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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 29

Isles 3, Ducks 2

In their first 28 games, the Isles had scored only 12 first period goals.  In a span of 99 seconds of Game 29, they scored three more.  The goaltending of Rick DiPietro made it hold up, as the Islanders broke a six-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks before 7,659 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  The loss, coupled with a Dallas overtime loss, knocked the Ducks out of first place in the Pacific Division

Isles Fine in 99
The Isles grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first period.  PA Parenteau scored on the power play at 15:06; Blake Comeau scored 28 seconds later, and Matt Moulson completed the trio at 16:45.

Parenteau’s goal, his 5th of the season, was his 4th power play tally of the season, tying John Tavares for the club lead in that category.  Comeau’s goal, his 6th, was his third in four December home games, while Moulson extended his club lead with his 11th goal of the season.

The three quick goals were enough to chase Curtis McElhinney, who shutout the Isles last month in Anaheim.  It’s the first time this season that the Isles have scored three goals in the first period.

Lupul/Blake Team Up to Make It Close
Joffrey Lupul and Jason Blake each scored one goal and assisted on another to help get Anaheim back in the game.  Lupul scored in the waning seconds of a power play midway through the second period, while Blake’s even strength tally, his first in nine games and the 4th of his career against the Isles, brought the Ducks within one goal just 1:30 into the third.

The Ducks mode their stars trying to even the game; Corey Perry played over 10 minutes in the third and Ryan Getzlaf played nearly as much, but the Isles were able to hang on.  3-2 Final.

Home and Road
The Isles improve to 6-18-5, 4-7-2 at home. The Ducks are 17-14-4, 6-8-3 on the road.  It’s the first regulation loss in six games for Anaheim, ending a 4-0-1 stretch (including 3-0-1 in extra time).

In the Nets
Rich DiPietro made 27 saves as he improves to 4-6-4 on the season.  McElhinney falls to 2-3-1 on the season as he was pulled for the second straight start; he allowed all three goals on just 12 shots. Jonas Hiller replaced McElhinney and made 17 saves in relief as he appeared in his 14th straight game

Finally a Three Goal Lead
The Isles three goal outburst gave them their first three goal lead since a 5-2 win over Colorado on October 16th – exactly two months ago.  It was their first three-goal first period since April 1st against Philadelphia.

Ducks Struggle in First, Too
Both the Isles and Ducks now have -11 differentials in the first period.  The Isles have scored 15 and allowed 26, while Anaheim has scored 18 and allowed 29.

Power Plays
The Isles were 1-3 on their power play; their goal, on their first opportunity gave them power play goals in consecutive attempts at home.  However, they are still 2-51 with the extra man in the last 15 games.  The Ducks went 1-5 on the power play.

In the Circle
The Isles had a strong night in the circle as they won 34 of 62 face-offs (54%). Zenon Konopka took more face-offs than he had recently and had great success, winning 18 of 24.

Missing Men
Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Doug Weight, Trent Hunter and Mike Mottau remain out. Mark Eaton missed his second game of the season with a groin injury.  Radek Martinek returned after missing two games while Milan Jurcina saw his first game action after missing 18 games. Bruno Gervais was a healthy scratch. Rhett Rakhshani and Dylan Reese have been returned to Bridgeport.

Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, extended his streak to 111 games.  He has not missed a game as an Isle. Frans Nielsen, Zenon Konopka and Blake Comeau are the only other Isles to have played every game this season. James Wisniewski has now played the most consecutive games on defense for the Isles: 25.

Two Fight Night
Trevor Gillies fought Sheldon Brookbank in the first period; Matt Martin battled George Paros in the second period.

Season Series Stats
The teams split the season series with each team winning at home.  The Isles are 6-2-2 in their last ten games against Anaheim, with both Duck wins coming in overtime.

Still Over .500
The win raises the Islanders’ all-time record to 1289-1287-413 in 2,989 games. The Isles’ all-time record has been .500 or better since they were 178-178-83 on January 16, 1978.  The Isles will play their 3,000th regular season game in Chicago on January 9th.

Happy Anniversary
30 years ago today (December 16, 1980):  Bob Bourne and Anders Kallur score shorthanded goals 17 seconds apart as the Isles beat Winnipeg 6-2.  It’s the fastest two shorthanded goals in Islander history.

The Flyers defeated the Islanders in each of their first two seasons on this day, by scores of 2-1 and 4-0.  Since then, December 16 has been a very favorable night for the Isles, with the Isles earning points in 11 of the last 12 (7-1-4).

Up Next
Saturday, December 18- Coyotes @ Islanders 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]

The homestand continues Saturday as the Islanders face Phoenix for the only time this season.  The Isles won in a shootout in Glendale last season, after riding Yann Danis to a victory in Phoenix’ last Coliseum visit in March 2008.

The Isles are 4-2-2 in eight home games against the Coyotes since that relocated from Winnipeg in 1996; they are 4-2-0 in their last six games overall against Phoenix.

The Coyotes have already lost in New Jersey and New York (in a shootout) on this trip.  With regular goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov suffering from the flu on Thursday, Phoenix was forced to dress Manhattanville College Director of Game Operations Tom Fenton at Madison Square Garden as the backup to Jason Labarbera.

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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