The Comeback Kids did it again, as the Isles rallied from 1-0 and 3-1 deficits for a 4-3 shootout victory over the Philadelphia Flyers before a near-sellout crowd of 16,048 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The win lifts the Isles within 5 points of the final playoff spot. The Isles are 7-3-0 in 2014 and are 11-5-0 in their last 16 games. The Scoring: 1st Period NONE 2nd Period 01:26 PHI SHG - Matt Read (12) Backhand - ASST: Sean Couturier (15), Kimmo Timonen (15) 1 - 0 PHI 09:26 NYI PPG - John Tavares (23) Wrist shot - ASST: Kyle Okposo (29), Thomas Vanek (26) 1 - 1 Tie 11:30 PHI Wayne Simmonds (17) Wrist shot - ASST: Scott Hartnell (18), Braydon Coburn (6) 2 - 1 PHI 18:16 PHI Matt Read (13) Snap shot - ASST: Mark Streit (18) 3 - 1 PHI
3rd Period 08:16 NYI Brock Nelson (8) Wrist shot - ASST: Josh Bailey (13), Cal Clutterbuck (3) 3 - 2 PHI 17:02 NYI PPG - Kyle Okposo (20) Wrist - ASST: Frans Nielsen (23), Andrew MacDonald (20) 3 - 3 Tie
OT Period NONE The Shootout: F. Nielsen (G), V. Lecavalier (NG), T. Vanek (NG), C. Giroux (G), J. Tavares (G), M. Read (G), K. Okposo (G), S. Couturier (NG)
Frans Nielsen scored for the 30th time in 54 shootout attempts (55.6%); had it stood up as the winner, he would have tied Sidney Crosby’s NHL record of 15 game-deciding goals. He is 15-27 at home and 15-27 on the road in shootouts. No active player with more than eight shootout attempts has a better percentage than Nielsen. Kyle Okposo’s winning goal was only 4th in 17 attempts; three of the four have been game-deciders. It was his first-ever goal in a shootout at the Coliseum (1-7).
John Tavares is now 9-32 in career shootout attempts.
The Skinny: The Isles have outscored their opponents 18-6 in the third period over the past 12 games…It was only the Isles’ fifth victory in their last 20 games against Philadelphia….The Isles held Claude Giroux without a point; he has had a multiple-point game in 13 of the last 26 meetings between the teams…Matt Read had six goals against the Islanders this season, including three into empty nets. Read has 10 goals in 14 career games vs. the Isles… It’s the 17th time this season that the Islanders have allowed at least three goals in a period and the first time that they have won (1-16-0); the Isles had lost 18 straight (0-18-0) when they allowed a 3-goal period since defeating Florida 4-3 on March 16, 2013… It’s the 8th straight year that the Isles hosted an MLK matinee (3-3-2), and the 13th time since 1994 that they have played at home on MLK Day (5-5-3)…Kyle Okposo had quite the day, recording his first NHL fight, his first Gordie Howe Hat Trick, and the shootout winner to boot; he now had a 20-goal season for the second time in his career …The Isles have now won as many games when they trail after 2 periods (an NHL-leading 7; 7-17-2) as they have when they lead after two periods (7-4-3); no team recorded seven wins when trailing after 2 in the 48-game 2012-13 season…The Isles are 4-0 in 2014 in overtime/shootouts…Brock Nelson has five goals in the last eight games…Thomas Vanek, who turned 30 on Sunday, has a point in his last 5 games and in 15 of the last 16 games…Frans Nielsen extended his assist streak to four straight games… The Isles are 8-7 in OT/SO while the Flyers are 4-6…John Tavares’ goal pushes him into second place in NHL scoring (23-36-59)…The Isles and Sabres are the only teams in the NHL to win more games when allowing the opening goal than when scoring it themselves…The Isles improve to 2-11-0 when trailing by at least 2 goals entering the 3rd period (12/10/13 at San Jose).
The Shots: Isles 9-16-17-1=43 Flyers 14-9-3-3=29
For the Corsi Crowd The shots tell only part of the story; the Isles had 76 attempts (counting blocks and missed shots) to the Flyers’ 50. In the 3rd period and overtime, the Isles had a 34-13 advantage.
