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The Skinny: Islanders 4, Wild 1

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders

Game 58  

Isles 4, Minnesota 1

Frans Nielsen scored two goals and the Isles scored three special teams goals as they defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1 before a sell-out crowd of 19,085 at Xcel Energy Center.

The Isles have won the first two games of their franchise record-tying seven game road.

The Isles improve to 6-1-1 in their last eight games, as they remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division, three points ahead of Pittsburgh and four ahead of New Jersey.  The Isles climbed within three points of the Rangers, and still have two games in hand on the Blueshirts.

The Scoring:

1ST PERIOD

01:36    NYI       Matt Martin (7) ASST: Steve Bernier (3), Casey Cizikas (15)          1 - 0 NYI          

12:15    NYI       PPG - Frans Nielsen (17) ASST: John Tavares (26), Anders Lee (16)         2 - 0 NYI          

2ND PERIOD

19:33    MIN      Chris Porter (4) ASST: Mikael Granlund (26), Marco Scandella (11)           2 - 1 NYI          

3RD PERIOD

02:42    NYI       PPG - John Tavares (23) ASST: Anders Lee (17), Kyle Okposo (31)         3 - 1 NYI          

17:14    NYI       SHG - EN - Frans Nielsen (18) ASST: NONE       4 - 1 NYI

The Skinny:

The Isles have outscored opponents 8-0 in the first two minutes of games this season…Casey Cizikas is 2-4-6 in the last six games… John Tavares is 6-7-13 in the last nine games, with points in eight of them…Tavares won a majority of his face-offs for the 14th straight game; he was won over 60% of his draws in that span… Anders Lee had two assists for the second time this season…The Isles have outscored their opponents 64-44 in the third period this season, including 22-6 over the last 16 games… The Isles improve to 18-2-2 when leading after one period and 23-1-2 when leading after two periods…The Wild's late second period goal was the first allowed by the Isles in 99:33…The Wild are 0-6-3 in indoor home games in 2016…The Isles are a season-high 13 games over NHL-.500…Frans Nielsen has three goals in the last three games; it's the 4th time this season he has scored twice in a game…Nielsen's power play goal was his team-leading 6th…Tavares now leads the Isles in goals (23) and points (49).  He has had at least 50 points in every season except the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign…Brian Strait led the Isles with a +2 rating.

Special Special Teams (aka First Time in a Really Long Time)

The Isles scored at least 2 PP goals, at least 1 SH goal, and killed at least 5 penalties without allowing a goal for the first time since 2/4/02 in Florida (6-6 tie)

Two Strong in Net                  

Both Thomas Greiss (16) and Jaroslav Halak (15) now have at least 15 wins.  It's the first time since the 2002-03 season (Chris Osgood-17 and Garth Snow – 16) that two Isles goalies have recorded 15 wins in the same season.  St. Louis and Dallas are the only other NHL teams with two goalies with at least 15 wins this season.

First Time in a Long Time

Frans Nielsen is the first Islander since Michael Grabner (4/6/2011 in Boston) to score both a power play goal and a shorthanded goal in the same game.

Moving On Up

Josh Bailey played in his 533rd game as an Islander, passing Tomas Jonsson for 20th place on the Isles' all-time list…Frans Nielsen's two goals give him 117 as an Islander, first tying and then passing Ray Ferraro for 24th place on the Isles' all-time list. His two points give him 335, passing Tomas Jonsson (333) for 17th.

The Captain's Countdown

John Tavares now has 197 career goals; with three more goals he will become only the 11th player in Islander history to record 200 goals.

The Magic Number is Now 197

With tonight's win, Jack Capuano has 197 wins as the Islander coach, Jaroslav Halak has 197 NHL wins and John Tavares has 197 goals.

