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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 37

Isles 5, Flames 2

John Tavares and Matt Moulson each scored twice and Nathan Lawson made 28 saves in relief of Rick DiPietro as the Islanders won their third straight game, defeating the Calgary Flames 5-2 before 19,289 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  The Isles, who are 7-1-1 in their last nine games, stopped Calgary’s 4-game winning streak.

Getting the Jump
The Isles jumped on the Flames early; with former Islander Tim Jackman sitting in the penalty box, John Tavares scored on a backhander at 3:37 of the first period for his 12th goal of the season.  Just over 4 ½ minutes later, Matt Moulson tipped home a PA Parenteau shot for his 13th goal, reclaiming the team lead from his linemate.

Flames Get on the Board
David Moss got Calgary on the board at 11:37 with the first of his two goals, but the Isles’ Tavares struck again on the power play at 14:25 to give the Isles a 3-1 lead heading to the first intermission.

More for Moulson…and then a Scare
Moulson tipped home a Travis Hamonic shot at 3:06 of the second period to give the Isles a 3-goal lead. With Calgary pressing two minutes later on a power play, Rick DiPietro was injured and removed from the game. The Islanders later announced that his removal was for “precautionary reasons” and was diagnosed as an “adductor muscle”.

Enter Nathan Lawson
The Calgary native, who was recalled from Bridgeport following the trade of Dwayne Roloson, came in and made 28 saves over the final 34 ½ minutes. David Moss scored the Flames only goal against Lawson at 13:22 of the second period, with former Islander Tim Jackman drawing the assist to extend his point streak to four games. Lawson however shut the door from there.

Grabner Seals It
Rookie Michael Grabner hit the empty net with 1:06 to play for his 9th goal of the season, tied for third on the team. Only five rookies in the NHL have more goals. Grabner hit the empty net on his 4th shot of the night; he now has 9 goals on 60 shots (15.0%). His shooting percentage rates second among rookies to Chicago’s Brian Bickell. It was the Islanders’ third empty net goal of the season. 5-2 Final.

Rolling on the Road
With two goals and an assist, John Tavares now has a team-leading 27 points, including 17 (9-8-17) on the road. It’s the fifth time that he has had at least three points in a game, with four of those occasions occurring on the road. Tavares, who now has consecutive three point games for the first time in his career, recorded all three points in the first period. It’s the first time that he has recorded three points in a period and the first time an Islander has done so this season. Both of Tavares’ goals were on the power play; it’s the 7th time in his career that he has scored at least twice (one career hat) and the fourth time that he has done so on the road. All 6 of Tavares’ power play goals this season, and 15 of his 17 career power play goals have come in road games.

Top Line Soaring
Tavares is now 5-8-13 over the last 9 games (and 3-3-6 over the last two). Mouson, who recorded his first two goal game of the season, has three goals in the last two games.  Parenteau, who had two assists, is 5-5-10 in the last nine, including three two-point games. PA has 15 assists, tops among current Islanders.

From The Elias Geniuses
Tavares is the first Islander to record three points in the first period of a game since Mike Sillinger did so on March 17, 2007 in Florida. 

A-Mac Piling Up the A’s
Andrew MacDonald had two assists for the second straight game and now has ten on the season. Nine of his ten assists have come in the last eight games.

Home and Road
The Isles are 12-19-6, 5-12-3 on the road. 9 of their 12 wins have come in three distinct three-game win streaks. They are now 8-9-3 under Jack Capuano, including 7-1-1 in the last nine.  It’s their best stretch since a 9-3-1 stretch in late 2009/early 2010. Calgary, who played the 3,000th game in their franchise’s history, is 18-19-3, 11-8-0 at home. 

Road Warriors
The Isles have won consecutive games, both on the road, for the second time this season.  This was only their second regulation road win of the season; their other three road W’s came in overtime/shootouts.

In the Nets
Rick DiPietro left with a 4-1 lead so he is credited with the victory, evening his season record at 6-6-4. DiPietro made 13 saves. Lawson has now stopped 57 of 61 shots in his NHL career.  Rookie Henrik Karlsson made 21 saves for Calgary.

