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The Skinny: Sabres 2, Islanders 1 (SO)

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders

Game 48

Buffalo 2, Isles 1(SO)

Keith Aucoin’s third period goal got the Islanders one point, but Thomas Vanek scored the only goal of the shootout as the Islanders dropped a 2-1 decision to the Buffalo Sabres before a sellout crowd of 19,070 at First Niagara Center. The Islanders finished the regular season 8-1-4 in their last 13 and 11-2-4 in their last 17. With the point, the Islanders move into sixth place in the Eastern Conference but will need help over the weekend to avoid falling back to eighth place.

The Scoring:

1st Period


2nd Period

03:29BUFB. Flynn (6) Slap - ASST: T. Vanek (21) 1 - 0 BUF

3rd Period

07:26NYIK. Aucoin (6) Snap - ASST: A. MacDonald (9) 1 - 1 TIE

OT Period


The Shootout:

Thomas Vanek (G), Frans Nielsen (NG), Drew Stafford (NG), Brad Boyes (NG), Jochen Hecht (NG), John Tavares (NG)

The Skinny:

The Isles outscored their opponents 17-7 in the third period over the final 17 games … The Isles (excluding shootouts) scored 135 goals and allowed 136 … Bufalo goalie Ryan Miller played his 500th NHL game … He is only the 12th goalie to play his first 500 with the same team … The final four games of the regular season all were decided by one goal, including three by shootout … The Isles went 4-3 in the shootout this season … Frans Nielsen was stopped on his final five shootout attempts, and finished 2-for-7 on the season … The point gave the Islanders 32 out of 48 possible road points … Their .667 point percentage on the road is the highest in FRANCHISE HISTORY … The Isles went 1-5-1 on the back-end of back-to-backs this season … The Isles are 21-13-6 in regular season finales (0-3-2 in the last five) and are 19-16-5 in road finales (0-4-1 in the last five).

Road Warriors

The Isles have the second-best road record in the East, behind only Pittsburgh … They finished above .500 on the road for the first time since 2006-07, and had their second-best record ever through 24 road games.

Most points in first 24 road games (all time):

•34 in 1976-77 (15-5-4)

•33 in 1980-81 (15-6-3)

•32 in 2012-13 (14-6-4)

•31 in 1978-79 (13-6-5)

•28 in 1983-84 (13-9-2)

The Isles ended the regular season 0-1-2 in their last three games, marking the first time all season that they had gone three road games without a win.

The Standings (all teams have clinched):

•1 Pittsburgh (Atlantic Champion) 47 games 35-12-0 70 points (32 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Carolina

•2 Boston (NorthEast Leader) 46 games 28-13-5 61 points (24 ROW) Final games: Saturday at Washington, Sunday vs. Ottawa

•3 Washington (SouthEast Champion) 47 games 26-18-3 55 points (23 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Boston

•4 Montreal 47 games 28-14-5 61 points (25 ROW) Final game: Saturday at Toronto

•5.Toronto 47 games 26-16-5 57 points (26 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Montreal

•6 NY Islanders 47 games 24-17-7 55 points (20 ROW) Regular Season Over

•7 Ottawa 46 games 24-16-6 54 points (20 ROW) Final games: Saturday vs. Philadelphia, Sunday at Boston

•8 NY Rangers 47 games 25-18-4 54 points (21 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. New Jersey

The Shots:

Isles 9-9-8-5=31

Sabres 10-5-6-1=22

Home and Road

The Islanders are 24-17-7 overall, 10-11-3 at home and 14-6-4 on the road. Their 55 points in 48 games matches their highest 48 total since they earned 64 points in 48 games in 1983-84.

The Isles earned 32 of a possible 48 road points (.667) to establish a new franchise record for best road point percentage. The previous record (set in an era when two points were available in all games) was .663, set in 1976-77 and matched in 1980-81. The Isles went 2-1-2 in this season-ending five-game road trip.

The Isles ended their home season with at least a six-game point streak (5-0-1) for the first time since going unbeaten in the final 23 home games of the 1981-82 season.

The Sabres finish at NHL-.500 as they are 21-21-6 overall, 11-10-3 at home and 10-11-3 on the road.

In the Nets

Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves as finishes the season 23-11-7 with a 2.50 GAA and a .910 save percentage

Ryan Miller made 30 saves for Buffalo as he improves to 17-17-5 on the season.

Power Plays

The Islanders were 0-for-4 while the Sabres were 0-for-3.

The Isles are 15-3-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 9-14-6 when they do not.

The Isles finish the regular season 31-for-156 on the power play, while their opponents went 28-for-142 on the man advantage. The Islanders scored two shorthanded goals and completed the entire season without allowing a shorthanded goal. Minnesota, who will finish their season on Saturday, is the only other team to not allow a shorty this season.

