Kyle Okposo scored a goal and added an assist, and Lubomir Visnovsky tied a career-high with three assists as the Islanders recorded their first regulation time victory on Coliseum ice since January 6th as they defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 before a crowd of 14,388 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Isles improve to 2-8-1 in their last 11 home games (including 2-7-1 in their last ten games at the Coliseum). The Scoring: 1st Period 03:31 NYI Frans Nielsen (22) Slapshot - ASST: Anders Lee (4), Kyle Okposo (42) 1 - 0 NYI 17:24 NYI PPG - Kyle Okposo (27) Snap shot - Brock Nelson (12), Lubomir Visnovsky (6) 2 - 0 NYI
2nd Period NONE
3rd Period 00:56 BUF PPG - Tyler Ennis (18) Wrap-around - Drew Stafford (16), Christian Ehrhoff (24) 2 - 1 NYI 01:35 NYI Ryan Strome (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Matt Martin (5), Lubomir Visnovsky (7) 3 - 1 NYI 17:47 NYI EN - Cal Clutterbuck (9) Backhand - Lubomir Visnovsky (8), Thomas Hickey (15) 4 - 1 NYI
The Skinny: Kyle Okposo had his third consecutive multi-point game and extended his point streak to four games. Kyle now has a team-leading 69 points on the season (which is 4th in the NHL) and 99 career goals…It was Lubomir Visnovsky’s first three-assist game in over 7 years (3-12-2007 for Los Angeles vs. Edmonton) and the first for any Islander defender since Mark Streit had three helpers vs. Detroit on January 10, 2012....Anders Lee was held without a goal but improves to 4-4-8 in his last six games; he has recorded at least one point in 8 of 11 career games…Frans Nielsen’s goal was his 22nd goal of the season; he is now 22-27-49 on the season with both his goals and points representing new career highs. The Shots:
Isles 10-14-14=38 Sabres 14-10-10=34
The Isles have been outshot only twice in the last 13 games.
Home and Road The Islanders are 26-34-9 overall, 10-17-8 at home (including 0-1-0 at Yankee Stadium) and 16-17-1 on the road. The Isles are 5-10-2 in their last 17 games.
Buffalo is 19-40-8 overall; they are 12-19-5 at home and 7-21-3 on the road. The Sabres have lost 5 straight games and have been outscored 16-5 in that stretch.
By Division The Isles are 6-15-3 in Division games and are 20-19-6 in games against other divisions. They are 9-6-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 7-5-1 vs. Central Division, and 4-8-2 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles have losing records against every division opponent except Washington (1-1-1 with one to play). They are 0-3-0 against Carolina, 0-1-1 against Columbus, 1-2-0 against New Jersey, 2-3-0 against New York, 1-3-0 against Philadelphia, and 1-2-1 against Pittsburgh.
This was the seventh of eight consecutive games against non-divisional opponents. The Isles are 3-3-1 in this stretch.
In the Nets Anders Nilsson made 33 saves to improve to 3-4-2 on the season.
Jhonas Enroth made 34 saves for Buffalo but falls to 4-16-5 on the season.
Power Plays The Islanders were 1-3 on the power play while Buffalo was 1-6.
The Isles are 15-8-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 11-26-5 when they do not. The Isles are 11-18-4 when they allow at least one power play goal and 15-16-5 when they do not.
The Isles were 8-68 in the last 17 games on the power play and have allowed nine power play goals in 33 times short over the last eight games.
Feast or Famine The Isles PP went 10-33 in the first 10 games, before going 7-79 in the next 24 games. They rebounded to go 11-32 in the following 11 games but are only 12-93 in their last 24 games.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 23-10-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 3-24-6 when they do not.
Comeback Kids The Isles are 11-9-7 when they score first and are 15-25-2 when they allow the opening goal. The Isles have allowed the first goal in 23 of their last 31 games.
Second to The One Jack Capuano became the 2nd coach in Islander history to win 100 games in Toronto on January 7th and became the 2nd coach in Islander history to coach 250 games on January 27th against Boston. He is 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (264) and wins (110).
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 264 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 110 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It Frans Nielsen: "It was solid work from the whole team. I liked our game without the puck. We were solid in front of Anders; he took care of the first shot and we cleaned up after that."
They Tweeted It @moses_awale11 Team USA owes Kyle Okposo an apology cause the man has been on a mission 4th in the NHL in scoring @Longislandskies Finally seeing a win on the home front!!!! #isles #hockey #nhl #springbreak
The Coach On Kyle Okposo: A couple years ago, you guys (the media) weren't talking about him, the fans were down on him. Now they chant, "USA! USA!"
Back-to-Backs The Isles are now 6-8-1 in the front-end and 6-7-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles have swept three back-to-backs: November 1st/2nd vs. Ottawa and Boston; January 6th/7th vs. Dallas and Toronto and January 20th/21st vs. Philadelphia and the Rangers.
In the 15 sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points three times, 3 points once, 2 points five times, 1 point twice and no points on four occasions.
The Isles’ next back-to-back set is on April 1st against Florida and April 2nd at Ottawa. Six of the Isles’ final eight games will be played as part of three back-to-back sets.
Leading Ice Men Travis Hamonic led the Isles with 27:06 of ice-time; Christian Ehrhoff led Buffalo with 25:43.
The Isles are 15-17-6 when MacDonald leads in ice-time, are 11-12-3 when Hamonic leads, are 0-1-0 when Okposo leads, are 0-1-0 when Strait leads, are 0-2-0 when Tavares leads and are 0-1-0 when Vanek leads.
