John Tavares became the first Islander to 30 years to record four consecutive multi-point games to start a season and then added the game deciding goal in the shootout as the Isles defeated San Jose 4-3 before 11,248 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Isles improve to 4-0-0 for only the third time in their history (1976-77 and 2001-02) and find themselves all alone in first place in the entire National Hockey League.
1ST PERIOD NONE
2ND PERIOD 01:39 SJS Brent Burns (1) ASST: Joe Thornton (4), Mirco Mueller (1) 1 - 0 SJS 04:05 NYI Nick Leddy (2) ASST: John Tavares (6), Kyle Okposo (5) 1 - 1 Tie 09:14 SJS PPG - Patrick Marleau (3) ASST: Brent Burns (5), Joe Thornton (5) 2 - 1 SJS
3RD PERIOD 05:57 NYI PPG - Kyle Okposo (2) ASST: Frans Nielsen (3), John Tavares (7) 2 - 2 Tie 08:38 NYI Josh Bailey (2) ASST: Cal Clutterbuck (1), Nick Leddy (1) 3 - 2 NYI 11:16 SJS Tomas Hertl (2) ASST: Jason Demers (2), Matt Irwin (1) 3 - 3 Tie
OT PERIOD NONE
The Shootout: ROUND ISLANDERS SAN JOSE SHARKS 1 Frans Nielsen (NG) Logan Couture (G) 2 Brock Nelson (NG) Joe Pavelski (NG) 3 Kyle Okposo (G) Tomas Hertl (NG) 4 Ryan Strome (NG) Brent Burns (NG) 5 John Tavares(GDG) Joe Thornton (NG)
This was the first shootout of the season. The Isles were 9-6 in shootouts last season.
The Injury: Mikhail Grabovski left the game in the first period after he was knocked to the ice by San Jose’s John Scott. He did not return.
The Skinny: Nick Leddy scored for the second straight game; it’s the first time in his career that he has scored in consecutive games...The Isles have five goals from their defense in the first four games; they had only 23 goals from the defense all last season. …The Isles are 4 games over NHL-.500 for the first time since they ended the 48-game 2013 season with a 24-17-7 record…John Tavares and Kyle Okposo have had at least one assist/point in every game this season… Tavares’ shootout tally raised his career total to 10/34 (29%); it was his third career game-deciding goal….Mirco’s Mueller’s assist was his first NHL point…. With Griffin Reinhart sent to Bridgeport, Ryan Strome (7-11-1993) is now the youngest player on the current roster…This was the first time this season that the Isles trailed after two periods. The Isles won an NHL–leading 10 games when trailing after 2 periods last season.
First Times in a Long Time The Isles, counting the final three games of last season, have won seven straight games for the first time since a 9-game win streak from December 31, 1989 – January 19, 1990.
The Isles are 4-0-0 to start the season for the first time since the 2001-02 season when they opened 4-0-0. The Isles have never opened a season 5-0-0, but they will have a chance to do so when they visit Pittsburgh on Saturday.
The Isles have also won their first two home games for the first time since 2003-04 and only the second time since 1993-94.
The Isles have scored 19 goals (including shootout winners) in the first four games. It’s the most goals that the Isles have scored in the first three games since they scored 20 goals in the first four games to open the 1989-90 season.
The Isles are 4-0-0 despite allowing three goals in each game; they last had a four-game win streak, allowing at least three goals in each game from February 10-15, 2011. Counting the final game of last season, the Isles have won 5 straight games, despite allowing at least three goals in each. They have had only one single season streak of 5 games in their history: November 7 – November 17, 1987.
Can’t Win them All… …If you don’t win the first four. The Isles in first place overall in the NHL with a 4-0-0 record. Two other teams (Minnesota and Vancouver) are 2-0-0.
The Shots: Isles 14-14-12-5=45 Sharks 3- 8- 5-7=22
The +23 shot differential was the Isles’ largest since November 1, 2013 in Ottawa (+26) and their largest on Coliseum ice since February 9, 2013 vs. Buffalo (+28).
Home and Road The Islanders are 4-0-0 overall, 2-0-0 at home and 2-0-0 on the road.
San Jose is 3-0-1 overall; 1-0-0 at home and 2-0-1 on the road.
By Division The Isles are 3-0-0 in Division games and are 1-0-0 in games against other divisions. They are 0-0-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 0-0-0 vs. Central Division, and 1-0-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles won only three of their first 17 division games (3-11-3) last season.
In the Nets Jaroslav Halak made 19 saves as he improves to 3-0-0 on the season. He is now 5-4-0 in his career against San Jose and 20-20 all-time in shootouts.
Alex Stalock made 42 saves for San Jose in his first career appearance against the Islanders; he is 1-0-1 on the season.
Power Plays The Islanders were 1-2 on the power play while San Jose was 1-1.
The Isles have six power play goals on the season, matching their highest total since they scored seven power play goals in four games to open the 1989-90 season.
The Isles are 4-0-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 0-0-0 when they do not. The Isles are 3-0-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 1-0-0 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 4-0-0 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 2-0-0 when they allow the opening goal.
Second to The One Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 122-120-39 behind the Islander bench
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 281 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 122 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It John Tavares: “4-0 is nice, but you try to focus one day at a time. We have a long way to go. “Every day is a new test, a new challenge. We want to be able to challenge against some of the teams that have proven themselves, and this team is one of them. It’s a step in the right direction.”
Josh Bailey: “At the start of the year, we would have taken [4-0-0] for sure. We’ve earned it. We’ve worked hard and played well. It’s just a good start, we have a long way to go.”
Kyle Okposo: “We’re growing as a team and we want to continue to grow.”
