Islanders 7, Toronto 4
Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner each scored twice, and Keith Aucoin and Brad Boyes each scored their first goal in an Islander uniform as the Islanders rallied from a 3-1 deficit by scoring five straight goals to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-4 before a crowd of 19,125 at Air Canada Centre.It’s the most goals the Islanders have scored since Feb. 13, 2011 at Buffalo.
02:12TORC. Gunnarsson (1) Slap - ASST: C. Franson (1)
1 - 0 TOR
08:39NYIM. Moulson (1) Backhand - ASST: J. Tavares (3)
1 - 1 TIE
09:44TORN. Kadri (3) Snap - ASST: J. Liles (1) AND M. Frattin (1)
2 - 1 TOR
12:48TORM. Grabovski (2) Wrist - ASST: M. Frattin (2) AND C. Gunnarsson (1)
3 - 1 TOR
11:43NYIPPG - M. Streit (1) Wrist - ASST: B. Boyes (1) AND J. Tavares (4)
3 - 2 TOR
13:10NYIB. Boyes (1) Snap - ASST: F. Nielsen (1) AND M. Grabner (2)
3 - 3 TIE
03:23NYIM. Grabner (2) Wrist - ASST: B. Boyes (2) AND F. Nielsen (2)
4 - 3 NYI
04:35NYIK. Aucoin (1) Wrist - ASST: D. Ullstrom (1) AND C. McDonald (1)
5 - 3 NYI
11:20NYIM. Moulson (2) Wrist - ASST: NONE
6 - 3 NYI
17:47TORM. Frattin (1) Snap - ASST: N. Kadri (2) AND C. Gunnarsson (2)
6 - 4 NYI
18:50NYISHG - EN - M. Grabner (3) Wrist - ASST: NONE
7 - 4 NYI
The Skinny: The Isles had five players with at least two points (three each for Boyes and Grabner) and five players with at least a +2 rating (Brian Strait, Frans Nielsen and Grabner were each +3). The Isles are now 10-22-8 in road openers. The Isles improve to 4-3-0 in Toronto in the John Tavares era. Dating back to late 2010, the Isles are 12-2-2 when they score shorthanded.
Seventh Heaven: The seven Islander goals are the most the Isles have scored:
•Ever in their first road game of the season; they had scored only five goals in the past four road openers.
•Against the Leafs since March 20, 1986
•In any game since 2/13/11 in Buffalo (7-6 overtime win)
•In any game in regulation since 2/11/11 vs. Pittsburgh (9-3 win)
•In any road game in regulation since 12/3/06 at NY Rangers (7-4 win)
The Isles are the second team in the NHL to score seven goals in a game this season. (Anaheim scored seven on opening night in Vancouver.)
It’s Early, But:
The Islanders (4 points/3 games) join Pittsburgh (4 points/3 games) and New Jersey (4 points/2 games) atop the Atlantic Division standings.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 2-1-0 overall, 1-1-0 at home and 1-0-0 on the road.
Toronto is 2-2-0 overall, 0-2-0 at home and 2-0-0 on the road.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made his third straight start. He stopped 39 shots (including 31 of the last 32) to improve his record to 2-1-0.
Ben Scrivens made 20 saves but was replaced after allowing the fifth Islander goal. Scrivens dropped to 1-2-0. James Reimer stopped seven of eight shots in relief.
The Isles went 1-for-2 on the power play while Toronto was 0-for-5.
Trailing 3-1, the Isles killed 3:35 of consecutive Leaf power play time late in the first period and into the opening seconds of the second period.
Isles have scored a PP goal in each game (3/13) and have not allowed a PP goal (10/10) this season. Islanders defensemen have two of the three PP goals after tallying only seven goals on the man advantage all last season.
Grabner’s empty-net goal was shorthanded; it was the first shorty for the Isles this season and Grabner’s eighth career shorthanded goal.
They Said It
Keith Aucoin: “Our line is playing really well… we have some chemistry going…I just wanted to have a good game” (against the organization that let him go via waivers).
They Tweeted It
@StapeNewsday: Matt Carkner on Phaneuf: "That's what I'm here for. Guys can't be taking liberties with our best guys.”
“For me, it’s playing the way we have to play. We didn’t do it in the first period …. The second and third exemplified how we have to play.”
This was the first game of a 5-game road trip. The Isles are 1-0-0 on the trip, and will make stops in Boston, Winnipeg, Pittsburgh and New Jersey before returning to the Coliseum on Super Bowl Sunday. The Isles will also play five consecutive road games to end the regular season.
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 206 career points and is 55 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.
Friends, Friends, Friends
Moulson’s two goals were his first two goals this season; John Tavares earned an assist on the first one. Tavares has now been on-ice for 62 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 41 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa Bay.
105 NHL Goals
Moulson has 105 career goals (99 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected ahead of Moulson in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, only 17 have more goals.
