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The Skinny: Islanders 5, Bruins 3

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
“The Skinny”

Game 41
Isles 5, Boston 3

For the second game in a row, the Islanders rallied from a multi-goal deficit for a road victory.  The Isles ended 2013 with a 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins before a sellout crowd of 17,565 at TD Garden.  The Islanders scored four times on the power play (matching a club record for a road game) and had another potential power play goal (that would have tied the game in the first period) disallowed in the first period.

The Scoring:
1st Period

04:25 BOS David Krejci (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Jarome Iginla (15), Milan Lucic (17)     1 - 0 BOS   

2nd Period
05:56 NYI PPG - Frans Nielsen (14) Snap shot - ASST: John Tavares (27), Kyle Okposo (24) 1 - 1 Tie   
12:33 BOS PPG - Patrice Bergeron (10) Wrist - ASST: Ryan Spooner (8), Reilly Smith (17) 2 - 1 BOS   
12:58 BOS Daniel Paille (5) Tip-in - ASST: Zdeno Chara (9)     3 - 1 BOS   
16:30 NYI PPG - Frans Nielsen (15) Backhand- ASST: Thomas Vanek (17), John Tavares (28) 3 - 2 BOS   
19:57 NYI PPG - Kyle Okposo (15) Wrist shot - ASST: Andrew MacDonald (13)     3 - 3 Tie   

3rd Period
00:32 NYI John Tavares (15) Wrist shot - ASST: Thomas Vanek (18), Thomas Hickey (8) 4 - 3 NYI   
13:17 NYI PPG John Tavares (16) Slapshot ASST: Andrew MacDonald (14), Kyle Okposo (25) 5 - 3 NYI

The Skinny: 

Kyle Okposo extended his point streaks to seven games while Thomas Vanek extended his point streak to six games; Vanek has a 4-game assist streak while Okposo has a helper in three straight … John Tavares had two goals and two assists for the Isles; it’s the 7th time in his career that he has had at least four points.  For his efforts Tavares was named NHL Network’s #1 Star of the Night… Okposo and Tavares started the game as the club leader in goals (14), were then passed by Frans Nielsen (15), before they both re-tied, and Tavares eventually took the team lead in goals (16). The Isles have won four straight on the road for the first time this season, and are 5-1-0 in their last six road games…Tavares’ two goals gave him 44 in calendar year 2013; only Alex Ovechkin (62) and Patrick Kane (46) scored more.

First Times in A Really, Really Long Time
The Isles scored four power play goals in a road game (and in a win) for the first time since February 14, 2008.  The Isles also scored 4 power play goals in a road in New Jersey early in the 2001-02 season and those were the only times since 1990 that they had tallied four power play goals in a road game.  The 4 PP goals tie the club record for a road game; the Isles scored five PP goals the night Mike Bossy hit 50 in 50 (1/24/1981) at the Coliseum.
The Isles scored three power play goals in a period for the first time since November 23, 1996 in Phoenix, tying the club record.
The Isles won four straight on the road last season as well, but this is the first time that they have done so without the benefit of a shootout since November 19 - December 6, 2005.
The Isles scored five goals in consecutive road games (not including shootout goals) for the first time since December 2-3, 2006 (Beat Pittsburgh 5-3 and beat the Rangers 7-4).
The Isles have scored 18 goals over the last 4 road games for the first time since scoring 20 goals in four games from December 2-19, 2006.
Tavares is the first Islander to have four points in a game since he and Matt Moulson did so on February 16, 2013 vs. New Jersey.  However, no Islander had done it on the road since Tavares did so on January 31, 2011 in Carolina.

Auld Lang Syne
The Isles finish 2013 with a winning record on the road (22-19-4). The Isles earned 26 points in 25 road games in Jan-April 2012 but this is the first full year (Jan-Dec) that the Isles have a winning record on the road since 2002 and only the third full calendar year in the Post Cup era (1993).
The Isles went 15-19-10 in 44 regular season games at the Coliseum in 2013, including 0-3-2 in December.
Overall, the Isles played a club record 89 regular season games in 2013, with a 37-38-14 record.
2013 Calendar Year Leaders

(Okposo, Nielsen, MacDonald, Hamonic, and Martin) – all played all 89 games
Tavares 44
Moulson/Grabner /Nielsen 21
Okposo 19
Tavares 47
Okposo 45
Nielsen 40
Tavares 91
Okposo 64
Nielsen 61
Carkner 128
Martin 115
Boulton 84

Making His Case
Islander Assistant Captain Kyle Okposo had three points for the second consecutive game and is now 2nd in scoring among all American-born players:

Player                 Team     GP     G     A     P
1 Patrick Kane    CHI    41    23    30    53
2 Kyle Okposo    NYI    41    15    25    40
3 Phil Kessel    TOR    41    20    17    37
4 Joe Pavelski    SJS    40    16    21    37
5 Bobby Ryan    OTT    42    18    18    36

The United States Olympic Team will be announced on Wednesday at the Winter Classic.