The Isles went 0-for-12 in the final four games of the season on the power play and killed 17-of-23 in the final eight games.

Goals by Period (Season)

Isles: 37-49-47-2 = 135

Opponents: 35-43-54-4 = 136

Third period goals include eight empty-net goals for the Islanders and eight empty-net goals against the Isles.

59 of their 135 goals came from three players: Tavares (28), Grabner (16), and Moulson (15).


•Games: 8 players played all 48 games

•Goals: John Tavares with 28

•Assists: Matt Moulson with 29

•Points: John Tavares with 47

•Plus/Minus: Lubomir Visnovsky: Plus-12 (in only 35 games) – best by an Isle since Grabner and Nielsen both went plus-13 in 2010-11

•Penalty Minutes: Matt Martin with 63

•PP Goals: John Tavares with 9

•SH Goals: Frans Nielsen and Michael Grabner each had 1

•OT Goals: Brad Boyes and Thomas Hickey each had 1

•Shots: John Tavares: 162

•Shooting Percentage: John Tavares 17.3%

•Average ice-time: Andrew MacDonald 23:31

In (Almost) Every Game

The Isles have been tied or ahead at some point in the third period in 42-of-48 games this season (24-11-7), including each of the last 22 games. The last time the Isles were not tied or ahead at some point in the third period was March 10 at Pittsburgh.

Second to One

Jack Capuano is now second on the Islanders all-time list in both games coached (195) and wins (84).

Most wins by Islander coaches:

1.Al Arbour 740

2.Jack Capuano 84

3.Terry Simpson 81

4.Peter Laviolette 77

5.Ted Nolan 74

Most games coached (Islanders):

1.Al Arbour 1,500

2.Jack Capuano 195

3.Mike Milbury 191

4.Terry Simpson 187

5.Scott Gordon 181

They Said It

Keith Aucoin on the tying goal: "[Miller] kind of lunged and I had a five-hole wide open. I don't think he expected to come off the boards as hard as it did. Once it got by him, he was too far out of the net and couldn't recover. As soon as I saw the puck go by him, I knew I was going to have a good chance of scoring."

They Tweeted It

RT @KatieStrangESPN: #Isles Isles pick up a point in shootout loss to Buffalo, jump into sixth spot with Rangers and Senators idle.

The Coach

“We got the point. They won the skills competition. But I told them after the game that they deserve this opportunity to move forward now. The past is the past. When we get back, we'll get some rest here and move forward. It's an exciting time for the guys.”

As Tavares Goes…

The Isles are 1-0-0 when Tavares has four points, 2-0-1 when he has three points, 7-2-0 when he has two points, 11-4-1 when he has one point, and 4-10-5 when Tavares is held scoreless.

What a Pair!

John Tavares and Matt Moulson have combined for 43 goals this season. Moulson has assisted on 20 Tavares goals this season after assisting on 12 of his 31 goals last season. Tavares has earned an assist on 10 Moulson goals this season. In five of the last six games that Moulson has scored a goal, Tavares has scored also.

Head of the Class

John Tavares has 249 career points; he is 59 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.

118 NHL Goals

Moulson has 118 career goals (112 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, only 16 have more goals.

Leading Ice Men

Mark Streit played 26:38 to lead the Isles. Christian Ehrhoff led Buffalo with 30:09.

In the Circle

The Islanders won 32-of-63 draws. Casey Cizikas won 5-of-8 to lead the Isles. John Tavares won 12-of-22; he has won 111-of-184 (60.3%) over the last ten games.

Heavy Hitters

The Islanders out-hit the Sabres 23-15. Matt Martin had five hits to finish with an NHL-leading 234 hits. It’s the second consecutive season that Martin has led the NHL in hits. Matt Carkner fought Adam Scott in the second period; it was the 18th fight of the season.

Giving Up the Body

The Isles were credited with 16 blocked shots. Travis Hamonic led the way with six hits. Andrew MacDonald had two blocks to give him 123 on the season, tying him with Ron Hainsey for the NHL lead. However, several players who have a game to play have a chance to pass them.

All–time Winners

The Islanders are nine games over .500 all-time (1371-1362-439 in 3172 games). The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 with an all-time mark above .500.

April Wins Bring May Playoff Games

The Isles were 4-2-1 in January and 4-9-1 in February, and 8-5-1 in March. They are 8-1-4 in April.


John Tavares is the reigning Islanders’ ironman. Tavares has now played in 207 consecutive games.

Two other Islanders played in every game for the second straight season: Frans Nielsen and Mark Streit have each played in 130 consecutive games,

Eight players in all skated in every game this season: Kyle Okposo (now 113 consecutive games), Travis Hamonic (70), Matt Martin (61), Andrew MacDonald and Brad Boyes (48).

Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Post Cup Era

Matt Moulson 10/3/2009- 4/4/2013 284

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

John Tavares 10/16/10 – CURRENT 207

Century Club

Mark Streit now has the sixth-longest consecutive game streak of any 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.Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136

5.Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134

6.Mark Streit 10/8/2011-CURRENT 130

7.Travis Hamonic 11/24/2010 – 2/4/2012 113

8.Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110

9.Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104

Hamonic, McCabe and Morrow's streaks came at the start of their NHL careers. Both Niinimaa's streak and McCabe's streak encompassed their entire Islander careers.

Missing Men

Thomas Hickey replaced Lubomir Visnovsky in the lineup. Jesse Joensuu, Radek Martinek, Anders Lee, Marty Reasoner, Joe Finley and David Ullstrom were also scratched.


The Isles have scored 96 goals in their 24 wins (4.00 per game) and 41 goals in their other 24 games (0-17-7; 1.71 per game). In their 17 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 27 goals (1.59 per game).

Career Wins, Active Goalies

1. Martin Brodeur 669

2. Roberto Luongo 348

3. Evgeni Nabokov 335

4. Nikolai Khabibulin 331

Career Wins

17. Roberto Luongo 348

18. Evgeni Nabokov 335

18. Gump Worsley 335

20. Nikolai Khabibulin 331

Career Shutouts, Active Goalies

1. Martin Brodeur 121

2. Roberto Luongo 62

3. Evgeni Nabokov 55

4. Tomas Vokoun 51

Career Shutouts

18 Clint Benedict 57

19 Evgeni Nabokov 55

20 Bernie Parent 54

20 Ed Giacomin 54

Career Goals as an Islander

21Ray Ferraro 116

22Matt Moulson 112

22John Tavares 112

24Benoit Hogue 105

24Ed Westfall 105

Career Assists as an Islander

26Steve Thomas140

27Mark Streit139

28Greg Gilbert138

29John Tavares137

30Frans Nielsen136

31Jason Blake131

Career Games as an Islander (skaters)

25Gerry Hart476

26Mariusz Czerkawski470

27Radek Martinek466

28Trent Hunter459

39Randy Wood 381

40Frans Nielsen 367

41Dave Scatchard347

49Shawn Bates 330

50Josh Bailey 329

51Eric Cairns 327

52Alan Kerr 326

53Brad Dalgarno 321

54Kyle Okposo 319

55Ray Ferraro 316

55Steve Webb 316

55Richard Park 316

58Gerald Diduck 314

59Mikko Makela 307

60Gordon Lane 304

61Arron Asham 300

61Roman Hamrlik 300

63Matt Moulson 293

64John Tavares 291

65Gordon Dineen 287

66Mark Streit 286

67Jeffrey Norton 282

Career Points as an Islander

21Jason Blake258

21Steve Thomas258

23David Volek249

23John Tavares 249

25Ray Ferraro238

31Mikko Makela219

32Matt Moulson 214

32Mark Parrish214

34Garry Howatt213

34Jean Potvin213

36Anders Kallur211

37Marty McInnis198

38Wayne Merrick197

39Frans Nielsen 196

40Robert Goring195

41Jeffrey Norton188

42Kyle Okposo 185

43Lorne Henning184

44Mark Streit179

45Randy Wood172

Season Series Stats

The Sabres win the season series two games to one (and four points to three).

Happy Anniversary

38 years ago tonight (4-26-75): Ed Westfall’s third period goal was the game’s only tally and Chico Resch recorded the shutout as the Islanders completed their comeback from a 3-0 deficit to eliminate the Penguins in seven games. It was the only time between 1942 (Maple Leafs) and 2004 (Red Sox) that a professional sports team won a series they trailed three games to none.

All-time, the Isles are 0-1-1 in regular season play and 2-6 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on this date, with their other win coming in Game 1 of the Conference Finals against Boston in 1983.

On The Farm

Bridgeport finished their season with a 32-32-7-5 record.

Up Next


The Isles opponent will be determined on either Saturday or Sunday night.

Where Can the Isles Finish?

Even though their regular season is over, the Islanders can still finish as high as 6th or as low as 8th based on the result of games this weekend. The Rangers host the Devils at 3:00 p.m. Saturday while the Senators host Philadelphia on Saturday night and visit Boston on Sunday night.

•Isles will finish 6th (and face Washington) if NEITHER Ottawa or the Rangers earn a point in their final games

•Isles will finish 7th (and face either Boston or Montreal) if EITHER Ottawa or the Rangers earn a point in their final games

•Isles will finish 8th (and face Pittsburgh) if BOTH Ottawa and the Rangers earn at least one point in their final games

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.

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