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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 26

Bruins 5, Isles 2

Frans Nielsen became the first Islander to ever score twice on a penalty shot in a single season, but in the end it wasn’t enough as the Boston Bruins hit the empty net twice to cement a 5-2 win over the Islanders before a sellout crowd of 17,565 at TD Bank Garden.

Bruins Grab the Lead

The first period was scoreless for 14 minutes before Milan Lucic beat Rick DiPietro for the session’s only goal.  Lucic’s goal came only seconds after Radek Martinek left the ice after blocking a shot while killing a 5-on-3.  The Bruins outshot the Isles 16-7 in the opening period.  DiPietro had a strong session in nets; however, his delay-of-game penalty set up the 5-on-3.   The Isles have been outscored 25-11 in the first period this season.

One for the History Books

In their first 37 seasons, the Isles had scored only 11 penalty shot goals.  For the second time this season, Frans Nielsen connected while shorthanded.  Nielsen was hacked at by Patrice Bergeron and then beat Tuukka Rask to knot the game.  Nielsen now has points in six of his last seven games (2-5-7) and has goals in two straight after tallying only twice in the first 24 games.

Nielsen is:

• The first Islander to score twice on a penalty shot in the same season;
• The second Islander to score twice on a penalty shot in his career (Benoit Hogue);
• The second Islander to attempt consecutive team penalty shots (Brad Isbister) and the first to score on both;
• The first Islander to attempt/score consecutive team penalty shots;
• The first NHL’er to score twice on a penalty shot in a season since Simon Gagne, then of the Flyers, in 2008-09;
• The first player to be awarded/score a penalty shot in an Islander/Bruin game (140 previous regular season and 11 playoff games)

Turning Point of the Game

With the game tied 1-1, and the Islanders on a power play, John Tavares’ shot went off the post; Brad Marchand came down the other way for Boston; DiPietro tried to poke the puck past Marchand in the face-off circle but his clearing attempt hit Marchand, who then picked up the puck and deposited it into the empty net for a shorthanded tally.  It marked the first time since February 26, 2009 (against Toronto) that the Isles and their opponents had both scored shorthanded in the same game.

Ryder Tries to Seal It… but Schremp Fights Back

Michael Ryder scored on a power play to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead with 5:44 to play in the third, but Rob Schremp got the Isles back in the game with a goal 2:11 later.  It was Schremp’s 4th goal of the season (in only 12 games)

Double Empties

The Bruins hit the empty net twice in the final 1:03 to finish the scoring, with Lucic and Patrice Bergeron netting the tallies. It’s the first time since April 10, 2009 that a team has allowed two empty-net goals (Nashville vs. Minnesota) and the first time the Isles have done it since March 17, 2007 in Florida.  5-2 final. 

Home and Road

The Bruins improve to 16-8-3, 7-5-2 at home. The Isles are 5-16-5, 2-10-3 on the road.  The Isles are 0-9-2 in their last 11 on the road and 1-15-3 in their last 19 overall.

In the Nets

Tuukka Rask made 33 saves to record only his second victory in nine decisions (2-6-1) this season.  Rick DiPietro (3-5-4) made 32 saves for the Isles.  It’s the first time in DiPietro’s career that the Isles have allowed two empty-netters with him on the bench.

Power Plays

None of the Bruin goals came 5-on-5 as the B’s were 2-5 on the power play, scored shorthanded and added two empty nets.  The Isles were 0-3 on their power play and have now gone 41 attempts without a power play goal, covering their last two chances against Philadelphia on November 6th and a club record-tying twelve games since.    The 1972-73 squad also had a twelve game drought without a power play goal.  The Isles will need a power play goal on Saturday vs. Atlanta to avoid setting a new club record.

In the Circle

The Isles won only 25 of 62 face-offs (40%).  Zenon Konopka was the Isles’ best, winning 9 of 17. Patrice Bergeron won 13 of 16 for Boston.

First Goal Was Huge

The Bruins are 12-0-1 when scoring first while the Isles are 0-14-2 when allowing the first tally.

Missing Men

Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Milan Jurcina, Doug Weight, Trent Hunter and Mike Mottau remain out. Bruno Gervais was scratched.  Dylan Reese has been returned to Bridgeport.

Season Series Stats   

The Bruins lead the season series 1 game to none.  The teams will not meet again until February 17th, when the Bruins visit Long Island.

Slump Stats

The Isles are 1-15-3 in their last 18 games.  It’s their fewest points in a 19 game stretch since going 2-17-0 over 19 games in the 1988-89 season.  It’s their fewest wins in that stretch since winning once in a 20-game stretch late in the 1989-90 season.

Happy Anniversary

21 years ago today (December 9, 1989):  Mark Fitzpatrick’s third shutout in a 10-day period came in one of the more memorable Islander-Ranger games of the era: the only scoreless tie ever between the teams.  Fitzpatrick made 33 saves while John Vanbiesbrouck had 26 stops for the Blueshirts. It’s one of only seven scoreless ties in Islander history.

35 years ago today (December 9, 1975): Chico Resch becomes the first Islander to record consecutive shutouts as he blanked the Minnesota North Stars 6-0 at the Coliseum.

The Isles have played on December 9th in each of the last three seasons and have lost all three.

Up Next
Saturday, December 11- Atlanta @ Islanders 7:00pm
[MSG+2 (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]

The Islanders return home on Saturday night to face the Thrashers.  It's the second meeting of the teams this season; the Thrasher won in overtime on November 21.

The Isles are 7-4-0 in their last 11 home games against the Thrashers, and are
4-1-1 in their last six meetings overall.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in “The Skinny” has been gathered from various sources.
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