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The Skinny: Rangers 6, Islanders 5

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 57

Rangers 6, Isles 5

Kevin Klein scored the winning goal with 4:32 to play as the New York Rangers overcame 2-0, 3-1 and 5-3 deficits and defeated the Islanders 6-5 before a sellout crowd of 16,170 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

It was a good night for goal scoring if you were a Ryan, as both Ryan McDonagh and Ryan Strome recorded the first two goal game of their careers.

The Rangers move into second place with the win (tied with Pittsburgh in points, but with a game and hand), two points behind the Isles.

The Scoring:
1st Period

00:11    NYI    John Tavares (27) ASST: NONE     1 - 0 NYI    
11:46    NYI    Frans Nielsen (11) ASST: Travis Hamonic (17), Mikhail Grabovski (10) 2 - 0 NYI    
14:35    NYR    Ryan McDonagh (6) ASST: Dan Girardi (12), Lee Stempniak (9)     2 - 1 NYI    

2nd Period
01:20    NYI    Johnny Boychuk (5) ASST: NONE     3 - 1 NYI    
03:07    NYR    Chris Kreider (14) ASST: Derek Stepan (28), Dan Boyle (6)     3 - 2 NYI    
03:30    NYR    Ryan McDonagh (7) ASST: J.T. Miller (7) 3 - 3 Tie    
07:41    NYI    Ryan Strome (11) ASST: Brock Nelson (18), Travis Hamonic (18) 4 - 3 NYI    

3rd Period
03:43    NYI    Ryan Strome (12) ASST: Frans Nielsen (22)     5 - 3 NYI    
06:25    NYR    Derek Stepan (10) ASST: Chris Kreider (17), Kevin Klein (16) 5 - 4 NYI    
08:02    NYR    Martin St. Louis (15) ASST: Derek Stepan (29), Marc Staal (10)     5 - 5 Tie    
15:28    NYR    Kevin Klein (9) ASST: Martin St. Louis (25), Derick Brassard (31) 6 - 5 NYR

The Skinny
The Isles fell to 6-5-0 since the All-Star break… John Tavares’ goal was the earliest by an Islander since Pierre Turgeon scored at 11 seconds of the first period on January 10, 1994 in Ottawa; the club record is 5 seconds, set by Bryan Trottier in 1984 in Boston…Johnny Boychuk scored for the first time in 18 games.  It was the 23rd goal for the Isles’ defense, matching last season’s total.  …The Isles are 12-3-1 when scoring the first two goals; they led 3-0 in each of the other three games that they did not win. The Isles fall to 18-3-0 in divisional games…The Isles won 53 straight games when they had scored at least 5 goals (including shootout winners); their last loss was on December 2, 2010, also at the Coliseum, and also to the Rangers…Frans Nielsen’s two points allow him to tie and then pass Ed Westfall for 22nd place on the all-time Isles list…Tavares, Nielsen and Strome all have scored goals in consecutive games…The Isles have never won the first four games of a season series with the Rangers…Lee Stempniak recorded his 200th career assist…The Rangers rallied from at least two multi-goal deficits to win in regulation for the first time since October 26, 1980 vs. Detroit and have scored 5+ goals in four consecutive road games for the first time since January 1981…Ranger coach Alain Vigneault recorded his 501st win, tying the late Pat Burns for 19th place in NHL history

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
•    ISLES           37-19-1=75 points / 57 games (30 ROW)  Lost 6-5 to NYR

•    NY Rangers  34-16-5=73 points / 55 games (32 ROW)  Beat Isles 6-5
•    Pittsburgh     32-15-9=73 points / 56 games (29 ROW) Idle
•    Washington  30-17-10=70 points / 57 games (29 ROW) Idle

Upcoming Schedule:
•    ISLES:  Tuesday @ Carolina, Thursday vs Nashville, Saturday @ Washington, Sunday vs. Vancouver
•    NY Rangers: Thursday vs. Vancouver, Friday @ Buffalo, Sunday vs. Columbus
•    Pittsburgh: Tuesday vs. Washington, Thursday vs. Columbus, Saturday @ St. Louis, Sunday vs Florida
•    Washington: Tuesday @ Pittsburgh, Thursday vs. Winnipeg, Saturday vs. Isles, Sunday @ Philadelphia

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 15 of their 26 home dates this season. The 15 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 18 times this season.

Month for the Fans:
February is the busiest home month in Islander history, as they play ten home games this month.  The Isles have played ten home games three previous times (January 1980, December 1999 and December 2000) but all were in 31-day months.

This was the fourth game of a stretch in which the Isles will play 9 of the final 11 February games at home.  The Isles are 3-1-0 in this stretch.

What a Season:
The Isles are 37-19-1 thru 57 games.  Only the 1981-82 team had more wins through 57 games, which included the first 13 games of their 15-game win streak.  It’s the first time since the 2006-07 season (40-30-12) that the Isles have won at least 37 games in a season.

