The season is two games old and Carolina has seen enough of Brock Nelson and Johnny Boychuk. Nelson scored a goal and added an assists while Boychuk had two helpers as the Islanders survived a Jiri Tlusty hat trick enroute to a 4-3 Home Opener win over the Hurricanes before a sellout crowd of 16,170 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. John Tavares (goal/assist) and Kyle Okposo (2 assists) also had multi-point games; Josh Bailey scored in the final seconds of the second period for the eventual winning goal.
The Scoring: 1ST PERIOD 03:50 NYI PPG - John Tavares (1) ASST: Brock Nelson (3), Johnny Boychuk (3) 1 - 0 NYI 14:13 CAR PPG - Jiri Tlusty (1) ASST: John-Michael Liles (1), Alexander Semin (1) 1 - 1 Tie 14:44 NYI Cory Conacher (1) ASST: John Tavares (4), Kyle Okposo (2) 2 - 1 NYI 19:43 CAR PPG - Jiri Tlusty (2) ASST: Eric Staal (1), Alexander Semin (2) 2 - 2 Tie
2ND PERIOD 06:47 NYI PPG - Brock Nelson (3) ASST: Johnny Boychuk (4), Kyle Okposo (3) 3 - 2 NYI 19:56 NYI Josh Bailey (1) ASST: Frans Nielsen (1), Nikolay Kulemin (1) 4 - 2 NYI
3RD PERIOD 14:01 CAR Jiri Tlusty (3) ASST: NONE 4 - 3 NYI
The Skinny: The Isles improve to 25-12-5 in home openers; it’s their first win in the home opener since 2008, ending an 0-2-3 streak…Chad Johnson earns his first victory as an Islander 24 hours after Jaroslav Halak did the same… It’s only the second time in Isles history that they have swept a home-and-home series to start the season (2007 vs Buffalo)… With 2 points tonight John Tavares now has 27 points (14-13-27) in 20 games against Carolina – his most points against any opponent…Jiri Tlusty recorded his second career hat trick for Carolina; both of his career hats have come in games Carolina has lost in regulation. It is the 8th hat trick for Carolina/Hartford against the Isles. Eric Staal had the last one, late in the 2008-09 season.…Cory Conacher became the third Islander in two games to record his first goal in Orange and Blue. He is the 344th player to score a goal for the Islanders…Staal’s assist on Carolina’s second goal was his 400th career assist.
First Time in a Long Time The Isles, counting the final three games of last season, have won five straight games for the first time since a 6-game win streak in February, 2008.
The Isles are 2-0-0 to start the season for the first time since the 2007-08 season. It’s only the sixth time in franchise history that the club has won two straight to start a season, also doing so in 1976-77, 1980-81, 1987-88 and 2001-02.
It’s Ridiculously Early, But…
Brock Nelson is tied with Sidney Crosby for the NHL scoring lead, with identical 3-3-6 totals. Johnny Boychuk leads all defensemen with 5 points. Boychuk is also tied with Crosby for the NHL lead with 4 power play points. #JohnnyRocket had only five power play points in 317 career games for Boston.
The Shots: Isles 9-12-10=31 Carolina 11-5-8=24
Home and Road The Islanders are 2-0-0 overall, 1-0-0 at home and 1-0-0 on the road.
Carolina is 0-2-0 overall; they finish 0-1-0 at home and 0-1-0 on the road.
By Division The Isles are 2-0-0 in Division games and are 0-0-0 in games against other divisions. They are 0-0-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 0-0-0 vs. Central Division, and 0-0-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
In the Nets Chad Johnson made 21 saves as he wins in his Islander debut. He is now 21-6-6 in his career, including 3-0-0 against Carolina.
Anton Khubodin made 27 saves for Carolina but falls to 1-2-0 in his career against the Isles.
Power Plays The Islanders were 2-5 on the power play while Carolina was 2-4. (For the weekend the Isles were 4-8 while Carolina was 4-9.)
This is only the second time since at least 1987 that the Isles had at least two power play goals in each of their first two games (October 2010); they last allowed at least two power play goals in each of their first two games in October 2006.
The Isles are 2-0-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 0-0-0 when they do not. The Isles are 2-0-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 0-0-0 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 2-0-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 0-0-0 when they do not.
First Goal The Isles are 2-0-0 when they score first and are 0-0-0 when they allow the opening goal.
Second to The One Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history.
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 279 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 120 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It Brock Nelson: "It's a good start for us .There are a few areas we need to clean up, but we had a good power play and a couple of big penalty kills…Everybody was excited to come and play, and then during warm-ups, [the fans] were loud from the get-go. We were able to feed off their energy. Having a crowd like that behind you definitely helps."
John Tavares: "I liked the way we stayed with things tonight. We competed hard. Guys were hard on pucks, we competed and battled through adversity. I like the way there was composure and that the mindset stayed the same and that the work ethic was there."
Thomas Hickey: “Just look at the box score, I don't think we're winning without Johnny (Boychuk) back there”
They Tweeted It @ryanodonnell223 I have never seen this much tailgating ever. #Isles
@WhalerWatch Had a good time at #Isles home opener vs #Canes. With the Islanders moving to Brooklyn, feel was similar to the Whalers home opener in 1997.
@MattSaidman Special night at the Coliseum. I'm glad I got to be here and I'll remember it forever thanks to the #Isles, and 16,000 of my closest friends
@CerowB These Islanders have had an entertaining first two games! Six points for Brock Nelson, five points for John Tavares and Johnny Boychuk
@PeteCaputo Kulemin is so tenacious. His hard work made that 4th goal! #isles
The Coach “(Nelson) is in great condition and has a high hockey IQ. He's been solid defensively and that has helped him create offense for himself."