Lots of Shots… No Problem
Since the beginning of last season, the Isles have allowed at least 40 shots sixteen times.  They are 8-5-3 in those games. This was the first time Rick DiPietro won a game in which the Isles allowed 40 shots since a 5-4 shootout victory, ironically in Calgary, in January 2008.

Power Plays
For the second consecutive game, the Isles were 2-2 on the power play.  It’s the first time since at least 1987 that the Isles have had consecutive perfect games on the power play. The Isles’ road play is now 14-69, 20.3% which should put them in the top 7 in the NHL. The Isles have scored two power play goals in three of their last four games after not having done so since October 27th. Calgary had only two power play attempts, and the Isles stopped both of them, so they are a perfect 7-7 on the penalty kill in the first two games of this season-long five game road trip. 

In the Circle
The Isles won 31 of 65 (48%) face-offs.  Frans Nielsen was the Isles’ best, winning 8 of 13. 

On The Mark
Mark Eaton played 22:53, blocked five shots and was credited with his third assist of the season. He has played 50:49 in the first two games of this road trip.

Missing Men
Mike Mottau is out for the season. Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Doug Weight, Trent Hunter and Radek Martinek remain out.  Blake Comeau missed his first game of the season with neck spasms and he is day-to-day. The Isles dressed seven defensemen for the third time this season so Trevor Gillies was a healthy scratch. The Isles have now lost 217 man-games to injury.  In addition to the injury to DiPietro, Frans Nielsen saw only two short shifts early in the third period before retiring from the game with a groin strain.

Welcome to the World
Jack Hillen returned to the lineup after missing the game in Detroit due to the birth of his son, Finn. Dad played 17:57 and was +1.

Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 119 games since joining the team last season.  Frans Nielsen and Blake Comeau are the only other Isles to have played every game this season. Travis Hamonic has now played 17 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles. Jay Bouwmeester played in his 464th consecutive game; this is the longest current streak in the NHL.

Season Series Stats   
The Isles win the only meeting of the season series between the 1972 expansion cousins.  The Isles are 4-1 in their last five games against Calgary.  Grabner’s empty-netter gives the Isles their most lopsided victory over the Flames since a 6-2 win on January 7, 1994.  It’s also the first time that the Isles have scored five goals against Calgary in that span.

Starting Off Right
The Isles open the calendar year with a victory for a second straight season. The Isles defeated Atlanta 6-5 in a shootout on January 2, 2010.

A Much Faster 15
The Isles were 5-18-5 on December 15th; their 15 points were the fewest in the NHL.  Since then, the Isles are 7-1-1, earning them 15 points in that stretch.

Happy Anniversary
8 years ago today (January 3, 2003): The Isles beat Boston 8-4 at the Coliseum. They have not scored eight goals in a game at the Coliseum since. The Isles won twice on this date under Peter Laviolette and three times under Al Arbour. The Isles are 6-9-3 all-time on this date, meaning Capuano is only the third Isles coach to win on this date.

1,500 Club
This was the 1,500th road game in Islander history. The Isles are 538-751-211 all-time on the road. 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). 

3,000 Club
The Flames played the 3,000th regular season game in their history. They are 1377-1175-448 overall.

Stopping Jarome
Jarome Iginla was held without a point for the second straight game.  It’s the first time since November 5-12 (3 games) that he has gone consecutive games pointless.

Up Next
Thursday, January 6- Islanders @ Edmonton 9:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 8:30), WRHU 88.7FM]

Alberta has not always been a friendly place for the Islanders so on Thursday the Isles will have an opportunity to do something that they have done only once before – sweep a pair of games in Alberta. On October 7th and 8th, 1982 the Isles won in Calgary 5-4 and in Edmonton 6-4 for their only sweep.

The Isles and Oilers did not play each other in calendar year 2010. They played twice in 2009, and Dwayne Roloson was the winning netminder in both games, once for each team. This will be only the Isles’ third trip to Edmonton since the lockout. Edmonton has won each of the last two. Garth Snow was the victorious goaltender in the Isles’ last win in Edmonton, on March 13, 2003.

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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