Isles 4, Philadelphia 1
Michael Grabner scored the game-winning goal late in the second period and the crowd of 13,888 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum left chanting “We Want Playoffs” as the Islanders added two late third period goals and defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. The Isles are 7-1-1 in their last nine games and move into 7th place in the East, tied in points with sixth place Ottawa and two points ahead of the eighth place Rangers.
06:28PHIJ. Voracek (17) Backhand - ASST: C. Giroux (27) AND K. Timonen (21) 1 - 0 PHI
15:36NYIM. Moulson (13) Snap - ASST: B. Boyes (22) AND J. Tavares (18) 1 - 1 TIE
17:42NYIM. Grabner (13) Snap - ASST: C. McDonald (8) AND K. Aucoin (6) 2 - 1 NYI
18:23NYIJ. Tavares (24) Wrist - ASST: M. Moulson (26) AND B. Boyes (23) 3 - 1 NYI
18:51NYIEN - C. Cizikas (6) Snap - ASST: M. Martin (6) AND C. McDonald (9) 4 - 1 NYI
The Isles are 7-1-1 in the last 9, have won 4 straight at home, and are 4 games over .500 for the first time since February 28, 2008 … The Isles are 13-2-1 when they lead after two periods while the Flyers are 2-13-0 when they trail after two … The Isles have outscored their opponents 13-4 in the third period over the last nine games … There have been 16 empty-net goals in the first 40 Isles games this season (eight for and eight against)…Colin MacDonald had two assists; he also has a two-goal game vs. Philadelphia this season … John Tavares has matched his rookie season total of 24 goals; his 24 goals in 40 games places him third in the NHL, and on a pace for 49 goals over an 82-game season
First Time in a Long Time
The Isles have 15 points (7-1-1) in the last nine games for the first time since 2009-10. The last time the Isles had more than 15 points in a nine-game stretch was early in the 2001-02 season.
First Time in a Long Time II
The Isles have allowed two goals or fewer in six straight games. It’s the first time since an eight-game stretch from Jan. 17-31, 2004 that the Isles have allowed two or fewer in six straight games.
•3 Washington (SE Leader) 40 games 21-17-2 44 points (18 ROW) Next game: Thursday vs. Carolina
•5. Toronto 39 games 22-13-4 48 points (22 ROW) Next game: Wednesday at NY Rangers
•6 Ottawa 39 games 19-14-6 44 points (15 ROW) Next game: Thursday at Philadelphia
•7 NY Islanders 40 games 20-16-4 44 points (17 ROW) Next game: Thursday at Boston
•8 NY Rangers 39 games 19-16-4 42 points (16 ROW) Next game: Wednesday vs. Toronto
•9 Winnipeg 41 games 20-19-2 42 points (19 ROW) Next game: Thursday vs. Florida
•10 New Jersey 39 games 15-14-10 40 points (13 ROW) Next game: Wednesday vs. Boston
Isn’t it Magic?
The Islanders’ magic number for clinching a playoff spot is 15. Of the teams currently not in a playoff spot, New Jersey can reach the highest total (58 points).
The Isles have allowed 27 shots or less in six straight games and in 11 of their last 12 games.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 20-16-4 overall, 9-11-2 at home and 11-5-2 on the road. Their 44 points in 40 games is their highest total since they also had 44 points in 40 games in 2007-08. The Isles are four games over .500 for the first time since February 28, 2008 when they were 31-27-7.
The Isles have points in five straight (4-0-1) and are 7-1-1 in their last nine games. They have won four straight at home for the first time since a six-game winning streak from December 29, 2009 - January 21, 2010.
The Flyers are 17-19-3 overall, 12-5-2 at home and 5-14-1 on the road. The Flyers have lost two straight after winning their previous four games.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves and improves to 19-11-4 on the season, lowering his goals against average to 2.59. It was Nabokov’s 331st career win, tying Nikolai Khabibulin for 19th place in NHL history (and third among active goalies behind Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo).
With 19 wins, Nabokov is now one behind Marc-Andre Fleury and Niklas Backstrom for the NHL lead (20). His 19 wins match last season’s total (19-18-3).
Steve Mason made 28 saves in his first start for the Flyers but falls to 3-7-1 overall.
The Islanders were 0-for-1 while the Flyers were 0-for-2. The Isles’ power play is 0-for-11 this season against Philadelphia.
The Isles have had either one or two power plays in five straight games (2-for-7), and have had only one power play in each of their last three home games.
The Isles have not allowed a power play goal in a season-high six straight games (11-for-11); they also had a six-game streak late last season.
The Isles are 13-3-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 7-13-3 when they do not.
In (Almost) Every Game
The Isles have been tied or ahead at some point in the third period in 34-of-40 games this season (20-10-4).
Jack Capuano is the third-winningest coach in Islander history and is just one win behind Terry Simpson for second place. He is also now tied with Simpson for the third-highest total in games coached for the Islanders.
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.Al Arbour 740
2.Terry Simpson 81
3.Jack Capuano 80
4.Peter Laviolette 77
5.Ted Nolan 74
Most games coached (Islanders):
1.Al Arbour 1,500
2.Mike Milbury 191
3.Jack Capuano 187
4.Terry Simpson 187
5.Scott Gordon 181
They Said It
John Tavares on the Fans: “When we started to generate some momentum throughout the game, and especially in the third period, they got loud. They pushed us and created a great atmosphere. We want to make our building a tough place to play in and they're part of that. They make it difficult as much as we do."
