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The Skinny - Islanders top Flyers 1-0 in SO

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 52

Isles 1, Flyers 0 (SO)

The Islanders are back to NHL-.500! Evgeni Nabokov made 45 saves for his 305th career win and the Islanders got shootout goals from Frans Nielsen and John Tavares as they blanked the Flyers 1-0 in front of 19,614 at the Wells Fargo Center. The Isles are 3-0-1 since the All-Star break, 3-0-2 in their last five and 6-1-2 in their last nine games. The win leaves the Isles nine points behind 8th-place Ottawa; the Isles also hold four games in hand over the Senators. 

The Scoring:

First Period
- None

Second Period - None

Third Period - None

Overtime - None

The Shootout:
Frans Nielsen – goal
Daniel Briere – no goal
John Tavares - goal
Wayne Simmonds- no goal

The Skinny: The Islanders have reached .500 (after February 1st) for the first time since they were 32-32-7 through 71 games of the 2007-08 campaign. It’s the first scoreless game to be decided by a shootout in Islanders history and the seventh time the Isles have played a scoreless game. The Isles have won consecutive games in Philadelphia after having not won in Philly since 2007. The Flyers completed a three-game set against the Devils, Rangers and Islanders without leading at any point in the three games.

Scoreless 60’s (or 65’s)

18-Oct-77    Vs    Los Angeles (no OT)
12-Feb-80    Vs    Winnipeg (no OT)
2-Mar-80    @    Pittsburgh (no OT)
9-Dec-89    Vs    New York  (OT)
1-Dec-00    @    New Jersey (OT)
24-Feb-04    Vs    Boston (OT)
8-Feb-12    @    Philadelphia (W SO)

The Isles are now 1-0-6 all-time in scoreless games.

The Shots
The Flyers outshot the Isles 10-7 in the first period, 15-7 in the second period, 16-3 in the third period and 4-1 in overtime. For the game, the Isles were outshot 45-18. The 45 shots are the 2nd-highest total allowed by the Islanders this season; Colorado had 51 on November 11.  The 27-shot differential is the worst against the Islanders since December 27, 2010 (NYR 52, NYI 20); the last time that the Isles were outshot by at least 27 shots and won was on November 23, 2009 (Tor 61, NYI 21).

Shots in a Shutout

Evgeni Nabokov’s 45 saves are the most in an Islanders shutout since Glenn Healy stopped 51 Canucks shots on January 16, 1990.

Shootout Stuff
Nielsen is 20 of 34 (58.8%) in career shootout attempts. He has regained first place in NHL history ahead of Slava Kozlov (58.7%) and Trevor Linden (58.3%) on the all-time shootout list (minimum 12). Nielsen is 4 of 7 in the shootout this season and three of the goals have been game-deciding goals.

The Isles are now 6-8 in OT/SO shots (total) in overtime prior to tonight. John Tavares, who would have been the Isles’ third shooter on Saturday, connected on just his third attempt of the season.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 22-22-8 overall and are 11-11-3 on the road. The Isles are 3-0-2 in their last five games; it is the second time this season that they have had a point streak of at least five games (six games in late November/early December). They regain NHL-.500 for the first time since they were 3-3-0. The Isles are also 11-6-1 on the road in their last 18 road games after opening the season 0-5-2 on the road.

The Flyers are 30-16-7 overall and 12-8-5 at home. Philadelphia is winless in the last three games; it’s their longest winless streak of the season.

NHL .500 x 3
The Isles are at NHL .500 overall (22-22-8), at home (11-11-5) and on the road (11-11-3).  Their 25 road points equal their highest total through 25 games since 2001-02, when they had 30.

Back in the Race
The Isles have 52 points in 52 games, good for 11th place in the East. They are nine points behind Ottawa, who holds eighth place - however, the Sens have played four more games.  The Islanders also have three games to play with Ottawa, including two later this month.

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 45 saves as he recorded his 2nd shutout of the season and 52nd of his career. It is the most saves Nabokov has recorded as an Islander (career high is 50 in 2010 vs. Detroit), and the most he has ever recorded in a shutout. It’s the third time in his career Nabokov has played a scoreless game that was settled in a shootout (2-1). He is 12-12-0 on the season. It is his 305th career victory, tying Islanders legend Billy Smith for 22nd place on the all-time list. Nabokov has allowed only one goal in two appearances since the All-Star Game.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 18 saves for the Flyers; he is 19-11-6 this season.