The Shots:
Isles      8-12-11=31
Bruins  13-11-14=38

In a pair of statistical oddities, the Isles had the same shots on goal by period for the second straight game and registered exactly 31 shots for the third straight game.  It’s the first time since December 5-9, 1989 that the Isles had the same shot total in three consecutive games.

Home and Road

The Islanders are 13-21-7 overall, 5-8-7 at home and 8-13-0 on the road.   The Isles are 5-3-2 in their last ten games overall and have won four straight on the road.
The Bruins are 26-12-2 overall; they are 16-4-2 at home and 10-8-0 on the road. The loss breaks Boston 8-game home winning streak and 15-game home point streak (13-0-2).

Road Warriors
After starting December with three road losses, the Isles won five of their last six games away from the Coliseum.  It’s the first time in the Post-Cup era that the Isles have earned at least 10 road points in December:
•    11 in December 1975,
•    10 in December 1980,
•    11 in December 1983, and
•    10 in December 2013.

By Division
The Isles are 3-9-3 in Division games and are 5-3-3 vs. the Atlantic Division.  The Isles are 2-4-0 vs. Central Division teams and 3-5-1 vs. the Pacific Division.

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 35 saves as he improves to 8-7-5 on the season.  He is 6-5-1 in his career against the Bruins.
Tuukka Rask made 26 saves for Boston but falls to 20-9-2 on the his first career appearance against the Isles but falls to 18-6-3 on the season.  It’s only the second time all season he has allowed more than four goals.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 4-8 while the Bruins were 1-3. The four power play goals matched their total over the past 15 games (4-37).  It’s the first time since October 15, 2011 (vs the Rangers) that the Isles have had eight power play opportunities; they had not had eight PP’s in a road game since December 8, 2009 in Philadelphia.
The Isles are 7-5-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 6-16-3 when they do not.  The Isles are 5-14-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 8-7-4 when they do not. 
The Islander special teams have improved as of late.  The power play is 6-22 (27.3%) over the last seven games while the Isles have killed 18 of 21 (85.7%) over the last eight games while scoring two shorthanded goals. 

Three is a Magic Number

The Isles are 13-4-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 0-17-5 when they do not. 

Helps to Score First
The Isles are 8-5-5 when they score first and are 5-16-2 when they allow the opening goal. 

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is now 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (236) and wins (97).
Most games coached (Islanders):
1.    Al Arbour 1,500
2.    Jack Capuano 236
3.    Mike Milbury 191
4.    Terry Simpson 187
5.    Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.    Al Arbour 740
2.    Jack Capuano 97
3.    Terry Simpson 81
4.    Peter Laviolette 77
5.    Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
John Tavares: "I think this game, even though we didn't have a great start, we just stuck with it.  Being down by a goal on the road isn't always the worst thing in the world, you just have to turn the page. We did a better job in the second period, we seemed to get our legs going… and obviously the power play, it's good to see it come through in a big way.”

They Tweeted It
@eric_schildt Islanders are starting to look like the boys we remember from the playoff push last spring. Lets keep it up boys!!! #isles #nhl #win

The Coach
"Right now, where with we're at, whatever it takes”

The Isles are 4-6-0 in the front-end and 3-5-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.
In the ten sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points once, 3 points once, 2 points four times, 1 point once and no points on three occasions.
The next back-to-back set will be January 6th vs Dallas and January 7th in Toronto.

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 293 career points; he is 64 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks.  No other player from that draft is anywhere close.  Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player from that draft.

Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald played 26:36 to lead the Isles for the 26th time this season.  Zdeno Chara led the Bruins with 25:16 of ice-time.
The Isles are 9-12-5 when MacDonald leads them in ice-time and 4-9-2 when Hamonic leads them.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 31 of 73 draws.  Frans Nielsen won 9 of 16 for the Isles but his teammates won only 22 of the other 57; Patrice Bergeron won 23 of 31 for the Bruins.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit the Bruins 22-20. Colin McDonald and Matt Martin each had four hits to lead the Isles; Martin’s 196 hits lead the NHL by a wide margin.
There were no fights.  The Isles have been involved in 15 fights this season: Martin (6), Boulton (4), Carkner (4), McDonald (1).

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 12 blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald was one of three Isles with two blocks, extending his NHL-leading total to 138.

Back Over All-Time .500
The Islanders go back over all-time NHL .500 (1384-1383-446 in 3,213 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.  It’s the first time that they have been over NHL-.500 since December 5th.
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.

Frans Nielsen is the Islanders’ reigning ironman.  He has played 171 consecutive games, and is one of six Islanders to have played in every game this season.  Other current ironman streaks: Kyle Okposo (154), Travis Hamonic (111), Matt Martin (102), Andrew Mac Donald (89) and Thomas Hickey (42). 

