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The Skinny: Islanders 7, Stars 5

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 8

Isles 7, Dallas 5

Frans Nielsen scored three third period goals for his first career hat trick as the Isles broke a 4-4 tie and defeated the Dallas Stars 7-5 before a boisterous crowd of 15,208 at Nassau Coliseum. The win improves the Isles’ record to 6-2-0, including 3-1-0 at home.  The 12 points in eight games matches their second-best record (behind 6-0-1-1 in 2001-02) through eight games in the Post-Cup era.  

The Scoring:
1st Period

05:11    NYI    Anders Lee (1) ASST: Thomas Hickey (1), Brock Nelson (5)     1 - 0 NYI   
13:25    DAL    Vernon Fiddler (1) ASST: Patrick Eaves (2)     1 - 1 Tie   
18:42    NYI    SHG - Nikolay Kulemin (1) ASST: NONE     2 - 1 NYI   

2nd Period
01:25    NYI    Brock Nelson (5) ASST: Ryan Strome (7), Calvin de Haan (1)         3 - 1 NYI   
05:25    DAL    Tyler Seguin (6) ASST: Jason Spezza (9), Jamie Benn (5)          3 - 2 NYI   
06:50    DAL    PPG - Jason Spezza (2) ASST: Alex Goligoski (5), Tyler Seguin (7)    3 - 3 Tie   
15:50    DAL    Antoine Roussel (3) ASST: Alex Goligoski (6), Ryan Garbutt (4)         4 - 3 DAL   
16:20    NYI    Lubomir Visnovsky (1) ASST: Kyle Okposo (7), Cory Conacher (1)   4 - 4 Tie   

3rd Period
09:39    NYI    Frans Nielsen (2) ASST: Nikolay Kulemin (4), Mikhail Grabovski (2)     5 - 4 NYI   
15:09    NYI    Frans Nielsen (3) ASST: Mikhail Grabovski (3), Lubomir Visnovsky (1)     6 - 4 NYI   
15:32    DAL    Shawn Horcoff (1) ASST: Erik Cole (1), Colton Sceviour (2)     6 - 5 NYI   
19:59    NYI    EN - Frans Nielsen (4) ASST: NONE     7 - 5 NYI

The Skinny: 
Anders Lee, Nikolay Kulemin and Lubomir Visnovsky each recorded their first goal of the season, giving the Isles 31 goals on the season from 15 different players... The Isles tallied seven goals without a point from John Tavares … The Isles were held under 35 shots for the first time in five games…Kyle Okposo and Nielsen extended their point streaks to three games…Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn have six game point streaks for Dallas; Jason Spezza extended his point streak to five games… The teams traded goals 30 seconds apart in the second period and 23 seconds apart in the third period… Kulemin became the fifth Islander this season to record his first goal in Orange and Blue.  He is the 346th player to score a goal for the Islanders; he recorded his third career shorthanded goal and the first by an Islander this season… All 7 of Ryan Strome’s assists have come at even-strength…Brock Nelson was on-ice for the first three Islander goals and finished +3 for the first time in his career.  Nelson, who leads the Islanders in goals (5), did not score his fifth goal last season until January 10th… Visnovsky had a goal and an assist, giving him 19-28-47 totals in 58 career games against Dallas… Kulemin had two points, giving him 200 for his career… The Isles have scored 31 goals through 8 games, which is their best eight game start offensively since 1992-93, when they scored 32… Nielsen’s second goal was his 88th as an Islander, breaking a short-lived tie with Butch Goring for 36th place on the all-time Isles list

First Time in a Long Time
The Isles ended a 44-game winless streak in games that they allowed at least five goals (0-41-3). Their last win came in a 7-6 overtime game in Buffalo on February 13, 2011.

It’s a Hatty
Frans Nielsen is the first Islander since John Tavares (1-6-14, also vs. Dallas) to record a hat trick.  It is the eighth Islander hat trick vs. the Stars (by seven different players).  The Islanders have won eight straight games in which a player has recorded a hat trick.

Nielsen is the third Danish-born player to record a hat trick (and the second this season); Lars Eller had four goals for Montreal on 1-4-12 vs Winnipeg; Mikael Boedker tallied three times on 10-15-14 for Arizona vs. Edmonton.

The Shots:
Isles      8-13-8=29
Dallas  10-9-12=31

First to 12
The Isles remain all alone in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 12 points (two points ahead of Washington and New Jersey).

Home and Road
The Islanders are 6-2-0 overall, 3-1-0 at home and 3-1-0 on the road.

Dallas is 4-2-2 overall; 1-0-2 at home and 3-2-0 on the road.

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

The Isles won only three of their first 17 division games (3-11-3) last season.

Western Run
This was the first of eight consecutive games against the Western Conference.  The Isles are 1-0-0 in this stretch.

In the Nets
Chad Johnson made 26 saves as he improves to 3-0-0 on the season.

Anders Lindback made 22 saves for Dallas but falls to 0-2-0 on the season.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play while Dallas was 1-5.

The Isles have now allowed 8 power play goals on 27 times short (70.4% penalty killing efficiency). After converting on 6 of 14 power play attempts in their four straight wins, the power play is 1 for 16 in the last four games.

The Isles are 4-1-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 2-1-0 when they do not.  The Isles are 3-1-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 3-1-0 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 6-0-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 0-2-0 when they do not. 

One Goal Wonders
The Isles are now 3-0-0 in games decided by a single goal including 2-0-0 in regulation. They are 0-0 in games decided in overtime and are 1-0 in shootouts.  Tonight was the second game decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter.  The Isles are 1-1 in those games.

First Goal
The Isles are 4-2-0 when they score first and are 2-0-0 when they allow the opening goal. 

