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The Skinny - Islanders 5, Penguins 3

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 76

Isles 5, Penguins 3

Frans Nielsen scored two goals and added an assist as the Islanders finally won in Pittsburgh, defeating the Penguins 5-3 before a crowd of 18,588 at CONSOL Energy Center. The win ends a 13-game Islander winless streak in Pittsburgh (0-11-2) and is their first ever at Consol. The Islanders finish the road trip 4-1-0 and improve to .500 on the road (17-17-5).

The Scoring:

1st Period

3:12 EV NYI 51 F.NIELSEN (16) 42 D.REESE (4) 12 J.BAILEY (13)
19:55 EV NYI 40 M.GRABNER (17) 51 F.NIELSEN (25)

2nd Period
1:42 EV PIT 48 T.KENNEDY (10) 9 P.DUPUIS (28) 37 B.STRAIT (1)
4:10 EV PIT 18 J.NEAL (36) 14 C.KUNITZ (31) 71 E.MALKIN (52)
12:48 EV NYI 21 K.OKPOSO (18) unassisted
15:20 PP NYI 41 D.ULLSTROM (4) 12 J.BAILEY (14) 21 K.OKPOSO (21)
18:08 EV NYI 51 F.NIELSEN( 17) 12 J.BAILEY (15) 42 D.REESE (5)

3rd Period
15:42 PP PIT 18 J.NEAL (37) 71 E.MALKIN (53) 26 S.SULLIVAN (29)

The Skinny
Josh Bailey had his first-career three assist-game and extended his point streak to five games (1-6-7). Steve Staios played in his 996th career game. Kyle Okposo scored for the third straight game; he has seven goals in divisional games, tying Moulson/Tavares for the club lead. Frans Nielsen was +4 for the first time in his career and is now +2 in divisional games this season. Pascal Dupuis extended his point streak to 11 games (8-6-14). Evgeni Malkin now has an NHL-leading 99 points. It’s the second time this season that the Isles have scored five goals in a game without Moulson or Tavares scoring. The Penguins had 54 shots – the most vs. the Isles since Toronto had 61 on 11/23/2009. Pittsburgh native Dylan Reese had two assists; his second career multi-point game. The Penguins have sold out 248 consecutive games (213 regular season and 35 playoffs). James Neal is 7-9-16 in his last 11 games; he had 12 shots on goal. Penguins defensemen Brian Strait recorded his first NHL point.

The Shots:
Isles                 11-7-7=25   
Penguins        17-15-22=54  

As Seen on MSG+
The 54 shots is one shy of the Penguins’ club record against the Isles. On December 13, 1972, Pittsburgh had 55 shots against the Isles.

Home and Road

The Islanders are 32-33-11 overall and are 17-17-5 on the road. It’s the first time they have been at .500 on the road this late in the season since 2006-07. They earned eight points on their five-game road trip, the most since going 3-2-2 on a seven-game trip in November 2009.
Pittsburgh is 47-23-6 overall and 27-9-2 at home. The Penguins had won 10 straight at home, falling one short of the club record (11) set in 1991. It’s only the Penguins’ second regulation loss in their last 17 games (14-2-1).

Reversal of Fortune

The Isles improve to 14-26 in games decided by two goals or more. Pittsburgh is 30-14 in games decided by two or more.

Divisional Improvement
The Isles improved to 7-12-3 against Atlantic Division foes (with two games to play). They were 6-13-5 in divisional games last season.

Stopping Sidney
The Isles held Sidney Crosby without a point for the fourth time in the last nine games he has played against them. In the other five though, Crosby is 7-13-20 against the Isles (with one six-point, one five-point, and two four-point games).

Sweet 16
The Isles now have six players with at least 16 goals; it’s the first time since 2006-07 that this has happened and matches the most that they have had since 1993-94, when they had seven.

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov stopped 30 of 32 shots through two periods and improves to 19-18-3 on the season. Al Montoya stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced in the third period.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 13 saves for Pittsburgh; he is now 41-15-14 on the season and 17-5-4 in his career against the Islanders. Fleury has the fifth-highest total of career wins against the Isles among active goalies (Brodeur 49, Lundqvist 24, Biron 21, Theodore 18, Fleury 17). Brad Thiessen stopped all seven Islanders shots in the third.

