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The Skinny - Islanders lose to Montreal 4-2

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 53

Montreal 4, Isles 2

Max Pacioretty completed his first career hat trick into an empty net as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Islanders 4-2 in front of 12,312 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The loss drops the Isles ten points behind 8th-place Toronto.

The Scoring:

First Period
01:23 MTL Max Pacioretty (20) - ASST: E. Cole (21)

2nd Period
09:30 MTL Max Pacioretty (21) - ASST: D. Desharnais (27)

3rd Period
09:50 MTL PPG - Scott Gomez (1) - ASST: R. Diaz (13) AND C. Campoli (3)
17:19 NYI PPG - Matt Moulson (24) - ASST: J. Tavares (32) AND P. Parenteau (37)
18:07 NYI Mark Streit (4) - ASST: K. Okposo (17)
19:59 MTL EN - Max Pacioretty (22) - ASST: T. Plekanec (26)

The Skinny: The Isles are 3-1-1 since the All-Star break, 3-1-2 in their last six and 6-2-2 in their last 10 games. The Islanders drop below .500 one game after achieving .500 for the first time (after February 1st) since they were 32-32-7 through 71 games of the 2007-08 campaign. Moulson’s power play goal was the Islanders first in 170:02; he leads the team with 9 PP goals.  John Tavares earned his 100th career assist on the play, becoming the 47th player to record 100 assists in an Islander uniform. Streit’s goal was his 3rd in 10 career games against the Canadiens. Pacioretty is the first Canadien to record a hat trick against the Islanders since Brian Savage had a 4-goal game in 1998.

The Shots
The shots were 10-10 in the first period. The Isles outshot Montreal 14-11 in the second period but were outshot 11-9 in the third. For the game, the Isles outshot Montreal 33-32.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 22-23-8 overall and are 11-12-5 at home. The loss ends an Islanders five-game point streak (second-longest of the season - six games in late November/early December).

The Canadiens are 22-24-9 overall and 11-13-2 on the road.  Montreal has won three straight for the first time since a four-game win streak in October.

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 28 saves but falls to 12-13-0 on the season. He remains tied with Islanders legend Billy Smith for 22nd place on the all-time wins list (305). Nabokov has allowed only four goals in three appearances since the All-Star Game.

Carey Price made 31 saves for the Canadiens; he is 20-19-8 this season. It’s the fourth time in his NHL career he has won at least 20 games.

Shutout Streaks Ended
•    Moulson’s goal was the Islanders first goal in 170:02 (since Frans Nielsen’s first period tally vs. Buffalo).
•    Pacioretty’s first goal was the first allowed by the Islanders in 79:37 (since Paul Gaustad’s first period tally) and the first against Nabokov in 84:11 (since Jason Smith’s goal on Friday in Ottawa).

Leaning on #91
John Tavares has 54 points (22-32-54) on 122 Islanders goals this season (44%). No Islander since Zigmund Palffy has recorded points on over 40% of the team’s goals in a complete season. Tavares is 0-1-1 in four games in February after having 22 points on 35 Islanders goals in January.

Power Plays
The Islanders went 1-2 on the power play while the Canadiens were 1-1. The Isles entered the game with the NHL’s sixth best power play. The Isles are 6-24 in the last 10 games on the power play and 12-46 in the last 18 games on the power play.
The Isles have killed 23-25 (92.0%) over the last 12 games, 43-46 (93.5%) over the last 20 games and 47-51 (92.2%) over the last 24 games, dating back to Dec. 16.

They Said It
PA Parenteau: "It's really frustrating, obviously. We gave up a goal on the first shot again. That means we weren't ready. I think it was the 10th time this year we did that so it hurts us. It takes a lot of momentum away from us and it's tough when it happens, but we're going to move on and think about the weekend."

They Tweeted It
@StapeNewsday: And there you have it: Scott Gomez's first goal since Feb. 5, 2011.

The Coach
"You knew it was going to be a night where you had to get second and third opportunities on (Carey Price). He made some key saves, especially on the power play in the second period. We had some chances."

