Rangers 2, Isles 1 Rick Nash’s shot from the point deflected into the Islander net off of Ryan Strome’s skate for the winning goal, as the New York Rangers defeated the Islanders 2-1 in the Rangers’ final regular season appearance on Long Island. The 20th sellout crowd of the season (16,170) was on hand at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum as the Rangers defeated the Islanders by the same score that they won the first-ever meeting, back on October 21, 1972.
The Isles still lead the Rangers by 1 point, the Penguins by 4 points, and the Capitals by 8 points in the Metropolitan Division, although the Blueshirts have four games in hand, the Penguins have three games in hand and the Capitals have two.
The Scoring: 1ST PERIOD 09:35 NYI Anders Lee (23) ASST: Ryan Strome (29), Brock Nelson (21) 1 - 0 NYI
2ND PERIOD 11:35 NYR Kevin Hayes (13) ASST: Mats Zuccarello (28), Rick Nash (23) 1 - 1 Tie
3RD PERIOD 02:50 NYR Rick Nash (39) ASST: Derick Brassard (38), Marc Staal (13) 2 - 1 NYR
The Skinny Kyle Okposo returned after missing the last 22 games; the Isles went 12-7-3 in his absence… John Tavares, who was held pointless, still has an NHL-Leading 72 points, three more than Alex Ovechkin and Niklas Backstrom; Tavares’ had recorded at least 2 points in the three previous games…All but two of Kevin Hayes’ goals have come since December 1st…While Nash is 2nd overall in goals, he has scored an NHL-leading (and career high) 30 goals at even-strength; Nash is the 3rd Ranger in the last 19 years to score 30 even-strength goals (Gaborik 31 in 2011-12 and Jagr 30 in 2005-06); no Islander has done it since Ziggy Pallfy (28 in 1996-97)…The Isles suffered consecutive home losses for the second time this season; since opening the season by going 17-4-0 at home, the Isles are 6-6-0 in their last 12 at home.
Look at me, I’m Anders Lee! Anders Lee scored his 23rd goal of the season, moving him within one goal of Mike Hoffman for the rookie lead. Lee opened the scoring for the 9th time; only Alex Ovechkin and Brad Marchand (10 each) have done so more frequently this season. Four of Lee’s last seven goals have opened the scoring. He is the first Islander to open the scoring 9 times in one season since Matt Moulson did so 12 times in the 2011-12 season.
Most Times Scoring the First Goal of a Game as a Rookie (last 25 seasons) 1. Alex Ovechkin – 12 (2005-06) 2. Teemu Selanne – 10 (1992-93) 3. Anders Lee -9 (2014-15)
It’s Magic The Isles magic number for clinching a playoff spot fell to 16 with Ottawa’s loss to Boston. Any combination of points won by the Islanders and/or lost by Ottawa will clinch a playoff spot for the Isles. (While Ottawa is currently in 10th place in the East, they can finish with more points than Florida)
Tired vs. Rested This was the 21st time this season that the Isles, their opponent, or both had played the night before. While the Isles are 14-2-0 when their opponents are playing on back-to-back nights, the Isles fall to 1-4-0 when they are playing on the back-end and their opponents are not. • The Isles are 7-1-0 when both teams played the night before. This will also happen on March 29th vs. Detroit and April 11th vs Columbus. • The Isles are 7-1-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not. This also will happen on Friday vs Ottawa, March 21st in New Jersey, March 24th vs. Minnesota, April 4th vs Buffalo • The Isles are 1-4-0 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not. This will also happen for the final time this season on Saturday vs. Montreal.
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4) • ISLES 43-22-4=90 points / 69 games (36 ROW) Lost to NY Rangers 2-1 • NY Rangers 41-17-7=89 points / 65 games (38 ROW) Beat Isles 2-1 • Pittsburgh 38-18-10=86 points / 66 games (35 ROW) Idle • Washington 36-21-10=82 points / 67 games (33 ROW) Idle
Upcoming Schedule: • ISLES: Friday vs. Ottawa, Saturday vs. Montreal • NY Rangers: Wednesday @ Washington, Saturday @ Buffalo, Sunday vs. Florida • Pittsburgh: Thursday vs. Edmonton, Saturday vs. Boston, Sunday vs. Detroit • Washington: Wednesday vs. NY Rangers, Friday vs. Dallas, Sunday vs. Boston
Year of the Fan: The Isles have sold-out 20 of their 33 home dates this season. The 20 sellouts are the most for the Isles since they also had 21 full houses at the Old Barn in 2001-02. The Isles have drawn at least 15,000 fans 24 times this season.
