Isles 6, Rangers 4
On a night that the Rangers won 41 of 61 draws, it was one of the 20 that the Islanders won which was the biggest play of the game. Cal Clutterbuck converted a Casey Cizikas faceoff win for the deciding goal with 88 seconds to play as the Islanders defeated the Rangers 6-4 before a sellout crowd of 18,006 at Madison Square Garden.
Five of the Islander goals were scored in a span of 1:55 in the first period and 27 seconds in the third. The Isles led 3-0 just 4:45 into play marking their earliest 3-goal lead in more than a decade (3 in first 2:57 on 10/20/2005 vs. Rangers).
The Isles move to 16 games over NHL-.500 for the first time this season as they complete a 6-1-0 road trip. The Isles are 10-2-1 in their last thirteen games, as they remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division, three points ahead of Pittsburgh. The Isles move within three points of the Rangers, and still have three games in hand on the Blueshirts.
02:50 NYI Johnny Boychuk (6) ASST: Josh Bailey (16), Kyle Okposo (35) 1 - 0 NYI
03:35 NYI Brock Nelson (22) ASST: John Tavares (28), Thomas Hickey (9) 2 - 0 NYI
04:45 NYI PPG - Kyle Okposo (17) ASST: Nick Leddy (27), Frans Nielsen (23) 3 - 0 NYI
11:16 NYR Oscar Lindberg (12) ASST: Eric Staal (24) 3 - 1 NYI
11:54 NYR Tanner Glass (3) ASST: Dominic Moore (7), Kevin Hayes (20) 3 - 2 NYI
13:14 NYI Johnny Boychuk (7) ASST: Anders Lee (19), Nick Leddy (28) 4 - 2 NYI
13:45 NYR Eric Staal (11) ASST: Dan Boyle (13), Viktor Stalberg (10) 4 - 3 NYI
11:39 NYR PPG - Derick Brassard (23) ASST: Keith Yandle (32), Derek Stepan (19) 4 - 4 Tie
18:32 NYI Cal Clutterbuck (12) ASST: Casey Cizikas (18) 5 - 4 NYI
18:59 NYI EN - Frans Nielsen (19) ASST: Nikolay Kulemin (10), Travis Hamonic (13) 6 - 4 NYI
An Islander defenseman has a point on 14 of the last 16 goals… Casey Cizikas has points in six of the last seven games …With two points, Kyle Okposo takes over the team lead in points (52). Okposo's next point will give him the 2ndhighest total of his career 69 in 2013-14…Jaroslav Halak recorded his 199thcareer win…Travis Hamonic played 27:34 and was +3. It's the most ice-time by an Islander who also went at least +3 since Mark Streit went +3 in Atlanta in 28:43 of ice-time on December 3, 2009…Eric Staal recorded his first goal and first assist as a Ranger. Staal also went 20-2 on draws, becoming the first NHL player since Jason Spezza (also 20-2) on 12/12/13 for Ottawa vs. Buffalo to win at least 20 draws, and at least 90% of his draws and the first to ever do so against the Isles…Johnny Boychuk recorded his first 2-goal game of his career; the Isles have won 15 straight games in which one of their defenseman has scored twice…Brock Nelson's goal was his first goal/point in eight games, and moves him within one goal of John Tavares for the team lead in goals...Three of Cal Clutterbuck's 12 goals this season (and 8 of 31 as an Islander) have been game-winners. It's the first time since January 12, 2014 (John Tavares @ Dallas) that the Isles have scored a go-ahead goal in the final 2 minutes of regulation…Kyle Okposo, Travis Hamonic, Anders Lee and Thomas Hickey all extended their point streaks to three games…The six Islander goals matched a season-high for a road game…Eighteen of Derick Brassard's 23 goals have come at MSG…Dan Boyle's assist on Eric Staal's goal was his 600th NHL point.
First Time in a Ridiculously Long Time
The Isles and Rangers combined for 7 first period goals. It was the most goals by the two teams in a single period since they combined for 8 goals, 7 by the Islanders, in the 2nd period on December 23, 1978 at the Coliseum. (Bryan Trottier had the only 6 point period in NHL history).
