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The Skinny: Islanders 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
John Tavares did it again.  Tavares scored the overtime goal as the Isles rallied from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to win a game that they never led, as they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 before a crowd of 18,984 Air Canada Center.


The win is the Isles 43rd, marking the most that they have had since relinquishing control of the Stanley Cup in May, 1984.

The Isles lead the Rangers by 3 points and the Penguins(who lost in a shootout to San Jose) by 4 points in the Metropolitan Division, although the Blueshirts have four games in hand and the Penguins have two. The Isles move 8 points ahead of Washington, with the Caps holding a game in hand.

The win ties the Isles with Montreal for the Eastern Conference lead with 90 points.  Anaheim (who lost to Vancouver tonight)  and Nashville (who beat Arizona in OT) have 91.

John Tavares had two points, extending his NHL lead; he now has 72 points.  The goal was his 33rd, which extends his career high.

The Isles improve to 43-21-4 and are 22 games over NHL-.500 for the first time since the end of the 1983-84 season (50-26-4).

The Scoring:
1ST PERIOD

18:23    TOR      David Booth (4) ASST: Jake Gardiner (16)          1 - 0 TOR         
 
2ND PERIOD
10:27    TOR      Peter Holland (11) ASST: Richard Panik (5), James van Riemsdyk (25) 2 - 0 TOR
 
3RD PERIOD
01:32    NYI       Tyler Kennedy (5) ASST: John Tavares (39), Josh Bailey (21)       2 - 1 TOR         
06:06    TOR      James van Riemsdyk (23) ASST: NONE 3 - 1 TOR         
09:58    NYI       PPG - Frans Nielsen (12) ASST: Anders Lee (15), Josh Bailey (22)           3 - 2 TOR         
10:28    NYI       Casey Cizikas (7) ASST: Travis Hamonic (22)      3 - 3 Tie           
 
OT PERIOD
04:38    NYI       John Tavares (33) ASST: Tyler Kennedy (6), Travis Hamonic (23) 4 - 3 NYI

The Injury:
Nick Leddy, who was playing in his 320th consecutive regular season game, left the game late in the second period after a collision with Morgan Rielly.  He did not return.

Mr. Overtime
·         Since Tavares joined the Isles in 2009, nobody in the NHL has more OT goals.  Three others, Dustin Byfuglien, Alex Ovechkin and Steve Stamkos also have 8.
·         Tavares' eight overtime goals, including four this season, are both franchise records.
·         Tavares now has more road OT goals (5) than any other player in Isles history has regular season OT goals.

The Skinny
The Isles are 12-7-3 since the All-Star break (all without Kyle Okposo). After scoring first in 13 of 15 games, the Isles have allowed the first goal in the last two games.… Josh Bailey now has 13 points in the last 15 games (6-7-13) and points in four straight (2-3-5)…John Tavares now has an NHL-Leading 72 points, three more than Alex Ovechkin and Niklas Backstrom… The Isles complete their road trip with a 2-0-2 record; they have points in 7 straight on the road (4-0-3)…The Isles have earned 110 standings points in their last 82 games, most since they earned 111 in last 27 games of 1981-82 and first 55 games of 1982-83…The Isles are the 4th NHL team with 20 road win this season, joining Anaheim, Vancouver and Montreal…David Booth has goals in three straight games after scoring only once in his first 41 games this season…In addition to leading NHL in scoring, Tavares is now 4th in goals (33). Tied-5th in game-winning goals (7) and 1st in overtime goals (4)…The Isles are 13-4 in extra-time this season, tying Calgary and Anaheim for most OT/SO wins…Tavares has one goal and at least one assist in each of the last three games (3-4-7)…Toronto is 5-21-3 in 2015 and are 9-26-3 in their last 38 games…Travis Hamonic had his third 2-point game since February 8th.  Hamonic now has a career-high 23 assists and a career-high 27 points…All-time Isles are 9-2-2 when Travis has at least two points.

Howie's Fact
Tyler Kennedy is the 348th player in Islander history to score a goal.

It's Magic
The Isles magic number for clinching a playoff spot is 18.  Any combination of points won by the Islanders and/or lost by Ottawa will clinch a playoff spot for the Isles.  (While Ottawa is currently in 10th place in the East, they can finish with more points than Florida)

Tired vs. Rested
·         The Isles are 7-1-0 when both teams played the night before. This will also happen on March 29th vs. Detroit and April 11th vs Columbus.
·         The Isles are 7-1-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not. This also next happen on March 13th vs Ottawa, March 21st in New Jersey, March 24th vs. Minnesota, April 4th vs Buffalo
·         The Isles are 1-3-0 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not. This will also happen on March 10th vs the Rangers, and March 14 vs. Montreal.