Most Points in The Post-Cup Era through 57 games

·         77 in 2014-15

·         71 in 2015-16

·         68 in 2001-02

·         66 in 1985-86

·         66 in 1984-85

Home Sweet Home

The Isles are 19-8-4 on home-ice (42 points).  In the past 28 years, the Isles have earned more than 42 points in the first 31 home games only twice (46 in first 31 at home last season and 44 in 31 in 2003-04).

The Isles have clinched an above NHL-.500 finish at home.  It is the first time since 2005-06 and 2006-07 that the Isles have recorded successive home seasons above NHL-.500.

Road Warriors

The Isles are 2-0-0 on their current 7-game road trip.  This is the 5th time in club history that the Isles will play seven consecutive road games, but the 2nd consecutive season:

·         1981-82 (1-5-1)

·         2000-01 (2-3-2)

·         2009-10 (3-2-2)

·         2014-15 (5-2-0)

This was also the second game of a stretch in which the Isles are playing 12 out of 14 games on the road for only the 2nd time in their history.  From November 11 – December 9, 2009 (John Tavares' rookie season), the Isles went 5-7-2 in a stretch in which they played 12 of 14 on the road.   However the Isles changed time zones only twice in that stretch (when they visited Minnesota and St. Louis).  The Isles will change time zones seven times during these trips.

19-Feb-16         @ Devils (Won 1-0)

23-Feb-16         @ Wild (Won 4-1)

25-Feb-16         @ Flames

28-Feb-16         @ Oilers

1-Mar-16           @ Canucks

3-Mar-16           @ Jets

6-Mar-16           @ Rangers

8-Mar-16           Vs Penguins

9-Mar-16           @ Maple Leafs

12-Mar-16          @ Bruins

14-Mar-16          Vs Panthers

15-Mar-16          @ Penguins

17-Mar-16          @ Predators

19-Mar-16          @ Stars

The Shots:

Isles                 14-9-8=31

Minnesota         12-6-13=31

It's the fifth time this season that the Isles and their opponents have finished with identical shots.  The Isles are 4-1-0 in those five games.

Home and Road

The Islanders are 32-19-7 overall; 19-8-4 at home and 13-11-3 on the road. 

Minnesota is 27-23-10 overall; 15-11-4 at home and 12-12-6 on the road.

By Division

The Isles are 11-5-3 in Division games and are 21-14-4 in games against other divisions. They are 5-10-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 8-2-1 vs. the Central Division, and 8-2-1 vs. the Pacific Division. 

The Isles are 32-11-3 since the start of last season against the Metropolitan Division. 

How The West is Won

The Isles are 16-4-2 against the Western Conference, including 12-0-2 at home. The Isles have the most wins of any Eastern Conference team against the Western Conference (Tampa Bay, 15-9-2, has the 2nd highest win total).  Only 8 Western Conference teams have more wins against the West than the Isles do.

In the Nets

Jaroslav Halak made 30 saves for his second straight win; he improves to 15-12-4 on the season.  Halak, who now has 197 career wins, is 3-2-4 in his career against Minnesota.  It's the first time this season that Halak has allowed only 1 goal over a two-game period.

Devyn Dubnyk made 27 saves but falls to 21-20-5 on the season; he is 2-4-0 in his career vs. the Isles.

Power Plays

The Islanders were 2-3 on the power play, while Minnesota was 0-5 and allowed a shorthanded empty net goal to Frans Nielsen.

The Isles are 21-5-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 11-14-4 when they do not.  The Isles are 8-9-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 24-10-5 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number

The Isles are 27-3-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 5-16-7 when they do not.  The Isles were 40-8-4 when they scored at least three goals (including SO winners) last season.

One Goal Games

The Isles are 12-6-7 in games decided by a single goal including 6-7-0 in regulation. They are 2-4 in games decided in overtime and are 4-3 in shootouts.  The Isles are 5-4 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1 goal game into a 2-goal game.

First Goal

The Isles are 22-4-3 when they score first and are 10-15-4 when they allow the opening goal.   