Moving On Up
Kyle Okposo played in his 511th game as an Islander; passing Mick Vukota for 24th place among Islander skaters…Frans Nielsen's empty-netter was his 118thIslander goal, tying Mark Parrish, Matt Moulson, and Steve Thomas for 21stplace on the Isles list.
Two Strong in Net
Both Thomas Greiss (18) and Jaroslav Halak (17) and now have at least 17 wins. It's the first time since the 1992-93 season (Glenn Healy-22 and Mark Fitzpatrick-17) that two Isles goalies have recorded 17 wins in the same season. St. Louis and Dallas are the only other NHL teams with two goalies with at least 16 wins this season.
The Captain's Countdown
John Tavares was held goalless for the 5th straight game. Tavares still has 197 career goals; with three more goals he will become only the 11th player in Islander history to record 200 goals.
The Isles killed 2 of 3 Ranger power plays. The penalty kill has allowed only 25 power play goals in 184 times short (86.4%). On the road, the Isles have allowed 15 goals in 94 times short (84.0%).
Most Points in The Post-Cup Era through 63 games
• 84 in 2014-15
• 79 in 2015-16
• 72 in 2001-02
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 19-8-4 on home-ice (42 points). In the past 28 years, the Isles have earned more than 42 points in the first 31 home games only twice (46 in first 31 at home last season and 44 in 31 in 2003-04).
The Isles have clinched an above NHL-.500 finish at home. It is the first time since 2005-06 and 2006-07 that the Isles have recorded successive home seasons above NHL-.500.
The Isles are 17-12-3 on the road this season. In the Post-Cup era, the Isles have earned more than 37 points in the first 32 road games only once (38 in first 33 on road last season).
The Isles went 6-1-0 on their 7-game road trip. The Isles won only six games combined on the first three 7-game trips in their history, but are 11-3-0 in 7-game trips over the last two seasons.
• 1981-82 (1-5-1)
• 2000-01 (2-3-2)
• 2009-10 (3-2-2)
• 2014-15 (5-2-0)
• 2015-16 (6-1-0)
This was also the seventh game of a stretch in which the Isles are playing 12 out of 14 games on the road for only the 2nd time in their history. From November 11 – December 9, 2009 (John Tavares' rookie season), the Isles went 5-7-2 in a stretch in which they played 12 of 14 on the road. However the Isles changed time zones only twice in that stretch (when they visited Winnipeg and St. Louis). The Isles will change time zones seven times during these trips.
19-Feb-16 @ Devils (Won 1-0)
23-Feb-16 @ Wild (Won 4-1)
25-Feb-16 @ Flames (Won 2-1 OT)
28-Feb-16 @ Oilers (Lost 3-1)
1-Mar-16 @ Canucks (Won 3-2)
3-Mar-16 @ Jets (Won 4-3 OT)
6-Mar-16 @ Rangers (Won 6-4)
8-Mar-16 Vs Penguins
9-Mar-16 @ Maple Leafs
12-Mar-16 @ Bruins
14-Mar-16 Vs Panthers
15-Mar-16 @ Penguins
17-Mar-16 @ Predators
19-Mar-16 @ Stars
The Rangers did not have a shot on goal in the first 10:10 of the game.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 36-20-7 overall; 19-8-4 at home and 17-12-3 on the road.
The Rangers are 38-22-6 overall; 23-7-3 at home and 15-15-3 on the road.
The Isles are 12-5-3 in Division games and are 24-15-4 in games against other divisions. They are 5-10-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 9-2-1 vs. the Central Division, and 10-3-1 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles are 33-11-3 since the start of last season against the Metropolitan Division.
How The West is Won
The Isles are 19-5-2 against the Western Conference, including 12-0-2 at home. The Isles have the most wins of any Eastern Conference team against the Western Conference (Tampa Bay is 15-9-2 and the Rangers are 15-8-2). Only 7 Western Conference teams have more wins against the West than the Isles do.
The Isles are guaranteed to finish with at least the 2nd-best record of an Eastern team vs. the West. (Washington is 13-4-2 and still has 9 games left against the West)
In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves to improve to 17-13-4 on the season with his third win of the season over the Rangers. Halak is 13-6-0 in his career against the Rangers.
