Isles 5, Devils 4 (OT)
Brad Boyes scored 2:01 into overtime as the Islanders survived losing leads of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3, losing their head coach to a freak injury in the third period, and a too many men on the ice penalty late in the third period to defeat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 before a sellout crowd of 17,625 at Prudential Center in Newark. With the OT win, the Isles (4-2-1) finish their road trip 3-1-1 and move into a first place tie with New Jersey (3-0-3).
14:31NYIPPG - J. Tavares (3) Wrist - ASST: B. Boyes AND F. Nielsen 1 - 0 NYI
02:41NYIPPG - K. Aucoin (4) Wrist - ASST: T. Hamonic AND A. MacDonald 2 - 0 NYI
03:13NJDS. Bernier (1) Wrist - ASST: S. Gionta AND R. Carter 2 - 1 NYI
06:21NJDR. Carter (1) Backhand - ASST: M. Anderson AND S. Gionta 2 - 2 TIE
07:31NYIJ. Tavares (4) Wrist - ASST: M. Moulson AND E. Nabokov 3 - 2 NYI
17:12NJDH. Tallinder(1) Wrist - ASST: T. Zajac 3 - 3 TIE
11:32NYIM. Streit (3) Deflected - ASST: D. Ullstrom AND C. Cizikas 4 - 3 NYI
13:50NJDA. Henrique(1) Backhand - ASST: D. Clarkson AND D. Zubrus 4 - 4 TIE
02:01NYIPPG - B. Boyes (2) Wrist - ASST: F. Nielsen AND J. Tavares 5 - 4 NYI
The Skinny: The Islanders scored three power play goals against New Jersey for the first time since October 11, 2001 (when they had 4 PP goals in a win at Continental Airlines Arena … Aucoin’s goal gave the Islanders power play goals on five consecutive power plays over three games… The Isles are above .500 thru six games for only the second time in the last eight seasons (3-1-2 in 2010-11) … Frans Nielsen had his second consecutive multi-assist game; he and Tavares each have seven assists on the season … Evgeni Nabokov earned his second assist of the season …The Devils have played four consecutive OT/SO games, losing the last three … 30 year-old Long Island native Matt Anderson, playing just his second NHL game, recorded his first NHL point…David Clarkson assisted on Henrique’s goal; he has a point (4-4-8) in all six Devil games…Moulson, Tavares, Nielsen and Streit each extended point streaks to three games … Captain Mark Streit played in his 450th NHL game (245 with the Islanders)...The Islanders now have scored 11 second period goals; only Ottawa (12) has more … New Jersey had not allowed a second period goal in their first five games … The Devils had held the Islanders to exactly one goal in five straight games before Thursday.
The Usual Assortment of Tavares Notes:
John Tavares has goals in three straight games … It was Tavares’ first two-goal game since March 13, 2011 at Washington and the 16th time in his career that he has scored at least two goals (first time vs. New Jersey) … The Islanders are 8-1-1 in the last 10 games in which Tavares has scored at least twice … Tavares played in his 250th NHL game and scored his 87th and 88th NHL goals. His 88th goal allowed him to pass Islander legend and broadcaster Butch Goring for 33rd place on the all-time club list … Tavares now has 213 points, passing Anders Kallur and tying Jean Potvin and Garry Howatt for 32nd place on the all-time club list ... Tavares had eight shots on goal, matching a personal high.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 4-2-1 overall, 1-1-0 at home and 3-1-1 on the road. The Isles have earned at least a point in five of the last six games (4-1-1).
New Jersey is 3-0-3 overall, 2-0-1 at home and 1-0-2 on the road. The Devils are winless (0-0-3) in their last three games.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 28 saves; he is 4-1-1 on the season and has earned at least a point in five straight starts. Nabokov improves to 3-7-0 in his career against the Devils.
Martin Brodeur made 30 saves; he is 3-0-2 on the season. It’s the first time he has allowed five goals to the Islanders since December 23, 2010. Brodeur is 50-27-7 in his career against the Isles.
The Isles went 3-for-4 on the power play while New Jersey was 0-for-5. The Isles had only 4:14 of PP time while New Jersey had 10:00. It’s the first time since January 8, 2011 (at Colorado) that the Isles have converted three power plays in a game. The Devils entered the game having allowed only three PP goals in 26 times shorthanded this season.
Over their last two games, the Isles are 5-for-6 on the power play (6:04 of PP time) while they have killed 8-of-8 (19:00 of PP time).
Special Special Teams
The Isles are 9-for-24 on the power play (37.5%) and 24-for-25 on the penalty kill (96.0%). It’s the first time in their history that the Isles have allowed only one power play goal in the first seven games.
The Isles are on pace to score 62 PP goals this season; they scored only 45 PP goals in an 82-game 2012-13 season.
The Isles PP is now 7-for-13 (53.8%) on the road this season.
They Said It
Evgeni Nabokov: "We're realizing what it takes to win, and we have to keep doing it. We won’t succeed taking shortcuts."
They Tweeted It
RT @BruceBeck4NY: Terrific game in NJ! Congrats to @NYIslanders -- great win tonight!
“It’s good to come on the road early when you’ve got some new players. You build that camaraderie. It’s a good way to end the trip.” Capuano missed the final 6:43 of regulation as well as overtime after he was cut when a puck was sent into the Islander player bench, yet he returned to do the television post-game interview.
