Derick Brassard broke a 1-1 tie with a goal on a delayed penalty situation as the Rangers completed a sweep of back-to-back games with the Islanders, as they defeated the Isles 4-1 before a sellout crowd of 18,006 at Madison Square Garden. The Islanders end January with a five game winless streak (0-4-1). The Scoring: 1st Period 03:29 NYR Brian Boyle (4) Tip-in - ASST: Marc Staal (6) 1 - 0 NYR
2nd Period 14:28 NYI Kyle Okposo (24) Snap shot - ASST: Calvin de Haan (8), Josh Bailey (14) 1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period 12:14 NYR Derick Brassard (9) Snap shot - ASST: Marc Staal (7), Mats Zuccarello (24) 2 - 1 NYR 14:59 NYR Brad Richards (14) Wrist shot - ASST: Ryan Callahan (12), Carl Hagelin (9) 3 - 1 NYR 19:59 NYR EN - Ryan McDonagh (8) Wrist shot - ASST: Dominic Moore (8) 4 - 1 NYR
The Skinny: Kyle Okposo took over the team lead in goal scoring with 24, matching a career high. With 25 games to play, Okposo has met or exceeded career highs in goals, assists and points. …The Isles have been outscored 77-69 in the second period; more goals have been scored in second period of Islander games than any other teams…The Isles allowed 3 goals in a period for the 19th time this season (1-18-0)…Matt Donovan had a career-high six shots to lead the Isles….Brassard’s game-winning goal temporarily game Mats Zuccarello the Ranger lead in points, but Brad Richards tied him 2:45 later…Okposo finishes the month with 8 even-strength goals (tied with Rick Nash & Joe Pavelski for the NHL lead) and an NHL-leading 16 even-strength points…Okposo finished the month with 18 points; John Tavares & Phil Kessel shared the NHL lead with 20 points in January although Tavares went pointless in the final three games of the month. It’s the first time all season that Tavares has gone three games without a point this season.
Eight’s Not Enough! The Isles finish January with a winning record at 8-7-1. However, the Isles ended the month 0-4-1 in the last five. It’s the first time since 2003 that the Isles have earned 8 wins in January and matches their most January wins since they earned 9 in January 1990. The Isles have earned ten victories in January only once in franchise history, going 10-4-1 in 1980 (April and May were pretty good that year, too!)
Isles 12-19-8=39 Rangers 14-6-17=37
The 39 Isles shots are the most that they have had against the Rangers since they also had 39 on December 4, 2003 at the Coliseum. They have not had a 40-shot game against the Rangers since 1993.
Home and Road The Islanders are 21-28-8 overall, 8-12-8 at home (including 0-1-0 at Yankee Stadium) and 13-16-0 on the road. The Isles are 7-6-1 in their last 14, 12-9-1 in their last 22 and are 13-10-3 in their last 26 games overall. The Rangers are 30-23-3 overall; they are 13-13-3 at home and 17-10-0 on the road. The Rangers have won three straight and are 14-5-1 since losing to the Islanders on December 20th.
By Division The Isles are 5-14-3 in Division games and are 16-14-5 in games against other divisions. They are 7-5-3 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-4-1 vs. Central Division, and 3-5-1 vs. the Pacific Division. The Isles have losing records against every division opponent except New Jersey (1-1-0 with three to play). They are 0-3-0 against Carolina, 0-1-1 against Columbus, 2-3-0 against New York, 1-3-0 against Philadelphia, 1-2-1 against Pittsburgh and 0-1-1 against Washington.
In the Nets Evgeni Nabokov made 33 saves but falls to 9-10-5 on the season. Henrik Lundqvist made 38 saves for the Rangers and improves to 20-18-3 on the season; he has won at least 20 games in each of his 9 NHL seasons and now has 296 career victories. Lundqvist is 5-1-0 in his last six starts and 8-2-0 in his last 10; he improves to 29-12-5 in his career against the Isles.
Power Plays The Islanders were 0-3 while the Rangers were 0-3. In the season series, the Isles are 2-19 while the Rangers are 5-19. The Isles are 13-6-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 8-22-4 when they do not. The Isles are 10-15-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 11-13-5 when they do not. The Islander power play is 0-20 in their last five games. The Isles have killed 28 of 31 (90.3%) over the last 12 games.
