Pittsburgh 5, Isles 2
Sidney Crosby scored twice, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang each had three assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins built a 5-0 lead and defeated the Islanders 5-2 before a crowd of 18,665 at CONSOL Energy Center.
Despite the loss, the Isles' first in regulation in 10 divisional games this season (7-1-2), the Isles remain 2nd in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of the Rangers.
03:34 PIT Phil Kessel (12) ASST: Matt Cullen (8), Evgeni Malkin (17) 1 - 0 PIT
16:35 PIT PPG - Sidney Crosby (10) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (18), Kris Letang (17) 2 - 0 PIT
10:25 PIT PPG - Sidney Crosby (11) ASST: Kris Letang (18), Evgeni Malkin (19) 3 - 0 PIT
10:57 PIT SHG - Matt Cullen (4) ASST: Kris Letang (19), Olli Maatta (6) 4 - 0 PIT
14:40 PIT Patric Hornqvist (8) ASST: Brian Dumoulin (9) 5 - 0 PIT
15:19 NYI John Tavares (15) ASST: Calvin de Haan (6), Josh Bailey (12) 5 - 1 PIT
19:03 NYI Nick Leddy (1) ASST: Kyle Okposo (20), Frans Nielsen (12) 5 - 2 PIT
Sidney Crosby is 29-62-91 in 51 games vs. the Isles while Evgeni Malkin is 23-40-63 in 49 games…John Tavares regained the team lead in goals with 15, one more than Frans Nielsen …Nick Leddy recorded a point for the 4th straight game; his late goal was his first in 50 games, dating back to last March in Florida...Nikolay Kulemin's goal streak ended at 3… Thomas Greiss allowed 4 goals for the first time as an Islander; Christopher Gibson made his NHL debut following Matt Cullen's goal and began the 50th player to appear in a game as an Islander goaltender…Kyle Okposo set a career high with 10 shots on goal, including 8 in the 3rd period. He is the first Islander since Bill Guerin (10-25-08 vs. Carolina) to record 10 shots in a game…Pittsburgh is 4-1-1 in their last 6; their PP is 9-23 in their last 7…The Isles allowed three goals in a period for the 4th time this season (0-4-0)…It was the Penguins' 397th consecutive home sellout, including playoffs...The Isles are 8-11-1 over the last two seasons in games in which they are missing Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic or Nick Leddy.
Cal Clutterbuck suffered an upper body injury in the first period, had a short shift in the 2nd period and then did not return. Clutterbuck has missed only one game this season.
First Times in a Long Time
The Isles have allowed 43+ shots in consecutive games for the first time since 1/9-1/11/2011 (45 to Chicago, 51 to Vancouver). They will look to avoid doing it in three consecutive days for the first time since 1990 on Sunday.
Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang each had three assists, marking the first time in exactly six years (1/2/2010 vs. Atlanta) that teammates each had three helpers vs. the Islanders. Ilya Kovalchuk and Toby Enstrom turned the trick for the Thrashers, but the Isles prevailed 6-5 in a shootout.
Out With the Old, In With the New
This was the third game of a stretch in which the Isles will play five games in eight days which will take the calendar into 2016. The Isles are 2-2-0 in this stretch.
27-Dec-15 Vs Maple Leafs (Lost 3-1)
29-Dec-15 @ Maple Leafs (Won 6-3)
31-Dec-15 @ Sabres (Won 2-1)
2-Jan-16 @ Penguins (Lost 5-2)
3-Jan-16 Vs Stars
It's only the 2nd time in the last 5 seasons (2/16/15 vs NYR) that both teams have had at least 40 shots in an Islander game.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 21-13-5 overall; 12-6-2 at home and 9-7-3 on the road.
Pittsburgh is 19-15-4 overall; 10-7-3 at home and 9-8-1 on the road.
The Isles are 7-1-2 in Division games and are 14-12-3 in games against other divisions. They are 3-8-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 5-2-1 vs. Central Division, and 6-2-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles finished last season 21-6-3 against the Met and 26-22-4 against other Divisions.
In the Nets
Thomas Greiss made 22 saves before being pulled in the second period; he is now 11-6-2 on the season and 2-1-0 in his career against Pittsburgh. Christopher Gibson made 16 saves in the final 29:03
Marc-Andre Fleury made 38 saves as he improves to 14-10-2 on the season and 21-9-4 in his career against the Isles. It was Fleury's first game since December 14th.
The Islanders were 0-1 on the power play, allowing a shorthanded goal while Pittsburgh was 2-4.
The Isles are 11-3-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 10-10-2 when they do not. The Isles are 6-6-1 when they allow at least one power play goal and 15-7-4 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 17-2-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 4-11-5 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 9-5-5 in games decided by a single goal including 4-5-0 in regulation. They are 2-3 in games decided in overtime and are 3-2 in shootouts. The Isles are 4-3 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1 goal game into a 2-goal game.
The Isles are 14-3-2 when they score first and are 7-10-3 when they allow the opening goal.
Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 186-161-51 behind the Islander bench and will coach his 400th game on January 7th vs Washington. Among the 9 New York area teams, only the Giants' Tom Coughlin and the Yankees' Joe Girardi have led their respective teams longer than Capuano.
Most games coached (Islanders):
1. Al Arbour 1,500
2. Jack Capuano 398
3. Mike Milbury 191
4. Terry Simpson 187
5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Jack Capuano 186
3. Terry Simpson 81
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74
They Tweeted It
@CGibber37 (Christopher Gibson) Thank you everyone for the support what an amazing feeling to play in my first NHL game!!
