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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 79

Carolina 4, Isles 2

Joe Corvo scored a goal and added two assists as the Carolina Hurricanes moved within one point of the New York Rangers for the final playoff berth with a come-from-behind 4-2 win over the Islanders before a sellout crowd of 16,250 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  It was the Islanders’ third sellout of the season.  The Isles have sold-out consecutive games for the first time since February 16-18, 2008.

JJ’s in the First
The teams traded goals four minutes apart in the opening period as Jussi Jokinen scored his 18th goal for Carolina and Jesse Joensuu responded with his 6th goal for the Islanders.  Joensuu, who also scored against the Rangers on Thursday, now has scored goals in consecutive NHL games for the first time in his career. The Isles held Carolina without a shot for the final 6 ½ minutes of the opening session.

JT in the Second
The Isles scored the only goal of the second period when John Tavares won a face-off and then tipped home a Matt Moulson shot for his 28th goal of the season.  Tavares’ goal gives the Isles three players with 28 goals for the first time since 2005-06 (Satan 35, Blake 28, Yashin 28).  He is two goals away from giving the Isles three 30-goal scorers for the first time since 1993-94. The Isles have now outscored their opponents 88-79 in the second period this season.

Desparation Pays Off for Canes
The Canes were desperate in the third and Joe Corvo tied the game at 3:02 of the period on a deflection; Erik Cole tipped home the winning goal at 6:04.  Then with the Islanders on a power play in the final minute, Eric Staal scored his 19th goal in 27 career games against the Isles into an empty-net. 4-2 Final.

Corvo’s Night
Corvo record his 7th career three-point game; two of the seven have been against the Isles.  He also was +4 for the fifth time in his career and third time against the Isles.

Konopka Extends Personal Record
Zenon Konopka had a minor penalty.  He now has 268 penalty minutes, three more than he had for Tampa last season. It’s the highest penalty total by any NHL player since Daniel Carcillo had 324 in 2007-08.  Carcillo and Peter Worrell (354 penalty minutes in 2001-02) are the only players to have more penalty minutes than Konopka in the last 13 years.  He is the first Islander to reach that total since Rich Pilon in 1997-98.

Lots of PIM’s
The Isles have four players with at least 100 penalty minutes: Konopka (268), Matt Martin (145), Trevor Gillies (136) and Travis Hamonic (101).  It is the first time since 2001-02 that the Isles have had four players with at least 100 penalty minutes.

Top 5
The Islanders have five players with at least 19 goals: Grabner 31, Moulson 31, Tavares 28, Comeau 22, and Parenteau 19.  The quintet has combined for 131 of the Islanders’ 215 goals (61%) this season. At least one of the five players has scored a goal in 15 of the last 16 games.

200 Shot Club
The Islanders have three players (Tavares 228, Moulson 226 and Grabner 213) with 200 shots in a season for the first time since 2006-07 (Blake, Satan and Yashin).  Grabner is the first Islander rookie with at least 200 shots in a season since David Volek had 229 in 1988-89.

Grabner’s Chase of the Record Books

Most Goals by an Islanders Rookie
1. Mike Bossy 53 (1977-78)
2. Bryan Trottier 32 (1975-76)
3. Michael Grabner 31 (2010-11)

Grabner needs one goal to tie Trottier for second place on the all-time rookie goal scoring list.

Most Shots on Goal by an Islanders Rookie
1. Mike Bossy 235 (1977-78)
2. David Volek 229 (1988-89)
3. Michael Grabner 213 (2010-11)

Grabner would need to average 7.4 shots per game to break Bossy’s record.

Rookies Who Have Led Isles in Goals
1. Billy Harris - 28 in 1972-73,
2. Mike Bossy - 53 in 1977-78,
3. Trent Hunter -25 in 2003-04 (tied with Mariusz Czerkawski)
4. Kyle Okposo-18 in 2008-09.

Grabner currently is tied for the team lead with 31.

Second-Half Surge
Despite the loss, the Islanders are 15-10-5 since the All-Star Break and are 25-19-7 in their last 51 games.

Growing Up Together
The Islanders have had five players record their 100th career point, all of them in Islander uniforms, this season.

Frans Nielsen has 120 points (37-83-120), tops among active Islanders.
• Blake Comeau has 118 career points (54-64-118).
John Tavares’ goal gives him 117 points (51-66-117). He is the youngest player in Islander history to record 50 goals and the second youngest player (Bryan Trottier) to record 100 career points. 
Kyle Okposo has 114 points (44-70-114).
• Veteran defender Radek Martinek has 103 career points (21-82-103)

With 229 points, Trent Hunter (injured) is the only player on the current roster to have recorded more points in an Islander uniform. 