Antti Raanta made 26 saves in his first career appearance against the Isles but falls to 75-2 on the season.
The Islanders were 1-3 on the power play, while the Rangers were also 1-3.
The Isles were 3-21 on the power play and killed 15 of 18 during the seven game road trip.
The Isles are 22-5-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 14-15-4 when they do not. The Isles are 11-9-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 25-11-5 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 30-3-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-17-7 when they do not. The Isles were 40-8-4 when they scored at least three goals (including SO winners) last season.
One Goal Games
The Isles are 15-6-7 in games decided by a single goal including 7-6-0 in regulation. They are 4-4 in games decided in overtime and are 4-3 in shootouts. The Isles are 6-4 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1 goal game into a 2-goal game.
The Isles are 24-5-3 when they score first and are 12-15-4 when they allow the opening goal.
Second to The One
Jack Capuano, the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history, is 201-168-53 behind the Islander bench. Among the 9 New York area teams, only the Yankees' Joe Girardi has led his team longer than Capuano.
Most games coached (Islanders):
1. Al Arbour 1,500
2. Jack Capuano 422
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 201
3. Terry Simpson 81
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74
Capuano is the 86th coach in NHL history to coach at least 400 games. His 201 wins is now tied-71st all-time with Craig Hartsburg. (Tied/69 – Gerry Cheevers and Todd Richards 204)
They Tweeted It
@PeteBlackburn Sick game-winning snipe & celly by Clutterbuck
@NyBaseball36 Wow did Cizikas just call that or what
@DisgustedNYer Johnny Boychuk was Johnny on the spot when he scored the Islanders' 4th goal to slow the Rangers' momentum. That had Isles to settle down.
The Isles are 2-4-4 on the front-end and 7-2-1 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The next back-to-back set will be on March 8th vs. Pittsburgh and March 9th in Toronto.
Tired vs. Rested
• The Isles are 3-1-0 when both teams played the night before.
• The Isles are 5-3-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not.
• The Isles are 4-1-1 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.
Isles: Travis Hamonic (27:34); Rangers: Keith Yandle (25:51)
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (21-4-4), Johnny Boychuk (5-3-0), Calvin deHaan (2-3-1), Nick Leddy (6-7-2), John Tavares (0-2-0), Tied (0-1-0)
John Tavares led the forwards with 19:27 of ice time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (24-16-6), Ryan Strome (2-0-0), Kyle Okposo (2-2-1), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (4-0-0), Josh Bailey (2-0-0), Tied (1-1-0).
Isles 20, Rangers 41 (33%). It's the first time since 12/9/2014 in Minnesota (Isles 20, Wild 44) that the Isles lost at least 21 more draws than they won
John Tavares won 8 of 16 for the Isles but his teammates won only 12 of 45; Eric Staal won 20 of 22 for the Rangers.
The Isles won fewer than 40% of the draws in each period, including only 5 of 18 in the third period.
The Isles won 16 of 51 draws at even strength, 2 of 4 on the power play and 2 of 6 on the penalty kill.
Isles 25, Rangers 38. Matt Martin led the Isles with five hits, extending his NHL-leading total to 300. It's the 4th time in his career that he has recorded 300 hits and the 13th time in NHL history a player has had at least 300 hits, tying Cal Clutterbuck's NHL-record for 300-hit seasons (Hits first recorded in 2005-06).
There were no fights. Season total – 18 (Martin-10, Bernier, Boychuk, Cizikas, Hamonic, Leddy, Lee, Okposo, Strait).
The Isles were credited with 14 blocked shots, including three from Brian Strait.
For the Corsi Crowd
All situations: Isles 60, Rangers 57. 5-on-5: Isles 50, Rangers 47.
The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
John Tavares led the Isles with a +11 5-on-5 Corsi rating; Tavares also had a club-leading 69% Corsi For percentage. Eric Staal led the Rangers with a +15 5-on-5 Corsi rating.
• Nikolay Kulemin -213 (68 for Maple Leafs and 145 for the Isles)
• Brock Nelson -198 (all for Isles)
• Anders Lee -139 (all for Isles)
Adam Pelech and Mikhail Grabovski are on injured reserve. Brian Strait and Marek Zidlicky replaced Calvin deHaan (injured) and Ryan Pulock in the lineup. Eric Boulton, Steve Bernier and Thomas Greiss were scratched.
