Pittsburgh 3, Isles 1 Evgeni Malkin scored a 5-on-3 goal to tie the game and then set up Patric Hornqvist for the winning goal on the power play 55 seconds later as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat the Isles 3-1 before a sellout crowd of 18,655 at Consol Energy Center. The loss ended the Isles’ season-opening 4-game winning streak. The Scoring: 1ST PERIOD 05:46 NYI Thomas Hickey (1) ASST: Ryan Strome (5), Brock Nelson (4) 1 - 0 NYI 2ND PERIOD 13:49 PIT PPG - Evgeni Malkin (2) ASST: Sidney Crosby (4), Patric Hornqvist (4) 1 - 1 Tie 14:44 PIT PPG - Patric Hornqvist (3) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (5), Kris Letang (4) 2 - 1 PIT 3RD PERIOD 18:40 PIT EN - Patric Hornqvist (4) ASST: Chris Kunitz (3), Sidney Crosby (5) 3 - 1 PIT
The Skinny: The Isles have six goals from their defense in the first five games; they had only 23 goals from the defense all last season. … John Tavares and Kyle Okposo each were held without a point for the first time this season…Sidney Crosby recorded two assists, giving him 500 career assists (in 554 games). Crosby is the sixth fastest player in NHL history to reach 500 assists, trailing only Wayne Gretzky (352), Mario Lemieux (433), Peter Stastny (507), Bobby Orr (522) and Peter Forsberg (551)… The loss ended the Isles’ 4-game winning streak this season (and seven straight going back to last season)… Despite the loss, the Isles are still tied for 1st place in the Metropolitan Division …All four of Ryan Strome’s assists before tonight had come in the third period…Patric Hornqvist is 4-4-8 in his first four games with the Pens; not bad for the last player chosen in 2005 Entry Draft.
The Shots: Isles 10-8-17=35 Penguins 16-11-11=38
Home and Road The Islanders are 4-1-0 overall, 2-0-0 at home and 2-1-0 on the road. Pittsburgh is 3-1-0 overall; 2-1-0 at home and 1-0-0 on the road.
By Division The Isles are 3-1-0 in Division games and are 1-0-0 in games against other divisions. They are 0-0-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 0-0-0 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.
In the Nets Jaroslav Halak made 35 saves but falls to 3-1-0 on the season. He is now 3-4-0 in his career against Pittsburgh.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves for Pittsburgh as he improves to 3-1-0 on the season and 20-7-3 in his career against the Islanders. He now has 291 career wins.
Power Plays The Islanders were 0-7 on the power play while Pittsburgh was 2-4. The Isles failed on a 1:26 5-on-3 in the second period before Pittsburgh tied the game on their own 5-on-3.
A late Penguin penalty gave the Isles a 7th power play attempt; the Isles fall to 0-10-1 in their last 11 games when having at least seven power play attempts without scoring dating back to a 2-1 SO win over Toronto in March, 2006.
The Isles have now allowed 7 power play goals on 17 times short (58.9% penalty killing efficiency).
The Isles are 4-0-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 0-1-0 when they do not. The Isles are 3-1-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 1-0-0 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 4-0-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 0-1-0 when they do not.
First Goal The Isles are 2-1-0 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 122-121-39 behind the Islander bench
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 282 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 122 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It Frans Nielsen, on Downie hit: "I didn’t see him coming but it didn’t hurt too much so I was fine."
Thomas Hickey: “You’re not going to win every game and I just don’t think we had it from the start... We were right there, but we couldn’t execute like we normally do and it ended up being a loss”
They Tweeted It @miss__scarlet I'm interested in seeing how this team, what looks like a better team, responds to a game where they were flat. #isles @SoulFooder Thomas Hickey trending on Twitter. NY is an Islanders town. #ThomasHockey @rnfjohnston Downie/Hamonic is one of those situations where instigator rule doesn't make sense. Exception when after a penalized charge/boarding etc?
The Coach “I didn’t really see (the Downie hit)…Frans didn’t come back to the bench and didn’t say anything to us. But Travis did the right thing. … I thought it was a clean hit.” (h/t Seth Rorabaugh)
“You could see the execution was down [on the power play], but give [Pittsburgh] credit for killing them. If you don’t score on a five-on-three, it’s a turning point in a game.”
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 24:23 of ice-time while Kris Letang led Pittsburgh with 23:39. Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (2-1-0), Travis Hamonic (1-0-0) and John Tavares (1-0-0).
John Tavares led the Isles with 23:59 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (2-1-0), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), and Casey Cizikas (1-0-0).
In the Circle The Islanders won 29 of 63 draws (46%). Frans Nielsen won 9 of 14 for the Isles; Marcel Goc won 9 of 12 for Pittsburgh.
