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The Skinny: Islanders 5, Lightning 2

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 18

Isles 5, Tampa Bay 2

Mikhail Grabovski and Ryan Strome scored second period goals 63 seconds apart to break a 1-1 tie as the Islanders improved to 5-2-0 at home as they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 victory before a crowd of 12,908 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  The Isles have won six of their last seven (6-1-0) and have won 12 of their first 18 games for the first time since the 1987-88 season.

The Scoring:

1ST PERIOD
11:53    TBL    Alex Killorn (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Jason Garrison (9), Jonathan Drouin (8) 1 - 0 TBL    

2ND PERIOD
00:39    NYI    SHG - Cal Clutterbuck (2) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE    1 - 1 Tie    
12:23    NYI    Mikhail Grabovski (4) Snap shot - ASST: Frans Nielsen (6), Kyle Okposo (12) 2 - 1 NYI    
13:26    NYI    Ryan Strome (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Calvin de Haan (3)    3 - 1 NYI

3RD PERIOD
00:36    NYI    PPG - Brock Nelson (9) Tip-in - Lubomir Visnovsky (4), Frans Nielsen (7) 4 - 1 NYI    
02:14    TBL    Ondrej Palat (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Matthew Carle (2), Nikita Kucherov (10) 4 - 2 NYI    
08:55    NYI    Casey Cizikas (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Kyle Okposo (13), Brock Nelson (9)     5 - 2 NYI

The Skinny:
The Isles have trailed after 1 period in each of their last three games after trailing after one period only once in their first 15 games… The Isles scored three (or more) goals in the second period for the first time in 56 games (January 6th vs. Dallas)…The Mikhail Grabovski goal featured milestone assists for both Frans Nielsen (ties Kenny Jonsson for 18th) & Kyle Okposo (passes Jeff Norton and ties Jean Potvin for 22nd). Both Nielsen and Okposo also added an assist in the third period … Brock Nelson tied a personal high with seven shots on goal Saturday and followed it up with a career high eight tonight; a post-game scoring change gave him his team-high 9th goal.  Nelson didn’t score his ninth goal last season until January 23rd… Kyle Okposo’s two assists gives him the club lead (13); he extended his point streak to three games…. That post-game scoring change also cost John Tavares an assist and ended his point streak at three…The Isles stopped Steven Stamkos’ six-game point streak…Nelson, Okposo and Tavares are now tied for the club point lead, each with 18.  The Lightning and Penguins are the only other teams with three players with at least 18 points…Isles are 6-0-0 when lead after 2 periods; Tampa is 0-5-0 when trailing thru 40 minutes…Only Los Angeles (5) has more shorthanded goals than the Isles (3).

Remember That Second Period Issue?
Isles have now outscored the opposition 7-1 in second periods over the last four games. The Isles have allowed only 1 second period goal in the last six games.

Home or Road…Does It Really Matter?
The Isles are now 5-2-0 at home and 7-4-0 on the road.  It’s the first time that the Isles are at least 3 games over .500 both at home and on the road at the same time since they ended the 2001-02 season with a 21-13-5-2 record at home and a 21-15-3-2 record on the road.

The Rest Factor
“Rested” NHL teams (teams that did not play the night before while their opponents had played) had a 41-12-13 record so far this season (entering tonight).

Comparable Records
The Isles are 12-6-0 thru 18 games, matching their most wins thru 18 games since they opened 13-4-1 in the 1987-88 season.  The Isles were 6-9-3 through 18 games and 7-9-3 through 19 games last season, when they won only 12 of their first 40 games (12-21-7).

November to Remember?
The Isles are 6-2-0 this November, which still includes home-and-home series with Pittsburgh and Washington and home games with Philadelphia and New Jersey.  The Isles have six games remaining in November.

Streakers
The Isles won their first four games, lost their next two games, won the two games after that, lost the next three games and are 6-1-0 in last 7.

The Shots:
Isles             12-12-12=36
Tampa Bay    9-10-10=29  

Home and Road
The Islanders are 12-6-0 overall, 5-2-0 at home and 7-4-0 on the road.

Tampa Bay is 13-5-2 overall; 7-2-1 at home and 6-3-1 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 3-1-0 in Division games and are 9-5-0 in games against other divisions. They are 3-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 2-2-0 vs. Central Division, and 4-1-0 vs. the Pacific Division.

The Isles won only three of their first 17 division games (3-11-3) last season.  After tonight, the Isles’ final six games this month are all against division opponents.

Playing the East
This was the third of 11 consecutive games against the Eastern Conference.  The Isles are 2-1-0 in this stretch, which includes upcoming including home/home series with Pittsburgh, Washington, and Ottawa.

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 27 saves to improve to 8-4-0 on the season.  He has won five straight starts, allowing just seven goals.  He is 3-2-0 in his career against the Lightning.