No Shot on First Shot
Pacioretty scored on the Canadiens’ first shot on goal. It’s the 10th time this season the Isles have allowed a goal on the first shot (Pavelski/SJ, Pouliot/@BOS, Rome/@VAN, Crosby/@PIT, Meszaros/PHI, St.Louis/TB, Jackman/CGY, Doan/@PHX, Kostisyn/NSH, Pacioretty/Mtl). The Isles are 2-6-2 when allowing a goal on the first shot (2-2-2 at home and 0-4-0 on the road) and 6-20-3 when allowing the first goal.

Scoring Early and Late
The Isles have allowed two hat tricks this season. In both cases, the opponent (Shane Doan and Max Pacioretty) scored on his team’s first shot and then added an empty-net goal in the final second to complete the hat trick.

Leading Ice Men
Mark Streit led the Isles with 25:50; Josh Gorges led Montreal with 23:08. It’s the first time in seven games that Andrew MacDonald did not lead the Isles in ice time.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 28 draws; Montreal won 39. Josh Bailey won 8 of 19 for the Isles; Tomas Plekanec won 16 of 24 for the Canadiens.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders were out-hit 28-24. NHL hits leader Matt Martin had four hits, raising his total to 245. Martin, who had a club record 299 hits last season (hits have only been recorded since 2005-06) leads the NHL in hits by a wide margin. He is on a pace to have 379 hits, which would be the highest total of any NHL player since the work stoppage. Louis Leblanc had four hits for Montreal.

Lots of Blocks
The Isles were credited with 16 blocks, led by Milan Jurcina’s six. Jurcina was also credited with four shots on goal and two hits.

Tough Night
John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Andrew MacDonald were all -3.

Third Periods
Each team scored twice in the third period. The Isles have been outscored 58-40 overall in the third period (46-33 excluding empty nets). In the first two periods, the Isles have been outscored 88-82.

Down to a Pair
The Isles have scored 9,998 goals in their history (excluding 43 shootout winners), leaving the club two shy of 10,000.

All-time Winners
The Islanders are four games over all-time NHL .500 (1335-1331-429 in 3,095 games). The Isles have twice this season been one game below .500. Prior to this season, they had not been below NHL .500 since they were 177-178-83 prior to their victory on January 16, 1978.

The Isles have scored 73 goals in their 22 wins (3.32 per game) and 51 goals in their other 31 games (0-23-8; 1.61 per game). In their 23 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 29 goals (1.27 per game).

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 175 career points; he is 29 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks. No other player in that draft is anywhere close. (Duchene suffered a knee injury in late December and has not yet resumed skating).
Longest Point Streaks in NHL, Last two Seasons
•    Sidney Crosby, 25 games (11/5/10-12/28/10)
•    John Tavares, 12 games (12/29/11-1/21/12)
•    Ilya Kovalchuk 12 games (2/1/11-2/25/11)

Friends, Friends, Friends
Moulson has 24 goals this season; John Tavares has earned assists on 16 of them. He has now been on ice for 48 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 32 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa Bay.

MOT-ley Crew?
Since being put together 19 games ago, Matt Moulson is 8-11-19, Kyle Okposo is 6-9-15, and John Tavares is 10-17-27. The Isles are 11-6-2 in those games.

20-20-20, 30-30-30?

Matt Moulson is the first Islander since Jason Blake (4 seasons: 2002-03 to 2006-07) to have at least three consecutive 20-goal seasons. He is six goals away from a third consecutive 30-goal season; no Islander since Ziggy Palffy has accomplished that feat. In fact, no Islander since Palffy has had three consecutive 25-goal seasons.  Moulson has 85 goals as an Islander – the most by any Islander since the lockout.

20-20-20 x 2
Moulson and Tavares are the first Islanders teammates to record at least 20 goals in three straight seasons since Mark Parrish and Jason Blake did so in 2002-03, 2003-04, and 2005-06. Tavares, by the way, is the fifth player to score at least 20 goals for the Islanders in each of his first three NHL seasons, joining:
•    Billy Harris (first six seasons: 1972-73 through 1977-78)
•    Clark Gillies (five: 1974-75 through 1978-79)
•    Bryan Trottier (13: 1975-76 through 1987-88)
•    Mike Bossy (all 10 seasons: 1977-78 through 1986-87)

