Isles 4, Tampa Bay 2
Matt Martin scored the game-winning goal with 6:26 to play, as the Islanders delighted a sellout crowd of 16,170 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum with a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Isles are 6-1-1 in their last eight games and remain in 8th place in the East (tied in points and regulation-overtime wins with the 7th place Rangers, but having played one more game).
14:45NYIM. Grabner (12) Slap - ASST: J. Tavares (17) 1 - 0 NYI
04:44TBLR. Panik (2) Snap - ASST: V. Lecavalier (16) AND M. Carle (13) 1 - 1 TIE
08:22NYIJ. Bailey (7) Wrist - ASST: K. Okposo (13) AND F. Nielsen (19) 2 - 1 NYI
04:00TBLM. Carle (4) Backhand - ASST: S. Stamkos (24) AND B. Pouliot (10) 2 - 2 TIE
13:34NYIM. Martin (3) Wrist - ASST: A. Lee (1) AND M. Streit (16) 3 - 2 NYI
19:46NYIEN - A. MacDonald (3) Wrist - ASST: J. Bailey (7) 4 - 2 NYI
Matt Moulson missed the game with the flu, ending his consecutive game streak at 284 games. It’s the third longest streak in Islander history (Billy Harris 576, Denis Potvin 301)… Frans Nielsen is 1-7-8 in the last nine games and 1-9-10 in the last 12 games...Both Nielsen and Josh Bailey extended point streaks to four games…The Isles are 12-2-1 when they lead after two periods while the Lightning are 2-14-2 when they trail after 2…Anders Lee’s assist on the game-winning goal was his first NHL assist… Jesse Joensuu, playing his first NHL game in nearly two years, led the Isles with a career-high eight shots on goal; he was also credited with three hits…The Isles have 82 power plays at home this season—the highest total in the NHL…The Isles are 3-2-0 in their black uniforms and are 1-2-1 in their four home sellouts…MacDonald’s empty-netter was the Isles’ 17th goal from their defense this season; the Isles’ defense scored only 19 goals in 82 games last season…The Isles have outscored their opponents 11-4 in the third period over the last eight games…There have 15 empty-net goals in the first 39 Isles games this season (7 for and 8 against).
First Time in a Long Time
The Isles have 13 points (6-1-1) in the last eight games for the first time since a similar stretch in 2009-10. The last time the Isles had more than 13 points in a single season eight game stretch was early in the 2001-02 season.
•3 Washington (SE Leader) 38 games 19-17-2 40 points (16 ROW) Next game: Sunday vs. Tampa Bay
•5. Toronto 38 games 21-13-4 46 points (21 ROW) Next game: Monday vs. NY Rangers
•6 Ottawa 37 games 19-12-6 44 points (15 ROW) Next game: Sunday at Florida
•7 NY Rangers 38 games 19-15-4 42 points (16 ROW) Next game: Monday at Toronto
•8 NY Islanders 39 games 19-16-4 42 points (16 ROW) Next game: Tuesday vs. Philadelphia
•9 Winnipeg 40 games 19-19-2 40 points (18 ROW) Next game: Tuesday vs. Buffalo
•10 New Jersey 38 games 15-14-9 39 points (13 ROW) Next game: Sunday at Buffalo
Isn’t it Magic?
The Islanders’ magic number for clinching a playoff spot is 18. Of the teams currently not in a playoff spot, New Jersey can reach the highest total (59 points).
Home and Road
The Islanders are 19-16-4 overall, 8-11-2 at home and 11-5-2 on the road. Their 42 points in 39 games is their highest total since they had 42 points in 39 games in 2007-08. The Isles are three games over .500 for the first time since October 21, 2010 when they were 4-1-2.
The Isles have points in four straight (3-0-1) and are 6-1-1 in their last eight games. They have won three straight at home for the first time since December 29, 2011-January 10, 2012.
The Lightning are 16-19-2 overall, 10-7-2 at home and 6-12-0 on the road. It’s the Lightning’s first regulation loss in the last five games (3-1-1).
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 19 saves and improves to 18-11-4 on the season and lowers his goals against average to 2.64. It was Nabokov’s 330th career win, tying Harry Lumley for 20th place in NHL history.
Ben Bishop made 24 saves but falls to 9-6-0 overall, and 1-1-0 with Tampa.
The Islanders were 0-for-1 while the Lightning were 0-for-3.
The Isles have 16 PP goals in their last 24 games (with all 16 goals coming in nine games).
The Isles have not allowed a power play goal in a season-high five straight games (9-for-9).
The Isles are 13-3-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 6-13-3 when they do not.
In (Almost) Every Game
The Isles have been tied or ahead at some point in the third period in 33-of-39 games this season (19-10-4).
Jack Capuano is the third winningest coach in Islander history and is just two wins behind Terry Simpson for second place.
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.Al Arbour 740
2.Terry Simpson 81
3.Jack Capuano 79
4.Peter Laviolette 77
5.Ted Nolan 74
Most games coached (Islanders):
1.Al Arbour 1,500
2.Mike Milbury 191
3.Terry Simpson 187
4.Jack Capuano 186
5.Scott Gordon 181
They Said It
Evgeni Nabokov: “As far as I’m concerned, we are in the playoffs. That’s what this is for us. We have to keep rolling. The key here is we can’t lose two or three in a row. We have to continue to find a way to get points.”