Former Islander Evgeni Nabokov made 31 saves for Tampa Bay but falls to 2-3-0 on the season.  This was Nabokov’s first appearance against the Isles since 2009.  Nabby is 7-3-0 in his career against the Isles.  

Power Plays
The Islanders were 1-6 on the power play while Tampa Bay was 0-3.

The Isles failed to score on a 1:07 5-on-3 advantage in the first period but scored their third shorthanded goal of the season.

The Isles have killed 22 of 24 over the last six games after they allowed 6 power play goals in 14 times short over the previous five games.

The power play is 5-30 (16.7%) over the last seven games.

The Isles are 8-3-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 4-3-0 when they do not.  The Isles are 5-5-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 7-1-0 when they do not.  

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 10-1-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-5-0 when they do not.  

One Goal Games
The Isles are 7-1-0 in games decided by a single goal including 3-1-0 in regulation. They are 1-0 in games decided in overtime and are 3-0 in shootouts.  Two games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter.  The Isles are 1-1 in those games.

First Goal
The Isles are 7-5-0 when they score first and are 5-1-0 when they allow the opening goal.  

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 130-126-39 behind the Islander bench.

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.    Al Arbour 1,500
2.    Jack Capuano 295
3.    Mike Milbury 191
4.    Terry Simpson 187
5.    Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.    Al Arbour 740
2.    Jack Capuano 130
3.    Terry Simpson 81
4.    Peter Laviolette 77
5.    Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Cal Clutterbuck: “Home wins are nice…it’s kind of odd being home for one game.  (12-6) is a good start—but we’re going to keep going, day by day.”

John Tavares: “Nabby was a big part of our group…It’s part of the game…He made some good saves (in the first period) and Cal got a big goal.”

Calvin de Haan: "You have to give credit to our forwards. They were strong at both blue lines. We didn't really have any letdown moments when Johnny was out."

They Tweeted It
@DannyFormo The @NYIslanders are the best sports team in New York, and a top 10 team in the @NHL
@Bk1491  @Section_329 have been through the good and bad, they are truly the @NYIslanders 6th man.. been through the good & bad
@SA3886  Team is quickly becoming "Your Father's Islanders" or for us older fans, "Our Islanders" once again #RockTheOldBarn #OnToTheNextOne, #Isles
@defiantlydutch Cal Clutterbuck's goal today is his first point on his birthday. Played twice previously on his b-day (2008, 2009).

The Coach
“The Clutterbuck goal was huge …Cal is tough to play against.   (I changed lines) because we weren’t generating anything.  At that time, I felt we had to do something.”

Back-to-Backs
The Isles are 3-0-0 in the front-end and 2-1-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  

The next set of back-to-backs will be a home and home series with the Penguins on Friday/Saturday.

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led the Isles with 20:41 of ice-time while Matt Carle led Tampa Bay with 25:47.

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (5-2-0), Travis Hamonic (4-1-0), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) and John Tavares (1-2-0).

John Tavares led Islander forwards with 18:59 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (7-6-0), Kyle Okposo (3-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), and Casey Cizikas (1-0-0).

In the Circle
The Islanders won 31 of 52 draws (60%). John Tavares won 10 of 13 for the Isles; Tyler Johnson won 6 of 11 for Tampa Bay.

The Isles did a particularly good job in the circle in the third period, winning 10 of 15.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles outhit Tampa Bay 23-13.  Cal Clutterbuck had six hits to lead the Isles.  Ryan Callahan had three hits for Tampa Bay.

There were no fights, leaving the season total at two: Martin (1), Hamonic (1).

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 17 blocked shots; Frans Nielsen led the Isles with four.

For the Corsi Crowd
Ryan Strom (+10) led the Isles in even-strength Corsi, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).  Strome also had a team-leading 71% of Corsi For events.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 333 career points; he is 56 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 12 games over all-time NHL .500 (1417-1405-450 in 3,272 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 270 consecutive regular season games, while Hickey has played 101 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Century Club
Thomas Hickey is part of a select group of Islander defensemen who have played at least 100 consecutive regular season games:
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. Andrew MacDonald 12/19/2011- 3/2/2014 164 (**)
5. Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136 (**)
6. Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134 (*)
7. Mark Streit  10/8/2011-4/26/2013 130
8. Travis Hamonic 2/24/2012-1/12/2014 117
9. Travis Hamonic 11/24/2010– 2/4/2012 113 (*)

10.Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110
11.Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104
12. Thomas Hickey 4/26/2013- current 101

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

Missing Men
Eric Boulton, Michael Grabner and Matt Carkner are on injured reserve. Matt Donovan was scratched for the 18th straight game. Cal Clutterbuck returned to the lineup, replacing Cory Conacher.