Century Club
Travis Hamonic is the only defenseman in Islander history with two streaks in which he played at least 100 consecutive games.  Those are two of only 10 streaks of at least 100 consecutive games by a defenseman in Islander history:
1.    Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979  262
2.    Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220 (*)(**)
3.    Gerry Hart 3/1/1975-11/22/1977 198
4.    Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136 (**)
5.    Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134 (*)
6.    Mark Streit  10/8/2011-4/26/2013 130
7.    Travis Hamonic 11/24/2010 – 2/4/2012 113 (*)
8.    Travis Hamonic 2/24/2012- CURRENT 111

9.    Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110
10.    Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104

(*) Start of NHL career.
(**) Entire career with Islanders

Missing Men
Lubomir Visnovsky and Radek Martinek remain on injured reserve.  Josh Bailey missed his second game with an upper body injury; Michael Grabner replaced Eric Boulton while Matt Carkner replaced Aaron Ness The Isles have lost 105 games this season due to injury.

Nobody Beats the Viz!

The Isles were 19-12-4 last season and are 3-3-2 this season with Lubomir Visnovsky in the lineup.  They were 5-5-3 last season and are 10-18-5 this season without him in the lineup.

Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 681
2. Roberto Luongo 364
3. Evgeni Nabokov 343
4. Nikolai Khabibulin 333

Career Wins
17. Rogie Vachon 355
18. Evgeni Nabokov 343
19. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 333

Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 124
2. Roberto Luongo 65
3. Evgeni Nabokov 56
4. Tomas Vokoun 51

Career Shutouts
18 Clint Benedict       57
19 Evgeni Nabokov 56
20 Bernie Parent       54
20 Ed Giacomin        54

Career Goals as an Islander
15    Mariusz Czerkawski    145
16    John Tavares     128
16    Jason Blake    127

34    Butch Goring    87
34    Kyle Okposo    87
36    Tomas Jonsson    84
37    Wayne Merrick    81
37    Dave Scatchard    81
39    Marty McInnis    79
40    Miroslav Satan    78
41    Claude Lapointe 76
42    Michael Grabner 75
42    Frans Nielsen    75
44    Lorne Henning    73
44    J.P. Parise    73

Career Assists as an Islander
20    Jean Potvin    167
21    Jeff Norton    166
22    John Tavares    165
23    Zigmund Palffy    163
24    David Volek    154
25    Frans Nielsen    153
26    Mariusz Czerkawski    150
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
24    Eddie Westfall    493
25    Radek Martinek    476
25    Gerry Hart    476
27    Mariusz Czerkawski    470
33    Wayne Merrick  411
34    Frans Nielsen     408
35    Jean Potvin    402
36    David Volek     396
37    Bert Marshall    392
38    Travis Green     388
39    Anders Kallur     383
40    Randy Wood     381
41    Josh Bailey     368
42    Kyle Okposo     360

43    Dave Scatchard    347
47     Butch Goring    332    
47     Oleg Kvasha     332    
49    John Tavares     331
49     Bruno Gervais     331    
49     Ziggy Palffy     331    
52     Shawn Bates     330    

Career Points as an Islander
17    Mariusz Czerkawski    295
18    John Tavares     293
19    Duane Sutter    292
27    Kenny Jonsson    232
28    Greg Gilbert    231
29    Benoit Hogue    229
29    Trent Hunter    229
31    Frans Nielsen     228
32    Kyle Okposo     225

33    Matt Moulson    223

Season Series Stats
The Islanders lead the season series 2 games to 0 (and four points to none).  The teams will meet for the final time this season on January 27th at the Coliseum.
The Isles have won the last three games against the Bruins for the first time since winning six straight from 2005-2007.

Happy Anniversary
11 years ago today (12-31-02):  Jason Blake scored 1:36 into overtime for the game's only goal as the Islanders blank the Sabres 1-0 in Buffalo.  
Overall, the Isles are 13-7-1 on this date, having gone 7-0-1 in their last seven New Year's Eve games including a 4-1 win over Edmonton two years ago -- Ken Morrow was inducted into the Isles Hall of Fame that afternoon.

On The Farm
Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Anders Lee each scored a goal but Bridgeport let a 2-0 lead get away and suffered a 4-2 defeat to the Portland Pirates on New Year’s Eve. Bouchard now has points in each of the last six games that he has played. The Sound Tigers are 13-17-1-3 on the season and visit Norfolk on Friday.
Anders Lee now leads Bridgeport with 13 goals; Lee also leads current Sound Tigers in both assists (13) and points (26).  Ryan Strome still leads the team in assists (24) and points (33). 

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]

The Islanders begin 2014 with a three-game homestand that begins on Thursday against the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks won the first meeting of the season, 3-2 at the United Center back on October 11th, dropping the Isles to 0-2-2 in their last four meetings.  However, the Isles won the six games between the teams prior to that and are 6-2-2 in the last ten against Chicago.

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.

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