As Seen on MSG+2
John Tavares recorded his 100th career assist on the Moulson goal. He is the second-youngest Islander to record 100 assists:
•    Bryan Trottier - 20 years, 238 days
•    John Tavares - 21 years, 142 days
•    Denis Potvin - 21 years, 361 days
•    Brent Sutter - 22 years, 217 days

As Seen on MSG+2 (x2)
Evgeni Nabokov’s 45 saves Tuesday were the second-highest total in an Islanders shutout victory:

1.    Glenn Healy (51) 1-16-1990 vs. Vancouver
2.    Evgeni Nabokov (45) 2-7-2012 @ Philadelphia
3.    Joey MacDonald (42) 3-27-2009 @ Detroit
4.    Yann Danis (40) 2-21-2009 vs. New Jersey

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 217 games since joining the team. Moulson’s streak is the longest for an Islander since Richard Park played in 221 games from October 2006- February 2009.  Moulson is one of only five Islanders in the last thirty years to appear in 200 consecutive games:

•    Richard Park 10/5/2006 – 2/18/2009 221
•    Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220
•    Bryan Trottier 3/7/1981- 1/12/1984 219
•    Matt Moulson 10/3/2009-CURRENT  217
•    Mariusz Czerkawski 12/23/1999 – 4/14/2002 215

Billy Harris played in the first 576 games in Islanders history; that figure still stands as the club record. Mark Streit is the only Islanders defender to appear in every game this season.

Missing Men
Travis Hamonic (broken nose), Dylan Reese (knee) and Brian Rolston (healthy) were scratched. Marty Reasoner, Mike Mottau, Rick DiPietro and Mark Katic are on injured reserve.  The Isles have lost 260 man-games to injury so far this season.  Al Montoya dressed as the back-up. 

List Time
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 643
2. Roberto Luongo 331
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 327
4. Evgeni Nabokov  305
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 300

Career Wins
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov 305
22. Billy Smith 305

Most First Goals of Game (NHL This Season)
1    Matt Moulson     9
2    Evander Kane     7
2    Loui Eriksson    7

Career Goals as an Islander
32    Butch Goring     87
33    Matt Moulson     85
34    Tomas Jonsson     84
35    Wayne Merrick     81
35    Dave Scatchard     81
37    Marty McInnis    79
38    Miroslav Satan    78
39    Claude Lapointe    76
40    John Tavares     75
41    Lorne Henning    73
41    JP Parise     73
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
58    Arron Asham     300
58    Roman Hamrlik     300
60    Frans Nielsen     290
61    Gord Dineen     287
62    Jeff Norton     282
63    Steve Thomas    275
64    Josh Bailey     264
65    Blake Comeau     261
65    Andre St. Laurent     261
74    Miroslav Satan    243
75    Kyle Okposo     242
75    Bryan Berard    242
77    JP Parise    240
88    Andy Hilbert    218
89    Matt Moulson     217
90    John Tavares     214
91    Paul Boutilier     211
92    Mark Streit     209
92    Gary Nylund     209
94    Tom Fitzgerald     205

Career Points as an Islander
39    Lorne Henning     184
40    John Tavares     175
41    Randy Wood     172
50    Roman Hamrlik    153
51    Matt Moulson     148
52    Frans Nielsen     145
52    Kyle Okposo     145
54    Michael Peca     142
Season Series Stats
The Canadiens lead the season series 2 games to one (and four points to two).  The teams will conclude the season series in Montreal on St. Patrick’s Day.

Happy Anniversary
2 years ago Thursday night (2-9-10): Matt Martin had two assists in his first NHL game and John Tavares scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout as the Islanders edged Nashville 4-3 at the Coliseum.

All-time, the Isles are 3-8-1 on this date, having won just once in eight games since 1985.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are off until Saturday, when they host Springfield. Bridgeport is 11-1-0-1 in their last 13 games and trail the Connecticut Whale by two points. Casey Cizikas continues red hot; he now has points in eight straight games and 15 of the last 16.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 12:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]

The Islanders will honor Kenny Jonsson and induct him into the team’s Hall of Fame before they entertain the Kings in the only meeting of the season between the squads.
The teams met just once last season and Al Montoya shut the Kings out, stopping 35 shots as the Isles earned their first home-ice win over the Kings since 1998.
That Montoya shutout is the Islanders only victory over Los Angeles since the work stoppage. The Kings have won the other six games, including once in a shootout.

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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