What a Season: The Isles are 43-22-4 thru 69 games, representing their most wins since 1983-84 (50). Only the 1981-82 team had more wins through 68 games
Most wins in first 69 games: • 47-14-8 in 1981-82 • 44-13-12 in 1978-79 • 43-21-4 in 2014-15 • 43-24-2 in 1983-84 • 42-14-13 in 1977-78 • 41-17-11 in 1980-81 • 41-19-9 in 1976-77
Most points in first 69 games: • 102 in 1981-82 • 100 in 1978-79 • 97 in 1977-78 • 93 in 1980-81 • 91 in 1976-77 • 90 in 2014-15 • 88 in 1983-84
The Isles have won more than 43 games only six times in their history: • 1981-82 54 • 1978-79 51 • 1983-84 50 • 1980-81 48 • 1977-78 48 • 1976-77 47 • 2014-15 43
Home Sweet Home The Isles are 23-10-0 on Coliseum ice; it’s only the fifth time in club history that the Isles have won at least 23 of their first 33 home games (27-3-3 in 1981-82, 26-2-5 in 1977-78, 25-3-5 in 1978-79 and 24-9-0 in 1983-84).
Road Warriors The Isles are 20-12-4 on the road and have earned at least a point in 7 straight road games (4-0-3). The franchise record for consecutive road games with a point is 8, which the Isles will attempt to equal next Tuesday in Chicago.
Streakers The Isles have had a season of streaks, going 4-0-0 to open the season and then (in succession) 0-2-0, 2-0-0, 0-3-0, 13-2-0, 0-3-0, 7-1-1, 0-2-0, 6-1-0, 1-4-0, and 6-1-0 before going 4-3-3 in their last 10.
Winning Streaks (Season) • 2 streaks of at least 5 games -- First time since the 1987-88 season that the Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games. • 6 streaks of at least 4 games -- First time in the Post-Cup era that the Isles have had at least six winning streaks of at least four games. The Isles had seven separate winning streaks of at least four games in their 1983-84 defense of the Stanley Cup. • 8 streaks of at least 3 games -- First time in the Post-Cup era that the Isles have had at least eight winning streaks of at least three games. The Isles had nine separate winning streaks of at least three games in their 1983-84 defense of the Stanley Cup.
The Shots: Isles 13-10-7=30 Rangers 7-11-4=22
The Isles have outshot 34 of their last 40 opponents and 51 of their 69 opponents this season.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 2,326-1,927 for a +399 shot differential.
Biggest Differential, Season • +399 THIS SEASON • +307 in 1976-77 • +254 in 1986-87 • +152 in 1975-76
Isles had 2,537 shots on goal last season, most since a franchise-record 2,616 in 1992-93. Isles are currently on pace for a record-breaking 2,764 shots this year.
Home and Road The Islanders are 43-22-4 overall; 23-10-0 at home and 20-12-4 on the road.
The Rangers are 41-17-7 overall, 21-7-5 at home and 20-10-2 on the road.
By Division The Isles are 19-5-1 in Division games and are 24-17-3 in games against other divisions. They are 10-8-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-5-1 vs. Central Division, and 8-4-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met and 24-21-7 against other Divisions.
Metropolitan Hockey Club, Inc. The Isles are 19-5-1 against the Met Division, and are 12-3-1 in their last 16 division matchups. They are 11-3-0 at home (outscoring opponents 54-36) and 8-2-1 on the road. The Isles are 7-1 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 3-1 on the road.
The Isles’ next division game will be on March 21st in New Jersey.
In the Nets Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves but falls to 34-14-1 on the season. He is 10-6-0 in his career against the Rangers.
Cam Talbot made 29 saves to improve to 15-6-4 on the season. He is 3-1-0 in his career against the Isles.
Power Plays The Islanders were 0-4 on the power play, while the Rangers were also 0-4.
The power play is 3-14 (21.4%) in the last 4 games. The Isles have not scored 2 PP goals in a game since January 4th.
The penalty kill has killed 38 of 42 (90.5%) in the last 15 games; the Isles allowed two goals to Vancouver on February 22nd and two goals to Carolina on February 28th but blanked their other 13 opponents. In their last 7 road games, the Isles have killed all 17 opponent power plays.
The Isles are 24-9-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 19-13-3 when they do not. The Isles are 15-16-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 28-6-4 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 36-7-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-15-2 when they do not.
One Goal Games The Isles are 25-6-4 in games decided by a single goal including 12-6-0 in regulation. They are 6-1 in games decided in overtime and are 7-3 in shootouts. Five games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter. The Isles are 3-2 in those games.
