Chad Johnson made 37 saves and Brock Nelson’s first goal in 18 games turned out to be the game-winner as the Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 before a crowd of 12,665 at PNC Arena. The Islanders extend their Metropolitan Davison lead to four points over the idle Rangers (who have played three fewer games) and over the Penguins, who lost 3-1 at home tonight to Washington.
The Scoring: 1ST PERIOD 17:06 NYI PPG - Anders Lee (19) ASST: Frans Nielsen (23), John Tavares (30) 1 - 0 NYI
2ND PERIOD 06:58 NYI Brock Nelson (16) ASST: Matt Martin (5), Colin McDonald (3) 2 - 0 NYI
3RD PERIOD 07:09 NYI Michael Grabner (6) ASST: Thomas Hickey (18), Frans Nielsen (24) 3 - 0 NYI 11:14 CAR Jiri Tlusty (13) ASST: Eric Staal (16), Jordan Staal (11) 3 - 1 NYI 15:41 NYI EN - John Tavares (28) ASST: NONE 4 - 1 NYI
The Skinny The Isles improve to 7-5-0 since the All-Star break…Anders Lee is 6-5-11 in the last nine games; with 19 goals, Lee is one goal off the rookie lead held by Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman. Lee scored the game’s first goal for the 7th time this season; only Rick Nash (9) and Alex Ovechkin (8) has done so more often…Brock Nelson’s game-winning goal was his first goal in 19 games since he scored in Edmonton on January 4th; he has 4 goals in three games vs. Carolina this season…Michael Grabner returned to the line-up and scored a goal, allowing him to break a tie with Butch Goring for 36th place on the all-time goal list… The Isles are 13-3-1 when scoring the first two goals; they led 3-0 in three of the four games that they did not win…The Isles have led 3-0 11 times this season (8-2-1) and trailed 3-0 only once (at Colorado)...The Isles improve to 19-3-0 in divisional games…Tavares has scored goals in three straight games… The Isles are 13-1-0 when the opponent plays the night before (6-1-0 when Isles are rested and 7-0-0 when both teams played the night before)…Travis Hamonic played in 300th NHL game…Chad Johnson faced a season-high 38 shots, and made a season-high 37 saves. Both figures were the second highest in his career (41 shots, 39 saves for Boston on 12/12/13 at Edmonton). Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4) • ISLES 38-19-1=77 points / 58 games (31 ROW) Beat Carolina 4-1 • NY Rangers 34-16-5=73 points / 55 games (32 ROW) Idle • Pittsburgh 32-16-9=73 points / 57 games (29 ROW) Lost to Washington 3-1 • Washington 31-17-10=72 points / 58 games (30 ROW) Beat Pittsburgh 3-1 Upcoming Schedule: • ISLES: Thursday vs Nashville, Saturday @ Washington, Sunday vs. Vancouver • NY Rangers: Thursday vs. Vancouver, Friday @ Buffalo, Sunday vs. Columbus • Pittsburgh: Thursday vs. Columbus, Saturday @ St. Louis, Sunday vs Florida • Washington: Thursday vs. Winnipeg, Saturday vs. Isles, Sunday @ Philadelphia
Year of the Fan: The Isles have sold-out 15 of their 26 home dates this season. The 15 sellouts are the most for the Isles since they also had 21 full houses at the Old Barn in 2001-02. The Isles have drawn at least 15,000 fans 18 times this season.
Month for the Fans: February is the busiest home month in Islander history, as they play ten home games this month. The Isles have played ten home games three previous times (January 1980, December 1999 and December 2000) but all were in 31-day months.
This was the fifth game of a stretch in which the Isles will play 9 of the final 11 February games at home. The Isles are 4-1-0 in this stretch (3-1-0 at home and 1-0-0 on the road).
What a Season: The Isles are 38-19-1 thru 58 games. Only the 1981-82 team had more wins through 58 games, which included the first 14 games of their 15-game win streak. It’s the first time since the 2006-07 season (40-30-12) that the Isles have won at least 38 games in a season.
