Kyle Okposo’s 100th career goal broke a 2-2 tie as the Islanders exploded for four goals in the first 11 minutes of the third period to defeat the New York Rangers 6-3 before a sellout crowd of 18,006 at Madison Square Garden. Six different Islanders scored against Henrik Lundqvist; it was the first time the Isles have ever scored six goals against Lundqvist. The Scoring: 1st Period 06:21 NYR Rick Nash (5) ASST: NONE 1 - 0 NYR 10:31 NYI PPG - Johnny Boychuk (2) ASST: Kyle Okposo (4), Frans Nielsen (2) 1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period 03:50 NYR Derick Brassard (2) ASST: Chris Kreider (3), Lee Stempniak (2) 2 - 1 NYR 15:03 NYI John Tavares (2) ASST: Nikolay Kulemin (2) 2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period 00:48 NYI Kyle Okposo (1) ASST: NONE 3 - 2 NYI 04:50 NYI Brock Nelson (4) ASST: Ryan Strome (3), Mikhail Grabovski (1) 4 - 2 NYI 05:20 NYI Mikhail Grabovski (2) ASST: Ryan Strome (4) 5 - 2 NYI 10:59 NYI Nick Leddy (1) ASST: John Tavares (5) 6 - 2 NYI 17:50 NYR Rick Nash (6) ASST: Anthony Duclair (3), Martin St. Louis (4) 6 - 3 NYI
The Skinny: Okposo is the 27th player in franchise history to record 100 goals for the Isles… The Isles got three goals from former Islander first round draft picks and three goals from players acquired by Garth Snow in the off-season (two by trades and one in free agency)…Nick Leddy became the fourth Islander in three games to record his first goal in Orange and Blue. He is the 345th player to score a goal for the Islanders… Johnny Boychuk’s first period goal was his 5th power play point of the season, matching his total in 317 career games for Boston… Ryan Strome had two assists in a 30 second span; he now has four assists on the season... Rick Nash scored twice for the Rangers; he is the first player in NYR history to score at least one goal in each of the Rangers’ first four games. Nash has outscored his teammates 6 goals to 5 so far this season…Marty St. Louis’ assist on the second Nash goal was his 400th point since the start of the 2009-10 season, which is the most in the NHL over that span…It’s the first time since December 3, 2006 that the Isles have scored at least goals at Madison Square Garden…The Isles are 3 games over NHL-.500 for the first time since they ended the 48-game 2013 season with a 24-17-7 record…Four Islanders have at least one point in every game this season: Brock Nelson, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk and Kyle Okposo. Tavares and Okposo also have had at least one assist in every game this season.
First Times in a Long Time The Isles, counting the final three games of last season, have won six straight games for the first time since a 6-game win streak in February, 2008.
The Isles are 3-0-0 to start the season for the first time since the 2001-02 season when they opened 4-0-0. It’s only the fourth time in franchise history that the club has won three straight to start a season, also doing so in 1976-77 (4-0-0) and 1987-88 (3-0-0).
The Isles have also won their first two road games for the first time since 2001-02. The Isles won their first six road games that season.
The Isles have scored 15 goals in the first three games. It’s the most goals that the Isles have scored in the first three games since they scored 17 goals in the first three games to open the 1987-88 season.
The Isles are 3-0-0 despite allowing three goals in each game; they last had a three-game win streak, allowing at least three goals in each game from February 10-13, 2011. Counting the final game of last season, the Isles have won 4 straight games, despite allowing at least three goals in each. They have not had a similar streak since they won 4 straight games in December 1989.
Can’t Win them All… …If you don’t win the first three. The Isles are tied for first place overall in the NHL with a 3-0-0 record; New Jersey and San Jose are also 3-0-0. Four other teams (Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Chicago and Vancouver) are 2-0-0.
The Shots: Isles 12-8-7=27 Rangers 11-21-11=43
It’s the most shots that the Isles have allowed in a period since Pittsburgh had 22 on March 27, 2012.