The 25 wins are a new franchise record – in 2007-08, 23 of Isles’ 35 wins were by 1 goal.
First Goal (and Second Goal) The Isles are 26-14-3 when they score first and are 17-8-1 when they allow the opening goal. However, the Isles are 13-0-1 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal. The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win four times this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO), Pittsburgh on January 16th, Philadelphia on February 5th and Toronto on March 9th)
Second to The One Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 161-142-43 behind the Islander bench. Among the 9 New York 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 346 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 161 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It John Tavares: "It was disappointing, but we have a lot of hockey [left]….We know we have some big games coming up." Anders Lee: “It’s tough when you lose a game to a division opponent, especially one that’s so close [in the standings], but we can’t dwell on it; we need to move on.
They Tweeted It @BComptonNHL: This is every bit of awesome as it is sad. #Isles #NYR @DanSavarino 3 total shots between BOTH the #NYR & #Isles in the power play. 2 shots for Isles 1 for Rangers. Both teams were 0-4 on PP @No1Lynchfan Good game, could have went either way. I'm ok with it. Happy to see PK working. #isles @Max_Fehr I'm okay with this 3/5 compromise. Playoff series please. #ISLES @hockeyguy0194 I can't fault the effort of the #isles today, they played hard.. just didn't get the bounces..
The Coach "The power play was non-existent tonight. …We didn’t shoot any pucks. Not the fact that we didn’t score on the power play, the fact that we didn’t shoot any pucks and make it difficult."
Back-to-Backs The Isles are 9-3-1 in the front-end and 8-5-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles have swept 5 sets of back-to-backs, are 1-1-0 in seven sets and are 0-1-1 in one set.
The next back-to-back set will be on Friday vs. Ottawa and Saturday vs. Montreal.
Leading Ice Men Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 24:01 of ice-time; Ryan McDonagh led the Rangers in ice-time with 22:47.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-1), Travis Hamonic (20-4-2), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-6-1), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-3-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Kyle Okposo (0-1-0), Brian Strait (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).
John Tavares led Isles forwards with 21:05. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (26-21-4), Kyle Okposo (12-1-0), Ryan Strome (1-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0), Anders Lee (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Casey Cizikas (1-0-0) and Josh Bailey (0-1-0).
In the Circle The Islanders won 32 of 55 draws (58%). Frans Nielsen won 10 of 12 for the Isles; Kevin Hayes won 4 of 7 for the Rangers. The Isles won 14 of 17 in the first period but only 18 of 38 in the final two periods. The Isles won 5 of 6 draws on the power play and 3 of 4 draws on the penalty kill.
Heavy Hitters The Isles were out-hit Toronto 32-31. Matt Martin led the Islanders with 5 hits while Thomas Hickey added 4.
Martin leads the NHL with 338 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 283. It’s the third time in his career Martin has recorded at least 300 hits; he has the two highest totals in NHL history (since 2005):
Most hits, season: 1. Matt Martin, NYI 374 in 2011-12 2. Matt Martin, NYI 359 in 2013-14 3. Cal Clutterbuck, Min 356 in 2009-10
There were no fights in the game. The Isles have been involved in 14 fights this season: Martin (9), Hamonic (3), Lee (1), Strome (1) and 11 of the 14 have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 25 blocked shots; Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with 5.
For the Corsi Crowd The Rangers finished with a total Corsi advantage of 58-57 (including 33-18 in the 2nd period). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks). Matt Martin and Kyle Okposo led the Isles with a +6 even-strength Corsi rating; Martin was on-ice for a team-leading 64% of Corsi For events. Rick Nash led the Rangers with a +10 rating.
Head of the Class Islander Captain John Tavares has 387 career points; he is 82 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.
This Team is Deep! John Tavares has been held pointless 23 times this season and the Isles are 15-7-1 in those games. Prior to this season the Isles were 40-89-22 in the 151 games in which Tavares was scoreless. (Thanks hockey-reference.com)
All-time Winners The Islanders fall to 27 games over all-time NHL .500 (1448-1421-454 in 3,323 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 When Nick Leddy missed the game, Brock Nelson became the Islanders’ reigning ironmen. Nelson has played 122 consecutive Islander games.
Missing Men Mikhail Grabovski is on injured reserve and Nick Leddy missed the game with an upper body injury. Kyle Okposo returned from injury, and replaced Michael Grabner in the lineup. Colin McDonald, Eric Boulton, and Matt Donovan were scratched.
