forward to open the season’s scoring since Doug Weight in 2008 (h/t Travis Betts) … Grabner also matched a career-high with three points … Going back to last season, the Isles’ last five regular season games have been decided by one goal – including four in shootouts … Matt Moulson, who did not have a shootout attempt last season, scored the deciding goal as he improves to 7/14 all-time in shootouts (50%) … Evgeni Nabokov recorded his 336th career win, passing Hall-of-Famer Gump Worsley for 18th all-time … Frans Nielsen has been stopped on six straight shootout attempts … Matt Donovan recorded his first career assist/point in his 4th career NHL game … Donovan led all AHL defensemen in scoring last season.
Paging Dave Salvian
After making his NHL debut in the playoffs against Pittsburgh last season, Brock Nelson played in his first regular season game. This leaves Dave Salvian as the only player in club history to appear only in the playoffs.
This was the first time in five seasons that the Isles opened on the road. The Isles are now 11-22-8 in 41 road openers and improve to 10-21-10 on Opening Night (including 8-17-8 when they open on the road). The Isles defeated Toronto in their first road game last season, so they have won consecutive road openers for only the second time in franchise history (1980-81).
This was the first shootout win on opening night in club history (1-2 in three Opening Night shootouts) and the first time that the Isles have opened the road season with a shootout win.
The win also ended an Isles five-game (0-3-2) winless streak on Opening Night, which was the longest current streak in the NHL.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 1-0-0 overall, 0-0-0 at home and 1-0-0 on the road.
The Devils are 0-1-1 overall, 0-0-1 at home and 0-1-0 on the road.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves and then stopped all six shots in the shootout to win the season opener. Nabokov is the first Islander since Rick DiPietro to start consecutive openers. Nabokov improves to 29-25 all-time in the shootout.
Martin Brodeur made 23 saves for New Jersey.
The Islanders were 0-2 while the Devils were 0-2.
The Isles are 0-0-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 1-0-0 when they do not.
Second to The One
Jack Capuano is now 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (196) and wins (85). He will coach his 200th game next Saturday in Nashville.
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.Al Arbour 740
2.Jack Capuano 85
3.Terry Simpson 81
4.Peter Laviolette 77
5.Ted Nolan 74
Most games coached (Islanders):
1.Al Arbour 1,500
2.Jack Capuano 196
3.Mike Milbury 191
4.Terry Simpson 187
5.Scott Gordon 181
They Said It
Travis Hamonic: “I’m happy we got (the win). It was greasy for sure…We expect (Nabby) to be a wall back there.”
They Tweeted It
@MikeMannucci91 Nabokov had himself a night as well and stole that one for us, but the #Isles need to be better in their own zone. It's as simple as that
I was happy with our guys tonight…we battled back…we never quit. (However) we did not manage the puck well tonight.
As Tavares Goes…
The Isles went 4-10-5 last season when Tavares was held pointless, but are 1-0-0 this season.
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 249 career points; he is 59 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.
118 NHL Goals
Moulson has 118 career goals (112 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, only 16 have more goals.
Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald played 24:44 to lead the Isles. Bryce Salvador led New Jersey with 26:08.
The Isles are 1-0-0 when MacDonald leads them in ice time.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 28-of-52 draws. Frans Nielsen won 7-of-11 to lead the Isles while Patrik Elias won 8-of-13 for New Jersey.
The Islanders out-hit New Jersey 15-13. Matt Martin, who has led the NHL in hits in each of the last two seasons, had three hits as did Casey Cizikas. There were no fights.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 14 blocked shots; Andrew MacDonald and Thomas Hickey each had three.
The Islanders are 10 games over .500 all-time (1372-1362-439 in 3,173 games). The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 with an all-time record above .500.
John Tavares is the reigning Islanders’ ironman. Tavares has now played in 208 consecutive games.
Frans Nielsen (131) and Kyle Okposo (114) also have streaks of at least 100 consecutive games.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Post Cup Era
•Matt Moulson 10/3/2009 - 4/4/2013 284
•Richard Park 10/5/2006 – 2/18/2009 221
•Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995 - 2/4/1998 220
•Bryan Trottier 3/7/1981 - 1/12/1984 219
•Mariusz Czerkawski 12/23/1999 – 4/14/2002 215
•John Tavares 10/16/10 – CURRENT 208
Griffin Reinhart, Eric Boulton and Matt Carkner were scratched.
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 669
2. Roberto Luongo 348
3. Evgeni Nabokov 336
4. Nikolai Khabibulin 331
17. Roberto Luongo 348
18. Evgeni Nabokov 336
19. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 331
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 121
2. Roberto Luongo 62
3. Evgeni Nabokov 55
4. Tomas Vokoun 51
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 112
22John Tavares 112
24Benoit Hogue 105
24Ed Westfall 105
Career Assists as an Islander
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
39Randy Wood 381
40Frans Nielsen 368
49Shawn Bates 330
49Josh Bailey 330
51Eric Cairns 327
52Alan Kerr 326
53Brad Dalgarno 321
54Kyle Okposo 320
55Ray Ferraro 316
55Steve Webb 316
55Richard Park 316
58Gerald Diduck 314
59Mikko Makela 307
60Gordon Lane 304
61Arron Asham 300
61Roman Hamrlik 300
63Matt Moulson 294
64John Tavares 292
65Gordon Dineen 287
Career Points as an Islander
23John Tavares 249
32Matt Moulson 214
38Frans Nielsen 197
42Kyle Okposo 185
Season Series Stats
The Islanders lead the season series one game to none (and two points to one). The next three meetings will all be at the Coliseum (New Jersey is the only team to visit Long Island three times this season) before the Isles return to The Rock in April.
The Isles have won three straight over the Devils and have also won three straight games in Newark.
16 years ago tonight (10-4-97): Tommy Salo recorded a shutout as the Islanders defeated Toronto 3-0 in their home opener.
All-time, the Isles are 2-3-0 on this date.
On The Farm
Bridgeport opens their season with home games Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5—COLUMBUS AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
The Islanders play their home opener and the back-end of their first set of back-to-backs at the Coliseum as they welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Eastern Conference and to the Metropolitan Division.
Columbus dropped a 4-3 decision on Friday to Calgary; former Rangers Marian Gaborik and Artem Anisimov had two of the three Blue Jacket goals while former Isles Blake Comeau and James Wisniewski each added assists.
This is the first of four meetings between the teams, who have played only 14 times since the Jackets entered the NHL for the 2000-01 season. The Isles are 3-0-1 in the last four at home against Columbus, although a Jacob Voracek overtime goal gave the Jackets a Turkey Eve victory in their last visit to the Coliseum in 2010.
The Isles will be looking to start a season with consecutive victories for the first time since 2007 and only the sixth time in franchise history.
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.