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
·         ISLES           43-21-4=90 points / 68 games (36 ROW)  Beat Toronto 4-3 (OT)

·         NY Rangers  40-17-7=87 points / 64 games (37 ROW)  Idle
·         Pittsburgh     38-18-10=86 points / 66 games (35 ROW)  Lost 2-1 @San Jose (SO)
·         Washington  36-21-10=82 points / 67 games (33 ROW)  Idle

Upcoming Schedule:
·         ISLES:  Tuesday vs. NY Rangers, Friday vs. Ottawa, Saturday vs. Montreal

·         NY Rangers: Tuesday @ Islanders, Wednesday @ Washington, Saturday @ Buffalo, Sunday vs. Florida
·         Pittsburgh: Thursday vs. Edmonton, Saturday vs. Boston, Sunday vs. Detroit
·         Washington:, Wednesday vs. NY Rangers, Friday vs. Dallas, Sunday vs. Boston

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 19 of their 32 home dates this season. The 19 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 23 times this season.

What a Season:
The Isles are 43-21-4 thru 68 games, representing their most wins since 1983-84 (50).  Only the 1981-82 team had more wins through 68 games

Most wins in first 68 games:
·         47-14-7 in 1981-82
·         43-21-4 in 2014-15
·         43-13-12 in 1978-79
·         43-23-2 in 1983-84
·         42-14-12 in 1977-78
·         40-17-11 in 1980-81
·         40-19-9 in 1976-77

Most points in first 68 games:
·         101 in 1981-82
·         98 in 1978-79
·         96 in 1977-78
·         91 in 1980-81
·         90 in 2014-15
·         89 in 1976-77
·         88 in 1983-84

The Isles have won more than 43 games only six times in their history:

1981-82: 54
1978-79: 51
1983-84: 50
1980-81: 48
1977-78: 48
1976-77: 47
2014-15: 43
2001-02: 42
1982-83: 42
1975-76: 42

Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 23-9-0 on Coliseum ice; it's only the fifth time in club history that the Isles have won at least 23 of their first 32 home games (26-3-3 in 1981-82, 25-2-5 in 1977-78, 24-3-5 in 1978-79 and 23-9-0 in 1983-84).

Road Warriors
The Isles went 2-0-2 on this road trip and are now 20-12-4 on the road.  The Isles have earned at least a point in 7 straight road games (4-0-3).  The franchise record for consecutive road games with a point is 8, which the Isles will attempt to equal next Tuesday in Chicago.

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, 1-4-0, and 6-1-0 before going 4-2-3 in their last 9.

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         12-11-18-2=43

Toronto    12 -6-6-1=25
 
The Isles have outshot 33 of their last 39 opponents and 50 of their 68 opponents this season.
 
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 2,296-1,905 for a +391 shot differential.  

Biggest Differential, Season
·         +391 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 2,769 shots this year.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 43-21-4 overall; 23-9-0 at home and 20-12-4 on the road.  
Toronto is 26-35-6 overall, 18-14-1 at home and 8-21-5 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 19-4-1 in Division games and are 24-17-3 in games against other divisions. They are 10-8-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-5-1 vs. Central Division, and 8-4-0 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 19-4-1 against the Met Division, and are 12-2-1 in their last 15 division matchups.  They are 11-2-0 at home (outscoring opponents 53-34) and 8-2-1 on the road. The Isles are 7-1 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 3-1 on the road.
The Isles' next division game will be on Tuesday vs. the Rangers.

In the Nets
Michal Neuvirth made 22 saves to record his first win as an Islander.  He is 1-0-1 as an Islander and 7-17-4 overall. He is 7-4-1 in his career against Toronto.
Jonathan Bernier made 39 saves; he is 19-21-6 on the season. He is 2-2-2 in his career against the Isles.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 1-5 on the power play, while Toronto was 0-4, including failing on a 1:00 5-on-3 in the first period.

The power play is 3-10 (30%) in the last 3 games.  The Isles have not scored 2 PP goals in a game since January 4th.

The penalty kill has killed 34 of 38 (89.5%) in the last 14 games; the Isles allowed two goals to Vancouver on February 22nd and two goals to Carolina on February 28th but blanked their other 12 opponents. In their last 7 road games, the Isles have killed all 17 opponent power plays.