Most wins in first 57 games:
•    38-13-6 in 1981-82
•    37-18-1 in 2014-15
•    37-10-10 in 1978-79
•    35-12-10 in 1977-78
•    34-14-9 in 1980-81
•    35-20-2 in 1983-84
•    34-15-8 in 1976-77

Most points in first 57 games:
•    84 in 1978-79
•    82 in 1981-82
•    80 in 1977-78
•    77 in 1980-81
•    76 in 1976-77
•    75 in 2014-15
•    72 in 1983-84
 
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 20-7-0 on Coliseum ice; it’s only the fourth time in club history that the Isles have won at least 20 of their first 27 home games (22-3-2 in 1981-82, 21-2-4 in 1977-78, and 20-2-5 in 1978-79).  

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, 0-3-0, and are 5-2-0 in their last 7.

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        22-15-6=43
Rangers 11-13-18=42

The 22 Islander shots in the first period were a season high. It’s the first time since January 11, 2011 vs. Vancouver that both the Isles and their opponents had at least 40 shots.  

The Isles have outshot 25 of their last 28 opponents.

On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 1,921-1,579 for a +342 shot differential.

Biggest Differential, Season
•    +342 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 37-19-1 overall; 20-7-0 at home and 17-12-1 on the road.  

The Rangers are 34-16-5 overall; 17-7-4 at home and 17-9-1 on the road.  

The Isles, Rangers and Blackhawks share the NHL lead in road wins.

By Division
The Isles are 18-3-0 in Division games and are 19-16-1 in games against other divisions. They are 9-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 4-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 6-3-0 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 18-3-0 against the Met Division, and tonight’s loss stopped an 11 game winning streak against division foes.  They are 11-1-0 at home (outscoring opponents 50-29) and 7-2-0 on the road. The Isles are 7-0 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 3-0 on the road.  

The loss ended the Isles’ longest home winning streak vs. Divisional opponents to start the season since they went a perfect 16-0-0 vs. the Rangers, Flyers, Penguins and Capitals in the 1981-82 season.

The Isles’ next division game will be on Tuesday in Carolina.

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 36 saves but falls to 31-12-0 on the season. He is 10-5-0 in his career against the Rangers.  

Cam Talbot made a career-high 38 saves and improves to 9-5-2 on the season.  He also faced a career-high 44 shots. Talbot is 2-1-0 in his career against the Isles.  

31-Win Club
Halak is the 4th goalie in Islander history to win at least 31 games in a season and is now just 1 win away from tying the club record of 32

Player        Wins
Rick DiPietro    32 in 2006-07
Billy Smith     32 in 1981-82
Chris Osgood    32 in 2001-02
Jaroslav Halak    31 in 2014-15
Rick DiPietro    30 in 2005-06

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-3 on the power play, while the Rangers were 0-2.  

The power play is 8-41 in the last 14 games (19.5%) but only 4-25 (16.0%) in last 9.

The penalty kill has been a bit better of late, killing 15 of 18 in the last 7 games (83.3%).

The Isles are 19-9-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 18-10-1 when they do not.  The Isles are 15-14-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 23-4-1 when they do not.  

Three is (Usually) a Magic Number
The Isles are 31-6-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-13-0 when they do not.  

One Goal Games
The Isles are 22-5-1 in games decided by a single goal including 10-5-0 in regulation. They are 5-0 in games decided in overtime and are 7-1 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 club record for 1-goal wins in 23, set in 2007-08 when 23 of Isles’ 35 wins were by 1 goal.

First Goal (and Second Goal)
The Isles are 21-12-1 when they score first and are 16-7-0 when they allow the opening goal.  However, the Isles are 13-0-0 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal.  The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win three times this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO), Pittsburgh on January 16th, and Philadelphia on February 5th)

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 155-139-40 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 334
3.    Mike Milbury 191
4.    Terry Simpson 187
5.    Scott Gordon 181

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.    Al Arbour 740
2.    Jack Capuano 155
3.    Terry Simpson 81
4.    Peter Laviolette 77
5.    Ted Nolan 74
 
They Said It
Tavares: "We had leads and we didn’t do a good enough job protecting them…. It's a lot of emotions and a lot of swings. You get some chances and you start to open up a bit. That's asking too much of your goaltender, and they made us pay."

They Tweeted It
@NickTsistinas9 We'll back at it tm in Carolina let just keep getting points @NYIslanders #isles
@j4lambert @NHL @NYRangers @NYIslanders game has 11 even strength goals, none on power play or shorthanded, none on penalty shot or empty net.
@CaseyStern: Ryan Strome is a star in the making. His instincts with the puck are insane. #Isles #NHL

The Coach
It was just one of those nights where everything was finding the back of the net for both teams. Give them credit, they came out in the third period and played well. We had some chances, but couldn’t get it done.”

Back-to-Backs
Including tonight, the Isles are 7-3-0 in the front-end and 7-2-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  The Isles have swept 5 sets of back-to-back this season and are 1-1-0 in four sets.

This back-to-back set will conclude on Tuesday at Carolina.

Leading Ice Men
Johnny Boychuk led all Isles with 22:25 of ice-time; Ryan McDonagh led the Rangers in ice-time with 25:42.

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-0), Travis Hamonic (15-2-1), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-5-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-3-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Kyle Okposo (0-1-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).

