Isles 6, Pittsburgh 4 [Series tied 2 games to 2]
Islander Captain Mark Streit became the first Islander defenseman to score two goals in a playoff game in 30 years to tie the game early in the third period, and John Tavares scored the winning goal just past the midway point of the third as the Islanders went on to a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins before a sellout crowd of 16,170 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. This Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series is now tied at two games each, with Game 5 scheduled for Pittsburgh on Thursday.
14:05NYIB. Strait (1) Wrist - ASST: L. Visnovsky (2) AND C. Cizikas (1) 1 - 0 NYI
14:50PITJ. Neal (1) Wrist - ASST: E. Malkin (6) AND J. Iginla (5) 1 - 1 TIE
06:19NYIPPG - M. Streit (1) Wrist - ASST: T. Hamonic (1) AND B. Boyes (1) 2 - 1 NYI
07:17PITE. Malkin (2) Wrist - ASST: J. Iginla (6) AND M. Fleury (1) 2 - 2 TIE
11:03PITB. Sutter (1) Wrist - ASST: B. Morrow (1) AND M. Cooke (1) 3 - 2 PIT
18:36NYIK. Okposo (3) Wrist - ASST: T. Hamonic (2) AND M. Streit (3) 3 - 3 TIE
00:41PITP. Dupuis (4) Deflected - ASST: C. Kunitz (2) AND S. Crosby (4) 4 - 3 PIT
04:30NYIM. Streit (2) Slap - ASST: C. Cizikas (2) AND B. Boyes (2) 4 - 4 TIE
10:11NYIJ. Tavares (2) Wrist - ASST: B. Boyes (3) 5 - 4 NYI
18:44NYIC. Cizikas (2) Backhand - ASST: M. Grabner (2) AND C. McDonald (1) 6 - 4 NYI
•GAME 1: Pittsburgh 5, Islanders 0
•GAME 2: Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 3
•GAME 3: Pittsburgh 5, Islanders 4 (OT)
•GAME 4: Islanders 6, Pittsburgh 4
•GAME 5: at PIT Thu May 9, 7:00 PM ET
•GAME 6: at NYI Sat May 11, TBD
•GAME 7: at PIT Sun May 12, TBD, if necessary
The Skinny on the Defensemen Goals:
Mark Streit is the first Islander to have two goals in a playoff game since Jason Blake (4/10/04 at Tampa), the first to do so at the Coliseum since Mariusz Czerkawski (4/28/02 vs. Toronto) and first Islander defenseman to score twice in a playoff game since Denis Potvin (5/3/1983 vs. Boston) … Streit is the first defensemen to score twice in a playoff game since Sami Salo scored twice for Vancouver in 2011 … It was the first time Streit scored two goals in any game since March 15, 2009 and the first time any Isles defenseman did so since Andrew MacDonald did so on March 5, 2011 vs. St. Louis … Streit and Brian Strait are the first Islander defensemen to combine for three goals in a playoff game since May 14, 1981 (Denis Potvin-twice and Ken Morrow) and the first time in any game since February 9, 2010 vs. Washington (Streit, Freddy Meyer and Bruno Gervais). It was Strait’s first NHL goal (regular season or playoffs).
The Rest of The Skinny
Kyle Okposo now has three goals in the playoffs after having only four in the regular season; he also has a goal in three straight games … Casey Cizikas is the first Islander to go plus-4 in a playoff game since Steve Konroyd did so against Washington on April 16, 1987 and the first to do so in any game since Frans Nielsen was plus-4 on March 27, 2012 in Pittsburgh … Casey Cizikas (22 years, 2 months) is the youngest player to have at least one goal, at least two assists, and go at least plus-4 in a playoff game since Patrice Brisebois (21 years, 3 months) did so for Montreal on April 27, 1992 against Hartford … Both of John Tavares’ goals in this series have come in the third period; 12 of his 28 regular season goals were also in the third … Brad Boyes is the first Islander with three assists in a playoff game since John Tonelli had three helpers on April 25, 1985 vs. Philadelphia … The Isles have outscored Pittsburgh 6-1 in the third period in the series … The Isles are 67-3 in playoff games that they score at least five goals and are 32-1 when they score at least six. It’s the first time that they have scored six goals in a playoff game since April 23, 2002 vs. Toronto … Evgeni Malkin (two points in each game), Jarome Iginla, and Pascal Dupuis are the only players to have points in all four games of the series.
Finally, a Home Ice Win
For the first 30 years, the Coliseum was “Fort Neverlose” in the playoffs as the Islanders went 77-32 on home ice. However, this is the Islanders’ first playoff win at the Coliseum since winning all three of their home games against the Maple Leafs in 2002. The win ends a seven-game home playoff losing streak, which ties the NHL record for consecutive home losses (with five other teams).
A Long Islander gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead in the second period when Brandon Sutter scored his first career playoff goal. Sutter was born at Huntington Hospital when his father was the Islander captain. Brandon was almost 14 months old when Brent Sutter scored a double-overtime goal to beat the Rangers in April 1990.
•#1 Pittsburgh - #8 Islanders tied 2-2
•#7 Ottawa leads #2 Montreal 3-1
•#3 Washington leads #6 NY Rangers 2-1
•#4 Boston leads #5 Toronto 2-1
•#1 Chicago leads #8 Minnesota 3-1
•#2 Anaheim - #7 Detroit tied 2-2
•#6 San Jose eliminated #3 Vancouver 4-0.