Home and Road The Islanders are 3-0-0 overall, 1-0-0 at home and 2-0-0 on the road. The Isles are 19-5-2 in their last 26 road games (dating back to a win at MSG on December 20, 2013).
The Rangers are 1-3-0 overall; 0-2-0 at home and 1-1-0 on the road.
By Division The Isles are 3-0-0 in Division games and are 0-0-0 in games against other divisions. They are 0-0-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 0-0-0 vs. Central Division, and 0-0-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles won only three of their first 17 division games (3-11-3) last season.
In the Nets Jaroslav Halak made 40 saves as he improves to 2-0-0 on the season. He is now 8-4-0 in his career against the Rangers, including 7-3 in games in which he faces Henrik Lundqvist.
Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves for the Rangers but falls to 29-13-5 in his career against the Isles. Lundqvist has allowed six goals in consecutive games for the first time in his career.
Power Plays The Islanders were 1-4 on the power play while the Rangers were 0-3.
The Isles have five power play goals on the season, matching their highest total since they scored six power play goals in three games to open the 1987-88 season.
The Isles are 3-0-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 0-0-0 when they do not. The Isles are 2-0-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 1-0-0 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 3-0-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 0-0-0 when they do not.
First Goal The Isles are 2-0-0 when they score first and are 1-0-0 when they allow the opening goal.
Second to The One Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history.
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 280 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 121 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
With the win, Capuano goes over NHL -.500 as an Islander coach (121-120-39).
They Said It Travis Hamonic: "Resiliency is the word I'd use. We weren't good enough …in the first [two] periods. The third was a great period."
Matt Martin: "We were awful in the first two periods. In previous years we would have been blown out. [The] coaching staff talked to us after the second period but players knew it was unacceptable."
They Tweeted It @playerpres76 Halak,Boychuck,Leddy,Conacher,Grabovski +JT(Top 3 in NHL) We're a different squad in 2014 folks! #1morecupinNassau
@powerjduq when you have this hockey club you need nothing else. Another dynasty started this year. Feel it in my bones.
@BruceBeck4NY 1 of three (3 -0) teams in the league right now! Great start indeed for @NYIslanders
@IslesFanatics "LETS GO ISLANDERS" chants in MSG is giving me chills. 3-0 baby lets keep it going!
The Coach "In all fairness, this is the first game we dominated 5-on-5. I thought we might have to change up lines after the second because our power play had done much of the damage against Carolina in our two victories. But our defense started getting involved and we began to grind it out and that was good to see. …We got some goals because we pushed pucks to the net. ... I'm pleased with the way we played in the 3rd period"
Back-to-Backs The Isles are 1-0-0 in the front-end and 1-0-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.
The next set of back-to-backs is not until November 5th (at Anaheim) and November 6th (at Los Angeles).
Leading Ice Men Travis Hamonic led the Isles with 24:19 of ice-time while Ryan McDonagh led the Rangers with 23:01.
The Isles are 2-0-0 when Johnny Boychuk leads the team in ice time and 1-0-0 when Travis Hamonic leads them.
John Tavares led Isles forwards with 19:42 of ice time; The Isles are 1-0-0 when Brock Nelson leads the forwards in ice time, are 1-0-0 when John Tavares leads them and are 1-0-0 when Casey Cizikas leads them.
In the Circle The Islanders won 29 of 61 draws (48%). Kyle Okposo won all four that he took (all in the first period) while Frans Nielsen won 9 of 18 for the Isles; Derick Brassard won 11 of 19 for the Rangers.
Heavy Hitters The Isles outhit the Rangers 26-25. Travis Hamonic and Matt Martin led the Isles with five hits each. John Moore had six hits for the Rangers.
There were no fights, leaving the Islanders’ season total at (1): Martin (1).
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 20 blocked shots; Travis Hamonic led the way with five.
For the Corsi Crowd Ryan Strome and Johnny Boychuk (+4) led the Isles in even-strength Corsi, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).
