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The Skinny: Islanders 7, Stars 3

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
“The Skinny”

Game 44
Isles 7, Dallas 3

Ryan Strome’s first NHL goal jump-started an Islander comeback as the Isles rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Dallas Stars 7-3 before a crowd of 11,111 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  John Tavares had five points for the Islanders, including his fifth career hat trick. 

The Scoring:
1st Period

05:01 DAL Jamie Benn (15) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE     1 - 0 DAL   
13:48 DAL Erik Cole (11) Slapshot - ASST: Alex Chiasson (14), Rich Peverley (15)     2 - 0 DAL   

2nd Period

01:41 NYI PPG - Ryan Strome (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Thomas Vanek (20), John Tavares (30) 2 - 1 DAL   
07:29 NYI John Tavares (18) Wrist shot - ASST: Thomas Vanek (21)     2 - 2 Tie   
09:29 NYI Peter Regin (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Josh Bailey (10), Thomas Hickey (9)     3 - 2 NYI   
15:28 DAL PPG - Valeri Nichushkin (9) Snap shot - ASST: Rich Peverley (16), Ray Whitney (12) 3 - 3 Tie   
19:32 NYI Brock Nelson (4) Snap shot - ASST: Casey Cizikas (5), Calvin de Haan (1)     4 - 3 NYI
3rd Period
01:24 NYI Brian Strait (2) Snap shot - ASST: John Tavares (31), Calvin de Haan (2)     5 - 3 NYI   
06:19 NYI PPG - John Tavares (19) Backhand - ASST: Frans Nielsen (18), Andrew MacDonald (18)     6 - 3 NYI   
16:53 NYI PPG - John Tavares (20) Snap shot - ASST: Andrew MacDonald (19), Casey Cizikas (6)     7 - 3 NYI  HAT TRICK

The Skinny: 
Thomas Vanek extended his point streak to nine games, a career high. Vanek has the longest current streak in the NHL…John Tavares extended his point streak to 5 games…John Tavares records his fifth career hat trick; the hat trick tally was his 300th NHL point and his 20th goal of the season… Andrew Mac Donald had an assist for the fifth consecutive game; he has eight assists in those five games… The Isles have allowed an NHL-high 62 goals in the second period this season, but they have now scored 55 goals in the frame themselves (Tied-2nd with Washington)…The Isles defense combined for six points…The Isles are 8-1-0 when they score at least three goals in a period; they have had a three-goal period in each of their last four regulation wins…The Isles had two periods with at least three goals for the first time since March 5, 2013 vs. Montreal…It’s the 4th time this season that the Isles have rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win (4-9-0)…The Isles played the game without Kyle Okposo, who missed the game while tending to the birth of his first child.  It was the first game Okposo missed since November 19, 2011 (had played in 156 straight).

The Injuries:

Evgeni Nabokov suffered a lower body injury in the first period and did not return.  He was placed on injured reserve after the game.
Travis Hamonic left the game after he was hit with a Ryan Garbutt high stick with 4:31 in the first period and did not return.

The Captain
John Tavares moved into third place in NHL scoring with his second career 5-point game, and first at the Coliseum (3/16/2010 in Vancouver).  Tavares now has 48 goals since the start of last season, which is second to Alexander Ovechkin’s 63.  Tavares became the 17th Islander to record 300 points and the 12th Islander to record five 20-goal seasons (He joins Bossy, Trottier, Brent Sutter, Gillies, Nystrom and Harris as Isles who did so in each of their first five full NHL seasons).  It is the 8th time in his career (and second time in less than a week) that he has recorded at least four points – his teammates have combined for that feat only three times in that span.  Tavares also moved into the Isles’ Top 20 in assists with his 168th assist; he is now in the Top 20 in goals, assists and points

Tavares Milestone Points

•    100th point 2/13/11 @ Buffalo (135th game)
•    200th point 4/3/12 @ New Jersey (241st game)
•    300th point 1/6/14 vs Dallas (334th game)

First Times in a Long Time

The Isles scored seven goals for the first time since January 24, 2013 in Toronto.  They have not scored seven goals at a home since a 9-3 win over Pittsburgh on February 11, 2011.
The Isles scored 6 goals, and then 7, against the Stars for the first time since the franchise moved from Minnesota.  The last time the Isles scored seven goals against the Stars was on 11/19/1991 in Bloomington.
The Isles defense combined for six points.  It’s the first time since March 31, 2011 vs. the Rangers (seven points) that the Isles have had at least six points from their defense.
John Tavares is the first Islander since Josh Bailey (3/27/12 vs Pittsburgh) to record five points in a game. (No Islander has had a six-point game since Pat Lafontaine had two of them in 1990)
Andrew MacDonald is the first Islander defenseman with a point in five straight games since Mark Streit, who had a point in six straight from March 11-24, 2012.
MacDonald is the first Islander defenseman with an assist in five straight games since James Wisniewski, October 16-27, 2010. (Wisniewski actually had an assist in his first 7 games as an Islander, but only five of those games were consecutive).
Peter Regin recorded his first goal since October 8th vs Phoenix.  The Isles have scored 13 goals in the games that Regin has scored.  Regin is the 279th Islander to score at least two career goals. (In the third period, Strait became the 280th).
The Isles won a home game in regulation for the first time since November 12th vs. Nashville.