They Tweeted It
@StapeNewsday: “Cizikas good drop pass and drive to net, Martin simple wrister that Bishop never saw. 6:26 left.”
“… I thought we protected the blue lines. I thought we won the wall battles. I thought we did a lot of the little things which turned out to be the big things for us.”
As Tavares Goes…
The Isles are 1-0-0 when Tavares has four points, 1-0-1 when he has three points, 6-2-0 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 35 goals this season. Moulson has assisted on 17 Tavares goals this season after assisting on 12 of his 31 goals last season. Tavares has earned an assist on 8 Moulson goals this season. Since November 2011, Tavares has been on-ice for 40 of Moulson’s last 41 goals, earning 26 assists; since November 2010, he has earned 48 assists on Moulson’s last 72 goals, while being on ice for 70 of them.
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 242 career points; he is 56 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.
115 NHL Goals
Moulson has 115 career goals (109 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 entry draft, only 16 have more goals. Moulson is tied with Nikolai Zherdev for 17th place.
Leading Ice Men
Lubomir Visnovsky played 22:51 to lead the Isles. Matt Carle led the Bolts with 24:02.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 22 of 43 draws. John Tavares won 8 of 13 for the Isles.
The Islanders were out-hit 23-20. In addition to scoring the winning goal, Matt Martin led the Isles with 8 hits; he has an NHL-leading 194 hits. There were no fights, leaving the season total at 14.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 23 blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald had seven to lead the team. He now leads the NHL with 104 blocks. Steven Stamkos, the NHL’s leading goal scorer attempted seven shots in the game, but six of them were blocked by the Isles’ defense.
The Islanders improve to 5 games over all-time NHL .500 (1366-1361-436 in 3,163 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 NHL .500 since they were 177-178-83 prior to 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 3-0-1 in April.
Matt Moulson’s ironman streak ended at 284 games. Moulson’s streak is the longest for an Islander in the Post-Cup era. Billy Harris played in the first 576 games in Islander history; that figure still stands as the club record.
Three other Islanders, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares and Mark Streit, also played in every game last season. Tavares is now the Islanders reigning ironman, having extended his streak to 198 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 121.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1. Billy Harris 576
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Matt Moulson 284
4. Denis Potvin 262
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 121
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.
Anders Lee replaced Marty Reasoner in the lineup while Jesse Joensuu replaced Matt Moulson (ill). Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton were also scratched. Joe Finley and Brian Strait are on injured reserve.
The Isles have scored 76 goals in their 19 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. Nikolai Khabibulin 331
4. Evgeni Nabokov 330
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 317
19. Nikolai Khabibulin 331
20. Evgeni Nabokov 330
20. Harry Lumley 330
22. Sean Burke 324
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 317
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 109
23John Tavares 107
24Benoit Hogue 105
24Ed Westfall 105
Career Assists as an Islander
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
39Randy Wood 381
40Frans Nielsen 358
52Brad Dalgarno 321
53Josh Bailey 320
54Ray Ferraro 316
54Steve Webb 316
54Richard Park 316
57Gerald Diduck 314
58Kyle Okposo 310
59Mikko Makela 307
60Gordon Lane 304
61Arron Asham 300
61Roman Hamrlik 300
63Gordon Dineen 287
64Matt Moulson 284
65John Tavares 282
65Jeffrey Norton 282
67Mark Streit 277
Career Points as an Islander
24John Tavares 242
36Matt Moulson 207
40Frans Nielsen 190
43Kyle Okposo 178
Season Series Stats
The Isles sweep the season series three games to none (the Isles earned six points to Tampa’s none). It’s the first time since 2001-02 that the Isles have swept a season series from Tampa. The Isles have beaten the Lightning five straight on home ice for the first time in their history and are 10-2-0 in their last 12 against Tampa at home.
It’s the first regular season sellout of an Islanders-Tampa Bay game at the Coliseum since January 2002.
11 years ago tonight (4-6-02): The Islanders built a 5-1 lead, and then had to hang on in the third period for a 5-4 win over Washington before a sellout crowd at the Coliseum. The win clinched a playoff berth for the Islanders for the first time since 1994.
Also on this date: The Islanders defeat the Rangers 6-4 for their first-ever win at MSG in the regular season finale (1975), the Isles begin the run for the 4th championship with a 5-2 win over the Capitals (1983).
All-time, the Isles are 10-5-2 in regular season play and 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on this date.
On The Farm
Brock Nelson and Matt Donovan each had a goal, and the Sound Tigers outshot the Connecticut Whale 40-20, but dropped a key 3-2 decision on home ice. Bridgeport is 29-29-6-5 on the season; five of their final seven games are at home. The Sound Tigers are six points out of a playoff spot with seven to play. Bridgeport hosts the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday.
TUESDAY, APRIL 9 PHILADELPHIA AT ISLANDERS (7:00PM)
[MSG+2 (pre-game show at 6:30), WRHU (88.7FM]
The Isles continue their playoff drive as they host the Flyers Tuesday night.
It’s the third meeting of the season between the teams and the road team has won each of the first two: Philadelphia blanked the Isles 7-0 at the Coliseum on President’s Day. The Isles replied with a shootout win at Wells Fargo Center in late March.
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.