Home and Road The Islanders are 20-24-7 overall, 8-9-7 at home and 12-15-0 on the road. The Isles have won 6 of 8, are 11-5-0 in their last 16 and are 12-6-2 in their last 20 games overall. The Isles improve to 3-7 in overtime/shootout at home; they are 5-0 on the road. The Flyers are 25-19-6 overall; they are 13-8-1 at home and 12-11-5 on the road. The Flyers are 12-4-3 in their last 19 games.
By Division The Isles are 4-11-3 in Division games and are 16-13-4 in games against other divisions. They are 7-4-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-4-0 vs. Central Division, and 3-5-1 vs. the Pacific Division.
In the Nets Anders Nilsson made 26 saves (plus two in his first-ever NHL shootout) for his 2nd NHL win; he is 1-2-2 this season. Ray Emery made 40 saves to earn the Flyers a point; he is 6-8-1.
Power Plays The Islanders were 2-6 but allowed a SH goal to Matt Read while the Flyers were 0-3. The Isles are 12-6-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-18-3 when they do not. The Isles are 9-14-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 11-10-4 when they do not. The Islander special teams are much improved as of late. The power play is 14-52 (26.9%) over the last 16 games while the Isles have killed 43 of 50 (86.0%) over the last 17 games while scoring three shorthanded goals. The Isles have allowed five SH goals this season, and are now 1-3-1 in those five games.
Tale of Three Seasons The Isles PP went 10-33 in the first 10 games, before going 7-79 in the next 24 games. Since then, the Isles are 14-52 in the last 17 games (including 12-38 in the last ten games (31.6%)). Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 18-5-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-19-5 when they do not.
Comeback Kids The Isles are 9-6-5 when they score first and are 11-18-2 when they allow the opening goal. The Isles have allowed the first goal in 11 of their last 13 games.
Second to The One Jack Capuano became the 2nd coach in Islander history to win 100 games in Toronto on January 7th. He is 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (246) and wins (104).
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 246 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 104 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It Kyle Okposo: "We gave some up in the second period, but I thought we controlled the game for the most part. It was a bit of a seesaw battle, but we came out in the third and I thought we played hard and took it to them and were able to find a way."
They Tweeted It @hiltond13 Can't help myself. Watching Frans Nielsen in a penalty shootout is a joy that only #Isles fans will understand. Fun stuff from Okposo too. @hockeyguy0194 I'm just so impressed by Nelson's play, he doesn't play like a rookie #isles @Empire_Hockey Kyle Okposo with the Gordie Howe hat-trick today in the Isles 4-3 win against the Flyers #goal #assist #fisticuffs The Coach (Okposo is) a leader of our team. He's going to do what it takes to win…You've got to play hard and you have to play physical. I thought he did that (today), and I thought guys rallied around him."
Back-to-Backs The Isles are 6-6-0 in the front-end and 4-5-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. In the eleven previous sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points twice, 3 points once, 2 points four times, 1 point once and no points on three occasions. This back-to-back set concludes on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. Head of the Class John Tavares has 309 career points; he is 75 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 30:39 to lead the Isles for the 32nd time this season. Mark Streit led the Flyers with 23:43 of ice-time. The Isles are 13-14-5 when MacDonald leads them in ice-time and 7-10-2 when Hamonic leads them.
In the Circle After losing 39 of 58 to the Flyers on Saturday, the Islanders won 37 of 67 draws. Casey Cizikas won 7 of 9 draws for the Isles; Adam Hall won 5 of 10 for Philadelphia.
Heavy Hitters The Isles out-hit Philadelphia 32-22. Matt Martin led the Isles with eight hits; his 249 hits lead the NHL by a wide margin. He had now recorded at least 200 hits in four straight seasons. Matt Carkner fought Jay Rosehill and Kyle Okposo fought Brayden Coburn, both in the first period. The Isles have been involved in 19 fights this season: Martin (6), Boulton (5), Carkner (5), McDonald (2), and Okposo (1). Okposo’s fight was his first in a regular season game. He fought Matt Niskanen during last year’s playoffs.
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 12 blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald extended his NHL-leading total to 171 with 3 blocks; Brian Strait also had three.
Five Over All-Time .500 The Islanders climb to five games over all-time NHL .500 (1391-1386-446 in 3,223 games). The Isles have been 1-under all-time .500 after six games this season and have gone 4-0-2 in the following game. 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.
Ironmen Frans Nielsen is the Islanders’ reigning ironman. He has played 181 consecutive games, and is one of four Islanders to have played in every game this season. Other ironman streaks: Andrew Mac Donald (152), Matt Martin (112), and Thomas Hickey (52).