The Isles are 24-9-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 19-12-3 when they do not.  The Isles are 15-16-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 28-5-4 when they do not.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 36-7-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-14-2 when they do not.

One Goal Games
The Isles are 25-5-4 in games decided by a single goal including 11-5-0 in regulation. They are 6-1 in games decided in overtime and are 7-3 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 25 wins are a new franchise record – in 2007-08, 23 of Isles' 35 wins were by 1 goal.

First Goal (and Second Goal)
The Isles are 26-13-3 when they score first and are 17-8-1 when they allow the opening goal.  However, the Isles are 13-0-1 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal.  The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win four times this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO), Pittsburgh on January 16th, Philadelphia on February 5th and Toronto on March 9th)

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 161-141-43 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 345
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 161
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
John Tavares:  "I had a lot of friends and family here. When I get the opportunity to get one, especially in overtime, it's a good feeling. It's nice to come through."

Travis Hamonic: "It's certainly a lot better to go back home with some momentum. It's probably as big a game as we've had all season and we're all well aware of it. We'll be prepared."

They Tweeted It
@trottiertobossy Weird fact: Of 7 times Isles have gotten win #43, 5 (78, 79, 82, 84, 15) have been vs. Toronto. Other 2x (77,81) were vs Chicago.
@ Soopahgenius BREAKING:  John Tavares is … awesome!  Just saw the highlights of the OT winner tonight. #Isles #MVP
@kupkrazy I've watched the replay of JT's goal like 20+ times and I still have trouble following the puck into the net.  Jeez!  #Isles
@EJOnEverything John Tavares can simply do it all. He is the definition of MVP. He put that team on his back tonight and carried them to victory!#isles
@bentleynathan1 Tyler Kennedy with 2 points tonight in the Islanders win. Again, NYI got him for a 7th round pick

The Coach
"No. 91 leads out team and his game-winner was a great individual effort. If you look at our team nobody gave us a chance to be in the playoffs, so now that we're winning people seem to talk a little about us. He's our captain and he's having a tremendous year... He's been on a good run and hopefully that will continue. He leads by example and he has been real good of late."

Back-to-Backs
Including tonight, the Isles are 9-3-1 in the front-end and 8-4-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  The Isles have swept 5 sets of back-to-backs, are 1-1-0 in six sets and are 0-1-1 in one set.

This back-to-back set concludes tomorrow vs. the Rangers.

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 23:38 of ice-time; Jake Gardiner led Toronto in ice-time with 26:23.

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-1), Travis Hamonic (20-3-2), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-6-1), 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 22:12. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (26-20-4), 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 31 of 70 draws (44%).  No Islander center won more draws than he lost; Tyler Bozak won 15 of 18 for Toronto. The Isles lost at least ½ of the draws in every period. The Isles won 3 of 4 draws on the power play and 2 of 6 draws on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Toronto 41-34.  Matt Martin led the Islanders with 7 hits while Travis Hamonic added 6.

Matt Martin leads the NHL with 333 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 280.  It's the third time in his career Martin has recorded at least 300 hits; he has the two highest totals in NHL history (since 2005):

Most hits, season:
1.     Matt Martin, NYI 374 in 2011-12
2.     Matt Martin, NYI 359 in 2013-14
3.     Cal Clutterbuck, Min 356 in 2009-10       
 
There were no fights in the game. The Isles have been involved in 14 fights this season: Martin (9), Hamonic (3), Lee (1), Strome (1) and 11 of the 14 have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 8 blocked shots; Calvin deHaan and Casey Cizikas led the Isles with 2 each.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 78-43 (including 57-24 after the first period). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with a +24 even-strength Corsi rating; he was on-ice for a team-leading 82% of Corsi For events.  No Maple Leaf had a positive even-strength Corsi.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 387 career points; he is 82 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 22 times this season and the Isles are 15-6-1 in those games.  Prior to this season the Isles were 40-89-22 in the 151 games in which Tavares was scoreless. (Thanks hockey-reference.com)

All-time Winners
The Islanders improve to 28 games over all-time NHL .500 (1448-1420-454 in 3,322 games).  It's the first time that the Isles have been 28 games over all-time .500 since December 31, 2008.

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 320 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 121 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Kyle Okposo and Mikhail Grabovski are on injured reserve. Tyler Kennedy made his Islander debut, replacing Colin McDonald.  Eric Boulton, Kael Mouillierat, Brian Strait and Matt Donovan were scratched.

