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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 36

Isles 4, Red Wings 3 (overtime)

PA Parenteau scored his team-leading 6th power play goal of the season with 1:03 remaining in overtime and Dwayne Roloson made 38 saves as the Islanders ended 2010 on a 6-1-1 streak with a 4-3 win over the Red Wings before a sellout crowd of 20,066 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.  The Isles finish December with a 6-7-1 record.

Wings Score First
Josef Franzen scored 11:52 into play to give Detroit the lead.  It was the Wings’ first goal since 2007 against the Isles, covering two full games and 131:52 in total.

Isles Turn the Game Around
The Wings’ only goal of the game lasted only 90 seconds.  Five seconds after Todd Bertuzzi took a goalie interference penalty, Matt Moulson was credited with the tying goal when future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom batted a puck past Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard.  It was Moulson’s team-leading 12th goal of the season. 

It looked like the period would end even, but Detroit was called for icing with 6 seconds to play.  Zenon Konopka won the ensuing face-off and John Tavares’ backhander beat Howard at 19:57 for his 11th goal of the season and a 2-1 intermission lead.   Detroit outshot the Isles 12-4.

Another Face-off Win, Another Goal
Midway through the second period, Konopka won another face-off, Matt Martin nudged it through to Jesse Joensuu and the recently recalled Islander scored his third goal of the season.  It was the third goal for the Isles; all came off face-off wins and came a combined 13 seconds after play restarted.

Detroit Battles Back
The Wings forced overtime with goals by Valtteri Filppula at 19:51 of the second period, and Tomas Tatar, off a deflection of a Darren Helm shot with 9:42 to play.  It was Tatar’s first goal and came in his first NHL game.

Overtime is Our Time
The Red Wings were awarded a power play in the opening minute of the extra session but Henrik Zetterberg evened manpower with a penalty of his own at 2:24. There were still 27 seconds left on his sentence when Parenteau took a pass from Tavares and beat Howard for the winning goal. It’s only the second time all season that the Isles have won a game in which they allowed the opening goal (2-16-3). 4-3 Final.

A Youngster Shall Lead Them
With one goal and two assists, Tavares now has a team-leading 24 points.  It’s the fourth time that he has at least three points in a game, with three of those occasions occurring on the road. 

Home and Road
The Isles are 11-19-6, 4-12-3 at home.  They are now 7-9-3 under Jack Capuano, including 6-1-1 in the last eight.  It’s their best stretch since a 9-3-1 stretch in late 2009/early 2010. Detroit is 24-9-5, 13-4-4 at home.  The Red Wings lead the Western Conference with 53 points.  The only other NHL team with 53 points: Pittsburgh, who the Isles defeated two nights earlier.

In the Nets
Dwayne Roloson improves to 6-13-1 while Jimmy Howard, who made 19 saves, is 20-6-3.  Howard’s 20 wins is tops in the NHL, yet he has a higher goals against average (2.66 vs. 2.64) and lower save percentage (.909 vs. 916) than Dwayne Roloson.  Roloson is 4-1-0 in his last five games, allowing 13 goals on 202 shots in that span.

Power Plays
Before the game, if I told you special teams were the story you might not have liked the Isles chances.  The Red Wings entered the game with a power play ranked tied for 3rd in the NHL, while the Isles were tied-26th.  However, the Isles went 2-2 on the power play while Detroit was 0-5.   It’s the first time since October 29th that the Isles have scored two power play goals in a road and the first time since March 7, 2009 that they have done so on just two opportunities.  It’s the second time this week (Sunday vs. Montreal) that the Isles have scored twice on the power play after not having done so since October 27th.

In the Circle
If ever there was a misleading statistic, this is it: the Isles won 32 of 65 (49%) face-offs… yet the Isles scored three goals off draws.  Zenon Konopka won 13 of 20.

It’s Spelled T-E-A-M
The Isles blocked 23 shots, including five by Mark Eaton and Milan Jurcina. Eaton and Matt Martin each had three hits to lead the Isles.

Lots of Ice for Eaton
Mark Eaton played a season-high 27:56.  It was his highest ice-time in a regular season game since he played 29:26 for the Flyers on March 8, 2000 in his 12th NHL game -- nearly 11 years ago.

Missing Men
Mike Mottau is out for the season. Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Doug Weight, Trent Hunter and Radek Martinek remain out.  Joensuu and Dylan Reese were recalled for the trip; Reese did not play nor did Trevor Gillies. The Isles have now lost 210 man-games to injury.

Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 118 games since joining the team last season.  Frans Nielsen, Zenon Konopka, Blake Comeau are the only other Isles to have played every game this season. Travis Hamonic has now played 16 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.

Season Series Stats   
The Isles win the only meeting of the season series.  It’s their third straight win over Detroit; it’s the Isles’ longest winning streak against the Wings since a 4 game streak that began 25 years ago to the day (December 31, 1985) and ran through November 8, 1986.

Auld Lang Syne
This was the final game of 2010.  The Isles end the calendar year on a 6-1-1 streak and having won two of the last three on the road.  The Isles finish 2010 with a record of 29-38-9, including 8-25-4 on the road.

Worst to First!
The Isles were 5-18-5 on December 15th; their 15 points were the fewest in the NHL.  Since then, the Isles are 6-1-1; their 13 points match Vancouver for the most in the NHL in that span.

The Isles earned 10 points (5-1-0) in the final ten days of 2010 -- the most of any NHL team in their span. The Canucks and Red Wings each earned 9.

Happy Anniversary
25 years ago today (December 31, 1985):  Mikko Makela scored in overtime to give the Isles a 5-4 win over the Red Wings at the Joe.

The Isles have earned at least a point in each of their last six New Year’s Eve games, with a shootout loss in Ottawa last season their only minor blemish.  The Isles haven’t been beaten on New Year’s Eve since Jocelyn Thibault blanked them 1-0 to end 1998.  The late Bob Probert had the game’s only goal.

The Isles are 11-7-1 all-time on this date, including 3-2 in overtime/shootouts.

Up Next
Monday, January 3- Islanders @ Calgary 9:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 8:30), WRHU 88.7FM]

The Isles visit Calgary for only the fourth time since 1999 when they play the second game of this five game trip against the Flames.

The Isles have won three out of their last four games against Calgary, including a 3-2 win at the Coliseum last March.

This will be the 1,500th road game in Islander history, and the 1,499th road game in Flames history (counting their days in Atlanta).

The Isles will also play their 3,000th game on this road trip (next Sunday in Chicago).  Their 1,500th home game will be on January 15th against Buffalo while their 1,500th Nassau Coliseum game will be on January 20th against Washington (each NHL team played two neutral site games in 1992-93 and 1993-94).

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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