Most wins in first 58 games: • 39-13-6 in 1981-82 • 38-18-1 in 2014-15 • 38-10-10 in 1978-79 • 36-12-10 in 1977-78 • 35-21-2 in 1983-84 • 34-15-9 in 1980-81 • 34-16-8 in 1976-77
Most points in first 58 games: • 86 in 1978-79 • 84 in 1981-82 • 82 in 1977-78 • 77 in 2014-15 • 77 in 1980-81 • 76 in 1976-77 • 72 in 1983-84
Home Sweet Home The Isles are 20-7-0 on Coliseum ice; it’s only the fourth time in club history that the Isles have won at least 20 of their first 27 home games (22-3-2 in 1981-82, 21-2-4 in 1977-78, and 20-2-5 in 1978-79).
Streakers The Isles have had a season of streaks, going 4-0-0 to open the season and then (in succession) 0-2-0, 2-0-0, 0-3-0, 13-2-0, 0-3-0, 7-1-1, 0-2-0, 6-1-0, 0-3-0, and are 6-2-0 in their last 8.
Winning Streaks (Season) • 2 streaks of at least 5 games -- First time since the 1987-88 season that the Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games. • 6 streaks of at least 4 games -- First time in the Post-Cup era that the Isles have had at least six winning streaks of at least four games. The Isles had seven separate winning streaks of at least four games in their 1983-84 defense of the Stanley Cup. • 8 streaks of at least 3 games -- First time in the Post-Cup era that the Isles have had at least eight winning streaks of at least three games. The Isles had nine separate winning streaks of at least three games in their 1983-84 defense of the Stanley Cup. The Shots: Isles 14-8-8=30 Carolina 7-18-13=38
This was only the 4th time in the last 29 games that the Isles were outshot. However, since holding Buffalo to 10 shots on Sunday, the Isles have allowed at least 34 shots in five straight games.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 1,951-1,617 for a +334 shot differential. Biggest Differential, Season • +334 THIS SEASON • +307 in 1976-77 • +254 in 1986-87 • +152 in 1975-76
Isles had 2,537 shots on goal last season, most since a franchise-record 2,616 in 1992-93. Isles are currently on pace for a record-breaking 2,758 shots this year.
Home and Road The Islanders are 38-19-1 overall; 20-7-0 at home and 18-12-1 on the road.
Carolina is 20-29-7 overall; 11-11-3 at home and 9-18-4 on the road.
The Isles lead the NHL in road wins.
By Division The Isles are 19-3-0 in Division games and are 19-16-1 in games against other divisions. They are 9-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 4-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 6-3-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met and 24-21-7 against other Divisions.
Metropolitan Hockey Club, Inc. The Isles are 19-3-0 against the Met Division, and they have won 12 of their last 13 division matchups... They are 11-1-0 at home (outscoring opponents 50-29) and 8-2-0 on the road. The Isles are 7-0 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 3-0 on the road.
The Isles’ next division game will be on Saturday in Washington.
In the Nets Chad Johnson made 37 saves and improves to 7-7-0 on the season. He is 4-0-0 in his career against the Hurricanes, including 2-0-0 this season.
Anton Khudobin made 26 saves but falls to 6-10-3 on the season. He is 1-3-0 in his career against the Isles.
31-Win Club Halak is the 4th goalie in Islander history to win at least 31 games in a season and is now just 1 win away from tying the club record of 32
Player Wins Rick DiPietro 32 in 2006-07 Billy Smith 32 in 1981-82 Chris Osgood 32 in 2001-02 Jaroslav Halak 31 in 2014-15 Rick DiPietro 30 in 2005-06
Power Plays The Islanders were 1-2 on the power play, while Carolina was 0-2.
The power play is 9-43 in the last 15 games (20.9%) but only 5-27 (18.5%) in last 10.
The penalty kill is in the midst of their best stretch since early January, having killed all 10 penalties in the last four games
The Isles are 20-9-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 18-10-1 when they do not. The Isles are 15-14-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 24-4-1 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 32-6-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-13-0 when they do not.
One Goal Games The Isles are 22-5-1 in games decided by a single goal including 10-5-0 in regulation. They are 5-0 in games decided in overtime and are 7-1 in shootouts. Five games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter. The Isles are 3-2 in those games.
