Sidney Crosby scored his 250th career goal to break a 3-3 tie with a goal with 76 seconds to play and the Pittsburgh Penguins held off a late Islander power play for a 4-3 victory over the Isles before a crowd of 18,515 at the CONSOL Energy Center. It’s the 6th straight road loss, all in regulation, for the Islanders, who lost only six road games in regulation all last season. Chris Kunitz scored twice and had a third first period goal called back on an Evgeni Malkin penalty; he also added an assist on the winning tally. Thomas Vanek scored twice for the Islanders in defeat. The Scoring: 1st Period 04:04 PIT PPG - Chris Kunitz (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Sidney Crosby (18), Evgeni Malkin (20) 1 - 0 PIT 07:55 PIT PPG - Chris Kunitz (11) Slapshot - ASST: James Neal (4), Paul Martin (8) 2 - 0 PIT 2nd Period 01:46 NYI Thomas Vanek (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Kyle Okposo (15), Radek Martinek (3) 2 - 1 PIT 06:25 PIT Evgeni Malkin (4) Wrist shot - ASST: James Neal (5), Jussi Jokinen (6) 3 - 1 PIT 11:33 NYI Colin McDonald (2) Snap shot - ASST: Casey Cizikas (2) 3 - 2 PIT 12:54 NYI Thomas Vanek (7) Backhand shot - ASST: Kyle Okposo (16), John Tavares (17) 3 - 3 Tie
The Skinny: Evgeni Malkin’s goal was his 1st since October 17th, ending a career-long 15 game goal scoring drought…Colin Mac Donald’s goal was his first in 14 games…Casey Cizikas has a career-best four game point streak (3-1-4) … It’s the first time that Thomas Vanek has scored twice in a game for the Isles…John Tavares has assists and points in six of the last seven games. Crosby’s winning goal was his 22nd in 43 games (22-56-78) against the Isles; it was his 5th game-winning goal against the Isles. .. Isles have scored 34 of their 63 goals in the second period, but have been outscored 25-13 in the third period…The Isles scored three goals in the second period, matching the season high. They have scored three goals five times this season, including four times in the middle session…The Isles have been outscored 18-4 in the third period of the last 13 games… Pittsburgh is 5-4-0 in one-goal games while the Isles are 5-7-3… Pittsburgh improves to 12-1-0 when they score first; the Penguins have sold out 299 consecutive home games… The Isles have allowed at least one goal in ten straight periods (and 12 straight road periods).
The Shots: Isles 13-13-9=35 Penguins 13-12-9=34
Home and Road The Islanders are 8-12-3 overall, 5-4-3 at home and 3-8-0 on the road. The Isles have been outscored 25-11 in their last six road games. The Isles are 4 games under NHL-.500 for the first time since March 15, 2012 (28-32-11) and are 5 games under NHL-.500 on the road for the first time since the end of the 2010-11 season. The Penguins are 15-8-0 overall; they are 10-3-0 at home and 5-5-0 on the road.
In the Nets Kevin Poulin made 30 saves but falls to 3-7-0 on the season. Jeff Zatkoff made 32 saves for the Penguins and improves to 2-2-0 on the season. Power Plays The Islanders were 0-6 while the Penguins were 2-4. It’s the fifth time this season that the Isles have allowed at least two power play goals (0-5-0). The Isles are 5-2-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 3-10-0 when they do not. The Isles are 2-10-2 when they allow at least one power play goal and 6-2-1 when they do not. Over the last 13 games, the Isles power play is 4-49 (8.2%) while the penalty kill is 17-42 (59.5%).
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 8-2-2 when they score at least three goals and are 0-10-1 when they do not.
Helps to Score First The Isles are 6-2-3 when they score first and are 2-10-0 when they allow the opening goal.
Second to The One Jack Capuano is now 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (218) and wins (92).
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 92 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 218 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
They Said It Andrew MacDonald: "This team's not going to quit. We showed that tonight." They Tweeted It @JoeYerdonPHT Someone pushed the Vanek button. #puns RT @BComptonNHL: Vanek's second of the night ties it. #Isles
The Coach "We outshot them, outhit them, we blocked shots, Pouls played well enough to win and we make a mental mistake to lose it."
Back-to-Backs The Isles are 3-3-0 in the front-end and 1-3-1 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. On the five previous back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points once, 3 points once, 2 points once, and no points on two occasions. This back-to-back set concludes Saturday in Philadelphia.
Head of the Class John Tavares has 275 career points; he is 62 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks. No other player from that draft is anywhere close. Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player from that draft.
Leading Ice Men Travis Hamonic played 28:09 to lead the Isles for the second straight game and sixth time this season. Kris Letang played 24:28 to lead the Pens. The Isles are 7-8-2 when MacDonald leads them in ice-time and 1-4-1 when Hamonic leads them.