Heavy Hitters The Isles outhit Pittsburgh 36-28. Matt Martin led the Isles with eight hits while Johnny Boychuk added six. Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang each had five hits for Pittsburgh. Travis Hamonic fought Steve Downie in the third period after Downie was called for charging (Frans Nielsen). It was the Islanders’ second fight of the season: Martin (1), Hamonic (1).
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 11 blocked shots; Frans Nielsen was the only Islander to have as many as two.
For the Corsi Crowd Calvin deHaan (+6) led the Isles in even-strength Corsi, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks). deHaan also had a team-leading 60% of Corsi For events.
Head of the Class Islander Captain John Tavares has 324 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 fall to nine games over all-time NHL .500 (1409-1400-450 in 3,259 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 257 consecutive regular season games, while Hickey has played 88 consecutive regular season Islander games.
Missing Men Lubomir Visnovsky, Michael Grabner, and Matt Carkner are all out on injured reserve. Mikhail Grabovski was also out injured and was replaced in the lineup by Colin McDonald. Eric Boulton and Matt Donovan were scratched for the fifth straight game.
The Isles have lost 19 games this season due to injury.
All-time Islander Leader Board: John Tavares has: • 138 goals (16th all-time, 7 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 9 behind Pierre Turgeon) • 186 assists (16th all-time, 7 behind Pierre Turgeon and 63 behind Tomas Jonsson) • 324 points (17th all-time, 7 behind Ziggy Palffy, 9 behind Tomas Jonsson and 16 behind Pierre Turgeon • 355 games played (43rd among Islander skaters all-time, 26 behind Randy Wood)
Frans Nielsen has: • 85 goals (36th all-time, 2 behind Butch Goring and 7 behind Travis Green) • 172 assists (19th all-time, 3 behind Kenny Jonsson and 9 behind Ed Westfall) • 257 points (25th all-time, 1 behind Jason Blake & Steve Thomas and 4 behind Kyle Okposo) • 452 games played (29th among Islander skaters all-time and 8 behind Trent Hunter)
Kyle Okposo has: • 101 goals (tied-26th all-time with Anders Kallur and 4 behind Ed Westfall & Benoit Hogue) • 160 assists (25th all-time, 3 behind Ziggy Palffy, 6 behind Jeff Norton and 7 behind Jean Potvin) • 261 points (22nd all-time, 27 behind Ed Westfall) • 395 games played (38th among Islander skaters all-time, and 2 behind David Volek)
Michael Grabner has: • 82 goals (38th all-time, 2 behind Tomas Jonsson, 3 behind Frans Nielsen and 5 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has: • 411 games played (tied-34th among Islander skaters all-time with Wayne Merrick and 11 behind Dave Langevin)
Season Series Stats The Penguins lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0). The Isles are 1-7-1 in their last nine games against Pittsburgh in regular season play. The teams will next meet November 14th -15th, playing on Friday in Pittsburgh and Saturday in Long Island.
Pittsburgh is the only opponent that the Isles will visit three times. After a January 16th Coliseum meeting, the teams will meet in Pittsburgh in the penultimate game of the regular season on April 10th.
It Happened at the Coliseum: 13 years ago tonight (2001): Rookie Radek Martinek scored his first NHL goal, in overtime, as the Islanders improved to 6-0-0-1 on the season with a 2-1 victory over Carolina. The 13 points in seven games marked the best start in club history, beating the 6-1-0 1982-83 squad.
The Islanders, who had defeated the Canes 4-0 in Carolina the previous night jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a first period goal by Mark Parrish. Future-Isle Josef Vasicek (who was born in the same town as Martinek and would later perish in the Lokomotiv plane crash) tied the game in the third period, setting the stage for Martinek’s heroics.
Martinek, who at the time spoke virtually no English, needed Roman Hamrlik to describe the pass he converted from Shawn Bates into a practically open cage. "It was not that hard to hit the open net," Martinek said through Hamrlik. "I'm going to remember this forever.”
Fans in the building will also forever remember Martinek being named the Game’s #1 Star and then skating onto the ice and not knowing what to do.
Also on this date: (1978): Chico Resch and Los Angeles’ Rogatien Vachon battled to a scoreless tie. Meanwhile, about 20 miles away, Reggie Jackson hit three home runs to lead the Yankees to the World Championship.
All-time, the Isles have played eight October 18th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 3-3-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm The Sound Tigers are 2-2-0 after splitting a home-and-home series with Albany. The Sound Tigers will host Springfield on Sunday at 3pm.
Up Next TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21st—TORONTO AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG+2 (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders will be looking to open the season 3-0-0 at home for the first time in 11 years as they host Toronto.
The Leafs are 2-3-1 after dropping a 1-0 overtime decision in Detroit on Saturday night.
The Isles are 5-1-2 in their last eight games against Toronto; each of the last three Coliseum games have been decided by an overtime goal.
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.