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The Skinny: Islanders 5, Hurricanes 4

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
“The Skinny” 

Game 72
Isles 5, Carolina 4

The Islanders scored four goals in a 7:15 span as they raced out to a 4-0 first period lead and then hung on for a 5-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes before a crowd of 15,176 at PNC Arena.  Colin McDonald and Matt Martin each score twice for the Islanders, who improve to 13-4-1 in their last 18 road games.
The Scoring:

1st Period
03:39 NYI Colin McDonald (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Thomas Hickey (16), Ryan Strome (7) 1 - 0 NYI   
05:26 NYI Cal Clutterbuck (11) Wrist shot - ASST: Brock Nelson (13), Josh Bailey (22)     2 - 0 NYI   
06:12 NYI Colin McDonald (8) Wrist shot - ASST: Calvin de Haan (12), Travis Hamonic (12) 3 - 0 NYI   
10:54 NYI Matt Martin (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Kevin Czuczman (1), Thomas Hickey (17)   4 - 0 NYI   
12:38 CAR PPG - Jeff Skinner (27) Backhand - ASST: Andrei Loktionov (10), Jay Harrison (8) 4 - 1 NYI   
15:06 CAR Andrei Loktionov (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Jiri Tlusty (12), Brett Bellemore (3)     4 - 2 NYI   

2nd Period
02:42 CAR PPG - Alexander Semin (22) Snap shot Jordan Staal (23), John-Michael Liles (5) 4 - 3 NYI   
16:57 NYI Matt Martin (7) Snap shot - ASST: Ryan Strome (8), Colin McDonald (8)     5 - 3 NYI   
17:19 CAR Nathan Gerbe (16) Snap shot - ASST: Jordan Staal (24), Ron Hainsey (11)     5 - 4 NYI   

3rd Period

The Skinny: 
It was the first time all season that the Islanders held a 4-0 lead at any point and was the first time the Isles have had a 4-goal lead since January 6th vs. Dallas... The Isles had scored six consecutive goals, and not allowed a goal in 76:04 before Jeff Skinner’s goal… Kevin Czuczman recorded his first NHL point, when he assisted on Matt Martin’s first goal…Cal Clutterbuck has goals in two straight games and in four of the last six games(all of which were won by the Isles); the Isles are 8-2-1 when Clutterbuck scores a goal…The Isles have won consecutive games for the first time since January 20th-21st….This was the Isles’ first road game since their 7-goal third period in Vancouver, meaning the Isles scored 11 goals in a stretch of 29:41 of road hockey…With the win, the Isles improve to NHL-.500 on the road (17-17-1) for the first time since a loss in Washington on November 5th left them 3-3-0 on the road; it matches the most points that the Isles have had through 35 road games since they had 38 points in 2001-02.  The Isles have not finished a full NHL season with a road record of NHL-.500 or better since 2006-07 (42 points)…Colin McDonald entered with a -23 rating but was one of three Isles (Ryan Strome, Matt Martin) to go +4 tonight.  It was the first time any of these players went +4 in a game…The Isles have won three straight games when they lead after two periods for the second time this season (12-6-5)…Carolina has been outscored 61-37 in the first period…The Isles are 5-4-0 in their last nine divisional games, after opening divisional play 3-11-3.

First Times in a Long Time (or ever):
•    Colin McDonald scored two goals for the second time in his career, and first time since March 28, 2013 in Philadelphia.  It’s also the first three-point game of his career.
•    Matt Martin scored two goals for the second time in his career, and first time since February 24, 2011 in Philadelphia.
•    Ryan Strome recorded his first multi-point game (two assists).
•    Four Islander defensemen (Thomas Hickey, Calvin deHaan, Travis Hamonic, and Kevin Czuczman) earned assists in the same game for the first time since March 31, 2011 vs. the Rangers (Dylan Reese, Travis Hamonic, Jack Hillen, Radek Martinek)
•    The Islanders scored four goals in the first period for the first time in 199 games (10-13-2011 vs. Tampa Bay)
•    Three Islanders went +4 in the same game for the first time since John Tavares, PA Parenteau and Matt Moulson all did so in that same 10-13-2011 game vs. Tampa Bay)
•    Three Islanders went +4 in the same road game for the first time since Alexei Yashin, Arron Asham and Oleg Kvasha all did so on 3-25-2003 in Chicago – 11 years ago tonight)
•    The Isles beat Carolina for the first time since February 18, 2012, ending an 0-5-1 stretch.

The Shots:
Isles             14-9-9=32
Hurricanes    9-13-6=28

The Isles have been outshot only three times in the last 16 games.

The Young Ones:
The Isles dressed nine rookies for the second straight game: Kevin Czuczman, Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan, Mike Halmo, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Anders Nilsson, Ryan Strome and Johan Sundstrom.
The average age of the 20 players the Isles dressed tonight was 25.51 years.  If you exclude tonight’s back-up netminder Evgeni Nabokov, the average age drops to 24.81 years.  Matt Carkner was the only Islander over 30 (he is 33 ½).  None of the other Isles have turned 30 (Frans Nielsen will do so in April)

Home and Road
The Islanders are 28-35-9 overall, 11-18-8 at home (including 0-1-0 at Yankee Stadium) and 17-17-1 on the road. The Isles are 7-11-2 in their last 20 games.

Carolina is 31-32-9 overall; they are 17-15-5 at home and 14-17-4 on the road. The Hurricanes are 5-11-0 in their last 16 games.

By Division
The Isles are 8-15-3 in Division games and are 20-20-6 in games against other divisions. They are 9-6-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 7-6-1 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) and Columbus (1-1-1 with one to play).  They are 1-3-0 against Carolina, 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 second of 12 consecutive games against Eastern Conference opponents to end the regular season.  The Isles have started this stretch 2-0-0.