They Tweeted It @Riz2525 Ok I really need to go to sleep now. Good night twitter ... ok just 1 more time, WE ARE UNDEFEATED #isles @1calledsteve Its nice to finally have a rooting interest in a winning hockey team.I know its only 4 games, but #Isles are just solid with room to improve @DumpandChase80 Josh Bailey had played great these first 4 games it is good to see that translate into the score sheet as well #Isles @Islanders1932 Also, absolutely love the "YES" chant after all the goals. Lots of fun and brings a ton of energy to the crowd! #isles #Islestwitter
The Coach “The (Sharks) have always been a team that plays extremely fast. They’re probably one of the fastest teams; we’ve talked about their defense and transition, how they get up into the play. I thought our guys played a real good 200-foot game tonight.
We kept the puck deep. We didn’t make ‘hope’ plays in the offensive zone, and we eliminated our turnovers. We just did a lot of little things and intangibles throughout the game that I hope will be ingrained in our guys as we move forward.”
Back-to-Backs 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 John Tavares led the Isles with 25:33 of ice-time while Marc Edouard-Vlasic led San Jose with 25:21. It was the most ice-time for Tavares since he played 26:05 on February 4, 2012 in Buffalo.
Kyle Okposo (24:15) also played more than any Islander defenseman.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (2-0-0), Travis Hamonic (1-0-0) and John Tavares (1-0-0).
Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (2-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), and Casey Cizikas (1-0-0).
In the Circle The Islanders won 35 of 73 draws (48%). John Tavares won 12 of 21 for the Isles; Andrew Desjardins won six of eight for San Jose.
Heavy Hitters The Isles outhit San Jose 32-20. Matt Martin led the Isles with seven hits. Tommy Wingels had five hits for San Jose.
There were no fights, leaving the Islanders’ season total at (1): Martin (1).
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 24 blocked shots; Thomas Hickey led the way with six.
For the Corsi Crowd Johnny Boychuk (+13) led the Isles in even-strength Corsi, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks). Josh Bailey also had a strong rating, going +10; he also had a team-leading 69% of Corsi For events.
Head of the Class Islander Captain John Tavares has 324 career points; he is 61 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 ten games over all-time NHL .500 (1409-1399-450 in 3,258 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 256 consecutive regular season games, while Hickey has played 87 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Missing Men Lubomir Visnovsky, Michael Grabner, and Matt Carkner are all out injured. Eric Boulton, Colin McDonald and Matt Donovan were scratched for the fourth straight game.
The Isles have lost 15 games this season due to injury.
With Calvin deHaan back in the lineup, the Isles sent Griffin Reinhart on loan to Bridgeport.
All-time Islander Leader Board: John Tavares has: • 138 goals (16th all-time, 7 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 9 behind Pierre Turgeon) • 186 assists (16th all-time, 7 behind Pierre Turgeon and 63 behind Tomas Jonsson) • 324 points (17th all-time, 7 behind Ziggy Palffy, 9 behind Tomas Jonsson and 16 behind Pierre Turgeon • 354 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 27 behind Randy Wood)
Frans Nielsen has: • 85 goals (36th all-time, 2 behind Butch Goring and 7 behind Travis Green) • 172 assists (19th all-time, 3 behind Kenny Jonsson and 9 behind Ed Westfall) • 257 points (25th all-time, 1 behind Jason Blake & Steve Thomas and 4 behind Kyle Okposo) • 451 games played (29th among Islander skaters all-time and 9 behind Trent Hunter)
Kyle Okposo has: • 101 goals (tied-26th all-time with Anders Kallur and 4 behind Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue) • 160 assists (25th all-time, 3 behind Ziggy Palffy, 6 behind Jeff Norton and 7 behind Jean Potvin) • 261 points (22nd all-time, 27 behind Ed Westfall) • 394 games played (38th among Islander skaters all-time, and 3 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: • 410 games played (35th among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Wayne Merrick and 12 behind Dave Langevin)
Season Series Stats The Isles lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 1).
As this was the Sharks’ only trip to Long Island this season, San Jose becomes the first opponent to play its final game at the Coliseum. The Isles won the first 5 Coliseum meetings between the teams, but this was only their second win since 1996 (2 wins, 5 losses, 2 overtime losses and 2 ties).
The teams will meet again on November 1st in San Jose.
It Happened at the Coliseum: 35 years ago tonight (1979): Helmet-Gate. Before a 5-1 win over Atlanta, the Flames complained that Isles goalie Billy Smith was wearing a white helmet while the rest of the team was wearing blue. Since Smith did not have a blue helmet readily available, the Isles wore white helmets and then pounded Atlanta. Rookie Yvon Vautour scored the game-winning goal in his first NHL game– it was the first of three goals he would score in an Islander uniform.
Anders Kallur, an important piece of the Dynasty era, made his NHL debut as the Isles scrambled their lineup following a series of injuries left Denis Potvin, Bobby Nystrom and Bob Bourne all out of the lineup.
Also on this date: (2010) - Milan Jurcina scored his first two goals as an Islander in a 4:55 span of the second period to break a scoreless tie as the Isles defeated Colorado 5-2.
All-time, the Isles have played ten October 16th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 7-1-3 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm The Sound Tigers are 1-1-0. They begin a 3-game in 3-day weekend by hosting Albany on Friday night. After visiting Albany on Saturday, the Sound Tigers will host Springfield on Sunday at 3pm. Up Next SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18h—ISLANDERS AT PITTSBURGH 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders will be looking to start the season 5-0-0 for the first time in their history as they make the first of three trips this season to Pittsburgh.
The Isles are 3-3-0 in their last six trips to the Steel City, after having gone 0-11-2 in their previous 13 trips. Pittsburgh won the season series last year, three games to one (and six points to three).
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.