First Times … Ever
Ryan Strome recorded his first NHL goal (in his 11th NHL game). He is the 338th Islander to score a goal.
Calvin deHaan assisted on the winning goal and added a second assist in the third period for his first two NHL points.

The Shots:
Isles    14-11-18=43
Stars   10-  7- 6=23

It was the sixth time this season that the Islanders had at least 40 shots (4-1-1).  It’s the second time this season that the Isles have had 40 shots in consecutive games (10/15-10/17).

Home and Road
The Islanders are 15-22-7 overall, 6-9-7 at home and 8-13-0 on the road.   The Isles are 7-4-2 in their last thirteen games overall but this was only their second win in their last 11 (2-5-4) home games.
The Stars are 20-15-7 overall; they are 9-6-5 at home and 11-9-2 on the road. The Stars have lost three straight, all in regulation for the first time this season.

By Division
The Isles are 3-10-3 in Division games and are 12-12-4 in games against other divisions. They are 5-3-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 4-4-0 vs. Central Division, and 3-5-1 vs. the Pacific Division.

In the Nets

Evgeni Nabokov made 7 saves before leaving at the 12:54 mark with an injury.
Kevin Poulin allowed a goal on the first shot he faced but stopped 13 of the other 14 and improves 6-12-0 on the season. 
Kari Lehtonen made 36 saves for Dallas but falls to 16-10-7.  He allowed seven goals for the fourth time this season, matching a career high.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 3-6 while the Stars were 1-4. The Isles converted on a third period 5-on-3 for their 4th 5-on-3 goal of the season (tied-NHL lead).
The Isles are 9-6-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 6-16-3 when they do not.  The Isles are 7-14-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 8-8-4 when they do not. 
The Islander special teams have improved as of late.  The power play is 10-32 (31.3%) over the last ten games while the Isles have killed 23 of 28 (82.1%) over the last eleven games while scoring two shorthanded goals.  The power play now ranks 13th in the NHL and 8th at home.

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 15-4-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 0-18-5 when they do not. 

Helps to Score First
The Isles are 9-5-5 when they score first and are 6-17-2 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 (239) and wins (99).

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.    Al Arbour 1,500
2.    Jack Capuano 239
3.    Mike Milbury 191
4.    Terry Simpson 187
5.    Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.    Al Arbour 740
2.    Jack Capuano 99
3.    Terry Simpson 81
4.    Peter Laviolette 77
5.    Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Travis Hamonic, in his 1st intermission interview: "We've shown we can come back in games in the past -- two big periods coming up"
Ryan Strome: "(Tavares is) unbelievable. He puts the team on his back. I think the third period you really saw how good he wanted be. He wanted that hat trick and it shows how dominating he can be. If I can learn one thing out of the 100 things he does it's going to make me successful."

They Tweeted It
Kyle Okposo @bookerT2116  Best day of my life.Elliana Okposo, welcome to the world. Mother and baby are happy and healthy. So blessed!
@NHLJensen #Isles' John Tavares has 179 points in 173 games over past 3 regular seasons. Only #Pens' Evgeni Malkin (186 points in 139 games) has more.
@hockeyguy0194 Strome is looking better every game #isles
@tomlofaso329 Huge night for @91Tavares at the barn. @Section_329 was in full voice tonight. Lets hope this continues! #isles #carefree

The Coach
Lot of people dream of those nights…anytime 91 has a night like that, it’s nice to win the hockey game. … I liked our work effort and our detail.

The Isles are 5-6-0 in the front-end and 3-5-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.
In the ten previous sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points once, 3 points once, 2 points four times, 1 point once and no points on three occasions.
The Isles will look to sweep back-to-backs for the first time since November 1st-2nd in Toronto on Tuesday.

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 300 career points; he is 70 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 23:47 to lead the Isles for the 17th time this season.  Alex Goligoski led the Stars with 22:04 of ice-time.
The Isles are 10-12-5 when MacDonald leads them in ice-time and 5-10-2 when Hamonic leads them.

In the Circle
The Islanders had their best night in the faceoff circle all season as they won 45 of 72 draws.  John Tavares won 15 of 23 to lead the Isles; no Star who took more than one faceoff won more than he lost.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Dallas 26-15.  Matt Martin had nine hits to lead the Isles; his 215 hits lead the NHL by a wide margin.  He had now recorded at least 200 hits in four straight seasons.
There were no fights.  The Isles have been involved in 15 fights this season: Martin (6), Boulton (4), Carkner (4), McDonald (1).