They Tweeted It
@KatieStrangESPN #Isles Game ends with fans chanting "We Want Playoffs!" at NVMC. Final score Isles 4, Flyers 1
“They wanted to play meaningful games in the last month…and they are getting that opportunity.”
As Tavares Goes…
The Isles are 1-0-0 when Tavares has four points, 1-0-1 when he has three points, 7-2-0 when he has two points, 10-4-0 when he has one point, and 1-10-3 when Tavares is pointless.
What a Pair!
John Tavares and Matt Moulson have combined for 37 goals this season. Moulson has assisted on 18 Tavares goals this season after assisting on 12 of his 31 goals last season. Tavares has earned an assist on nine Moulson goals this season.
John Tavares has scored a goal in each of the last four games in which Matt Moulson has also scored a goal.
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 244 career points, 58 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.
116 NHL Goals
Moulson has 116 career goals (110 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 24:29 to lead the Isles. Claude Giroux led the Flyers with 23:43.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 25-of-51 draws. John Tavares won 7-of-10 for the Isles; he has won 15-of-23 over the last two games.
The Islanders out-hit the Flyers 19-18. Matt Martin led the Isles with five hits; he has an NHL-leading 199 hits. Martin also fought Brayden Schenn; it was Martin’s seventh fight and the team’s 15th fight this season.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 12 blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald was one of four players with two blocks. He now leads the NHL with 106 blocks.
The Islanders improve to six games over .500 all-time (1367-1361-436 in 3164 games). The Isles have been 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.
April Wins Bring May Playoff Games
The Isles were 4-2-1 in January and 4-9-1 in February, and 8-5-1 in March. They are 4-0-1 in April.
With Matt Moulson missing Saturday’s game, John Tavares is the reigning Islanders’ ironman. Tavares has now played in 199 consecutive games.
Three other Islanders have streaks of at least 100 games. Frans Nielsen and Mark Streit have each played in 122 consecutive games while Kyle Okposo has played in 105 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 199
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 122
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.
Matt Moulson replaced Anders Lee in the lineup while Matt Carkner replaced Radek Martinek. Marty Reasoner and Eric Boulton were also scratched. Joe Finley and Brian Strait are on Injured Reserve.
The Isles have scored 80 goals in their 20 wins (4.00 per game) and 34 goals in their other 20 games (0-16-4; 1.70 per game). In their 16 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 24 goals (1.50 per game).
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 666
2. Roberto Luongo 346
3. Evgeni Nabokov 331
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 331
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 317
18. Gump Worsley 335
19. Evgeni Nabokov 331
19. Nikolai Khabibulin 331
21. Harry Lumley 330
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 120
2. Roberto Luongo 62
3. Evgeni Nabokov 55
4. Tomas Vokoun 51
5. Nikolai Khabibulin 46
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 110
23John Tavares 108
24Benoit Hogue 105
24Ed Westfall 105
Career Assists as an Islander
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
39Randy Wood 381
40Frans Nielsen 359
50Eric Cairns 327
51Alan Kerr 326
52Brad Dalgarno 321
52Josh Bailey 321
54Ray Ferraro 316
54Steve Webb 316
54Richard Park 316
57Gerald Diduck 314
58Kyle Okposo 311
59Mikko Makela 307
60Gordon Lane 304
61Arron Asham 300
61Roman Hamrlik 300
63Gordon Dineen 287
64Matt Moulson 285
65John Tavares 283
66Jeffrey Norton 282
67Mark Streit 278
Career Points as an Islander
24John Tavares 244
36Matt Moulson 209
40Frans Nielsen 190
43Kyle Okposo 178
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series two games to one (the Isles have earned four points to Philadelphia’s three). The final meeting of the season will be on April 25 at Philadelphia.
It’s the Isles’ first home win over the Flyers since April 1, 2010 (0-6-1).
23 years ago tonight (4-9-90): In the first double-overtime game in Coliseum history, Brent Sutter scored 59 seconds into the second overtime as the Islanders defeated the Rangers 4-3. The victory was the Isles’ only win in a five-game series.
Also on this date: The Islanders blank the Senators 3-0 for Garth Snow’s only playoff shutout as an Islander (2003).
All-time, the Isles are 3-4-0 in regular season play and 4-4 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on this date.
On The Farm
Bridgeport was shutout 3-0 at home by Worcester Tuesday. Bridgeport is 30-30-6-5 on the season, with three of their final five games coming at home. The Sound Tigers are four points out of a playoff spot with five to play. Bridgeport has only one game in the next seven days (Friday at Syracuse).
THURSDAY, APRIL 11 ISLANDERS AT BOSTON (7:00PM)
[MSG+ (pre-game show at 6:30), WRHU (88.7FM]
Could it be a possible playoff preview when the Isles visit Boston on Thursday? It’s the final meeting of the regular season between the Isles and Bruins with the Bruins winning each of the first two.
The Isles will be catching the Bruins on the back-end of a back-to-back set as Boston visits New Jersey on Wednesday.
This is the only game remaining on the Islanders schedule against a team in the top-6 in the Eastern Conference standings.
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.