The Isles have lost 151 games this season due to injury/illness.
Missing a Piece (or two)
The Isles are 13-15-2 over the last two seasons in games in which they are missing Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic or Nick Leddy, including 5-5-1 this season. They are 5-4-1, including 2-1-1 this season, when two of the three miss a game.
All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1. Bryan Trottier 1123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1060 *** 3. Bob Nystrom 900
12. Kenny Jonsson 597 *** 13. Garry Howatt 596 *** 14. John Tonelli 594 *** 15. Frans Nielsen 588 *** 16. Ken Morrow 550 *** 17. Duane Sutter 547 *** 18. Lorne Henning 543 *** 19. Josh Bailey 538 *** 20. Claude Lapointe 535 *** 21. Tomas Jonsson 532 *** 22. Pat LaFontaine 530 *** 23. Dave Lewis 514 *** 24.Kyle Okposo 511 *** 25. Mick Vukota 510 *** 26. Rich Pilon 509 *** 27. Ed Westfall 493***28. John Tavares 492
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310
9. Derek King 211 *** 10. John Tonelli 206*** 11. John Tavares 197
16. Mariusz Czerkawski 145 *** 17. Kyle Okposo 134 *** 18. Jason Blake 127 *** 19. Duane Sutter 121 *** 20. Alexei Yashin 119 ***
21. Frans Nielsen, Mark Parrish, Matt Moulson, and Steve Thomas 118
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 ***
11. Pat LaFontaine 279 *** 12. Bob Nystrom 278 *** 13. Billy Harris 259 *** 14.John Tavares 255*** 15. Tomas Jonsson 249***16. Kyle Okposo 222 ***
17. Frans Nielsen 221
25. Ziggy Palffy 163 *** 26. David Volek 154 *** 27. Josh Bailey 153
1. Bryan Trottier 1353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1052
10. Derek King 499 *** 11. Pat Flatley 488 *** 12. John Tavares 452 ***13. Billy Harris 443 ***14. Stefan Persson 369 *** 15. Kyle Okposo 356 ***
16. Pierre Turgeon 340 ***17. Frans Nielsen 339
24 Jason Blake & Steve Thomas 258 *** 26. David Volek 249 *** 27. Josh Bailey 245
Goalie Games Played
1. Billy Smith 675 *** 2. Rick DiPietro 318***3. Glenn Resch 282
9. Garth Snow 127***10. Evgeni Nabokov 123***11. Chris Osgood 103***12.Jaroslav Halak 94
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157***3. Rick DiPietro 130
6. Glenn Healy 66***7. Tommy Salo 62***8. Evgeni Nabokov 57***9. Jaroslav Halak 55
1. Glenn Resch 25***2. Billy Smith 22***3. Rick DiPietro 19***4. Tommy Salo 14***
5. Evgeni Nabokov & Jaroslav Halak 9
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 3 games to 0 and 4 points to 1.
The Isles are 6-2-0 in the last 8 against the Rangers and are 6-1-0 in their last seven trips to the Garden.
The final regular season meeting will be on April 7th at MSG.
On The Farm
Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson recorded his 100th win behind the bench Sunday afternoon as the Sound Tigers improved to 31-22-3-3 on the season with a 3-2 win over Hartford. The Sound Tigers, who also beat Providence on Friday, are off until Friday when they visit Syracuse.
TUESDAY, MARCH 8th– PITTSBURGH AT ISLANDERS 7:30PM
[NBCSN (Pre-game at 7:00), 91.5 WNYE-FM, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles head home for just a single game as they welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to Brooklyn for the first time.
The teams have met just once this season, with Pittsburgh recording a 5-2 win at CONSOL Energy Center to kick off 2016, but that is Pittsburgh's only win in the last five meetings between the teams. The Isles, who swept a pair of Coliseum games last season, will be looking for their longest home winning streak vs. the Pens since a 4-game streak in 2006 and 2007.
Three of the Isles' next 14 games will be against the Penguins.
Howie and Butch have the night off; Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire will call the game, which is the 3,400th regular season game in Islander history, for NBCSN.
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.