•#4 St. Louis - #5 Los Angeles tied 2-2
The Isles have outshot Pittsburgh 128-115 in the series.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 136-108 in 244 all-time playoff games. They are 78-39 at home and 58-69 on the road.
The Penguins are 154-133 in 287 all-time playoff games. They are 83-61 at home and 71-72 on the road.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov stopped 27 Pittsburgh shots to improve his career playoff record to 42-40. Nabokov, who played his 84th game, has played in more game than any goalie participating in this year’s playoffs; among active goalies only Martin Brodeur has played in more games (205).
Marc-Andre Fleury made 18 saves for Pittsburgh as his playoff record falls to 45-34 in his 79th consecutive postseason start. Only Tom Barrasso (56) has more playoff wins as a Penguin. Fleury has more wins than any goalie participating in this year’s playoffs; among active goalies only Martin Brodeur has more wins (113).
The Islanders were 1-for-4 while the Penguins were 0-for-2. For the series the Isles are 2-for-15 (13.3%) while Pittsburgh is 6-15 (40.0%). During the five games of the regular season against each other, the Islanders were 2-for-18 while the Penguins were 3-for-14.
Pittsburgh’s six power play goals are four shy of the Isles record for power play goals allowed in a series (10; 1988 by Devils and 1990 by Rangers).
Jack Capuano is only the sixth coach to lead the Islanders into the playoffs.
Most playoff wins by Islander coaches:
1.Al Arbour 123
2.Terry Simpson 9
3.Peter Laviolette 4
4.Jack Capuano 2
5.Ted Nolan 1
6.Steve Stirling 1
Most playoff games coached (Islanders):
1.Al Arbour 209
2.Terry Simpson 20
3.Peter Laviolette 12
4.Steve Stirling 5
5.Ted Nolan 5
6.Jack Capuano 4
Of the six, only Al Arbour, Peter Laviolette and Capuano split their first four career games.
They Said It
John Tavares: "It's an old building, but this place gets rocking and these people are passionate. We've got some great sports fans in New York, especially on Long Island, and they care about their Islanders. We can't thank them enough. First, we've got a big game Thursday. But we're happy that to know that they're going to be back here on Saturday."
They Tweeted It
@StapeNewsday Boyes intercepts clear, feeds Tavares, one save by Fleury, Tavares deposits rebound. 5-4 #Isles at 10:11.
"Your best players have to be your best players," Capuano said, "and that's what Johnny was tonight."
Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic played 28:42 to lead the Isles. Andrew MacDonald, who had led the Isles in ice time in the first three games, played 15:36 before leaving with an injury. Kris Letang led Pittsburgh with 26:17.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 29-of-54 draws and have won 116-of-246 draws in the series. Keith Aucoin won 5-of-6 and Frans Nielsen won 9-of-14 for the Isles. Brandon Sutter won 8-of-13 for Pittsburgh but Sidney Crosby lost 14-of-18, including all seven that he took in the third period.
The Islanders out-hit the Penguins 33-26. Matt Martin led the Isles with seven hits; Michael Grabner added five. There was a fight between Travis Hamonic and Evgeni Malkin at the final buzzer; Kyle Okposo’s fight with Matt Niskanen in Game 2 is the only other fight of the series.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 16 blocked shots. Mark Streit led the Isles with six blocks.
With Bridgeport’s season over, the Isles have 35 players on the roster.
The Isles dressed the same 20 players as they did in Games 2 and 3 meaning Thomas Hickey, Marty Reasoner, Jesse Joensuu, Radek Martinek, Eric Boulton, Anders Lee, and Joe Finley were scratched as were “black aces” Ryan Strome, Johan Sundstrom, Brock Nelson, Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan, Aaron Ness, John Persson and Anders Nilsson.
All-time Playoff Series
•1975: Islanders won the series 4 games to 3.
•1982: Islanders won the series 3 games to 2.
•1993: Islanders won the series 4 games to 3.
•2013: Series Tied 2 games to 2.
Looking back to 1993
This series marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 series between the teams. With the Islanders trailing the series 2 games to 1 (sound familiar), the teams met at the Coliseum on May 8 for Game 4. The game was tied 1-1 late in the second period when Tom Fitzgerald should have penalized for a high-stick; however referee Don Koharski sent Claude Loiselle to the box. Fitzgerald scored two goals (one late in the second and one early in the third) on the penalty as the Isles took a 3-1 lead. However that was only the beginning of one of wildest periods in Islander history as each team scored four times, all in the first 12:11 of the period. Derek King’s second goal of the period broke a 5-5 tie and the Islanders then held on for a 6-5 win, knotting the series at two games each.
30 years ago tonight (5-7-83): Mike Bossy scored four times for his second hat trick of the series as the Islanders eliminated the Boston Bruins with an 8-4 win in Game 6 at the Coliseum.
Also: (1975) Jude Drouin scored the first overtime goal in Coliseum history at the 1:53 mark as the Isles cut Philadelphia’s lead to 3 games to 1 with a 4-3 victory. It is still the earliest overtime goal ever scored in a playoff game at the Coliseum.
All-time, the Isles are 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on this date.
THURSDAY, MAY 9 ISLANDERS AT PITTSBURGH (7:00PM)
[MSG+ (pre-game at 6:30), WRHU (88.7FM]
The Islanders will look to take the series lead as they face Pittsburgh in game five on Thursday. All remaining games in the series will be seen exclusively in the New York area on MSG+.
The Isles are 7-4 in series that are tied 2 games to 2.
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.