Kael Mouillierat was returned to Bridgeport.
The Isles have lost 250 games this season due to injury/illness.
All-time Islander Leader Board: John Tavares has: • 169 goals (12th all-time and 15 behind Billy Harris) • 218 assists (15th all-time, 31 behind Tomas Jonsson and 41 behind Billy Harris) • 387 points (13th all-time and 56 behind Billy Harris) • 419 games played (36th among Islander skaters all-time, 3 behind Dave Langevin, 6 behind Greg Gilbert and 7 behind Jason Blake)
Kyle Okposo has: • 113 goals (24th all-time, 3 behind Ray Ferraro and 5 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish) • 185 assists (18th all-time, 8 behind Pierre Turgeon and 11 behind Frans Nielsen) • 298 points (18th all-time, 33 behind Ziggy Palffy and 35 behind Tomas Jonsson) • 437 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 13 behind Scott Lachance and 22 behind Trent Hunter)
Frans Nielsen has: • 97 goals (29th all-time, 2 behind Trent Hunter and 4 behind Anders Kallur) • 196 assists (16th all-time and 21 behind John Tavares) • 293 points (20th all-time, 2 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 5 behind Kyle Okposo) • 516 games played (21st among Islander skaters all-time, 14 behind Pat LaFontaine and 16 behind Tomas Jonsson)
Josh Bailey has: • 133 assists (32nd all-time, 5 behind Greg Gilbert, 6 behind Mark Streit, and 7 behind Steve Thomas) • 213 points (tied-36th all-time with Jean Potvin & Garry Howatt and 1 behind Mark Parrish) • 463 games played (29th among Islander skaters , 7 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 14 behind Gerry Hart)
Michael Grabner has: • 89 goals (36th all-time, 3 behind Travis Green and 4 behind Garry Howatt & Greg Gilbert)
Season Series Stats The Isles win the season series 3 games to 2 (and 6 points to 4).
The Isles outscored the Rangers 19-12 in the season series.
This was the 126th (and final) regular season meeting in Coliseum history; the Isles have won 65, the Rangers 53 and there have been 8 ties. Factoring in points for OT/SO losses, the Isles are 65-49-8-4 while the Rangers are 53-63-8-2 all-time in games played at the Coliseum.
It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 10th 36 years ago tonight (1979) – The Islanders had five goals scored by centers as they blasted the Chicago Blackhawks 7-1 in a preview of that spring’s playoffs.
Making the five goals by centerman even more unusual was that Bryan Trottier didn’t score any of them; Lorne Henning and Wayne Merrick each scored twice while Mike Kaszycki also scored. “That is really unusual”, Isles coach Al Arbour told Newsday’s Pat Calabria.
Chico Resch was in the nets for the Isles, who managed only four shots in the first period before peppering Tony Esposito for 22 shots in the middle session. The always affable Resch might have been a bit less happy after his pre-game dinner prepared by his wife Diane. Apparently Chico was not much of a turkey lover, but that was what Diane made. “Why?” he asked. “Because you have been playing like one.” Chico had lost his three previous starts and the Isles were in a 2-3-1 rut heading into the game. (Chico and Diane are still married, by the way).
It was the final home game before the trading deadline. The Isles would be quiet at that 1979 deadline – they would make a lot of noise the following year.
Also on this date: (2002) – Michael Peca and Roman Hamrlik each scored twice as the Isles pounded Atlanta 6-1. The Thrashers’ Jiri Slegr and Daniel Tjarnqvist each had games that they would like to forget, each going -5. Chris Osgood needed to make only 18 saves to earn the win.
All-time, the Isles have played twelve March 10th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 5-5-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
On The Farm The Sound Tigers are 22-28-6-1; they host Worcester on Wednesday. It’s the first of a three-game homestand for Bridgeport, who host Lehigh Valley on Saturday and Syracuse on Sunday (3pm).
Up Next FRIDAY, MARCH 12th— OTTAWA AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM [MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 LI News]
After a pair of days off, the Isles will host the Ottawa Senators on Friday. The Sens fell 7 points out of the last playoff spot with a loss to Boston on Tuesday and will be playing their third game in four nights as they visit Montreal on Thursday.
The Isles lead the series 2 games to 0, sweeping a home-and-home series that began December. The Isles won 3-2 in overtime at home (Thomas Hickey’s shot went in off Ottawa defenseman Cody Ceci for the OT winner) and then defeated the Sens in Ottawa 2-1 two nights later.
The Isles have won 5 of the last 7 games between the teams (5-2-0), but only two of their wins in that span have come in regulation.
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