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 124-122-39 behind the Islander bench

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.    Al Arbour 1,500
2.    Jack Capuano 285
3.    Mike Milbury 191
4.    Terry Simpson 187
5.    Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.    Al Arbour 740
2.    Jack Capuano 124
3.    Terry Simpson 81
4.    Peter Laviolette 77
5.    Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Frans Nielsen: "I couldn't really celebrate because I didn't know if the last one counted. It's a pretty cool feeling."  Nielsen completed his hat trick at 19:59.9 of the third period.

They Tweeted It
@jbursk10 Frans Nielsen with a third period natural hat trick to continue the #Isles hot start #RockTheBarn
@PinkIsles I have to hand it to @Section_329 the yes chant caught on pretty well and it's awesome #Isles #YESYESYES
@SA3886 The Danish Prince strikes for a Hatty! Watch out #NHL, #Isles are going to make some noise this season..#5thRing
@M_Town_Missile Went to the #Isles game with a #Pirates @NewEraCap and left without one.  Frans Neilson with a hat trick pushed my hand.  #HatTrick

The Coach
“I liked the emotion on the bench. We were up by a couple then they got one back right away, but we stayed with it and we did a lot of good things.”

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
Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with 22:21 of ice-time while Trevor Daley led Dallas with 24:24.  Every Islander defenseman played at least 18 minutes.

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (4-1-0), Travis Hamonic (1-1-0) and John Tavares (1-0-0).

John Tavares led the Isles forwards with 17:01 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (3-2-0), Kyle Okposo (1-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), and Casey Cizikas (1-0-0).

In the Circle
The Islanders won 36 of 64 draws (56%). Casey Cizikas won 12 of 16 and Frans Nielsen won 13 of 20 for the Isles; Jason Spezza won 9 of 18 for Dallas.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles outhit Dallas 39-21.  Cal Clutterbuck led the Isles with seven hits while Brian Strait added six.  Three Stars each had three hits.

There were no fights, leaving the season total at two: Martin (1), Hamonic (1).

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 13 blocked shots; Lubomir Visnovsky and Brian Strait led the Isles with two.

For the Corsi Crowd
Mikhail Grabovski (+5) led the Isles in even-strength Corsi for the second straight game, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).  Grabovski also had a team-leading 65% of Corsi For events.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 326 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 ten games over all-time NHL .500 (1411-1401-450 in 3,262 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 260 consecutive regular season games, while Hickey has played 91 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Michael Grabner and Matt Carkner are on injured reserve while Travis Hamonic missed his second game with an upper body injury. Josh Bailey was added to the IR list after breaking his hand on Thursday. Eric

Boulton and Matt Donovan were scratched for the eighth straight game.

Mikhail Grabovski replaced Bailey in the lineup.

The Isles have lost 31 games this season due to injury. 

All-time Islander Leader Board:

John Tavares has:
•    139 goals (16th all-time, 6 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 8 behind Pierre Turgeon)
•    187 assists (16th all-time, 6 behind Pierre Turgeon and 62 behind Tomas Jonsson)
•    326 points (17th all-time, 5 behind Ziggy Palffy, 7 behind Tomas Jonsson and 14 behind Pierre Turgeon
•    358 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 23 behind Randy Wood)

Frans Nielsen has:
•    89 goals (35th all-time, 3 behind Travis Green)
•    173 assists (19th all-time, 2 behind Kenny Jonsson and 8 behind Ed Westfall)
•    262 points (23rd all-time and 2 behind Kyle Okposo)
•    455 games played (29th among Islander skaters all-time and 4 behind Trent Hunter)

Kyle Okposo has:
•    102 goals (26th all-time and 3 behind Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue)
•    162 assists (25th all-time, 1 behind Ziggy Palffy, 4 behind Jeff Norton and 5 behind Jean Potvin)
•    264 points (22nd all-time, 24 behind Ed Westfall)
•    398 games played (37th among Islander skaters all-time, 4 behind Jean Potvin and 13 behind Wayne Merrick)

Michael Grabner has:
•    82 goals (38th all-time, 2 behind Tomas Jonsson, 3 behind Frans Nielsen and 5 behind Butch Goring)

Josh Bailey has:
•    413 games played (34th among Islander skaters all-time and 9 behind Dave Langevin)

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0).

The Isles are 9-3-3 in their last 15 games with Dallas, dating back to a win on a Michael Peca overtime goal early in the 2001-02 season.  The Isles have won the last three games between the teams.

The teams will meet again on March 3rd in Dallas.

It Happened at the Coliseum:
11 years ago tonight (2003) – Mario Lemieux did not go -4 in a game very often, but he did on this night as the Isles pounded the future Penguin owner and his teammates 7-2 at the Coliseum. 

Trent Hunter and Mariusz Czerkawski each scored twice for the Isles; Sean Bergenheim added his first NHL goal. Hunter’s goals were his first in regular season play for the Isles; he had already scored in the 2002 playoffs against Toronto.

Also on this date: (2008) – The Isles throw a franchise-record 60 shots at Carolina’s Cam Ward, including a last-second penalty shot attempt by Doug Weight, but fall 4-3 to the Canes.

All-time, the Isles have played twelve October 25th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 5-6-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 3-2-0-1 after a 2-1 shootout loss to the St. John’s Ice Caps.  Jesse Graham had the regulation goal for Bridgeport, who scored five times in a nine-round shootout.  Kevin Poulin made 38 saves in the hockey game, but allowed six goals in the shootout.  The same two teams meet in Newfoundland again on Sunday.

Up Next
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28th— WINNIPEG AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Winnipeg Jets will make their final appearance at the Coliseum on Tuesday.

The Isles are 6-2-1 in nine games against the Jets since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg.  The teams split a pair of games last season, with the road team winning both games; Michael Grabner scored in overtime for the Isles’ win.

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.


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