Isles 5, Rangers 3 Michael Grabner scored twice, Cal Clutterbuck scored on a shorthanded penalty shot, and Thomas Vanek scored the winning goal on a 5-on-3 as the Isles beat the Rangers 5-3 before a sellout crowd of 18,006 at Madison Square Garden. It’s the Isles’ first victory in regulation or overtime since defeating Nashville on November 12th. The win moves the Isles within seven points of their cross-river rivals.
2nd Period 03:00 NYR Derek Dorsett (3) Slapshot - ASST: Dominic Moore (3), Anton Stralman (4) 2 - 2 Tie 07:58 NYR PPG - Derek Stepan (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Rick Nash (7), Mats Zuccarello (17) 3 - 2 NYR 11:26 NYI Brian Strait (1) Slapshot - ASST: Josh Bailey (7), Ryan Strome (1) 3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period 01:18 NYI PPG - Thomas Vanek (11) Tip-in - ASST: Kyle Okposo (20), Andrew MacDonald (10)4 - 3 NYI 19:09 NYI EN - Michael Grabner (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Frans Nielsen (16), Travis Hamonic (6) 5 – 3 NYI
The Skinny: Cal Clutterbuck’s goal came on his first-ever penalty shot; he is now tied for the NHL lead with 2 SH goals…Michael Grabner’s goals were his first since opening night. His empty-netter was the first for the Isles this season. He is the first Islander to have two multi-goal games this season… Benoit Pouliot’s goal marked the sixth time this season that the Isles have allowed a goal in the first minute after they scored… The Rangers held a brief lead in the second period – it was their first lead in 353:15…Brian Strait’s goal was his first in the regular season; he also scored in last year’s playoffs…Ryan Strome earned his first NHL point on Strait’s goal; Josh Bailey earned his first point in 13 games on the same tally…Thomas Vanek’s goal was his first game-winner as an Isle; it was the Isles’ 2nd 5-on-3 goal this season…John Tavares was held without a point after earning a point on nine of the prior 14 Isles goals. It’s only the second time the Isles have won a game this season when Tavares has gone pointless… It’s the first time in 15 games that the Isles have scored at least four goals, ending their longest such streak since going 17 games early in the 2010-11 season…. It’s the first time the Isles have scored five goals (without benefit of a shootout goal) on the road this season and only the 2nd time (without shootout overall…The Isles improve to 4-1-4 in games that they lead by a 2-0 score…The Isles now have four players with at least 11 goals….The Isles allowed two goals in the second period and have allowed 52 in the period this season (most in the NHL).
The Penalty Shot Cal Clutterbuck is the second islander to attempt a penalty shot this season and the first to score (Frans Nielsen was stopped by Marc-Andre Fleury earlier this month). He is the first Islander to ever score on a penalty shot against the Rangers. (Claude Lapointe and Randy Wood were the only Isles to ever attempt a penalty shot against the Blueshirts, with Wood’s attempt coming in the playoffs.) The Isles have scored on 15 of 56 regular season penalty shots in their history.
Comeback Kids The Isles have trailed at some point in all five of their road victories.
Five Different Ways The Isles scored a shorthanded-penalty shot goal, a shorthanded goal, an even strength goal, a 5-on-3 goal and an empty net goal.
4 Goals on Isles PK The Isles scored two shorthanded goals (both in the first period, matching the team record for a period) and allowed two power play goals. It’s the first time since October 20, 2000 (in Atlanta) that they scored 2 SH goals and allowed two power play goals in the same game.
Friday Night Isles The Isles are 4-2-0 on the road on Friday nights this season (and 1-11-0 on other days of the week.)
The Shots: Isles 7-7-6=20 Rangers 9-7-8=24
There have been only 92 shots for the two teams combined in the two Islander-Ranger games this season.