Scoring on the road is nothing new for Moulson; 23 of his 36 goals last season also came on the road. Only Steven Stamkos (24) had more.
A First For C-Mc
Colin McDonald recorded his first career assist on Aucoin’s goal. It was his second career point – he scored a goal for Edmonton on November 28, 2009 in his second NHL game.
Here’s a number that Howie Rose likes to refer to from time-to-time. Both Boyes and Aucoin scored their first goals as Islanders tonight; they are the 322nd and 323rd players in Islander history to score a goal.
Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald led the Isles in time on ice with 29:04; Dion Phaneuf led Toronto with 25:50, but was a minus-3.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 34 draws; the Leafs won 27. Marty Reasoner won 9-of-13 for the Isles; Tyler Bozak won 14-of-25 for Toronto.
The Islanders were out-hit 27-24. Matt Martin, Kyle Okposo and John Tavares each had four hits for the Isles. There were no fights in the game, leaving the Isles’ season total at two.
Lots of Shots to Go Around
Every Islander forward but David Ullstrom had at least one shot on goal. Matt Moulson led the team with six shots.
Both Michael Grabner (11/23/11 vs. Philadelphia) and Brad Boyes (4/9/11 for Buffalo vs. Columbus) recorded three points in a game for the first time in over a year. Grabner has a point in all three games this season.
With the win, the Islanders are now three games over .500 all-time (1349-1346-432 in 3127 games). The Isles fell one game below .500 on two occasions last season. Prior to that, they had not been below .500 since they were 177-178-83 prior to their victory on January 16, 1978.
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 249 games since joining the team. Moulson’s streak is the longest for an Islander in the Post-Cup era and the fourth-longest in club history. Billy Harris played in the first 576 games in Islander history, a figure that figure still stands as the club record.
Three other Islanders (Frans Nielsen, John Tavares and Mark Streit) also played in every game last season. Tavares extended his streak to 162 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 85.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1. Billy Harris 576
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Denis Potvin 262
4. Matt Moulson 249
Eric Boulton, Radek Martinek and Thomas Hickey were scratched. Josh Bailey and Jesse Joensuu remain suspended after suffering injuries in Europe. Lubomir Visnovsky has not yet reported.
As Seen on MSG+
This is the first time since February 13, 2011 in Buffalo that the Islanders had rallied from a two-goal deficit to win on the road.
This is the first time since March 31, 2011 that the Isles have scored at least six goals in a game. For fans of a certain age, that means one thing: Chili.
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 658
2. Roberto Luongo 339
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 328
4. Evgeni Nabokov 314
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 311
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov 314
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 311
Career Goals as an Islander
25Trent Hunter 99
25Matt Moulson 99
27Mikko Makela 95
27David Volek 95
32Travis Green 92
33Butch Goring 87
34Tomas Jonsson 84
34John Tavares 84
36Wayne Merrick 81
36Dave Scatchard 81
Career Assists as an Islander – active players
4Kyle Okposo 94
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
49Eric Cairns 327
50Alan Kerr 326
51Frans Nielsen 322
52Brad Dalgarno 321
59Arron Asham 300
59Roman Hamrlik 300
61Josh Bailey 292
62Gord Dineen 287
63Jeff Norton 282
65Kyle Okposo 274
66Blake Comeau 261
66Andre St. Laurent 261
71Jude Drouin 250
72Matt Moulson 249
73Brad Isbister 247
73Brendan Witt 247
75Sean Bergenheim 246
75John Tavares 246
77Miroslav Satan 243
78Bryan Berard 242
79Mark Streit 241
80JP Parise 240
Career Points as an Islander
35John Tavares 206
41Matt Moulson 173
46Frans Nielsen 169
50Kyle Okposo 163
Season Series Stats
The Islanders lead the season series 1-0-0 and two points to zero. It’s the Isles’ second straight win in Toronto, marking their first winning streak in Ontario’s capital since winning three straight from 1991-1993. The teams will next meet on Feb. 28 at Nassau Coliseum before completing the season series on April 18 at the ACC.
32 years ago tonight (1-24-81): One word: Bossy. Mike Bossy scored his 49th and 50th goal in the final five minutes of the Islanders’ 50th game of the season, joining Maurice Richard in the exclusive 50-in-50 club as the Islanders defeated Quebec 7-4.
All-time, the Isles are 10-6-3 on this date, with Thursday’s win stopping an 0-2-2 skid.
On The Farm
The Sound Tigers lost to Springfield 4-1 on Sunday, breaking their two-game win streak. Bridgeport is 19-17-2-2. The Sound Tigers begin a two-game series in Norfolk on Friday.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25th ISLANDERS AT BOSTON 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 6:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The road trip continues on Friday night in Boston. The Bruins have won 3-of-4 from the Isles each of the past two seasons, but the Islanders did defeat Boston 3-2 in Beantown on March 3 of last season. The game marks the back-end of the first set of seven back-to-backs for the Islanders this season.
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.