In the Nets
Anders Nilsson made 24 saves and improves to 4-5-2 on the season.

Cam Ward allowed three goals on the first nine Islander shots and was replaced by Anton Khudobin.  Khudobin stopped 21 of the 23 shots he faced, but is charged with the loss.  He is 15-12-0 on the season.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-3 on the power play while Carolina was 2-4. 

The Isles are 16-8-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 12-27-5 when they do not.  The Isles are 12-19-4 when they allow at least one power play goal and 16-16-5 when they do not. 

The Isles are 9-78 in the last 20 games on the power play and have allowed 12 power play goals in 46 times short over the last 11 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 13-103 in their last 27 games.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 24-10-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 4-25-6 when they do not. 

Comeback Kids
The Isles are 13-9-7 when they score first and are 15-26-2 when they allow the opening goal.  The Isles have allowed the first goal in 24 of their last 34 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 (267) and wins (112).

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.    Al Arbour 1,500
2.    Jack Capuano 267
3.    Mike Milbury 191
4.    Terry Simpson 187
5.    Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.    Al Arbour 740
2.    Jack Capuano 112
3.    Terry Simpson 81
4.    Peter Laviolette 77
5.    Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Colin McDonald: “We came ready to play—we had a good game against Columbus and got a few bounces.”

They Tweeted It
@professorfoofoo #isles 3rd line scored 1 point every 111 seconds they played. Hmmm did you ever wonder ...................
@garik16 Since the olympic break, WITHOUT JOHN TAVARES, #Isles in close situations have outcorsi-ed opponents 267-238, and outfenwicked 217-167
@joekelly965  Thank u islanders for that win tonight now I can go to sleep in a good mood #isles #islesnation
@_legohead_ I think we're now something like 5-4-1 since Tavares got injured, who'd have thought that #Isles   (Skinny note: It’s actually 6-5-1)

The Coach
“Our penalty kill let them back in the game, but overall I thought our kids did a good job against a high-powered team.  They made a push in the second, but overall, we competed, which is what we are looking for from this hockey club right now.”

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
Calvin deHaan led the Isles with 27:21 of ice-time; it was the first time in his career that deHaan led the Isles in ice-time. Ron Hainsey led Carolina with 23:376. 

The Isles are 15-17-6 when MacDonald leads in ice-time, are 12-13-3 when Hamonic leads, are 1-0-0 when deHaan 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 32 of 74 draws (43%). Kyle Okposo won 8 of 12 for the Isles but his teammates won only 24 of 62; Manny Malhotra won 9 of 10 for Carolina.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Carolina 30-13; Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with seven hits while Calvin deHaan added six. Matt Martin had four hits, giving him 311 hits on the season.  Martin leads the NHL in hits by a wide margin.  It is the second time in his career that he has recorded 300 hits.

There were no fights in the game. The Isles have received 30 fighting penalties this season: Martin (10), Boulton (8), Carkner (6), McDonald (2), Hamonic (2), Halmo (1) and Okposo (1).

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 16 blocked shots, including a team-high four blocks for Travis Hamonic.

The Race to 1,400?
The Islanders improve to two games over all-time NHL .500 (1399-1397-448 in 3,244 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.

Thomas Hickey is the Islanders’ reigning ironman.  He has played 73 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 (concussion), Eric Boulton (broken hand), Brian Strait and Lubomir Visnovsky (upper body injury) are also injured. Radek Martinek was scratched.

The Isles have lost 184 games this season due to injury. 

Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 686
2. Roberto Luongo 371
3. Evgeni Nabokov 348
4. Nikolai Khabibulin 333

Career Wins
17. Rogie Vachon 355
18. Evgeni Nabokov 348
19. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 333

Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 124
2. Roberto Luongo 66
3. Evgeni Nabokov 57
4. Tomas Vokoun 51
5. Henrik Lundqvist 50

Career Shutouts
16 Turk Broda 62
17 John Ross Roach 58
17 Evgeni Nabokov 58
19 Clint Benedict       57

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    165
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     437
31    Jason Blake      426

34    Wayne Merrick  411
35    Jean Potvin    402
36    David Volek     396
36    Josh Bailey     396
38    Bert Marshall    392
39    Kyle Okposo     390
40    Travis Green     388
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     246
27    Ray Ferraro    238

Season Series Stats
The Hurricanes still won the season series, 3 games to 1 (and 6 points to 2).

The win ends an Islander 0-5-1 streak against Carolina.

Happy Anniversary
12 years ago tonight (3-25-02):  Alexei Yashin had four goals as the Islanders pounded the Blackhawks 9-2 in the United Center.

All-time, the Isles are 10-5-5 on this date, including 7-1-1 in their last 9.

On The Farm
Bridgeport dropped a 2-1 decision in a shootout to St. John on Saturday and then fell 4-2 to Portland on Sunday. Bridgeport is 1-7-1-1 in their last ten games and 27-31-2-5 on the season.

The Sound Tigers are off until Saturday when they become a home-and-home series with a visit to Hartford.

Up Next
[MSG-Plus (Isles Pre-game at 7:00), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]

The Islanders conclude a 2-game road trip on Thursday as they face Ryan Callahan, Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The teams have met twice this season, with each team owning a shootout win on the other’s ice.

The Isles are 4-0-1 in their last five games against Tampa Bay.

And Finally…
While the Sound Tigers will be away until Sunday, there will be college hockey in Bridgeport as the NCAA Regional Finals are played.  Good luck to my alma mater, Union College, as they look to repeat their 2012 feat of winning the Bridgeport regional to get them to the Frozen Four. Union faces Vermont and Quinnipiac plays Providence in Friday’s regional semi-finals.

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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