Matt Moulson had an assist tonight to give him 109 career points; however, his first ten points came as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

Career Years
A number of Islanders are either close to or have assured themselves of career years in key offensive categories: (Unless otherwise noted, the career high was set last season)

Set New Career Highs:
John Tavares: 28 goals, 36 assists, 64 points (24-30-54 last season), 4 GW goals (2)
PA Parenteau: 19 goals, 32 assists, 51 points (3-5-8)
Michael Grabner: 31 goals, 17 assists, 48 points (5-6-11), 5 SH Goals (0)
• Blake Comeau: 22 goals, 21 assists, 43 points (17-18-35), 4 pp goals (2 in 2008-09), 74 games (63)
Frans Nielsen:13 goals (12) 31 assists (26),42 points (38), 7 SH goals (1)
• Andrew Mac Donald: 4 goals, 23 assists, 27 points (1-6-7)
Josh Bailey: 4 pp goals (3 -- twice)
• Jack Hillen:  4 goals, 17 assists, 21 points (3-12-15)
• Zenon Konopka: 79 games, 7 assists, 9 points (74 games, 3 twice , 7 in 2005-06); 266 penalty minutes (265)
Matt Moulson: 31 goals, 20 assists, 51 points (30-18-48 last season) 9 pp goals (8)
Milan Jurcina: 13 assists, 17 points (11 in 2008-09, 14 in 2008-09)

Approaching Career Highs
• Radek Martink 16 points (17 in 2005-06 and 2006-07)

Home and Road
The Isles are 30-37-12, and are 17-18-5 at home.   They are 26-27-9 under Jack Capuano, including 25-19-7 in the last 51.  Their 72 points is 11 more than they managed in the entire 2008-09 season; they are six points behind last season’s pace.   The Isles, who are 1-4-0 in their last five games overall, will need to win their home finale against Pittsburgh to reach NHL-.500 at home.

The Hurricanes are 38-30-10 and are 17-17-6 on the road. With their win, coupled with Buffalo’s overtime loss, the Canes have regained their own destiny.  If they win their final four in regulation, they are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.  The Canes host Buffalo in a key game on Sunday.

Sharing the Wealth
The Isles are 25-19-7 in their last 51 games, and all six goalies that the Isles have used this season have wins during that stretch (Montoya 9, DiPietro 5, Roloson 4, Poulin 4, Koskinen 2, and Lawson 1).

In the Nets
Al Montoya made 22 saves but falls to 9-5-4 on the season; he leads the club in wins. Montoya has allowed 2 goals or fewer in 10 of his 16 starts.  Montoya needs one more win (or Rick DiPietro needs two) for the Isles to avoid ending a full season without a goaltender with ten wins for the first time since 1973-74.  If Montoya leads the team in victories, he will be the fourth goaltender to do so in as many seasons (DiPietro in 2007-08, Joey MacDonald in 2008-09, Dwayne Roloson in 2009-10).

Cam Ward continues to dominate the Islanders, as he improves to 14-2-1 vs. the Isles. Ward, who actually lost his first career decision against the Isles, is 9-0-1 vs. the Isles since last losing to them on January 22, 2008. Ward, who made 29 saves, recorded his 35th win of the season (two shy of Roberto Luongo’s league-leading total).

Power Plays
The Islanders went 0-4 on the power play while the Canes were 0-3.  The power play is 0-16 in the last five games and 1-26 in the last eight games, while the penalty killers have stopped 28-of-31 in the last eight games, while scoring four shorthanded goals.  The Isles also allowed a shorthanded (empty net) goal.

Lots of PIMs
Konopka has 266 penalty minutes while Martin has 145.  It’s the first time since the 1997-98 season that the Isles have had at least two players with at least 145 penalty minutes (Pilon 291, Bryan McCabe 145).

In the Circle
The Islanders won 26 of 51 (51%) face-offs.   John Tavares won 15 of 25 for the Isles, while Zenon Konopka won 5 of 7.

Missing Men
Mark Streit, Mike Mottau, Trent Hunter, Kevin Poulin, Doug Weight, Andrew MacDonald and Mark Eaton are all out for the season, while Milan Jurcina, Bruno Gervais, and Frans Nielsen also missed the game with injuries.  Michael Grabner returned to the line-up after missing two games due to the birth of his son.  The Isles have lost 553 games to injury and 25 games to suspension this season.

Youth Group
The six Islander defensemen entered the night with only 751 games of NHL experience, with 449 of those games belonging to Radek Martinek.  Martinek become the 10th defensemen in Islander history to reach 450 games with the squad.

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 161 games since joining the team last season.  Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have played every game this season; his 91-game streak includes the final 12 games last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 59 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles. 

Season Series Stats
The Canes win the season series four games to none and eight points to one.  Carolina outscored the Isles 18-8 this season, allowing the Isles two goals in each game. The Canes are 7-0-1 over the last four seasons at the Coliseum, and are 10-0-2 against the Isles overall in the past three seasons.

Happy Anniversary
18 years ago today (April 2, 1993):  Pierre Turgeon had the hat trick, including the winner in overtime as the Islanders defeated the Rangers 3-2 at Madison Square Garden.  The hat trick gave him 50 goals on the season; no Islander has reached 50 goals since. All-time, the Isles are 10-9-1 on this date.

Up Next
Wednesday, April 6 Vs Boston 7:00pm
[MSG+2 (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]

The Isles head to Boston to meet the Bruins on Wednesday night.  Boston has taken two out of the first three, but the Isles did win the last meeting (March 11th at the Coliseum).  The Bruins clinched the Northeast Division with their win this afternoon over Atlanta but are still battling for playoff position.

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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