Second to The One

Jack Capuano, the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history, is 197-167-53 behind the Islander bench.  Among the 9 New York area teams, only the Yankees' Joe Girardi has led his team longer than Capuano.  With 196 wins, Capuano has now won more games than any Islander other than Al Arbour has coached:

Most games coached (Islanders):

1.     Al Arbour 1,500

2.     Jack Capuano 417

3.     Mike Milbury 191

4.     Terry Simpson 187

5.     Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:

1.     Al Arbour 740

2.     Jack Capuano 197

3.     Terry Simpson 81

4.     Peter Laviolette 77

5.     Ted Nolan 74

Capuano is the 86th coach in NHL history to coach at least 400 games. He is now 72nd all-time with 197 wins.

They Tweeted It

@RoseTintedVisor Here's your fancy stat: The #Isles are 6th in the NHL in GOALS SCORED and 6th in GOALS ALLOWED.  This seems good.

@Russostrib Pretty awesome by Jack Capuano....Minnesotans Okposo, Lee, Nelson and Leddy all starting for the #isles

@AdamKaplan3 Special teams once again the difference in the game. Shows how important the improved PK is & having PP generating chances & momentum #isles

Back-to-Backs

The Isles are 2-4-4 on the front-end and 7-2-1 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  The next back-to-back set will be on March 8th vs. Pittsburgh and March 9th in Toronto.

Tired vs. Rested

·         The Isles are 3-1-0 when both teams played the night before.

·         The Isles are 5-3-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not.

·         The Isles are 4-1-1 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.

Ice-time Leaders

Isles: Travis Hamonic (25:35); Minnesota: Ryan Suter (26:09)

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (19-4-4), Johnny Boychuk (5-3-0), Calvin deHaan (1-3-1), Nick Leddy (6-7-2), John Tavares (0-1-0), Tied (0-1-0)

Frans Nielsen led the Isles forwards with 17:40 of ice-time.   Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (21-15-6), Ryan Strome (2-0-0), Kyle Okposo (1-2-1), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (4-0-0), Josh Bailey (2-0-0), Tied (1-1-0). 

Face-offs

Isles 38, Minnesota 27 (58%). 

Frans Nielsen won 12 of 18 for the Isles; Jarrett Stoll won 7 of 13 for Minnesota. 

The Isles won 13 of 26 draws in the first period and 25 of 39 in the last two periods.

The Isles won 29 of 47 draws at even strength, 2 of 6 on the power play and 7 of 12 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters

Isles 15, Minnesota 13.  Thomas Hickey and Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with three hits. Matt Martin added two hits, extending his NHL-leading total to 277.  Martin has recorded at least 250 hits five times; he has five of the nine 250-hit seasons in club history. (Hits first recorded in 2005-06).

Fights

There were no fights.  Season total – 13 (Martin-7, Bernier, Boychuk, Leddy, Lee, Okposo, Strait).

Blocked Shots

The Isles were credited with 22 blocked shots, including four from Casey Cizikas.

For the Corsi Crowd

All situations:  Isles 44, Minnesota 61.  5-on-5: Isles 33, Minnesota 45.

The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks). 

Steve Bernier led the Isles with a +4 5-on-5 Corsi rating and a club-leading 64% Corsi For percentage. Ryan Suter led Minnesota with a +11 5-on-5 Corsi rating.

Ironmen

·         Nikolay Kulemin -208 (68 for Maple Leafs and 140 for the Isles)

·         Brock Nelson  -193 (all for Isles)

·         Anders Lee -134 (all for Isles)

Missing Men

Adam Pelech, Calvin deHaan and Eric Boulton are on injured reserve. Steve Bernier replaced Mikhail Grabovski (injured) in the lineup. Ryan Pulock has been recalled from Bridgeport, but was scratched, as was JF Berube.

The Isles have lost 137 games this season due to injury/illness.

Missing a Piece (or two)

The Isles are 13-15-2 over the last two seasons in games in which they are missing Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic or Nick Leddy, including 5-5-1 this season.  They are 5-4-1, including 2-1-1 this season, when two of the three miss a game.