Tale of Four Seasons The Isles PP went 10-33 in the first 10 games, before going 7-79 in the next 24 games. They rebounded to go 10-32 in the following 11 games but are only 4-45 in their last 13 games.
Three is a Magic Number The Isles are 19-7-3 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-21-5 when they do not.
Comeback Kids The Isles are 9-8-6 when they score first and are 12-20-2 when they allow the opening goal. The Isles have allowed the first goal in 14 of their last 19 games.
Second to The One Jack Capuano became the 2nd coach in Islander history to win 100 games in Toronto on January 7th and became the 2nd coach in Islander history to coach 250 games on January 27th against Boston. He is 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (252) and wins (105).
Most games coached (Islanders): 1. Al Arbour 1,500 2. Jack Capuano 252 3. Mike Milbury 191 4. Terry Simpson 187 5. Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches: 1. Al Arbour 740 2. Jack Capuano 105 3. Terry Simpson 81 4. Peter Laviolette 77 5. Ted Nolan 74
They Said It John Tavares: “We just looked like we ran out of gas. We just didn’t seem to have that extra gear when we needed it.”
They Tweeted It @Hockeyislife61 Any person who actually knows hockey know okposo should be on team usa lets be real here
The Coach "I thought it was frustrating in the second period when Lundqvist made some big saves .Even in the first period he made a couple of big ones that were the difference.”
Back-to-Backs The Isles are 6-6-0 in the front-end and 5-5-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. The Isles have swept three back-to-backs: November 1st/2nd vs. Ottawa and Rangers; January 6th/7th vs. Dallas and Toronto and January 20th/21st vs. Philadelphia and the Rangers. In the twelve sets of back-to-backs, they have earned 4 points three times, 3 points once, 2 points four times, 1 point once and no points on three occasions. The Islanders do not play back-to-back again until they host New Jersey and Florida on March 1st and 2nd.
Leading Ice Men Thomas Vanek led the Isles with 23:35 of ice-time; it’s the third time in five games that a forward has led the Isles in ice-time. Ryan McDonough led the Rangers with 23:56 of ice-time. The Isles are 14-15-6 when MacDonald leads in ice-time, are 7-10-2 when Hamonic leads, are 0-1-0 when Okposo leads, are 0-1-0 when Tavares leads and are 0-1-0 when Vanek leads.
In the Circle The Islanders won 27 of 63 draws. Frans Nielsen won 6 of 10 draws for the Isles but his teammates won only 21 of 53; Derek Stepan won 12 of 18 for the Rangers.
Heavy Hitters The Isles were out-hit 20-19. Colin McDonald led the Isles with six hits; Matt Martin added four. Martin’s 268 hits lead the NHL by a wide margin. He had now recorded at least 200 hits in four straight seasons. There were no fights. The Isles have been involved in 20 fights this season: Martin (7), Boulton (5), Carkner (5), McDonald (2), and Okposo (1).
Giving Up the Body The Isles were credited with 15 blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald led the way with four blocks, as he extended his NHL-leading total to 185.
Two Over All-Time .500 The Islanders fall to two games over all-time NHL .500 (1392-1390-447 in 3,229 games). The Isles have been 1-under all-time .500 after six games this season and have gone 4-0-2 in the following game. The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 above all-time NHL .500 and have not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978.
Ironmen Frans Nielsen is the Islanders’ reigning ironman. He has played 187 consecutive games, and is one of four Islanders to have played in every game this season. Other ironman streaks: Andrew Mac Donald (158), Matt Martin (118), and Thomas Hickey (58).
Century Club Andrew MacDonald has the 4th longest consecutive game streak for a defenseman in Islander history: 1. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979 262 2. Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220 (*)(**) 3. Gerry Hart 3/1/1975-11/22/1977 198 4. Andrew MacDonald 12/19/11- CURRENT 158 5. Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136 (**) 6. Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134 (*) 7. Mark Streit 10/8/2011-4/26/2013 130 8. Travis Hamonic 2/24/2012-1/12/2014 117 9. Travis Hamonic 11/24/2011– 2/4/2012 113 (*) 10. Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110 11. Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104
(*) Start of NHL career. (**) Entire career with Islanders
Missing Men Travis Hamonic is on injured reserve. Matt Carkner, Radek Martinek and Eric Boulton were scratched for the second, fourth and sixth straight game respectively. The Isles have lost 147 games this season due to injury.