The club record for 1-goal wins in 23, set in 2007-08 when 23 of Isles’ 35 wins were by 1 goal.
First Goal (and Second Goal) The Isles are 22-12-1 when they score first and are 16-7-0 when they allow the opening goal. However, the Isles are 13-0-0 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal. The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win three times this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO), Pittsburgh on January 16th, and Philadelphia on February 5th)
Second to The One Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 156-139-40 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.
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 335 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 156 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It Brock Nelson: "It's nice to get back on the scoresheet...it's been a while." Chad Johnson: Obviously, my main goal is to eventually be a starter somewhere, but it takes time and some luck sometimes. Being able to be in some more games down the stretch here is going to keep me sharp, and hopefully the team will benefit and (Jaroslav Halak) will benefit from being more rested as well."
They Tweeted It @DavePolaski Fun night in Raleigh! #Isles top Hurricanes 4-1...great to see so many Islanders jerseys there. Some traveled down from LI earlier today! @josh_schuit thanks for making my night @grabs40!! great goal and win #isles @Brsilk86 A couple good games and JT will lead the league in scoring. 2 pts backnof 2nd 5 out of 1st. #isles @ NYIslanders39 Glad Brock got a goal! He has been trying and trying to get out of a scoring funk! He earned it! #Isles #LetsGoIslanders #YesYesYes @chrisboddy_ Way to get back on track tonight with that win #isles
The Coach "I thought (Chad) played extremely well tonight. He's one of those guys who hasn't played a lot for us. When he was called upon, he made some key saves at key moments."
Back-to-Backs The Isles are 7-3-0 in the front-end and 8-2-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles have swept 5 sets of back-to-back this season and are 1-1-0 in five sets.
The next back-to-back set will be Saturday afternoon in Washington and Sunday at home vs. Vancouver (6pm).
Leading Ice Men Brian Strait led all Isles with 22:42 of ice-time; Justin Faulk led Carolina in ice-time with 23:39.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-0), Travis Hamonic (15-2-1), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-5-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-3-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Kyle Okposo (0-1-0), Brian Strait (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).
John Tavares led Isles forwards with 18:40 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (21-18-1), Kyle Okposo (12-1-0), Ryan Strome (1-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0), Anders Lee (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Casey Cizikas (1-0-0), and Josh Bailey (0-1-0).
In the Circle The Islanders won 23 of 51 draws (45%). Mikhail Grabovski won 7 of 12 for the Isles; Andrej Nestrasil won 6 of 10 for Carolina. The Isles won only 12 of 35 draws in the first two periods but won 11 of 16 in the final 20 minutes. The Isles lost all 4 draws on the power play and 1 of 2 on the penalty kill.
Heavy Hitters The Isles out-hit Carolina 37-33. Colin McDonald led the Islanders with 6 hits.
There were no fights. The Isles have been involved in 13 fights this season: Martin (8), Hamonic (3), Lee (1), Strome (1) and 10 of the 13 have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 23 blocked shots; Brian Strait led the Isles with 4.
For the Corsi Crowd Carolina finished with a total Corsi advantage of 81-63 (including a 37-15 Canes advantage in the second period). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Thomas Hickey led the Isles with a +13 even-strength Corsi rating and was also on-ice for a team-leading 68% of Corsi For events. Jordan Staal and Eric Staal (+22) led Carolina.
Head of the Class Islander Captain John Tavares has 373 career points; he is 73 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.
This Team is Deep! John Tavares has been held pointless 20 times this season and the Isles are 15-5-0 in those games. Prior to this season the Isles had won only 40 of the 151 games in which Tavares was scoreless.
All-time Winners The Islanders improve to 25 games over all-time NHL .500 (1443-1418-451 in 3,312 games), matching a season high.
The Isles have not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978 and have finished every season since 1977-78 over all-time NHL .500.
