Isles 4, Sabres 0
Evgeni Nabokov made 35 saves for his 53rd career shutout and the Islanders got goals from four different players to blank the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 before a sellout crowd of 19,070 at First Niagara Center. It’s the 14th time that the Isles have shut out Buffalo – more than they have shut out any other opponent. The Isles finish their road trip 2-1-0 and now head home for a crucial seven-game home stand just two points out of a playoff spot. Buffalo, now 0-2-0 under interim coach Ron Rolston, has lost four straight and six of seven.
17:51NYIM. Streit (4) Deflected - ASST: M. Moulson (11) AND M. Reasoner (3) 1 - 0 NYI
18:56NYIM. Grabner (7) Wrist - ASST: NONE 2 - 0 NYI
04:24NYIJ. Tavares (12) Wrist - ASST: M. Moulson (12) AND B. Boyes (10) 3 - 0 NYI
19:02NYIPPG - C. McDonald (3) Wrist - ASST: C. Cizikas (4) AND M. Streit (6) 4 - 0 NYI
The Skinny: Matt Moulson’s assist on Streit’s goal was his 200th NHL point … The Islanders have goals from a different defenseman in each of the last three games … Tavares is now tied for the NHL lead in goals with Steven Stamkos, Thomas Vanek and Patrick Marleau … Only Stamkos, Vanek and Sidney Crosby have more points … Chico Resch had the first three Isles shutouts vs. Buffalo; ten goalies have combined for the other 11 … It’s the first time since December 3-11, 2011 (4 games) that the Isles have gotten a goal from the defense in at least three consecutive games … Six of the seven goals that the Isles defense has scored this season has come on the road … The Isles have outscored their opponents 25-17 in the second period while Buffalo has been outscored 30-15 in the middle frame … Grabner is now 9-2-11 in 10 games vs. the Isles.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 8-9-1 overall, 2-6-0 at home and 6-3-1 on the road.
The Islanders’ 6-3-1 road record matches their second best road record through 10 games in the past 28 years:
•2001-02 7-2-1 15 points
•2012-13 6-3-1 13 points
•1997-98 5-2-3 13 points
The Sabres are 6-12-1 overall, 3-6-1 at home and 3-6-0 on the road.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 35 saves as he improves to 8-6-1 on the season. It’s Nabokov’s 53rd career shutout (third among active players), and third as an Islander. Nabokov now owns shutouts against 22 different teams, including every team in the Western Conference except San Jose (who he has never faced).
Ryan Miller made 28 saves for Buffalo. He is 6-10-1 on the season.
The Isles went 1-for-4 on the power play while the Sabres were 0-for-6, ending a streak of six straight games in which the Isles have allowed a power play goal.
The Isles power play is 10-for-31 (32.3%) on the road this season, while Buffalo is 2-for-46 on the power play in their last 11 games.
They Said It
Matt Moulson: Solid game all around…penalty kill was great…Nabby was solid.
They Tweeted It
@Kevin Poulin60 It was short but sweet In Buffalo great win tonight !! #Isles
Nabby was really good tonight. We were out there for an extended period of time, we had a couple of guys who broke sticks, but he made some big saves. They've got some key weapons on their power play unit and he came up big for us.
With Tavares’ goal tonight, he and Matt Moulson have combined for an NHL-leading 21 goals among teammates.
Moulson and Tavares have combined for 44 points this season, third among NHL teammates. Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis have combined for 49 points while Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have combined for 46.
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 225 career points; he is 58 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.
Friends, Friends, Friends
Matt Moulson has nine goals this season; John Tavares has earned an assist on six of them. Tavares has now been on ice for 69 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 46 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa Bay.
112 NHL Goals
Moulson has 112 career goals (106 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, only 17 have more goals.
John Tavares has seven road goals and 14 road points this season. Only Patrick Kane (eight and 18) has more.
Leading Ice Men
Mark Streit played 23:18 to lead the Isles. Andrej Sekera led Buffalo with 23:43.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 28 draws; the Sabres won 32. Marty Reasoner won 9-of-15 for the Isles; Steve Ott won 8-of-10 for Buffalo.
The Islanders were out-hit 26-18; Matt Martin led the Isles with six hits; he is now third in the NHL with 72. There were no fights, raising the season total to 10.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 16 blocked shots, including four each for Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic. MacDonald now shares the NHL lead in blocks (49).
Back over .500
The Islanders once again are over .500 all-time (1355-1354-433 in 3142 games). The Isles have been one game below .500 twice last season and twice this season. Prior to that, they had not been below .500 since they were 177-178-83 before to their victory on January 16, 1978.
3 Usually Enough
The Isles are 8-1-1 when scoring at least three goals and 0-8-0 when scoring two or less.
Tough to Catch
The Isles are 5-1-1 in games that they score first.
