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The Skinny - Islanders 5, Penguins 3

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 77

Isles 5, Penguins 3

Josh Bailey scored two goals and added three assists as the Islanders completed a sweep of the home-and-home series with Pittsburgh, defeating the Penguins 5-3 before a crowd of 12,018 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Islanders have won three straight and are 5-1-0 in their last six games, enabling them to regain NHL-.500 for the first time since they were 25-25-8.

The Scoring:
1st Period

11:07 EV NYI 16 M.REASONER (1) 2 M.STREIT (38) 12 J.BAILEY (16)

2nd Period
8:37 SH PIT 9 P.DUPUIS (24) 27 C.ADAMS (12) 7 P.MARTIN (24)
16:36 PP NYI 21 K.OKPOSO (19) 12 J.BAILEY (17) 3 T.HAMONIC (20)
18:36 SH NYI 12 J.BAILEY (12) 29 J.PANDOLFO (2)

3rd Period
5:52 EV NYI 21 K.OKPOSO (20) 12 J.BAILEY (18) 51 F.NIELSEN (26)
8:20 EV PIT 11 J.STAAL (24) 4 Z.MICHALEK (9) 7 P.MARTIN (25)
18:29 EV PIT 71 E.MALKIN (47) 48 T.KENNEDY (21) 24 M.COOKE (19)
19:55 EV-EN NYI 12 J.BAILEY (13) unassisted

The Skinny
Josh Bailey had the best offensive night of his career with two goals and three assists; he also extended his point streak to six games (3-9-12). Kyle Okposo scored for the fourth straight game (matching a career high); he now leads the club with nine goals in divisional games. Pascal Dupuis extended his point streak to 12 games (9-6-15), matching John Tavares and Eric Staal for the longest streak in the NHL this season. Evgeni Malkin now has an NHL-leading 100 points; it’s the third time in his career that he has done that. The Isles scored 10 goals in the two games without getting a point from the Moulson/Tavares/Parenteau line. Marty Reasoner became the 321st player in Islanderx history to score a goal. Steve Staios played in his 997th career game. The Isles allowed an extra-attacker goal for the second straight game (both Islanders regulation wins). Mark Streit recorded his 200th NHL assist.
The Shots:
Isles                4-9-11=24  
Penguins        7-7-15=29 

As Seen on MSG+
Josh Bailey had six goals and eight assists in his first 60 games. He is 7-10-17 in the last 16 games.

Ghost of Niklas Andersson
Josh Bailey is the first Islander since Andersson to record five points in a game at the Coliseum. Andersson did it on December 10, 1996 in an 8-2 win against Phoenix. This was the 596th (regular season) home game since then. John Tavares was the last Islander to have a five-point game, doing so on March 16, 2010 in Vancouver. Five opponents, including Sidney Crosby, have had a five-point game at the Coliseum in the interim.

Wyatt, It’s Yours Again
Marty Reasoner scored his first goal as an Islander, in his 56th game with the club. Wyatt Smith played 42 games for the Islanders in 2005-06 and did not score a goal – more games than any forward who never scored.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 33-33-11 overall and are 16-16-6 at home. It’s the first time they have been at .500 this late in the season since 2006-07. The Isles have won five out of six games for the first time this season.
Pittsburgh is 47-24-6 overall and 20-15-4 on the road. It’s the first time the Penguins have lost two straight since a six-game skid in late-December/early-January.

Reversal of Fortune
The Isles improve to 15-26 in games decided by two goals or more. Pittsburgh is 30-15 in games decided by two or more.

Divisional Improvement
The Isles improved to 8-12-3 against Atlantic Division foes (with one game to play). They were 6-13-5 in divisional games last season. The Isles are 25-21-8 in games outside the Atlantic Division.

Stopping Sidney
The Isles held Sidney Crosby without a point for the fifth time in the last 10 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). Crosby was held pointless in the two games; the first time since 12/29/10-1/1/11 that he failed to register a point in consecutive games that he has played.

Sweet 16
The line of Bailey-Nielsen-Okposo combined for eight points in each of the last two games. Bailey is 2-6-8, Okposo is 3-1-4 and Nielsen is 2-2-4.

In the Nets
Al Montoya stopped 26 as he improved to 8-7-5 on season.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 19 saves for Pittsburgh but falls to 41-16-14 on the season and 17-6-4 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). The Isles scored nine goals (and an empty net ) on Fleury in the two games.

Power Plays
The Islanders went 1-4 on the power play while Pittsburgh was 0-4. Each team also scored a short-handed goal. The Isles are 6-20 in the last six games and 9-31 in the last nine games with the extra man; they have connected on the power play in six straight games for the first time since a six-game stretch October 15-October 27, 2010. The Isles have been short-handed only 17 times in the last eight games and are 16-17 on the PK in that stretch.

They Said It
Josh Bailey: "The three of us seem to mesh well together..we want to finish the season strong."

They Tweeted It
@JesseSpector: Dan Bylsma on how much his heart sank when Crosby got hit and how relieved he was when Crosby returned: "Significantly. And significantly." (Crosby was hit in the face by a puck off the stick of Dylan Reese early in the second period).