Ironmen Nick Leddy and Brock Nelson are the Islanders’ reigning ironmen. Leddy has played 310 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 111 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Missing Men Kyle Okposo and Eric Boulton are on injured reserve. Calvin deHaan replaced Lubomir Visnovsky in the lineup while Michael Grabner was activated from injured reserve and replaced Casey Cizikas (injured) in the lineup. Matt Donovan was scratched.
The Isles have lost 212 games this season due to injury/illness.
All-time Islander Leader Board: John Tavares has: • 164 goals (13th all-time and 4 behind Ziggy Palffy) • 209 assists (15th all-time, 40 behind Tomas Jonsson and 50 behind Billy Harris) • 373 points (13th all-time and 70 behind Billy Harris) • 408 games played (37th among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Wayne Merrick and 15 behind Dave Langevin)
Kyle Okposo has: • 113 goals (24th all-time, 3 behind Ray Ferraro and 5 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish) • 185 assists (18th all-time, 8 behind Pierre Turgeon and 8 behind Frans Nielsen) • 298 points (18th all-time, 33 behind Ziggy Palffy and 35 behind Tomas Jonsson) • 436 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 14 behind Scott Lachance and 16 behind Josh Bailey)
Frans Nielsen has: • 96 goals (27th all-time and 4 behind Trent Hunter) • 193 assists (tied-16th all-time with Pierre Turgeon and 16 behind John Tavares) • 289 points (22nd all-time, 1 behind Alexei Yashin and 3 behind Duane Sutter) • 505 games played (24th among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Rich Pilon and 5 behind Mick Vukota)
Michael Grabner has: • 88 goals (36th all-time and 4 behind Travis Green)
Josh Bailey has: • 452 games played (30th among Islander skaters and 7 behind Trent Hunter)
Season Series Stats The Isles lead the season series 3 games to 0 (and 6 points to 0). The Isles are 5-1-1 in their last seven trips south and have won the last four games vs. Carolina overall.
The Islanders will look to sweep the season series when the Hurricanes will make their final visit to the Coliseum on February 28th.
It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 17th 23 years ago today (1992) – Tom Fitzgerald scored at 2:55 of overtime as the Isles rallied from a 3-1 deficit and defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 in a President’s Day matinee.
Trailing 3-1 after 40 minutes, the Isles rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the third period on goals by Benoit Hogue, Hubie McDonough and Steve Thomas. Pierre Turgeon assisted on both Hogue’s and Thomas’ tallies, as he became the first Islander since Mike Bossy (19 in 1983-84) to have a point streak of at least 16 games.
However, Ray Ferraro was called for holding with 2:11 to play and Thomas Steen tied the game just over a minute later. The Isles survived a penalty assessed to Tom Kurvers at 19:40 of the third period before Fitzpatrick beat Bob Essensa on a breakaway for the winning goal.
Fitzpatrick told Newsday’s Mark Herrmann: “"My eyes just lit up and there was nobody near me. I didn't even see Ray (Ferraro). I was just thinking net, net, net."
With the win, the Isles improved to 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. "I don't think ties are any good for us, for what we have to do," Arbour said. "We just opened all barrels. That's a pretty good effort, coming back against a club that checks as well as anybody in the league. Once they get you down, they don't like to give you anything."
Also on this date: (1983) – Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin and Bryan Trottier each had three points as the Isles defeated Pittsburgh 4-1.
All-time, the Isles have played eleven February 17th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 4-7-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm The Sound Tigers are 21-23-5-1 after a 5-1 loss to Hershey on Sunday. Bridgeport visits Hershey on Saturday and then hosts Norfolk on Sunday. Up Next THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19th—NASHVILLE AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 LI News]
The Isles have already played 28 of the other 29 NHL teams at least once this season. The one team that they have not played is the Nashville Predators and they will do so twice in a two-week period, beginning on Thursday at the Coliseum.
The Isles have not seen the Predators in 15 months, having defeated Nashville 3-1 in their last meeting, back on November 12th. Kevin Poulin earned the win in goal and Pierre-Marc Bouchard had the winning goal.
The Isles are 4-1-1 in their last six home games against the Predators, including an overtime win on October 15, 2002 with current Predator coach Peter Laviolette behind the Islander bench.
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.