The Isles finish the road trip 3-1-1. There is a lot of home cooking coming up as 22 of the next 36 are at home before the Isles will also play five consecutive road games to end the regular season.
First Times in a Long Time
It’s the first time since 2001-02 (5-0-0) that the Isles have earned at least seven points in the first five road games (and only the third time in club history: 3-0-2 in 1981-82).
The Isles have scored 26 goals in the last six games (4.33 goals per game); it’s the most goals that they have scored in any six-game period since scoring 30 in a six-game stretch in February 2011.
The Isles have scored 27 goals in the first seven games this season (3.67 goals per game); it’s the most goals that have scored through seven games since they tallied 28 times in the first seven games in October 2001.
It’s the first time that the Isles at least share first place this late in the season since October 22, 2010, when they were 4-1-2.
The Isles have scored five power play goals over two consecutive games for the first time since October 9-11, 2010 and for the first time over two consecutive road games since March 30-April 7, 2007.
Too Early for the P Word?
This is the 14th time in Islander history that they have scored at least 27 goals in the first seven games. They made the playoffs in each of the other 13 seasons.
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 213 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 four goals this season; John Tavares has earned an assist on two of them. Tavares has now been on-ice for 64 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 42 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa Bay.
107 NHL Goals
Moulson has 107 career goals (101 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, only 17 have more goals.
All four of Matt Moulson’s goals this season have come on the road. Scoring on the road is nothing new for Moulson; 23 of his 36 goals last season also came on the road. Only Steven Stamkos (24) had more.
Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald led the Isles with a career-high 31:16; only six players (all defensemen) have played more in a game this season than MacDonald played Thursday. It’s the most any Islander has played since Mark Streit skated 31:31 on April 6, 2010.
Ilya Kovalchuk led New Jersey with 28:09.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 33 draws; the Devils won 26. Keith Aucoin won 8-of-10 and John Tavares won 13-of-21 for the Isles; Travis Zajac won 12-of-21 for New Jersey.
The Islanders were out-hit 12-4. Eric Boulton fought Krystofer Barch in the first period. It was the Islanders’ fourth fight of the season.
The Islanders improve to four games over .500 all-time (1351-1347-433 in 3131 games). The Isles twice last season fell one game below .500. Prior to that, they had not been below .500 since they were 177-178-83 prior to their victory on January 16, 1978.
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 253 games since joining the team. Moulson’s streak is the longest for an Islander in the Post-Cup era and the fourth-longest in club history. 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 166 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 89.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1. Billy Harris 576
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Denis Potvin 262
4. Matt Moulson 253
Radek Martinek and Joe Finley were scratched. Colin McDonald served the first game of a two-game suspension. Josh Bailey and Jesse Joensuu remain suspended after suffering injuries in Europe. Lubomir Visnovsky has not yet reported.
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 659
2. Roberto Luongo 340
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 328
4. Evgeni Nabokov 316
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 312
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov 316
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 312
Career Goals as an Islander
22Benoit Hogue 105
22Ed Westfall 105
24Matt Moulson 101
24Anders Kallur 101
26Trent Hunter 99
32Travis Green 92
33John Tavares 88
34Butch Goring 87
Career Assists as an Islander – active players
4Kyle Okposo 95
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
49Eric Cairns 327
50Frans Nielsen 326
50Alan Kerr 326
52Brad Dalgarno 321
59Arron Asham 300
59Roman Hamrlik 300
61Josh Bailey 292
62Gord Dineen 287
63Jeff Norton 282
64Kyle Okposo 278
70Pierre Turgeon 255
71Matt Moulson 253
72Jude Drouin 250
72John Tavares 250
74Brad Isbister 247
74Brendan Witt 247
76Sean Bergenheim 246
77Mark Streit 245
78Miroslav Satan 243
Career Points as an Islander
32John Tavares 213
41Matt Moulson 178
42Frans Nielsen 174
50Kyle Okposo 164
Season Series Stats
The season series is even at one game each (Devils lead three points to two). The Isles’ win breaks a four-game losing streak against New Jersey. The teams will meet on Sunday and again on February 16 at the Coliseum before completing the season series in Newark on April 1.
39 years ago today (1-31-74): Bob Nystrom recorded his first career hat trick as the Islanders defeated Los Angeles 4-1. Nystrom became the third Islander rookie to score three goals in a game (joining Bob Cook and Germain Gagnon).
All-time, the Isles are 9-8-1 on this date, including 6-2-0 in the last eight.
On The Farm
Kevin Poulin made 38 saves but The Sound Tigers dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to Providence. Ty Wishart had both goals for Bridgeport, who is 19-19-2-3. The Baby Isles will be in Hartford on Friday to face the Connecticut Whale (the Rangers farm team).
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3 NEW JERSEY AT ISLANDERS (3:00PM)
[MSG+ (Pre-game show at 2:30PM), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The Islanders return home to begin a two-game home stand on Sunday against the Devils. While it will be the second consecutive game for the Isles against the Devils, New Jersey will visit Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon before reaching Long Island.
The Isles will be looking to win consecutive games, both against New Jersey, for the first time in over 26 years. On December 11, 1986 the Isles won 8-4 in New Jersey, and followed that up with a 4-2 Coliseum win two nights later.
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