In the Circle The Islanders won 29 of 60 draws. John Tavares won 12 of 21 to lead the Isles; Evgeni Malkin won 6 of 10 for Pittsburgh. The Isles have won less than 50% of the face-offs in eight straight games.
Heavy Hitters The Isles out-hit Pittsburgh 32-31. Matt Martin led the Isles with seven hits, extending his NHL-leading total to 109. Tanner Glass had seven hits for Pittsburgh. There were no fights in the game, leaving the season total at eight: Martin (3), Boulton (3), and Carkner (2).
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 13 blocked shots; Matt Donovan led the Isles with three. Andrew MacDonald extended his league-leading total to 85 with two blocks despite missing much of the first period and all of the second with an apparent injury.
All–time Winners The Islanders fall to five games over all-time NHL .500 (1379-1374-442 in 3,195 games). The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 above all-time NHL .500. Ironmen John Tavares is the reigning Islanders’ ironman. Tavares has now played in 230 consecutive games, which is the second-longest streak for an Islander in the Post Cup era. Frans Nielsen (153) and Kyle Okposo (136) also have streaks of at least 100 consecutive games.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Post Cup Era • Matt Moulson 10/3/2009- 4/4/2013 284 • John Tavares 10/16/10 – CURRENT 230 • 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 • Mariusz Czerkawski 12/23/1999 – 4/14/2002 215
Missing Men Lubomir Visnovsky, Brian Strait and Evgeni Nabokov remain on injured reserve. Thomas Vanek returned after missing five games with an upper body injury, Michael Grabner and Radek Martinek were back in the lineup. Brock Nelson, Eric Boulton and Aaron Ness were scratched. The Isles have lost 48 games this season due to injury.
Nobody Beat the Viz The Isles were 19-12-4 last season and are 3-3-2 this season with Lubomir Visnovsky in the lineup. They were 5-5-3 last season and are 5-9-1 this season without him in the lineup.
Career Goals as an Islander 15 Mariusz Czerkawski 145 16 Jason Blake 127 17 John Tavares 121 17 Duane Sutter 121 19 Alexei Yashin 119
Career Assists as an Islander 22 Zigmund Palffy 163 23 David Volek 154 23 John Tavares 154 25 Mariusz Czerkawski 150 26 Frans Nielsen 148 27 Travis Green 145
Career Games as an Islander (skaters) 25 Gerry Hart 476 26 Radek Martinek 474 27 Mariusz Czerkawski 470
35 David Volek 396 36 Bert Marshall 392 37 Frans Nielsen 390 38 Travis Green 388 39 Anders Kallur 383 40 Randy Wood 381 41 Josh Bailey 351 42 Dave Scatchard 347 43 Alexei Yashin 346 44 Mark Parrish 345 45 Kyle Okposo 342 46 Marty McInnis 337
54 Brad Dalgarno 321 55 Ray Ferraro 316 55 Steve Webb 316 55 Richard Park 316 58 John Tavares 314 58 Gerald Diduck 314 60 Mikko Makela 307
Career Points as an Islander 20 Ed Westfall 286 21 John Tavares 274 22 Jason Blake 258 22 Steve Thomas 258
32 Mikko Makela 219 33 Frans Nielsen 218 34 Mark Parrish 214 35 Garry Howatt 213 35 Jean Potvin 213 37 Anders Kallur 211 38 Kyle Okposo 205 39 Marty McInnis 198
Season Series Stats The season series is tied one game to one (and two points to two) with both teams earning a regulation win in Pittsburgh with a goal in the final 100 seconds; the teams will play again on December 3rd and January 23rd at the Coliseum. The Isles went 0-11-2 between 2008 and 2011 in Pittsburgh, but are 3-3-0 in their last six regular season trips to the Steel City.
Happy Anniversary 32 years ago tonight: November 22, 1981. The Islanders get goals from six different players, including two from Duane Sutter, as they pound the Rangers 7-2 at Madison Square Garden to complete a sweep of a home-and-home series. Overall the Islanders are now 12-8-2 on this date.
On The Farm Bridgeport dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to Providence on Friday and is now 4-8-1-2 on the season. Mike Halmo, Kirill Kabanov and Anders Lee scored for Bridgeport, who visit Worcester Saturday before returning home to host St. John on Sunday. Halmo leads Bridgeport with seven goals; Ryan Strome leads in both assists (13) and points (17).
Up Next SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23rd —ISLANDERS AT PHILADELPHIA 7:00PM [MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
The Islanders look to break their six-game road losing streak when they visit Philadelphia on Saturday night. The Flyers defeated the Isles 5-2 back on October 26th at the Coliseum and after a very slow start are now 6-2-1 in their last nine games and have climbed over the Islanders in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Isles are 3-2-0 in their last five trips to Philadelphia, with two of their three victories having come in shootouts.
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.