Some Stats Make No Sense
The Isles improve to 3-6-1 in games that they are tied after one period. They are 3-3-0 in games that they trail after one period.
A Tale of Two Months
The Isles were 4-2-1 in January, outscoring their opponents 27-23. The Isles are 4-7-0 in February, and have been outscored 37-26.
This was the final game of a three game road trip, and the only five days that the Isles are away from the Metropolitan area in February. The Isles finish the trip 2-1-0 and have now had winning records on both of their multi-game trips this season.
Battling the Northeast
This was the third game of an eight game stretch in which the Isles will play seven Northeast opponents, one Southeast opponent, and no divisional (Atlantic) opponents. The Isles are 2-1-0 in this stretch with the only Southeast opponent (Carolina) their opponent on Sunday night.
Nobody Beats the Viz
Lubomir Visnovsky has been on ice for 17 of the 23 Islander goals in his seven games with the team. Being on the ice when is team scores is nothing new for Visnovsky; he led the entire NHL in 2010-11 when he was on-ice for 146 Anaheim goals (13 more than Henrik Sedin).
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 264 games since joining the team. 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 extended his streak to 177 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 100.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1. Billy Harris 576
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Matt Moulson 264
3. Denis Potvin 262
Radek Martinek, David Ullstrom and Eric Boulton were scratched. Matt Carkner and Brian Strait are on Injured Reserve. Jesse Joensuu remains suspended after suffering an injury in Europe.
Kevin Poulin was recalled from Bridgeport and served as the back-up goaltender; Rick DiPietro cleared waivers and has been assigned to Bridgeport.
The Isles have scored 35 goals in their eight wins (4.38 per game) and 17 goals in their other 10 games (0-9-1; 1.70 per game). In their nine regulation losses, the Isles have scored 13 goals (1.44 per game).
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 664
2. Roberto Luongo 344
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 329
4. Evgeni Nabokov 320
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 313
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov 320
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 313
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 120
2. Roberto Luongo 62
3. Evgeni Nabokov 53
4. Tomas Vokoun 49
5. Nikolai Khabibulin 45
6. Miikka Kiprusoff 44
19 Bernie Parent 54
19 Ed Giacomin 54
21 Evgeni Nabokov 52
22 Rogie Vachon 51
22 Dave Kerr 51
22 Curtis Joseph 51
Career Goals as an Islander
21Ray Ferraro 116
22Matt Moulson 106
23Benoit Hogue 105
23Ed Westfall 105
25Anders Kallur 101
26 Trent Hunter 99
27John Tavares 96
28Mikko Makela 95
28David Volek 95
Career Assists as an Islander
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
43Marty McInnis 337
43Frans Nielsen 337
45Butch Goring 332
45Oleg Kvasha 332
58Gord Lane 304
59Arron Asham 300
59Roman Hamrlik 300
61Josh Bailey 299
62Kyle Okposo 289
63Gord Dineen 287
64Jeff Norton 282
66Matt Moulson 264
67John Tavares 261
67Andre St. Laurant261
70Brad Lauer 259
71Benoit Hogue 258
72Mark Streit 256
73Pierre Turgeon 255
Career Points as an Islander
30John Tavares 225
39Matt Moulson 191
42Frans Nielsen 177
49Kyle Okposo 166
Season Series Stats
The season series is even at one game apiece (two points each). The final meeting of the season will come in the Islanders’ final game, April 26th at Buffalo.
The Isles are 7-3-1 in their last 11 games against the Sabres, including 4-1 in their last five trips to Buffalo.
16 years ago today (2-23-97): Tommy Salo made 27 saves and Ziggy Palffy added three assists as the Islanders defeated Pittsburgh, 4-1 in front of a sellout matinee crowd at the Coliseum. Rich Pilon scored his sixth (and final) goal as an Islander. Each of Pilon’s goals came in a different season.
All-time, the Isles are 8-6-2 on this date, with tonight’s game being only the third (1-1-1) since that 1997 win.
On The Farm
Bridgeport is 22-23-3-3 after a 3-2 loss at home to Manchester on Saturday. Kenny Reiter made 32 saves for the Sound Tigers. Bridgeport will look to rebound on Sunday afternoon when they host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24 CAROLINA AT ISLANDERS (7:00PM)
[MSG+2 (Pre-game show at 6:30PM), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The Islanders return home to begin a seven-game home stand as they entertain the Carolina Hurricanes for the second time in two weeks. Carolina defeated the Isles 6-4 in the first meeting, despite allowing the Isles to score four power play goals. It was the first time since 1978 that the Isles had lost a game in which they scored four times on the power play.
While the Islanders have played more Sunday home games in recent years, most of them have been matinees.
The Islanders will be looking to get back to .500 with a victory. An Islander win would also move them into 3rd place in the Atlantic Division and 8th place in the Eastern Conference.
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.