The Isles have lost 248 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         169 goals (12th all-time and 15 behind Billy Harris)
·         218 assists (15th all-time, 31 behind Tomas Jonsson and 41 behind Billy Harris)
·         387 points (13th all-time and 56 behind Billy Harris)
·         418 games played (36th among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Dave Langevin, 7 behind Greg Gilbert and 8 behind Jason Blake)

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 11 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 23 behind Trent Hunter)

Frans Nielsen has:
·         97 goals (29th all-time, 2 behind Trent Hunter and 4 behind Anders Kallur)
·         196 assists (16th all-time and 21 behind John Tavares)
·         293 points (20th all-time, 2 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 5 behind Kyle Okposo)
·         515 games played (21st among Islander skaters all-time, 15 behind Pat LaFontaine and 17 behind Tomas Jonsson)

Josh Bailey has:
·         133 assists (32nd all-time, 5 behind Greg Gilbert, 6 behind Mark Streit, and 7 behind Steve Thomas)
·         213 points (tied-36th all-time with Jean Potvin & Garry Howatt and 1 behind Mark Parrish)
·         462 games played (29th among Islander skaters , 8 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 14 behind Gerry Hart)

Michael Grabner has:
·         89 goals (36th all-time, 3  behind Travis Green and 4 behind Garry Howatt & Greg Gilbert)

Season Series Stats
The Isles win the season series 2 games to 1 (and 4 points to 3).
The Isles have won five of their last six games in Toronto (5-1-0) and are 7-2-2 in their last 11 games against the Maple Leafs.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 9th
22 years ago tonight (1993) – Pierre Turgeon scored his 44th goal and added two assists, establishing a career high with 107 points, as the Islanders beat Philadelphia 4-2.
 
It was the Islanders' fifth straight win, marking their longest win streak since a 9-game streak in 1989-1990.  With the win, the Isles (32-28-6) moved 4 games over .500 for the first since 1990.
 
Turgeon's goal was sandwiched by Flyer tallies from Kevin Dineen and Rod Brind'Amour.  Turgeon then earned assists on Tom Kurvers' tying goal in the second period and Derek King's lead goal with 4:19 to play. It was King's 33rd goal of the season.
 
Benoit Hogue converted a shorthanded goal into an empty net for the final margin of history.  It was Hogue's 30th goal of the season, marking the third straight season he reached that mark. It wasn't an ordinary empty-netter, as the Islanders were two men short at the time, making it a 3-on-6 tally.
 
The win kept the Isles one point behind the fourth-place Rangers.  Pat Flatley noted, "Realistically, our playoffs have started in this division. It's a best-of-20 and I think we have to win about 15 of them." The Isles would win only eight of their remaining 18 games (8-9-1), and would finish with a 40-37-7 record.  That would be enough to get them into the playoffs, setting the stage for a memorable spring.
 
Also on this date: (2013) – John Tavares scored a pair of power play goals 30 seconds apart, giving him 100 career goals as the Islanders beat Washington 5-2.  Tavares' pair of power play goals were the third-fastest in Islanders history.  Only Clark Gillies (10 seconds; 3-29-75 vs. NYR) and Bryan Trottier (29 seconds; 2-13-82 vs. Philly) have done it faster.
 
All-time, the Isles have played nine March 9th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 5-2-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 22-28-6-1 and return home to host Worcester on Wednesday. It's the first of a three-game homestand for Bridgeport, who host Lehigh Valley on Saturday and Syracuse on Sunday (3pm).

Up Next
TUESDAY, MARCH 9th— RANGERS AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 LI News]


The Isles begin a three-game homestand as they host the Rangers in the final regular season meeting ever at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Isles have already won the season series, having taken the first three match-ups by a combined 13-4 total.  The Rangers won a wild 4th game by a 6-5 count.

The Isles lead the Rangers by three points in the Metropolitan Division but the Rangers have four games in hand.

The Rangers have recorded an NHL-leading 10 shutouts this season, including five from Cam Talbot, but the Isles have scored 18 goals against the Rangers in their four matchups.

This will be the 126th regular season meeting in Coliseum history; the Isles have won 65, the Rangers 52 and there have been 8 ties.  Factoring in points for OT/SO losses, the Isles are 65-48-8-4 while the Rangers are 52-63-8-2 all-time in games played at the Coliseum.

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.
 

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