@thereluctantk Gotta say though: very good to see .@bookerT2116 with 10 shots on goal tonight. Wish more #isles had done that or gotten close.
@john_sage3 #isles need to come out furious tomorrow and beat Dallas!
Including tonight, The Isles are 2-3-3 on the front-end and 4-2-1 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. This back-to-back set concludes Sunday vs. Dallas.
Tired vs. Rested
· The Isles are 1-1-0 when both teams played the night before.
· The Isles are 3-2-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not.
· The Isles are 3-1-1 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not.
Isles: Travis Hamonic (28:17); Pittsburgh: Kris Letang (25:21)
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Travis Hamonic (13-3-3), Johnny Boychuk (4-3-0), Calvin deHaan (0-0-1), Nick Leddy (4-5-1), John Tavares (0-1-0), Tied (0-1-0)
John Tavares led the Isles forwards with 18:57 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (13-10-4), Ryan Strome (2-0-0), Kyle Okposo (0-1-1), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (2-0-0), Josh Bailey (2-0-0), Tied (1-1-0).
Isles 40, Pittsburgh 28 (59%).
John Tavares won 14 of 20 for the Isles; Nick Bonino, playing his 300th NHL game, won 9 of 13 for Pittsburgh.
The Isles won 28 of 44 draws in the first and third periods and 12 of 24 in the second period.
The Isles won 34 of 58 draws at even strength, 2 of 2 on the power play and 4 of 8 on the penalty kill.
Isles 30, Pittsburgh 34. Matt Martin, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson led the Isles with 4 hits each.
There were no fights. Season total – 9 (Martin-5, Boychuk, Bernier, Leddy, Okposo).
The Isles were credited with 8 blocked shots; Thomas Hickey led the team with 3.
For the Corsi Crowd
All situations: Isles 69, Pittsburgh 62 (Including 14-1 Pittsburgh in special teams) Even-Strength: Isles 68, Pittsburgh 48.
The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Kyle Okposo and Nikolay Kulemin led the Isles with a +15 even-strength Corsi rating; he also had a club-leading 76% Corsi For percentage. Sidney Crosby led Pittsburgh with a +1 rating.
· Nikolay Kulemin -189 (68 for Maple Leafs and 121 for the Isles)
· Brock Nelson -174 (all for Isles)
Jean-Francois Berube, Jaroslav Halak, and Johnny Boychuk are on injured reserve. Brian Strait replaced Boychuk in the line-up. Adam Pelech (recalled from Bridgeport on Friday), Steve Bernier and Eric Boulton were scratched.
The Isles have lost 78 games this season due to injury/illness.
All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
· 189 goals (11th all-time, 17 behind John Tonelli and 22 behind Derek King)
· 241 assists (15th all-time, 8 behind Tomas Jonsson and 18 behind Billy Harris)
· 430 points (13th all-time , 13 behind Billy Harris and 58 behind Patrick Flatley)
· 468 games played (30th among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 8 behind Gerry Hart)
Kyle Okposo has:
· 125 goals (18th all-time , 2 behind Jason Blake and 20 behind Mariusz Czerkawski )
· 208 assists (17th all-time , 2 behind Frans Nielsen and 33 behind John Tavares)
· 333 points (tied-16 all-time with Tomas Jonsson, 7 behind Pierre Turgeon and 36 behind Stefan Persson)
· 487 games played (27th among Islander skaters all-time and 6 behind Ed Westfall)
Frans Nielsen has:
· 113 goals (25th all-time, 3 behind Ray Ferraro, and 5 behind Mark Parrish, Matt Moulson and Steve Thomas)
· 210 assists (16th all-time and 31 behind John Tavares)
· 323 points (19th all-time, 8 behind Ziggy Palffy, 10 behind Tomas Jonsson and 10 behind Kyle Okposo)
· 564 games played (15th among Islander skaters all-time and 30 behind John Tonelli)
Josh Bailey has:
· 149 assists (28th all-time, 1 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 5 behind David Volek)
· 237 points (tied-27th all-time with Travis Green, 1 behind Ray Ferraro and 12 behind David Volek)
· 514 games played (tied-22nd among Islander skaters with Dave Lewis and 16 behind Pat LaFontaine)
Season Series Stats
Pittsburgh leads the season series 1 game to 0 and 2 points to 0. This was their only meeting in the Isles' first 64 games; the teams will next meet on March 8th in Brooklyn.
The Penguin win ends an Islander 4-game winning streak over Pittsburgh; it was the first time they have done that since February 1 – December 23, 1986, when they won five straight.
On The Farm
Joe Whitney scored 38 seconds into overtime to give Bridgeport a 4-3 OT victory over Rochester on Saturday. Bridgeport is 19-13-2-1 and they will host Hershey on Sunday to conclude a 3-game in 3-day weekend.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 3rd —DALLAS AT ISLANDERS 5:00PM
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 4:30), 91.5 WNYE-FM. 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles return home to begin a stretch of 8 out of 10 games at Barclays Center as they entertain the Dallas Stars.
It's the first of two meetings with Dallas. The Isles are 3-0-1 over the last 4 games vs. Dallas, outscoring the Stars by a 20-13 margin. In the Coliseum matchup last season, Frans Nielsen completed a hat trick into an empty net as the Isles prevailed by a 7-5 score.