The Coach
“The thing about Josh right now is he is in constant motion…his feet are moving…he’s puck-protecting real well…and I think that line… compliments each other really well.”

Leading Ice Men
Mark Streit led the Isles with 23:42; Paul Martin led Pittsburgh with 27:07.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 23 draws; the Penguins won 22. John Tavares won 9 of 12 for the Isles; Jordan Staal won 8 of 12 for the Pens.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders out-hit Pittsburgh 28:18. NHL hits leader Matt Martin led the way with five hits. Martin has a club record 354 hits (hits have only been recorded since 2005-06) and leads the NHL in hits by a wide margin. He is two hits shy of the NHL record of 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 13 blocks, led by Travis Hamonic’s three. They lead the NHL with 1,288.

Goals by Period (Season)
Isles:     60-62-58-3 = 183
Opponents: 68-68-83-7 = 228

Third period goals include 10 empty-net goals for the Islanders and an NHL-leading 13 empty-net goals against the Isles.

All-time Winners
The Islanders improve to five games over all-time NHL .500 (1346-1341-432 in 3,119 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 108 goals in their 33 wins (3.27 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)
•    Pascal Dupuis, 12 games (CURRENT)
•    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 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 Islander 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 recorded 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)

Leaning on #91
John Tavares has 75 points (31-44-75) on 183 Islander goals this season (41.0%). 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)
•    Ziggy Palffy    1997-98    41.04%
•    John Tavares     2011-12    40.98%
•    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 Islander 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.

Captain, My Captain
Mark Streit has 44 points. He joins a select group of Islander defensemen to record 44 points at least three times in his career, and the first to do so that frequently in nearly a quarter-century:
•    Denis Potvin - 13 times (1973-74 to 1987-88, except 1979-80 and 1986-87)
•    Tomas Jonsson - 5 times (1982-83 to 1987-88, except 1986-87)
•    Stefan Persson - 3 times (1977-78 to 1980-81, except 1979-80)

Only three other Islander 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 38 assists this season, Streit also joins D. Potvin and Persson as the only Isles defenders to have at least three seasons with at least 38 assists (Potvin -10x, Persson - 3x). He is three assists shy of becoming the first Islanders defenseman since Vladimir Malakhov (47 in 1993-94) to record 41 assists in his season. Both Streit and Bryan Berard have had a 40-assist season for the Isles.

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 241 games since joining the team. He has now passed 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 Islander 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 241
5. JP Parise 240

Okposo in the Groove
Kyle Okposo has scored 18 of his 20 goals since the start of December. Okposo has scored 55 of his 64 career goals from December-April. It’s the first time in his career that Okposo has recorded 20 goals in a season.

Missing Men
Milan Jurcina (healthy) and Evgeni Nabokov (injured) were scratched. Rick DiPietro is on injured reserve. The Isles have lost 338 man-games to injury so far this season. Kevin Poulin served as the back-up.

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 43 points, one shy of his career best.
•    Travis Hamonic: He has 20 assists, one 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: 20 goals is a new career high.
•    Josh Bailey has 13 goals, 18 assists and 31 points. His career highs are 16-19-35.

List Time

Career Wins, Active Goalies

1. Martin Brodeur 653
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    116
2    John Tavares    112
3    Frans Nielsen    109
4    Kyle Okposo      92
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
54    Steve Webb     316
55    Gerald Diduck     314
55    Frans Nielsen     314
57    Mikko Makela     307

61    Gord Dineen     287
62    Josh Bailey     286
63    Jeff Norton     282
64    Steve Thomas    275
65    Kyle Okposo     266
66    Blake Comeau     261
66    Andre St. Laurent     261
75    Miroslav Satan     243
76    Bryan Berard     242
77    Matt Moulson     241
78    JP Parise     240
79    John Tavares     238
80    Adrian Aucoin     235
81    Mark Streit     233
82    Darius Kasparaitis    232
82    Denis Vaske    232

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     163
50    Oleg Kvasha    158
51    Kyle Okposo     157
52    Alan Kerr    154
Season Series Stats
The Penguins win the season series four games to two (8 points to 5), however the Islanders close the series by sweeping the home-and-home.  It’s the first time the Isles have swept a home/home from Pittsburgh since November 25-26, 2006.  The Isles also scored five goals in consecutive games against Pittsburgh for the first time since 2003.

Happy Anniversary
30 years ago tonight (3-29-82):  On the night that a freshman named Michael Jordan hit the game winning shot to give UNC a national title the Islanders pounded the Rangers 7-3 at Madison Square Garden.  Islander broadcaster Barry Landers did the game on radio, and then rushed to the hospital to welcome his only daughter to the world.
All-time, the Isles are 8-7-3 on this date, but this was their first win since blasting the Bruins 8-2 in 1997.

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. Each team has nine games to play. Bridgeport hosts Springfield, Portland and Manchester this weekend.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 12:30 p.m.), WRHU (88.7 FM)]

The Islanders entertain the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins on Saturday as they look to go over NHL-.500 for the first time since October 20 and the first time this late in the season since 2007. The Bruins defeated the Islanders 6-2 and 6-0 in November, but the Islanders responded with a 3-2 win in Beantown earlier this month.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islanders 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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