Career Goals as an Islander 15 Mariusz Czerkawski 145 16 John Tavares 135 17 Jason Blake 127
27 Trent Hunter 99 28 Kyle Okposo 96 29 Mikko Makela 95 29 David Volek 95 31 Randy Wood 94 32 Greg Gilbert 93 32 Garry Howatt 93 34 Travis Green 92 35 Butch Goring 87 36 Tomas Jonsson 84 37 Wayne Merrick 81 37 Dave Scatchard 81 39 Michael Grabner 79 39 Marty McInnis 79 41 Miroslav Satan 78 41 Frans Nielsen 78 43 Claude Lapointe 76
Career Assists as an Islander 16 Ed Westfall 181 17 John Tavares 178 18 Kenny Jonsson 175 19 Alexei Yashin 171 20 Duane Sutter 171 21 Jean Potvin 167 22 Jeff Norton 166 23 Zigmund Palffy 163 24 Frans Nielsen 161 25 David Volek 154 26 Mariusz Czerkawski 150 27 Kyle Okposo 147 28 Travis Green 145
Career Games as an Islander (skaters) 24 Eddie Westfall 493 25 Radek Martinek 479 26 Gerry Hart 476
29 Scott Lachance 450 30 Jason Blake 426 31 Greg Gilbert 425 32 Frans Nielsen 424 33 Dave Langevin 422 34 Wayne Merrick 411 35 Jean Potvin 402 36 David Volek 396 37 Bert Marshall 392 38 Travis Green 388 39 Anders Kallur 383 40 Randy Wood 381 40 Josh Bailey 381 42 Kyle Okposo 375 43 Dave Scatchard 347 43 John Tavares 347 45 Alexei Yashin 346
Career Points as an Islander 16 Ziggy Palffy 331 17 John Tavares 313 18 Mariusz Czerkawski 295
24 David Volek 249 25 Kyle Okposo 242 26 Frans Nielsen 239 27 Ray Ferraro 238
Season Series Stats The Rangers win the season series 3 games to 2 (and 6 points to 4). The road team won the first four games before the Rangers won tonight; it ended a three-game Isles win streak at Madison Square Garden. This was the final meeting of the regular season between the teams, who will not meet in February, March or April for the first time ever.
Happy Anniversary 40 years ago tonight (1-31-74): Bob Nystrom recorded his first career hat trick as the Islanders defeated Los Angeles 4-1. Nystrom became the third Islander rookie to score three goals in a game (joining Bob Cook and Germain Gagnon); he still owns a share of the club record today. All-time, the Isles are 9-9-1 on this date, including 6-3-0 in the last nine.
On The Farm Bridgeport lost Ryan Strome to an injury in the second period on Friday and dropped a 2-1 decision in Albany to snap their four game win streak. Alan Quine scored the only goal for the Sound Tigers, who fall to 18-23-1-4 on the season. Anders Lee leads with 17 goals. Ryan Strome leads the team (and all AHL rookies) in assists (30); he also leads the Sound Tigers in points (40). Strome’s 40 points place him tied-8th in league scoring despite playing at least eight fewer games than anyone ahead of him in AHL scoring. Bridgeport returns home on Saturday to host Springfield and then are off for a week until they host Albany on February 8th.
Up Next TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4th – ISLANDERS AT WASHINGTON 7:30PM [NBCSN, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN-FM]
The Islanders will have an unusual weekend off before heading to Washington to face the Caps.
The Islanders were 6-5-3 on the season and had a 1-0 lead after one period when they faced the Capitals back on November 5th; Washington scored five second period goals to drop the Islanders back to .500 and start the Isles on a 2-13-2 stretch. That included a 3-2 overtime loss to Washington on November 30th in which the Isles grabbed a 2-1 lead with 1:51 to play only to see the Caps score shorthanded to tie the game; Alex Ovechkin then recorded his 5th career overtime goal against the Islanders to give Washington the win. The Isles are 4-1-5 in their last ten games against the Caps.
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.