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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 48

Penguins 1, Isles 0

Craig Adams scored 8:35 into the third period for the game’s only goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins, playing without Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin got 29 saves from Marc-Andre Fleury and beat the Islanders 1-0 in front of 18,225 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Scoreless through Two
The teams played over 50 minutes of scoreless hockey.  The Isles outshot the Pens 12-9 in the first period while the Pens held a 14-7 advantage in the middle period.

Second Rebound the Difference
The game’s only goal, by Adams, came after Islander netminder Kevin Poulin stopped shots by Lovejoy and Arron Asham. It is the tenth time in eleven games that the Isles have allowed the opening goal.  The Isles outshot the Pens 10-8 in the third but could not get the equalizer.  1-0 Final.

Home and Road
The Penguins improve to 31-15-4 overall and 17-9-1 in their new building. They are 15-4-1 in their last 20 on CONSOL ice.

The Isles drop to 15-26-7, including 7-15-3 on the road. They are now 11-16-4 under Jack Capuano, including 10-8-2 in the last 20. 

In the Nets
Marc Andre Fleury made 29 saves to record his 18th career shutout and second against the Islanders. Both of his shutouts against the Isles have been by 1-0 scores. He is now 12-4-4 in his career against the Isles; 10 of the 12 wins have come in Pittsburgh. 

Kevin Poulin made 30 saves but drops to 2-2-1.  Poulin has now stopped 196 of 212 shots in the NHL for a .925 save percentage; his goals against average is a sparkling 2.59.  Poulin’s .925 save percentage is the lowest for any Islander goalie that has played at least 300 minutes (Wade Dubielewicz is at .920). This is the first time in his career that he has allowed just one goal in an NHL start.

Power Plays
The Isles went 0-2 on the power play, while Pittsburgh was 0-3. Since scoring three times in Colorado on January 8th, the Isles power play is 4-26 (15%) in the last nine games.  The Isles have killed 32 of 37 (87%) over the last 13 games.  Pittsburgh has also been good on the penalty kill as of late, blanking opponents in 22 straight opportunities.

Shooting Blanks
The Isles were shut out for the fifth time this season (all on the road).  It’s the second time that they have been shutout 1-0 (Anaheim’s Curtis McElhinney turned the trick on November 10th).  The Isles have been shutout 1-0 on twenty occasions in their history, including seven times in the last four seasons. All but four of the 1-0 defeats have come on the road.

The Penguins have allowed two goals or less in eight of their last 10 games and 25 of their last 34.  It’s the 8th time in history that Pittsburgh has shutout the Islanders.

Streak Stoppers
The shutout ended Michael Grabner’s point streak at six games- tied for the longest by an Islander this season and the longest by an Isle rookie since Kyle Okposo had an eight-game streak two seasons ago.  Four other Islanders (Moulson, Parenteau, Tavares and Hillen) had modest two-game point streaks stopped.

Tied After Two Against the Wrong Team…Again
For the second straight game, the Islanders were tied after two periods.  Buffalo, who defeated the Isles on Sunday is now 8-2-4 when tied after two periods, while the Penguins, with their win tonight, are 10-2-3 in the same situation.  The Isles are now 4-7-3 when tied in the second intermission.

Fight Night
There were two fights in the game’s first two minutes as Travis Hamonic tussled with Tyler Kennedy in his first NHL fight and Zenon Konopka fought with Arron Asham in his 15th fight of the season (and second against Pittsburgh). Konopka leads the NHL with 153 penalty minutes; Tim Jackman had 155 minutes two seasons ago – he is the only forward with more penalty minutes than Konopka since Mick Vukota had 237 of his club record 1,879 penalty minutes in 1993-94.

In the Circle
After struggling earlier in the game, the Isles rebounded to win 24 of 47 (52%) face-offs. However, the only goal of the game came off a Penguin face-off win in the third period. Rob Schremp won 5 of 8 and Frans Nielsen won 7 of 12 for the Isles. 

Missing Men
Mike Mottau and Mark Eaton are out for the season. Mark Streit, Doug Weight, Trent Hunter, Milan Jurcina and Nathan Lawson remain out. Rhett Rakhshani has recovered from his concussion and has been sent to Bridgeport. Trevor Gillies and Evgeny Nobokov (suspended) were healthy scratches. The Isles have now lost 307 man-games to injury.

Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 130 games since joining the team last season.  Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have played every game this season; his 60-game streak includes the final 12 games last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 28 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.

Busy Stretch
Tonight’s game was the third of five games in seven days for the Islanders, matching the club record.  It’s the 26th time that it has happened but the first time since it happened twice in the first 23 games of the 2007-08 season.

•    January 20  - Lost to Washington 1-2
•    January 21 – Won @ Buffalo 5-2
•    January 23-   Lost to Buffalo 5-3
•    January 25-  Lost @ Pittsburgh 1-0
•    January 26- Vs Carolina

Season Series Stats
The Penguins lead the season series two games to one (and five points to three); all three games have been decided by a single goal (including an overtime goal and a shootout).  The Isles will make their final visit to Pittsburgh next Wednesday; the Penguins have two trips to Long Island remaining, on February 11 and April 8.  The Penguins have beaten the Isles ten straight times in Pittsburgh, with the Isles earning only one point (0-9-1).  Seven of the ten games have been decided by two goals or less.

Happy Anniversary
13 years ago today (January 25, 1997):   Eric Fichaud made 47 saves and Derek Armstrong had the winning goal as the Islanders defeated Chicago 3-2 as a sellout crowd at the Coliseum witnessed the retirement of #739 in honor of Al Arbour’s victories as an Islander coach.  The win ends an Islander 13-game home winless streak (0-8-5) against Chicago that dated back to the first home game of the post-Cup era.  Armstrong would later become the final player who played for Arbour (excluding Arbour’s game 1,500) to appear in an NHL game.

All-time, the Isles have played only nine times on this date, and are 2-5-2.

Up Next
Wednesday, January 26 Carolina @ Islanders 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]

The Islanders play their final game before the All-Star break when they entertain Carolina for the first time this season.  The Hurricanes have won seven of the last nine between the teams, including a 7-2 decision at the RBC Arena earlier this season.

Programming Note:
Islander General Manager Garth Snow will be a guest on Subway Islanders Game Night.

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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