All-time Islander Leader Boards:

Games Played (skaters)

1.     Bryan Trottier 1123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1060 *** 3. Bob Nystrom 900

….

12. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 13. Garry Howatt 596 *** 14. John Tonelli 594 *** 15. Frans Nielsen 583 *** 16. Ken Morrow 550 *** 17. Duane Sutter 547 *** 18. Lorne Henning 543 *** 19. Claude Lapointe 535***20. Josh Bailey 533 *** 21. Tomas Jonsson 532***22. Pat LaFontaine 530*** 23. Dave Lewis 514 *** 24. Mick Vukota 510*** 25. Rich Pilon 509 *** 26. Kyle Okposo 506 *** 27. Ed Westfall 493***28. John Tavares 487

Goals

1.     Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310

….

9. Derek King 211 *** 10. John Tonelli 206*** 11. John Tavares 197

16. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 132 *** 18. Jason Blake 127 *** 19. Duane Sutter 121 *** 20. Alexei Yashin 119 *** 21. Mark Parrish, Matt Moulson and Steve Thomas 118 ***24. Frans Nielsen 117

Assists

1.     Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 ***

11. Pat LaFontaine 279 *** 12. Bob Nystrom 278 *** 13. Billy Harris 259 *** 14. John Tavares 253 *** 15. Tomas Jonsson 249***16. Kyle Okposo 219 ***17. Frans Nielsen 218

25. Ziggy Palffy 163 *** 26. David Volek 154 *** 27. Josh Bailey 152

Points

1.     Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052

10. Derek King 499 *** 11. Pat Flatley 488 *** 12. John Tavares 450 ***13. Billy Harris 443 ***

14. Stefan Persson 369 *** 15. Kyle Okposo 351 *** 16. Pierre Turgeon 340 ***17. Frans Nielsen 335

24 Jason Blake & Steve Thomas 258 *** 26. David Volek 249 *** 27. Josh Bailey 243

Goalie Games Played

1. Billy Smith 675 *** 2. Rick DiPietro 318***3. Glenn Resch 282

9. Garth Snow   127***10. Evgeni Nabokov 123***11. Chris Osgood 103***12. Jaroslav Halak 91

Goalie Wins

1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157***3. Rick DiPietro 130

6. Glenn Healy 66***7. Tommy Salo 62***8. Evgeni Nabokov 57***9. Jaroslav Halak 53

Shutouts

1. Glenn Resch 25***2.   Billy Smith 22***3. Rick DiPietro 19***4. Tommy Salo 14***

5. Evgeni Nabokov & Jaroslav Halak 9

Season Series Stats

The Isles sweep the season series 2 games to 0 and 4 points to 0. The Isles scored nine goals in the two games; they had never scored more than five goals in a season against the Wild.

The Isles are 6-2-1 in their last nine games vs. the Wild, including 3-1-0 in their last 4 trips to St. Paul. 

On The Farm

Bridgeport saw their 11 game point streak ended on Sunday against Albany; the Sound Tigers are 28-20-3-2 on the season.  Bridgeport has a home and home series Friday and Saturday vs. Providence before again hosting Albany on Sunday.

Up Next

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25rd – ISLANDERS AT CALGARY 9:00PM

[MSG+2 (Pre-game at 8:30), 91.5 WNYE-FM, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]

The Isles will look for a sweep of the season series as they visit the Flames on Thursday; the Isles blanked Calgary 4-0 behind 29 saves from Jaroslav Halak in Brooklyn on October 26th.

The Isles have won three straight from Calgary, all with Halak in goal.  The Isles have outscored the Flames 8-2 in those three games. 

The Isles will be looking for a 4th straight win over Calgary for only the second time since the franchise relocated from Atlanta for the 1980-1981 season; they accomplished this in a 4-game span from February 2, 1992 to January 12, 1993.

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