Century Club Andrew MacDonald has the 4th longest consecutive game streak for a 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. Andrew MacDonald 12/19/11- CURRENT 152 5. Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136 (**) 6. Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134 (*) 7. Mark Streit 10/8/2011-4/26/2013 130 8. Travis Hamonic 2/24/2012-1/12/2014 117 9. Travis Hamonic 11/24/2011– 2/4/2012 113 (*) 10. Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110 11. Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104
(*) Start of NHL career. (**) Entire career with Islanders
Missing Men Lubomir Visnovsky and Evgeni Nabokov remain on injured reserve. Travis Hamonic missed his fourth game with an upper body injury. Radek Martinek and Peter Regin were scratched for the second straight game. The Isles have lost 132 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 17-21-5 this season without him in the lineup.
Career Goals as an Islander 15 Mariusz Czerkawski 145 16 John Tavares 135 17 Jason Blake 127
28 Mikko Makela 95 28 David Volek 95 30 Randy Wood 94 31 Greg Gilbert 93 31 Garry Howatt 93 33 Travis Green 92 33 Kyle Okposo 92 35 Butch Goring 87 36 Tomas Jonsson 84 37 Wayne Merrick 81 37 Dave Scatchard 81 39 Marty McInnis 79 40 Miroslav Satan 78 41 Michael Grabner 77 42 Frans Nielsen 76 42 Claude Lapointe 76 44 Lorne Henning 73 44 J.P. Parise 73 Career Assists as an Islander 16 Ed Westfall 181 17 Kenny Jonsson 175 18 John Tavares 174 19 Alexei Yashin 171 20 Duane Sutter 171 21 Jean Potvin 167 22 Jeff Norton 166 23 Zigmund Palffy 163 24 Frans Nielsen 159 25 David Volek 154 Career Games as an Islander (skaters) 24 Eddie Westfall 493 25 Radek Martinek 477 26 Gerry Hart 476
32 Dave Langevin 422 33 Frans Nielsen 418 34 Wayne Merrick 411 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 375 42 Kyle Okposo 369 43 Dave Scatchard 347 44 Alexei Yashin 346 45 Mark Parrish 345 46 John Tavares 341 47 Marty McInnis 337
Career Points as an Islander 16 Ziggy Palffy 331 17 John Tavares 308 18 Mariusz Czerkawski 295
25 Ray Ferraro 238 26 Travis Green 237 27 Frans Nielsen 235 28 Kyle Okposo 234 29 Kenny Jonsson 232
Season Series Stats The Flyers win the season series 3 games to 1 (and 7 points to 2). This is the first divisional opponent with which the Isles have finished their season series. The Flyers outscored the Isles this season by a 19-11 margin (excluding shootout winners).
Happy Anniversary 33 years ago today (January 20, 1981): Butch Goring scored the winning goal and Chico Resch recorded the shutout as the Islanders blanked the Calgary Flames 5-0 in the only game that the Isles have ever hosted on a Presidential Inauguration Day. Mike Bossy was held scoreless, leaving him with 48 goals in 48 games. Today’s win was the Isles first on this date since then, ending a 0-7-1 streak. Overall, the Isles are 4-8-1 on this date, including 2-2 when a President is inaugurated (Winning in 1977 (Carter) and 1981 (Reagan) and losing in 1973 (Nixon) and 1997 (Clinton II).
On The Farm Bridgeport is 15-22-1-4 on the season after defeating Hartford 5-1 on Sunday. Anders Lee leads Bridgeport (and is tied for the AHL rookie lead) with 16 goals. Ryan Strome leads the team (and all AHL rookies) in assists (27); he also leads the Sound Tigers in points (36). Bridgeport is off until Friday, when they begin a 3-game in 3-day weekend in Portland.
Up Next TUESDAY, JANUARY 21st —ISLANDERS AT RANGERS 7:00PM [MSG+2 (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM] The Islanders and Rangers were both struggling when the teams met at Madison Square Garden on December 20th but both teams have played very well since the Isles’ 5-3 win that night.
That sets up an interesting 11 day stretch in which the Isles and Rangers will complete their season series with three games, including the Stadium Series meeting at Yankee Stadium on January 29th.
The Rangers find themselves in second place in the Metropolitan Division, ten points ahead of the Isles.
You can find the Isles telecast on MSG+2.
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since January 21, 1982. Information contained in “The Skinny” has been gathered from various sources. Follow Eric @ehornick on Twitter.