Shutout City
This was the Islanders’ fifth shutout in Philadelphia, but their first in Philly since February 12, 2002. It is the eighth time that the Isles have shut out the Flyers. The Flyers are credited with their 13th shutout against the Islanders.

Finally a 1-0 Win
It’s the Islanders’ first 1-0 win since February 21, 2008 vs. Tampa Bay and their first on the road since November 16, 2007 in New Jersey. The Isles had lost eight consecutive 1-0 games, including earlier this season at home to the Devils.

Shutout Streaks
•    The Islanders have not scored a goal in 112:43 (since Frans Nielsen’s first-period tally vs. Buffalo).
•    The Islanders have not allowed a goal in 78:14 (since Paul Gaustad’s first-period tally).
•    Evgeni Nabokov’s personal shutout streak is 82:48 (since Jason Smith’s goal on Friday in Ottawa).

Rude Guests
The Islanders have recorded two shutouts on the road for the first time since 2003-04.

Leaning on #91
John Tavares has 53 points (22-31-53) on 120 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 pointless in three games to start February after having 22 points on 35 Islanders goals in January.

A Shootout Winner
The Islanders are 6-2 in their last eight games that have gone beyond 60 minutes (2-1 in overtime; 4-1 in shootouts). The Isles have played five OT/SO games since January 21, winning three (3-0-2).

Power Plays
The Islanders went 0-3 on the power play while the Flyers were also 0-3. The Isles entered the game with the NHL’s sixth-best power play. The Isles are 5-22 in the last nine games on the power play and 11-44 in the last 17 games on the power play.

The Isles have killed 23-24 (95.8%) over the last 11 games, 43-45 (95.6%) over the last 19 games and 47-50 (94.0%) over the last 23 games, dating back to December 16. 
The Flyers’ three power plays ended a five-game streak in which the Islanders were short-handed two times or fewer in each game. It’s the first time the Islanders have gone more than three games without being penalized three times since at least the 1980s.

They Said It
An excited Howie Rose after the final shootout save: “Evgeni Nabokov has stolen the hockey game for the New York Islanders.”

They Tweeted It
@AaronNess: “Thanks for all the support everyone. I had a great time out there.”

The Coach
"I thought (Nabokov) was great. The third period was a key period for them. We lost Dylan Reese in the second, we're down to five defensemen, (Milan) Jurcina is out, we've got Travis Hamonic out. We couldn't establish our forecheck to get any zone time, we didn't execute on our breakouts. They had a ton of shots in the third and they really tilted the ice, but Nabby made some key saves for us. No question about that."

Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald led the Isles with 29:19 (including 10:36 in the third period); Matt Carle led Philadelphia with 25:41. It’s the sixth straight game that A-Mac has led the Isles in ice-time. 

In the Circle
The Islanders won 25 draws; Philadelphia won 36. Frans Nielsen won 10 of 19 for the Isles; Maxime Talbot won 10 of 13 for the Flyers.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders were out-hit 34-27. NHL hits leader Matt Martin had nine hits, raising his total to 241. 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 380 hits, which would be the highest total of any NHL player since the work stoppage. Zac Rinaldo had six hits for Philadelphia.

Lots of Blocks
The Isles were credited with 24 blocks, led by Mark Eaton’s five. For the second straight game, 13 different Isles had at least one.

Third Periods
Like the game, the third period was scoreless. The Isles have been outscored 56-38 overall in the third period (45-31 excluding empty nets). In the first two periods, the Isles have been outscored 86-82. 

Final 4 to Go
The Isles have scored 9,996 goals in their history (excluding 43 shootout winners), leaving the club 4 shy of 10,000.

All-time Winners
The Islanders improve to five games over all-time NHL .500 (1335-1330-429 in 3,094 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 49 goals in their other 30 games (0-22-8; 1.63 per game). In their 22 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 27 goals (1.22 per game).

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 174 career points; he is 28 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 23 goals this season; John Tavares has earned assists on 15 of them. He has now been on ice for 47 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 31 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa. 