Leaning on #91
John Tavares has 75 points (31-44-75) on 178 Islanders goals this season (42.1%). Zigmund Palffy (41.0% in 1997-98) is the only Islander to record points on over 40% of the team’s goals in a complete season. Tavares is the first Islander since Alexei Yashin (75 in 2001-02) to record 75 points in a season.

Highest Percentage of Team’s Points by Club Scoring Leader (Isles history)
•    John Tavares     2011-12    42.1%
•    Ziggy Palffy    1997-98    41.0%
•    Pierre Turgeon    1992-93    39.4%
•    Mike Bossy    1982-83    39.1%
•    Mike Bossy    1981-82    38.2%
Most Points, Islanders, Since 1993-94
•    Pierre Turgeon     1993-94     94
•    Ziggy Palffy     1996-97            90
•    Ziggy Palffy     1997-98            87
•    Ziggy Palffy     1995-96            87
•    John Tavares     2011-12        75
•    Alexei Yashin     2001-02       75
•    Steve Thomas     1993-94      75

Tavares is the fourth player in Islanders history to record at least 75 points at age 21 or younger. The other three have banners hanging at the Coliseum: Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and Denis Potvin.

Parenteau’s Helping Hands
PA Parenteau has 49 assists – most by any Islander since Pierre Turgeon had in 1993-94. He now has 65 points on the season. His next assist will make him the first Islander to reach 50 in the last 18 seasons.

Most Assists, Islanders, Since 1989-90
•    Pierre Turgeon 1992-93   74
•    Pierre Turgeon 1993-94   56
•    Pat Lafontaine 1989-90    51
•    Steve Thomas 1992-93    50
•    PA Parenteau 2011-12     49
•    Pierre Turgeon 1991-92   49
•    Jeff Norton 1989-90          49

The Isles now have three players with at least 64 points (Tavares, Moulson, Parenteau). It’s the first time since 1993-94 that the Isles have at least three players with 64 points.

Power Plays
The Islanders went 1-4 on the power play while Pittsburgh was 1-3. The Isles are 5-16 in the last five games and 8-27 in the last eight games with the extra man; they have connected on the power play in five straight games for the first time since a six-game stretch October 15-October 27, 2010. The Isles have been short-handed only 13 times in the last seven games and are 12-13 on the PK in that stretch. The Isles are now 25-110 with the power play on the road this season (22.7%; 2nd in NHL).

They Said It
Kyle Okposo: "We got a couple of good breaks…came down the wing...and fired it home."

They Tweeted It
@StapeNewsday: “Josh Bailey with his first 3-assist game of his career. Now 4-7-11 in last 13 games.”

The Coach
On how the Isles reacted after Pittsburgh erased a 2-0 Isles lead: “We just got back to basics…and we relaxed a bit.”

Leading Ice Men
Mark Streit led the Isles with 24:12; Evgeni Malkin led Pittsburgh with 24:11.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 24 draws; the Penguins won 40. John Tavares won 9 of 17 for the Isles; Sidney Crosby won 15 of 21 for the Pens.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders were out-hit 23-13. NHL hits leader Matt Martin had three hits and now has a club record 349 hits (hits have only been recorded since 2005-06) and leads the NHL in hits by a wide margin. The NHL record is 356, set by Cal Clutterbuck of Minnesota in 2008-09. Martin has also recorded 13 of the team’s 21 fighting majors this season.

Lots of Blocks
The Isles were credited with 19 blocks, led by Steve Staios’ five. They lead the NHL with 1,275.

Goals by Period (Season)
Isles:                 59-60-56-3 = 178
Opponents:      68-67-81-7 = 223

Third period goals include nine empty-net goals for the Islanders and an NHL-leading 13 empty-net goals against the Isles.

All-time Winners
The Islanders improve to four games over all-time NHL .500 (1345-1341-432 in 3,118 games). The Isles have twice this season been one game below .500. Prior to this season, they had not been below NHL .500 since they were 177-178-83 prior to their victory on January 16, 1978.

The Isles have scored 103 goals in their 32 wins (3.22 per game) and 76 goals in their other 44 games (0-33-11; 1.72 per game). In their 33 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 44 goals (1.33 per game).