The Isles have lost 66 games this season due to injury, and have had four injured players for 12 of their 18 games.  

Good Company for Halak
Jaroslav Halak became the 110th goalie in NHL history to record 150 wins with his shutout of Colorado on November 11th.  It was his 32nd career shutout, tying Eddie Johnson and Felix Potvin for 50th on the all-time list.

Halak’s 32 shutouts also rank tied-sixth among active goalies:
•    Roberto Luongo 67
•    Evgeni Nabokov 59
•    Henrik Lundqvist 53
•    Pekka Rinne     33
•    Jonathan Quick 33
•    Jaroslav Halak     32
•    Marc-Andre Fleury 32
•    Ryan Miller     30

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
•    143 goals (16th all-time, 2 behind Mariusz Czerkawski, 4 behind Pierre Turgeon and 17 behind Pat Flatley)
•    190 assists (16th all-time, 3 behind Pierre Turgeon and 59 behind Tomas Jonsson)
•    333 points (tied-15th all-time with Tomas Jonsson, 7 behind Pierre Turgeon and 36 behind Stefan Persson)
•    368 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 13 behind Randy Wood and 15 behind Anders Kallur)

Frans Nielsen has:
•    90 goals (35th all-time, 2 behind Travis Green and 3 behind Greg Gilbert & Garry Howatt)
•    176 assists (18th all-time and 5 behind Ed Westfall)
•    266 points (23rd all-time and 6 behind Kyle Okposo and 20 behind Ed Westfall)
•    465 games played (28th among Islander skaters all-time, 5 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 11 behind Gerry Hart)

Kyle Okposo has:
•    104 goals (26th all-time and 1 behind Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue and 12 behind Ray Ferraro)
•    168 assists (22nd all-time and 3 behind Duane Sutter & Alexei Yashin)
•    272 points (22nd all-time, 14 behind Ed Westfall and 18 behind Alexei Yashin)
•    408 games played (36th among Islander skaters all-time, 3 behind Wayne Merrick and 8 behind Josh Bailey)

Michael Grabner has:
•    82 goals (38th all-time, 2 behind Tomas Jonsson and 5 behind Butch Goring)

Josh Bailey has:
•    416 games played (34th among Islander skaters all-time, 6 behind Dave Langevin and 9 behind Greg Gilbert)

Season Series Stats
The season series is even at 1 game to 1 (and 2 points to 2).  The final meeting of the season of these teams will be on December 20th at the Coliseum.

The Isles are 5-1-2 in their last eight games against Tampa Bay and are 6-0-1 in their last seven at home against the Lightning.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on NOVEMBER 18th
36 years ago tonight (1978) – Playing without Bryan Trottier and Ed Westfall due to injuries, the Isles embarrassed the Philadelphia Flyers 8-2 at the Coliseum for Al Arbour’s 200th victory as Islander coach.

The Isles grabbed a 3-0 lead before the first period was over, chasing Bernie Parent and built a 5-1 lead through 40 minutes.  That set the stage for a historical seven second span as Denis Potvin and Mike Bossy tallied early in the third for what was at the time the fastest pair of goals in Islander history (the record was broken the next season by one second).

Long Islander Richie Hansen had a pair of assists; he was one of seven Islanders to record two points in the game as the Isles improved to 11-3-3 on the season and extended their unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1).  Chico Resch extended his season-opening unbeaten streak to 10 games (8-0-2).

Also on this date: (1972) – Robert Gordon Orr scored the game’s first goal and Phil Esposito had four points as the Bruins beat the Isles 7-3. Ed Westfall scored a goal and added an assist against his former mates.

The Isles hadn’t played at home on November 18th since 1982.  All-time, the Isles have played only five November 18th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 2-3-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.  

On The Farm
Despite a 5-3 loss to Springfield on Sunday, the Sound Tigers are an AHL Eastern Conference-best 10-4-0-1.

The Isles will have a rematch with Springfield on Friday in Massachusetts, before visiting Hartford on Saturday and Albany on Sunday.

Up Next
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18th—ISLANDERS AT PITTSBURGH 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]


The Isles head back to the Steel City for their second meeting of the season with Pittsburgh.  The Isles will go into this game just three points behind the first place Penguins.

Pittsburgh handed the Isles their first loss of the season, rallying from a 1-0 deficit for a 3-1 win, back on October 18th.  Pittsburgh scored on both ends of a 5-on-3 in that game to turn the game around.

This will be the first time the Isles have played a divisional opponent since that October 18th game, ending a 13-game stretch outside the division.

The Isles are 1-7-1 in their last nine games against Pittsburgh in regular season play.

Pittsburgh is the only opponent that the Isles will visit three times.  After a January 16th Coliseum meeting, the teams will meet in Pittsburgh in the penultimate game of the regular season on April 10th.

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.
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