Home and Road The Islanders are 10-19-7 overall, 5-6-7 at home and 5-13-0 on the road. The Isles improve to 2-1-2 in their last five games. The Rangers are 16-18-2 overall; they are 6-10-2 at home and 10-8-0 on the road. The Blueshirts are 1-4-2 in the first seven games of their franchise-record nine game homestand; only Buffalo (12) has lost more times at home.
In the Nets Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves and has allowed only six goals in three games since returning from injury (1-0-2). He is 6-5-5 on the season and 8-8-3 in his career against the Rangers. Nabokov has been in nets for the last 12 Islander-Ranger games. Henrik Lundqvist made 15 saves as he falls to 10-15-2.
Power Plays The Islanders were 1-4 while the Rangers were 2-7, but allowed two SH goals to the Isles. The Isles are 6-5-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 4-14-3 when they do not. The Isles are 4-14-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 6-5-4 when they do not. Over the last 26 games, the Isles power play is 9-85 (10.6%) while the penalty kill is 29-86 (68.6%). During the last 14 games, the power play is 5-44 (11.4%) (and has allowed three shorthanded goals) while the penalty kill is 14-50 (72.0%).
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 10-3-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 0-16-5 when they do not.
Helps to Score First The Isles are 7-4-5 when they score first and are 3-15-2 when they allow the opening goal.
Second to The One Jack Capuano is now 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (231) and wins (94).
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 231 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 94 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It Michael Grabner "It's been the longest [drought] of my career and it's nice to end it. At the same time, I've got to go back to work tomorrow and try to do it again."
They Tweeted It @DosDosHyams As the statistical wizard @ehornick loves to say, "Winning is fun!" Hopefully continue the trend tomorrow #isles @thereluctantk Up way too late watching the replay. Man, Nabby was doing a pretty good Smitty impression, wasn't he? #isles
The Coach “The guys were dedicated and disciplined…and got the job done.”
Back-to-Backs The Isles are 4-5-0 in the front-end and 2-4-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. On the eight previous sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points once, 3 points once, 2 points twice, 1 point once and no points on three occasions. The back-to-back set concludes Saturday night at the Coliseum (vs. Anaheim).
Head of the Class John Tavares has 287 career points; he is 68 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks. No other player from that draft is anywhere close. Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player from that draft.
Leading Ice Men Travis Hamonic played 25:10 (four seconds more than Andrew MacDonald) to lead the Isles for the 12th time this season. Ryan McDonagh led the Rangers with 23:38 of ice-time. The Isles are 7-12-5 when MacDonald leads them in ice-time and 3-7-2 when Hamonic leads them.
In the Circle The Islanders won 30 of 53 draws. Frans Nielsen won 8 of 12 for the Isles; Derek Brassard won 5 of 9 for the Rangers.
Heavy Hitters The Isles out-hit the Rangers 26-16. Matt Martin led the way with seven hits, extending his NHL-leading total to 177. Michael Grabner added five hits. There were no fights. The Isles have been involved in 12 fights this season: Martin (5), Boulton (4), and Carkner (3).
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 20 blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald led the way with five blocks; he leads the NHL with 125 blocks. Back to All-Time .500 The Islanders improve to all-time NHL .500 (1381-1381-446 in 3,208 games). 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.
Ironmen John Tavares is the reigning Islanders’ ironman. Tavares has now played in 243 consecutive games, which is the second-longest streak for an Islander in the Post Cup era. Frans Nielsen (165) and Kyle Okposo (148) also have streaks of at least 100 consecutive games. Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Post Cup Era • Matt Moulson 10/3/2009- 4/4/2013 284 • John Tavares 10/16/10 – CURRENT 243 • Richard Park 10/5/2006 – 2/18/2009 221 • Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220 • Bryan Trottier 3/7/1981- 1/12/1984 219 • Mariusz Czerkawski 12/23/1999 – 4/14/2002 215
Missing Men Lubomir Visnovsky and Radek Martinek remain on injured reserve. Colin McDonald was scratched for the third straight game. Casey Cizikas and Matt Carkner returned to the lineup, replacing Peter Regin and Aaron Ness.The Isles have lost 86 games this season due to injury.