In the Circle The Islanders won 39 of 73 draws (53%). Kyle Okposo won 7 of 9 and Ryan Strome won 9 of 14 for the Isles; Brian Flynn won 11 of 16 for Buffalo.
Heavy Hitters The Isles out-hit Buffalo 32-18; Colin McDonald and Calvin de Haan led the Isles with six hits each. Matt Martin had 2 hits; his 299 hits lead the NHL by a wide margin. He had now recorded at least 200 hits in four straight seasons.
Matt Carkner fought John Scott in the first period. The Isles have received 29 fighting penalties this season: Martin (10), Boulton (8), Carkner (6), McDonald (2), Hamonic (2) and Okposo (1).
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 19 blocked shots. Brian Strait led the way with four blocks, all of which occurred in the first period.
The Race to 1,400? The Islanders improve to one game over all-time NHL .500 (1397-1396-448 in 3,241 games). The Isles have been 1-under all-time .500 after six games this season and have gone 4-0-2 in the following game.
The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 above all-time NHL .500 and have not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978.
Ironmen Thomas Hickey is the Islanders’ reigning ironman. He has played 70 consecutive regular season games, and is the only Islander to have played in every game this season.
Missing Men John Tavares is on injured reserve. Michael Grabner missed his second straight game with a concussion; Eric Boulton missed his 5th straight game while Radek Martinek was scratched for 15th straight game. Newly-signed Kevin Czuczman was scratched for the second straight game. Matt Carkner replaced Matt Donovan in the lineup.
The Isles have lost 168 games this season due to injury.
Career Wins, Active Goalies 1. Martin Brodeur 686 2. Roberto Luongo 369 3. Evgeni Nabokov 347 4. Nikolai Khabibulin 333
Career Wins 17. Rogie Vachon 355 18. Evgeni Nabokov 347 19. Gump Worsley 335 20. Nikolai Khabibulin 333
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies 1. Martin Brodeur 124 2. Roberto Luongo 67 3. Evgeni Nabokov 57 4. Tomas Vokoun 51
Career Shutouts 17 John Ross Roach 58 18 Clint Benedict 57 18 Evgeni Nabokov 57 20 Bernie Parent 54 20 Ed Giacomin 54
Career Goals as an Islander 15 Mariusz Czerkawski 145 16 John Tavares 136 17 Jason Blake 127
27 Trent Hunter 99 28 Kyle Okposo 99 29 Mikko Makela 95 29 David Volek 95 31 Randy Wood 94 32 Greg Gilbert 93 32 Garry Howatt 93 34 Travis Green 92 35 Butch Goring 87 36 Tomas Jonsson 84 37 Michael Grabner 82 37 Frans Nielsen 82 39 Wayne Merrick 81 39 Dave Scatchard 81
Career Assists as an Islander 16 Ed Westfall 181 17 John Tavares 179 18 Kenny Jonsson 175 19 Alexei Yashin 171 20 Duane Sutter 171 21 Jean Potvin 167 22 Jeff Norton 166 23 Frans Nielsen 164 24 Zigmund Palffy 163 25 Kyle Okposo 155 26 David Volek 154
Career Games as an Islander (skaters) 24 Eddie Westfall 493 25 Radek Martinek 479 26 Gerry Hart 476
29 Scott Lachance 450 30 Frans Nielsen 434 31 Jason Blake 426
34 Wayne Merrick 411 35 Jean Potvin 402 36 David Volek 396 37 Josh Bailey 393 37 Bert Marshall 392 39 Travis Green 388 40 Kyle Okposo 387 41 Anders Kallur 383 42 Randy Wood 381 43 John Tavares 350 44 Dave Scatchard 347
Career Points as an Islander 16 Ziggy Palffy 331 17 John Tavares 315 18 Mariusz Czerkawski 295
22 Jason Blake 258 22 Steve Thomas 258 24 Kyle Okposo 254 25 David Volek 249 26 Frans Nielsen 245 27 Ray Ferraro 238
Season Series Stats The season series is even at 1 game to 1 (The Sabres have earned three points to the Isles’ two).
Overall, the Isles are 2-2-3 in their last seven games against Buffalo.
The teams will conclude the regular season with the Islanders’ only visit of the season to Buffalo on April 13th.
Happy Anniversary 35 years ago tonight (3-15-79): Bryan Trottier had the hat trick as the Isles raked the Leafs 6-2 at the Coliseum.
All-time, the Isles are 8-9-0 on this date.
On The Farm Bridgeport is 0-5-1-0 in their last six games and 26-29-2-4 on the season after a 4-0 loss to Worcester on Saturday night. It was Bridgeport’s second consecutive shutout loss, extending their scoreless streak to 170:59. (h/t Mike Fornabaio)
The 3-game in 3-day weekend concludes with a home game on Sunday at 3pm vs. Adirondack.
Up Next TUESDAY, MARCH 18th – MINNESOTA AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG-Plus2 (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
Matt Moulson, who played 304 games for the Isles over the past five seasons, returns to the Coliseum for the first time on Tuesday as the Islanders face the Minnesota Wild. Moulson scored 118 goals and added 105 assists in his Islander career, which ended when he was traded to Buffalo in late October.
This will be the Wild’s first visit to Long Island since a 2-1 Islander win on Columbus Day, 2011. The Isles have won the last 4 meetings between the teams since a 3-2 Wild win in St. Paul on November 20, 2009.
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.