Head of the Class

John Tavares has 196 career points; he is 47 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.

Longest Point Streaks in NHL, last two seasons
•    Sidney Crosby, 25 games (11/5/10-12/28/10)
•    Eric Staal, 12 games (2/8/12-3/6/12)
•    John Tavares, 12 games (12/29/11-1/21/12)
•    Ilya Kovalchuk 12 games (2/1/11-2/25/11)

Friends, Friends, Friends
Moulson has 34 goals this season; John Tavares has earned assists on 22 of them. He has now been on-ice for 58 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 38 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa Bay.

101 NHL Goals
Moulson has 101 career goals (95 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected ahead of Moulson in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, only 18 have more goals.

Road Warrior

22 of Moulson’s 34 goals have come on the road. Moulson is tied with Marian Gaborik and Steven Stamkos for the NHL lead in this department.

14 of Moulson’s goals have come on the power play. Only James Neal (16) and Scott Hartnell (16) have more. Moulson is the first Islander since Jason Blake (14 in 2006-07) to have 14 power-play goals in a season.

Matt Moulson is the first Islander since Ziggy Palffy (1995-96 to 1997-98) to have at least three consecutive 30-goal seasons. Only four players in Islanders history have had more 30-goal seasons: Trottier (11), Bossy (10), Gillies (6), LaFontaine (6). Moulson has 95 goals as an Islander – the most by any Islander since the work stoppage. Moulson has opened the scoring an NHL-leading 11 times this season and the Isles are 9-1-1 when he does so. He is the first Islander with at least 11 opening goals since Alexei Yashin had 12 in 2001-02.

34-Goal Club
Moulson records the 50th 34-goal season in Islanders history, matching Michael Grabner’s total from last season. The last Islander to score at least 35 was Jason Blake, who tallied 40 goals in 2006-07. With two more goals, Moulson will be only the second Islander since Ziggy Palffy (1997-98) to record at least 36 goals.

Tavares and Moulson give the Isles two 30-goal scorers for the second straight season (Grabner 34, Moulson 31 last year). Prior to last year, the Isles had not had two 30-goal scorers since 2001-02 (Alexei Yashin & Mark Parrish).  It’s the first time since 1992-93 and 1993-94 that the Isles have had multiple 30-goal scorers in consecutive seasons (four in both 92-93 and 93-94).

20-20-20 x 2
Moulson and Tavares are the first Islanders teammates to record at least 20 goals in three straight seasons since Mark Parrish and Jason Blake did so in 2002-03, 2003-04, and 2005-06. Tavares, is the fifth player to score at least 20 goals for the Islanders in each of his first three NHL seasons, joining:
•    Billy Harris (first six seasons: 1972-73 through 1977-78)
•    Clark Gillies (five: 1974-75 through 1978-79)
•    Bryan Trottier (13: 1975-76 through 1987-88)
•    Mike Bossy (all 10 seasons: 1977-78 through 1986-87)

Captain, My Captain
Mark Streit has 43 points. He joins a select group of Islanders defensemen to record 40 points at least three times in his career, and the first to do so that frequently in nearly a quarter-century:
•    Denis Potvin - 15 times (1973-74 to 1987-88)
•    Tomas Jonsson - five times (1982-83 to 1987-88, except 1986-87)
•    Stefan Persson - four times (1977-78 to 1981-82, except 1979-80)

Only three other Islanders defenders have recorded 40 points in the 2000s: Tom Poti (2006-07), Adrian Aucoin (2003-04) and Roman Hamrlik (2000-01 and 2002-03).
With 37 assists this season, Streit also joins D. Potvin and Persson as the only Isles defenders to have at least three seasons with at least 37 assists (Potvin - 12 times, Persson - four times)

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 240 games since joining the team, tying JP Parise for the fourth-longest streak in club history. Moulson’s streak is the longest for an Islander in the Post-Cup era. Billy Harris played in the first 576 games in Islanders history; that figure still stands as the club record.
Frans Nielsen and John Tavares have also played in every game this season while Mark Streit is the only Islanders defender to do so. The Isles have not had as many as four players play in every game since 1986-87.

Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islanders History
1. Billy Harris 576 
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Denis Potvin 262
4. Matt Moulson 240
4. JP Parise 240

Okposo in the Groove

Kyle Okposo has scored 16 of his 18 goals since the start of December. Okposo has scored 53 of his 62 career goals from December-April.

Missing Men
Mark Eaton (healthy) and Nino Niederreiter (healthy) were scratched. Rick DiPietro is on injured reserve. The Isles have lost 336 man-games to injury so far this season.

Career Years
•    Matt Moulson: 34 goals, 30 assists and 64 points are new career highs.
•    PA Parenteau: 49 assists and 65 points are new career highs. He has 16 goals, four shy of his career best.
•    John Tavares: 32 goals, 43 assists and 75 points are new career highs.
•    Frans Nielsen: 17 goals are a new career high. He has 42 points, two shy of his career best.
•    Travis Hamonic: He has 19 assists, two shy of a career high.
•    Andrew MacDonald: Five goals are a new career high.
•    Matt Martin: Seven goals are a new career high. He has 14 points, two shy of his career best.
•    Kyle Okposo: He has 18 goals, one shy of a career high.

List Time

Career Wins, Active Goalies

1. Martin Brodeur 652
2. Roberto Luongo 337
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 328
4. Evgeni Nabokov 312
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 310

Career Wins
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov 312
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 310

Most First Goals of Game (NHL This Season)

1    Matt Moulson     11
1    Ilya Kovalchuk     11
3    Steven Stamkos    10

Career Goals as an Islander
25    Trent Hunter     99
26    Matt Moulson     95
26    Mikko Makela     95
26    David Volek     95
29    Randy Wood     94
32    Travis Green     92
33    Butch Goring     87
34    Tomas Jonsson     84
34    John Tavares     84
36    Wayne Merrick     81
36    Dave Scatchard     81
Career Assists as an Islander – active players
1    Mark Streit    115
2    John Tavares    112
3    Frans Nielsen    108
4    Kyle Okposo    92
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
54    Steve Webb     316
55    Gerald Diduck     314
56    Frans Nielsen     313
57    Mikko Makela     307
61    Gord Dineen     287
62    Josh Bailey     285
63    Jeff Norton     282
64    Steve Thomas    275
65    Kyle Okposo     265
66    Blake Comeau     261
66    Andre St. Laurent     261
75    Miroslav Satan     243
76    Bryan Berard     242
77    JP Parise     240
77    Matt Moulson     240
79    John Tavares     237
80    Adrian Aucoin     235
81    Mark Streit     232
81    Darius Kasparaitis    232
81    Denis Vaske    232
84    Zdeno Chara     231
84    Billy MacMillian     231

Career Points as an Islander
34    Anders Kallur    211
35    Marty McInnis    198
36    Wayne Merrick    197
37    John Tavares     196
38    Butch Goring    195
45    Jude Drouin    169
46    Dave Scatchard    168
47    Miroslav Satan    166
48    Matt Moulson     165
49    Frans Nielsen     162
50    Oleg Kvasha    158
51    Kyle Okposo     155
52    Alan Kerr    154
Season Series Stats
The Penguins lead the season series four games to one (eight points to three). The season series concludes with the back-end of the home-and-home on Thursday.

Happy Anniversary
Three years ago tonight (3-27-09): Joey MacDonald made 42 saves at the Islanders blanked Detroit 2-0 at Joe Louis Arena.
All-time, the Isles are 9-8-2 on this date, including three straight wins.

On The Farm

Justin DiBenedetto scored two power-play goals Tuesday as the Sound Tigers rallied from 3-0 and 4-1 deficits to defeat the Worcester Sharks 5-4 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. The Sound Tigers are 34-24-3-6 overall, and have won the first two games of their eight game-homestand. Bridgeport has 77 points, are tied with Connecticut for the division lead and with one more victory, hold the tie-breaker. Bridgeport hosts Springfield, Portland and Manchester this weekend.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 6:30 p.m.), WRHU (88.7 FM)]

The Islanders look for a sweep of the home-and-home series and look to get back to .500 when they host the Penguins on Thursday. The Isles will be looking for consecutive wins against the Penguins for the first time since winning three straight games in 2007; they last swept a home-and-home from the Penguins November 25-26, 1986.

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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