John Tavares led Isles forwards with 21:53 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (20-18-1), 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 35 of 62 draws (56%).  Casey Cizikas won 7 of 10 and Brock Nelson won 12 of 18 for the Isles; Dominic Moore won 6 of 10 for the Rangers. The Isles split 44 draws in the first two periods but actually won 13 of 18 in the final 20 minutes. The Isles won 1 of 3 draws on the power play and 3 of 7 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit the Rangers 43-29.  Anders Lee led the Islanders with 8 hits.

There were no fights. The Isles have been involved in 13 fights this season: Martin (8), Hamonic (3), Lee (1), Strome (1) and 10 of the 13 have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 19 blocked shots; Thomas Hickey led the Isles with 3.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Rangers finished with a total Corsi advantage of 71-67 (including 28-15 in the third period). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).

Nick Leddy led the Isles with a +15 even-strength Corsi rating and was also on-ice for a team-leading 74% of Corsi For events.  Derick Brassard (+14) led the Rangers.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 371 career points; he is 75 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 20 times this season and the Isles are 15-5-0 in those games.  Prior to this season the Isles had won only 40 of the 151 games in which Tavares was scoreless.

All-time Winners
The Islanders fall to 24 games over all-time NHL .500 (1442-1418-451 in 3,311 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 Brock Nelson are the Islanders’ reigning ironmen.  Leddy has played 309 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 110 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner and Eric Boulton are on injured reserve.  Calvin deHaan missed the game due to an injury. Matt Donovan was scratched. Matt Carkner was removed from injured reserve, cleared waivers, and has been assigned to Bridgeport.

The Isles have lost 209 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
•    163 goals (13th all-time and 5 behind Ziggy Palffy)
•    208 assists (15th all-time, 41 behind Tomas Jonsson and 51 behind Billy Harris)
•    371 points (13th all-time and 72 behind Billy Harris)
•    407 games played (37th among Islander skaters all-time, 5 behind Wayne Merrick and 16 behind Dave Langevin)

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, 6 behind Frans Nielsen and 8 behind Pierre Turgeon)
•    298 points (18th all-time, 33 behind Ziggy Palffy and 35 behind Tomas Jonsson)
•    436 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 14 behind Scott Lachance and 15 behind Josh Bailey)

Frans Nielsen has:
•    96 goals (27th all-time and 4 behind Trent Hunter)
•    191 assists (17th all-time, 2 behind Pierre Turgeon and 17 behind John Tavares)
•    287 points (22nd all-time, 3 behind Alexei Yashin and 5 behind Duane Sutter)
•    504 games played (24th among Islander skaters all-time, 5 behind Rich Pilon and 6 behind Mick Vukota)

Michael Grabner has:
•    87 goals (tied-36th all-time with Butch Goring and 5 behind Travis Green)

Josh Bailey has:
•    451 games played (30th among Islander skaters and 8 behind Trent Hunter)

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 3 games to 1 (and 6 points to 2).

The Rangers are the only rival to visit The Barn three times this season; they will return to Long Island for their final regular season visit on March 8th.  

The Isles lead the Rangers by two points in the Met, but the Blueshirts do have two games in hand.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 16th
2 years ago tonight (2013) - John Tavares recorded his fourth career hat trick and Evgeni Nabokov made 30 saves as the Islanders broke open a scoreless game with five goals in the final 23:14 to defeat the New Jersey Devils 5-1.  Both Tavares and Matt Moulson finished the night with four points.

Tavares’ hat trick gave him 11 goals on the season, as well as goals in five straight games.

Moulson and Tavares became the first Islander teammates to have four-point games in the same game since Ryan Smyth and Mike Sillinger did so on March 17, 2007 in Florida.  (It didn't happen again until this past Saturday).

“The first goal was a big one for us, but the most positive thing was that we kept going at them,” John Tavares said. “We didn’t just get one and sit back, thinking things will get easier. We went after them, drew a couple penalties, and capitalized.”

“He comes to the rink every day to get better,” Jack Capuano said of Tavares. “He’s prepared, he’s focused, he’s committed, he’s willing to do all the little things and intangibles to be one of the best players in the league and the world. That’s just where he’s at right now.”

Also on this date: (1985)  - Pat LaFontaine established a club record by scoring twice in eight seconds and Tomas Jonsson netted the tying goal with 2:34 to play as the Isles tied Hartford 4-4.

All-time, the Isles have played twelve February 16th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 8-2-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.  

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 21-23-5-1 after a 5-1 loss to Hershey on Sunday. Bridgeport visits Hershey on Saturday and then hosts Norfolk on Sunday.

Up Next
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17th—ISLANDERS AT CAROLINA 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 LI News]


It’s been over four months since the Isles and Hurricanes opened the season with a home-and-home series; the Isles won both games, 5-3 and 4-3, to jumpstart this remarkable 2014-15 season.

The Isles return to Carolina for the final time this season on Tuesday; the Isles are 4-1-1 in their last six trips south and have won the last three games vs. Carolina overall.

The Canes will be at the Coliseum on February 28th to complete the season series.

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.  

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