Head of the Class Islander Captain John Tavares has 322 career points; he is 59 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 nine games over all-time NHL .500 (1408-1399-450 in 3,257 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 255 consecutive games, while Hickey has played 86 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Missing Men Lubomir Visnovsky, Michael Grabner, Calvin deHaan, and Matt Carkner are all out injured. Eric Boulton, Colin McDonald and Matt Donovan were scratched for the third straight game.
The Isles have lost 12 games this season due to injury.
All-time Islander Leader Board: John Tavares has: • 138 goals (16th all-time, 7 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 9 behind Pierre Turgeon) • 184 assists (16th all-time, 9 behind Pierre Turgeon) • 322 points (17th all-time, 9 behind Ziggy Palffy, 11 behind Tomas Jonsson and 18 behind Pierre Turgeon • 353 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 28 behind Randy Wood)
Frans Nielsen has: • 85 goals (36th all-time, 2 behind Butch Goring and 7 behind Travis Green) • 171 assists (tied 19th all-time with Alexei Yashin & Duane Sutter and 4 behind Kenny Jonsson) • 256 points (25th all-time, 3 behind Kyle Okposo, Jason Blake & Steve Thomas) • 450 games played (tied-29th among Islander skaters all-time with Scott Lachance and 9 behind Trent Hunter)
Kyle Okposo has: • 100 goals (27th all-time, 1 behind Anders Kallur and 5 behind Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue) • 159 assists (25th all-time, 4 behind Ziggy Palffy, 7 behind Jeff Norton and 8 behind Jean Potvin) • 259 points (tied-22nd all-time, with Jason Blake & Steve Thomas) • 393 games played (38th among Islander skaters all-time, and 4 behind David Volek)
Michael Grabner has: • 82 goals (38th all-time, 2 behind Tomas Jonsson, 3 behind Frans Nielsen and 5 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has: • 409 games played (35th among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Wayne Merrick and 13 behind Dave Langevin)
Season Series Stats The Isles lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0).
The Islanders have won four of their last five games on Broadway, and scored at least five goals in three of them.
The team will not play again for three months; they will next face off on January 13, again at the Garden. The Rangers are the only team to visit the Coliseum three times this season: January 27, February 16 and March 10.
It Happened at the Coliseum: 32 years ago tonight (1982): The Isles raised their third Stanley Cup championship banner and then went out to whip the team that nearly denied it – the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Isles beat Pittsburgh 9-0 in a record-setting performance that still dots the Islander record books.
Butch Goring recorded his 13th career hat trick (including 2 shorthanded goals) while Billy Smith notched the shutout in the most one-sided opener in Isles history.
The 9-goal margin, in fact, matches the largest winning margin of any Isles game. Goring was particularly proud of his first shorthanded goal, noting his move “was right out of the Wayne Gretzky book”.
Also on this date: (2006): Jason Blake had two goals and Miro Satan added three assists in a 4-1 victory over Boston.
All-time, the Isles have played nine October 14th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 3-4-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale
On The Farm Harry Zolnierczyk scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Sound Tigers to a 6-3 victory and a split of the season-opening series with the St. John’s Ice Caps. David Leggio made 21 saves in his Bridgeport debut. The Sound Tigers are off until Friday, when they begin a 3-game in 3-day weekend by hosting Albany.
Up Next THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16th—SAN JOSE AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders will be looking to start the season 4-0-0 for only the third time in their history as they entertain the San Jose Sharks.
The teams met twice last season, with the road team winning both games. The Isles rallied from a 2-0 third period deficit for a 3-2 shootout victory in December; the Sharks defeated the Isles 4-3 at the Coliseum in March.
As this is the Sharks’ only trip to Long Island this season, San Jose becomes the first opponent to play its final game at the Coliseum. The Isles won the first 5 Coliseum meetings between the teams, but have beaten San Jose on Long Island only once since 1996 (1 win, 5 losses, 2 overtime losses and 2 ties).
The Isles will also be looking for their seventh straight win, dating back to last season. The Isles have not had a seven game win streak since they won nine straight games from December 31, 1989- January 19, 1990.
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.