MOT-ley Crew?
Since being put together 18 games ago, Matt Moulson is 7-11-18, Kyle Okposo is 6-9-15, and John Tavares is 10-16-26. 

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 seven goals away from a third consecutive 30-goal season; no Islander since Ziggy Palffy has accomplished that feat. Moulson has 84 goals as an Islander – the most by any Islander since the work stoppage.

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)

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 216 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 30 years to appear in 200 consecutive games:
•    Richard Park 10/5/2006 – 2/18/2009 221
•    Bryan McCabe 10/7/95-2/4/98 220
•    Bryan Trottier 3/7/81- 1/12/84 219
•    Matt Moulson 10/3/2009-CURRENT  216
•    Mariusz Czerkawski 12/23/99 – 4/14/2002 215

Billy Harris played in the first 576 games in Islanders history; that figure still stands as the club record.

Hamonic’s Streak Ends
Travis Hamonic’s consecutive-game streak ended tonight at 113 games; he had the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.  Mark Streit is now the only Islanders defender to appear in every game this season.
Hamonic’s streak ends as the sixth-longest streak by a defenseman in Islanders history.

1.    Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979  262
2.    Bryan McCabe 10/7/95-2/4/98 220
3.    Gerry Hart 3/1/75-11/22/77 198
4.    Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136
5.    Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134
6.    Travis Hamonic 11/24/10 – 2/4/12 113
7.    Jean Potvin 10/23/75-1/2/77 110
8.    Kenny Jonsson 12/26/96-2/4/98 104

Like Hamonic, McCabe and Morrow’s streaks came at the start of their NHL careers. Both Niinimaa’s streak and McCabe’s streak encompassed their entire Islanders careers.

Missing Men
Travis Hamonic (broken nose), Milan Jurcina (elbow laceration) and Brian Rolston (healthy) were scratched. Marty Reasoner, Mike Mottau, Rick DiPietro, and Mark Katic are on injured reserve. The Isles have lost 254 man-games to injury so far this season. Al Montoya dressed as the back-up goaltender. 

NHL Debut
Aaron Ness played 14:25 in his NHL debut, wearing no. 55. Ness was selected 40th overall in 2008 - using a draft pick that the Isles acquired when they swapped picks in the first round of that draft. Ness is in his first professional season.

Reese Hurt
Dylan Reese was injured in the second period and did not return.

List Time
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 643
2. Roberto Luongo 330
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 327
4. Evgeni Nabokov  305
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 299

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     84
33    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     289
61    Gord Dineen     287
62    Jeff Norton     282
63    Steve Thomas    275
64    Josh Bailey     263
65    Blake Comeau     261
65    Andre St. Laurent     261
74    Miroslav Satan    243
75    Bryan Berard    242
76    Kyle Okposo     241
77    JP Parise    240
78    Adrian Aucoin     235
88    Andy Hilbert    218
89    Matt Moulson     216
90    John Tavares     213
91    Paul Boutilier     211
92    Gary Nylund     209
93    Mark Streit     208
94    Tom Fitzgerald     205

Career Points as an Islander
39    Lorne Henning     184
40    John Tavares     174
41    Randy Wood     172
50    Roman Hamrlik    153
51    Matt Moulson     147
52    Frans Nielsen     145
53    Kyle Okposo     144
54    Michael Peca     142
Season Series Stats
The Islanders have evened the season series two games to two (and five points to five). The road team has won the first four meetings.

Happy Anniversary
5 years ago Tuesday (2/7/07):  Rick DiPietro made 27 saves as the Islanders blanked the Flyers 3-0 at the Coliseum.

All-time, the Isles are 7-8-3 on this date, although this was just their third win in their last 12 games (3-7-2) since a win in 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 share first place with the Connecticut Whale. Casey Cizikas continues to be red hot; he now has points in eight straight games and 15 of the last 16.

Up Next
[MSG+2 (Islanders Game Night at 6:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]

The Islanders begin a three-game in four-day homestand when they host the Canadiens on Thursday. It’s the third meeting of the season between the squads, with each owning a home-ice victory.

The Islanders own three victories in the last four games between the squads and also own three wins in the last four Coliseum meetings.

If the Islanders can win on Thursday, they will go over .500 (after February 1) for the first time since they were 32-31-7 through 70 games of the 2007-08 campaign.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islanders 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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