Back-to-Backs This was the first of 16 sets of back-to-backs this season. The Isles are 1-0-0 in the front-end and 1-0-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.
The next set of back-to-backs is not until November 5th (at Anaheim) and November 6th (at Los Angeles).
Leading Ice Men Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with 23:55 of ice-time while Andrej Sekera led Carolina with 26:57.
The Isles are 2-0-0 when Johnny Boychuk leads the team in ice time.
Brock Nelson led Isles forwards with 19:23 of ice time; The Isles are 1-0-0 when Brock Nelson leads the forwards and 1-0-0 when Casey Cizikas leads the forwards in ice time.
In the Circle The Islanders won 31 of 57 draws (55%). Casey Cizikas won 9 of 13 and Frans Nielsen won 8 of 13 for the Isles; Jay McClement won 7 of 13 for Carolina.
Heavy Hitters The Isles and Carolina each had 25 hits. Cal Clutterbuck and Cory Conacher led the Isles with four hits each.
Matt Martin fought Jay Harrison in the 2nd period after a Martin hit on Eric Staal. Staal played sparingly over the remainder of the game and eventually left the bench in the third period. It was the first fight of the season for the Isles: Martin (1).
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 15 blocked shots; Johnny Boychuk led the way with four.
For the Corsi Crowd Nick Leddy (+11) led the Isles in even-strength Corsi, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks). Johnny Boychuk, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen were each +8.
Head of the Class Islander Captain John Tavares has 320 career points; he is 57 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.
All-time Winners The Islanders improve to eight games over all-time NHL .500 (1407-1399-450 in 3,256 games).
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 Thomas Hickey are the Islanders’ reigning ironmen. Leddy has played 254 consecutive games, while Hickey has played 85 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Missing Men Lubomir Visnovsky, Michael Grabner, Calvin deHaan, and Matt Carkner are all out injured. Eric Boulton, Colin McDonald and Matt Donovan were scratched.
The Isles have lost 8 games this season due to injury.
All-time Islander Leader Board: John Tavares has: • 137 goals (16th all-time, 8 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 10 behind Pierre Turgeon) • 183 assists (16th all-time, 10 behind Pierre Turgeon) • 320 points (17th all-time, 11 behind Ziggy Palffy, 13 behind Tomas Jonsson and 20 behind Pierre Turgeon • 352 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 29 behind Randy Wood)
Frans Nielsen has: • 85 goals (36th all-time, 2 behind Butch Goring and 7 behind Travis Green) • 170 assists (21st all-time, 1 behind Alexei Yashin & Duane Sutter and 5 behind Kenny Jonsson) • 255 points (25th all-time, 2 behind Kyle Okposo, 3 behind Jason Blake & Steve Thomas) • 449 games played (30th among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Scott Lachance and 10 behind Trent Hunter)
Kyle Okposo has: • 99 goals (Tied-27th all-time with Trent Hunter, 2 behind Anders Kallur and 6 behind Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue) • 158 assists (25th all-time, 5 behind Ziggy Palffy, 8 behind Jeff Norton and 9 behind Jean Potvin) • 257 points (24th all-time, 1 behind Jason Blake & Steve Thomas) • 392 games played (Tied-38th with Bert Marshall among Islander skaters all-time, and 4 behind David Volek)
Michael Grabner has: • 82 goals (38th all-time, 2 behind Tomas Jonsson, 3 behind Frans Nielsen and 5 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has: • 408 games played (35th among Islander skaters all-time, 3 behind Wayne Merrick and 14 behind Dave Langevin)
Season Series Stats The Isles lead the season series 2 game to 0 (and 4 points to 0).
It’s the Isles’ third straight win over Carolina after going 0-5-1 in the previous six against the Canes.
The team will not play again for four months, before facing off February 17th in Raleigh and February 28th at the Coliseum.
It Happened at the Coliseum: 39 years ago today (1975): Glenn Resch recorded a shutout in the home opener, but that was far from the biggest story. Rookie Bryan Trottier made his Coliseum debut a most memorable one, scoring three goals and adding two assists in a 7-0 blanking of the Los Angeles Kings. It was the first time in Islander history that players recorded a hat trick and a shutout in the same game.
“It’s probably the most I’ve been applauded in hockey”, said Trottier – but that would certainly change in the months and seasons to come. His three goals and five points tied Islander rookie records that remain today.
Also on this date: (1980 and 1983): The Isles raised two Stanley Cup banners on this date, before 5-2 wins over Boston and Los Angeles, respectively.
All-time, the Isles have played seven October 11th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 6-1-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm Kael Mouillerat scored two goals in the first 12 minutes, both set up by Anders Lee, but the Sound Tigers let the 2-0 lead get away in a 3-2 loss to the St. John’s Ice Caps. Kevin Poulin made 31 saves for Bridgeport. The same two teams play at 3:00 Sunday.
Up Next TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14th—ISLANDERS AT RANGERS 7:00PM [MSG+2 (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders will be looking to start the season 3-0-0 for only the fourth time in their history as they head to Manhattan for the first of five meetings this season with the New York Rangers. The Isles won their first four games in 1976-77 and 2001-02 and their first three games in 1987-88.
The Islanders have won three of their last four games on Broadway, including two of three last season.
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.