Giving Up the Body

The Isles were credited with 9 blocked shots. Travis Hamonic led the Isles with three blocks; Andrew MacDonald was credited with two blocks, extending his NHL-leading total to 148.

Two Over All-Time .500

The Islanders are two games over all-time NHL .500 (1386-1384-446 in 3,216 games). The Isles have been 1-under all-time .500 after six games this season and have gone 4-0-2 in the following game. 
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.

Frans Nielsen is the Islanders’ reigning ironman.  He has played 174 consecutive games, and is one of six Islanders to have played in every game this season.  Other ironman streaks: Travis Hamonic (114), Matt Martin (105), Andrew Mac Donald (92) and Thomas Hickey (45). 
Kyle Okposo missed his first game since the 2011-12 season due to the birth of his daughter.

Century Club

Travis Hamonic is the only defenseman in Islander history with two streaks in which he played at least 100 consecutive games. Those are two of only 10 streaks of at least 100 consecutive games by a defenseman in Islander history:
1.    Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979  262
2.    Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220 (*)(**)
3.    Gerry Hart 3/1/1975-11/22/1977 198
4.    Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136 (**)
5.    Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134 (*)
6.    Mark Streit  10/8/2011-4/26/2013 130
7.    Travis Hamonic 2/24/2012- CURRENT 114
8.    Travis Hamonic 11/24/2010 – 2/4/2012 113 (*)

9.    Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110
10.    Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104

(*) Start of NHL career.
(**) Entire career with Islanders

Missing Men
Lubomir Visnovsky and Radek Martinek remain on injured reserve.  Josh Bailey returned after missing four games with an upper body injury, replacing Kyle Okposo (birth of his daughter) while Matt Donovan appeared in his first NHL game since November 27th, replacing Matt Carkner. Eric Boulton was scratched. The Isles have lost 113 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 12-19-5 this season without him in the lineup.

Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 681
2. Roberto Luongo 364
3. Evgeni Nabokov 344
4. Nikolai Khabibulin 333

Career Wins
17. Rogie Vachon 355
18. Evgeni Nabokov 344
19. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 333

Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 124
2. Roberto Luongo 65
3. Evgeni Nabokov 56
4. Tomas Vokoun 51

Career Shutouts
18 Clint Benedict       57
19 Evgeni Nabokov 56
20 Bernie Parent       54
20 Ed Giacomin        54

Career Goals as an Islander
15    Mariusz Czerkawski    145
16    John Tavares     132
17    Jason Blake    127

34    Kyle Okposo    88
35    Butch Goring    87
36    Tomas Jonsson    84
37    Wayne Merrick    81
37    Dave Scatchard    81
39    Marty McInnis    79
40    Miroslav Satan    78
41    Claude Lapointe 76
42    Michael Grabner 75
42    Frans Nielsen    75

44    Lorne Henning    73
44    J.P. Parise    73

Career Assists as an Islander

18    Alexei Yashin    171
18    Duane Sutter    171
20    John Tavares    168
21    Jean Potvin    167
22    Jeff Norton    166
23    Zigmund Palffy    163
24    David Volek    154
24    Frans Nielsen    154
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
32    Dave Langevin  422
33    Wayne Merrick  411
33    Frans Nielsen     411
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     368
42    Kyle Okposo     362

43    Dave Scatchard    347
46     Marty McInnis    337    
47    John Tavares     334
48     Butch Goring    332    
48     Oleg Kvasha     332    

Career Points as an Islander

16    Ziggy Palffy    331
17    John Tavares     300
18    Mariusz Czerkawski    295
27    Kenny Jonsson    232
28    Greg Gilbert    231
29    Frans Nielsen     229
29    Benoit Hogue    229
29    Trent Hunter    229
32    Kyle Okposo     227
33    Matt Moulson    223

Season Series Stats
The Isles leads the season series 1 game to 0 (and two points to none). The teams will play again this Sunday night in Dallas.
This was the Isles’ first home win against the Stars since 11/6/2003 (1-2-2).

Happy Anniversary
33 years ago tonight (1-6-81):  John Tonelli tied the franchise record with five goals and Mike Bossy became the only Islander to ever record a six-assist game as the Isles beat Toronto 6-3 at the Coliseum.
Overall, the Isles are 9-9-0 on this date, including an 8-1 win over Kansas City in 1976 as Jude Drouin recorded his only hat trick as an Islander.

On The Farm
Bridgeport is 13-18-1-4 on the season and are off until Friday when they visit Manchester.
Anders Lee leads Bridgeport with 13 goals; Lee also leads current Sound Tigers in both assists (13) and points (26).  Ryan Strome still leads the team in assists (24) and points (33). 

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]

Jack Capuano looks for his 100th victory and the Islanders begin a pivotal six-game road trip as the face the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Center.

The Leafs scored just 22 seconds into the previous meeting on November 19th and led start to finish in a 5-2 win over the Isles. That loss broke a three-game Islander winning streak in Toronto and is the Isles’ only regulation loss to the Leafs in their last six meetings (3-1-2).

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.

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