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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 62

Flyers 4, Isles 3 (OT)

As it has been for the past week, it was the Matt and Montoya Show for the Islanders again.  This time however, it was Matt Martin scoring twice in the third period, including the game-tying goal with 28 seconds to play. However, Andrej Mezaros scored with 18 seconds to play in overtime to spoil a 39-save effort by Al Montoya as the Flyers defeated the Islanders 4-3 at the Wachovia Center before a crowd of 19,776. With the overtime defeat, the Isles fall to 8-4-1 in the last 13 games. The Isles are 0-10-2 in their last 12 trips to Philadelphia.

Frans Strikes First
The Isles tallied the only goal of the first period as Frans Nielsen tallied at 9:03 of the first for his 8th goal of the season and only his 3rd goal of the season at even strength.

Flyers Get Two in the Second
Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk scored in the middle session to give the Flyers the lead.

Carter Gives the Flyers a 3-1 Lead
Jeff Carter made it 3-1 Philadelphia at 5:05 of the third to give the Flyers a two-goal advantage.

Martin Gets Isles One Point… but Philly Gets Two
Matt Martin got one goal back 86 seconds later; Micheal Haley earned the first assist of his career on the play.  Martin would then tie the game at 19:42 with his 4th goal of the season and send the game to overtime. Andrew MacDonald earned an assist on the goal to extend his assist streak to three straight games.  Alas, Mezaros’ goal would give the Flyers the overtime victory and keep the Isles winless in Philadelphia since April 2007. 4-3 (overtime) Final.

Quiet Game
Unlike the Isles’ last game with the other Pennsylvania team, there were only two minor penalties called in the entire game- one on each team.

As Seen on MSG+: Two with Ten
We noted on Tuesday that the Islanders now have two 10-goal scorers this month in Matt Moulson (10-3-13) and Michael Grabner (10-5-15).  With thanks to Elias, MSG noted that it is the second time in club history that the Islanders have had multiple players score 10 goals in February.  In 1982, Bryan Trottier (17), Brent Sutter (13) and Mike Bossy (11) all reached double digits.  The Isles went 12-1-1 in February 1982 and scored 83 goals.

Strange Stats of the Night
No Islander that played in this game played in the Islanders’ last victory in Philadelphia on April 7, 2007.  Trent Hunter is the only player still with the organization who played in that game. The Isles won all four games in Philadelphia that season; Radek Martinek and Rick DiPietro played in at least one of them, as did Bruno Gervais, who was the only player in tonight’s game to have a previous win in Philadelphia as an Islander.

Matt Martin was +3 for the Isles while Sean O’Donnell was +3 for the Flyers.  Two Flyers, Darroll Powe and Matt Carle, went -3.

Young Get Younger
The Isles defense corps had only 621 games of experience entering the game and Bruno Gervais (316) had more than half of it.  The Flyers dressed five players, including three defensemen, who had more experience than the Isles.  Three of the Isles defensemen (Travis Hamonic, Ty Wishart and Mark Katic) are NHL rookies; the average age of the 20 players that dressed was 24.56 years.  Back-up goalie Nathan Lawson was the 3rd oldest Islander in the line-up, behind Zenon Konopka and PA Parenteau.

Home and Road
The Flyers improve to 40-15-6, and are 20-8-3 at home.  The Flyers now have a 9-point lead over Tampa in the race for the number one seed in the East, and took over first place in the NHL, pending the outcome of Vancouver’s late night game.

The Isles are 23-31-8, and are 11-17-4 on the road.  They are 19-21-5 under Jack Capuano, including 18-13-3 in the last 34.  The Isles are 8-4-1 in February with one game to play; it’s their first 8-win month since November, 2008.

In the Nets
Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves to beat the Islanders for the 4th time this season and improve to 24-9-4 overall.

Al Montoya made 39 saves, but drops to 3-1-1.  He is now 5-2-1 in eight career starts and 6-2-1 overall.

Power Plays
The Isles went 0-1 on the power play while the Flyers were also 0-1.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 26 of 53 (49%) face-offs.  Frans Nielsen split 18 draws, while Josh Bailey went 6-6.

Missing Men
Mike Mottau, Trent Hunter, Kevin Poulin and Mark Eaton are out for the season. Mark Streit, Doug Weight and Rick DiPietro remain out. Radek Martinek missed his 2nd game with an upper body injury while Milan Jurcina missed his first game with a groin injury.  Trevor Gillies served the seven game of his nine-game suspension.  The Isles have lost 419 games to injury and 15 games to suspension this season. Mark Katic played 15:37 in his NHL debut.  Jesse Joensuu and Jeremy Colliton were returned to Bridgeport. Rob Schremp got back in the lineup, played 17:55, had five shots on goal, and was a +1.

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 144 games since joining the team last season.  Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have played every game this season; his 74-game streak includes the final 12 games last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 42 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles. 

Season Series Stats   
The Flyers lead the season series four games to none, and eight points to one.  The last three meetings have all been decided by a single goal.  The teams will meet again on March 26th at the Coliseum, before the Isles finish their regular season in Philadelphia on April 9th.  The Isles are 0-10-2 in their last 12 trips to Philadelphia and 1-15-4 in their last 20 games against the Flyers.

Happy Anniversary
4 years ago today (February 24, 2007): Frans Nielsen records the first goal and first assist of his career as the Islanders defeat Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 at the Coliseum.

All-time, the Isles are 5-6-3 on this date, including a scoreless tie with Boston in 2004.

Up Next
Saturday, February 26 Vs Washington 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]

The Islanders return home to face the Capitals in the first of a home-and-home series with Washington; the teams will meet in the District on Tuesday.  The Caps have won the first two games this season, both by scores of 2-1.

In the “it depends on how you look at it” department, the Isles are 6-2-4 in their last 12 at home against Washington, although the Caps have won five straight on Long Island (including three in overtime).

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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