Nobody Beats the Viz The Isles were 19-12-4 last season and are 3-3-2 this season with Lubomir Visnovsky in the lineup. They were 5-5-3 last season and are 7-16-5 this season without him in the lineup.
Career Wins, Active Goalies 1. Martin Brodeur 678 2. Roberto Luongo 364 3. Evgeni Nabokov 341 4. Nikolai Khabibulin 333
Career Wins 17. Rogie Vachon 355 18. Evgeni Nabokov 341 19. Gump Worsley 335 20. Nikolai Khabibulin 333 Career Shutouts, Active Goalies 1. Martin Brodeur 124 2. Roberto Luongo 65 3. Evgeni Nabokov 55 4. Tomas Vokoun 51
Career Shutouts 18 Clint Benedict 57 19 Evgeni Nabokov 55 20 Bernie Parent 54 20 Ed Giacomin 54
Career Goals as an Islander 15 Mariusz Czerkawski 145 16 Jason Blake 127 17 John Tavares 125 18 Duane Sutter 121
Career Assists as an Islander 22 Zigmund Palffy 163 23 John Tavares 162 24 David Volek 154 25 Frans Nielsen 152 26 Mariusz Czerkawski 150
Career Games as an Islander (skaters) 24 Eddie Westfall 493 25 Radek Martinek 476 25 Gerry Hart 476 27 Mariusz Czerkawski 470
33 Wayne Merrick 411 34 Frans Nielsen 403 35 Jean Potvin 402 36 David Volek 396 37 Bert Marshall 392 38 Travis Green 388 39 Anders Kallur 383 40 Randy Wood 381 41 Josh Bailey 363 42 Kyle Okposo 355 43 Dave Scatchard 347
47 Butch Goring 332 47 Oleg Kvasha 332 49 Bruno Gervais 331 49 Ziggy Palffy 331 51 Shawn Bates 330 52 John Tavares 327 52 Eric Cairns 327 54 Alan Kerr 326
Career Points as an Islander 17 Mariusz Czerkawski 295 18 Duane Sutter 292 19 Alexei Yashin 290 20 John Tavares 287 21 Ed Westfall 286
29 Benoit Hogue 229 29 Trent Hunter 229 31 Matt Moulson 223 31 Frans Nielsen 223 33 Mikko Makela 219 34 Kyle Okposo 216 35 Mark Parrish 214 Season Series Stats The season series is even at one game each (and two points to two). The teams will conclude their season series by meeting 3 times in 10 days: January 21st and January 31st at MSG and January 29th at Yankee Stadium. The Isles have won two straight at the Garden for the first time since December 16-26, 2009; this was their first regulation win at the Garden since that December 16th victory.
Happy Anniversary 30 years ago tonight: December 20, 1983. Only once in Isles history have they scored 11 goals at the Coliseum and it came on this date in 1983, defeating the Penguins 11-3. Bryan Trottier and John Tonelli each scored twice; Tomas Jonsson added four assists. Overall, the Isles are 10-6-1 on this date.
On The Farm Anders Lee and Mike Halmo each scored their 11th goal of the season and Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored his first goal for the Sound Tigers as Bridgeport blanked the Hartford Wolf Pack 3-0. Anders Nilsson made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season. Bridgeport hosts Manchester on Saturday. Anders Lee and Mike Halmo lead Bridgeport with 11 goals; Lee also leads current Sound Tigers in both assists (12) and points (23). Ryan Strome still leads both the team and the AHL assists (24) and still leads the team in points (33).
Up Next SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21st —ANAHEIM AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
The Islanders complete the set of back-to-backs as they look to split the season series when they host Anaheim.
The Ducks broke a 2-2 tie with two late second period goals on December 9th in Anaheim, en route to a 5-2 win.
The Isles have won the last two home games against Anaheim, including a 3-2 win on December 16, 2010 that was Jack Capuano’s second victory as Islander coach.
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.