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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 40

Chicago 5, Isles 0

Marian Hossa scored a goal and added two assists, while Corey Crawford made 29 saves for his 2nd career shutout, as the Chicago Blackhawks celebrated the 50th anniversary of their 1961 Championship team by blanking the Isles 5-0 before an overflow crowd of 21,205 at United Center.  The Isles head home with a 3-2 record on their five-game road trip.

Another Slow Start
The Islanders allowed the opening goal for the third straight game and fourth time in five games; Patrick Sharp connected for his 7th goal in the last eight games, on the power play at 4:52 for the opening period’s only goal.  It was his club-leading 25th goal of the season and eventually became his 6th game-winning goal (which is tied with Dustin Byfuglien and Steven Stamkos for the NHL lead). The Hawks came out flying and outshot the Isles 16-8 in the opening period.

Hawks Score 4 in the Second
The second period was all Hawks.  Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Dave Bolland, and Niklas Hjalmarsson all tallied in the middle session.  Neither team scored in the third.  5-0 Final.

Home and Road
The Isles are 13-21-6, 6-14-3 on the road. They are now 9-11-3 under Jack Capuano, including 8-3-1 in the last 12.  Chicago is 23-18-3, 14-11-0 at home.  The Champs have won 3 of their last four.

In the Nets
Crawford improves to 14-8-1 as he records his second NHL shutout (and first since March 25, 2008).  Lawson made 40 saves for the Isles but falls to 0-2-1.

Power Plays
Chicago found a way to stop the Isles power play; they were shorthanded only once. The Isles finish the trip 7-16 on the power play (43.8%). Chicago was 1-4 with the extra man; the Isles killed 14 of 15 on the trip.

In the Circle
The Isles won 27 of 56 (48%) face-offs.  Jeremy Colliton won 10 of 14 draws for the Isles.

Missing Men
Mike Mottau is out for the season. Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Doug Weight, Trent Hunter and Radek Martinek, Mark Eaton and Rick DiPietro remain out.  Frans Nielsen missed his third game of the season with a groin strain while Trevor Gillies was a healthy scratch. The Isles have now lost 244 man-games to injury.

Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 122 games since joining the team last season.  Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have played every game this season; his 52 game streak includes the final 12 games last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 20 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.

Getting Younger All the Time
The Isles, who as recently as last Saturday had a 41 year old on their roster, dressed only three players over 30: Jon Sim and Zenon Konopka (30 years, 7 days), and they saw less than 22 minutes of ice-time combined.  With Kevin Poulin on the roster, the Isles now have three players who were born in the 1990’s (Travis Hamonic and John Tavares are the others; Tavares remains the youngest player on the team).  The average age of the 20 players dressed for this game was 25.10 years.

As seen on MSG+
Jeremy Colliton played in his second straight game.  Research by Elias noted that Colliton, who scored two goals on Saturday, ended the second longest drought between his first two NHL goals, while scoring both for the same team. Colliton’s goals were his first since April 15, 2006 against Pittsburgh, a span of 1729 days. Only Butch McDonald had a longer stretch, he went 1817 days between 1939-1944.  McDonald had a good excuse for his gap: World War II.

Race to 100 Heads Home
With the Isles shutout for the 4th time this season, the Race to 100 is on hold until Tuesday.  Blake Comeau has 97 career points (41-56-97), one more than Kyle Okposo (39-57-96), two more than Frans Nielsen (29-66-95) and five more than Radek Martinek (19-73-92).  No player drafted by the Islanders has recorded 100 points in an Islander uniform since Scott Lachance reached the mark during the 1998-99 season.

Go East, Young Team!
The Isles played 23 of their first 40 on the road, matching the club record, set in 1992-93.  They do not leave the Eastern Time Zone the remainder of the season and play 24 of their final 42 at home.

Season Series Stats
The Hawks win the only meeting of the season, and deprive the Isles the chance to beat the last four Stanley Cup champions in a four week stretch.  The Hawks beat the Isles for the first time since December 10, 2002, ending an Islander six-game winning streak against the Hawks. It’s Chicago’s most lopsided win over the Isles since a 5-0 win on November 12, 1999.

Happy Anniversary
25 years ago today (January 8, 1986):  Kelly Hrudey records a shutout as the Isles blank Pittsburgh 9-0 at the Coliseum, matching the club record for the most one-sided victory.    The Isles are now 9-8-1 all-time on this date.

3,000 Club
The loss spoiled the 3,000th regular season game in Islander history.  The Isles are 1296-1290-414 all-time.  Two more milestones await.  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). 

Up Next
Sunday, January 11- Vancouver @ Islanders 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]

The schedule now turns as the Isles begin stretches of 13-of-20 and 19-of-29 at home when they begin a five-game homestand by hosting the Vancouver Canucks.

As well as the Islanders have played of late, the Canucks have been even better.  Vancouver leads the NHL with 60 points and are 17-1-3 in their last 21 games.  The Canucks had won eight straight before a shootout loss to Detroit on Saturday; they have not lost in regulation since December 5th (13-0-3).  The Canucks are also 8-0-1 in their last nine on the road; they are beginning a 5-game road trip with this game.

The Isles are 4-1-2 in their last seven home games against the Canucks and are 6-3-3 against Vancouver since 1999.

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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