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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 80

Boston 3, Isles 2

Michael Grabner scored twice in the second period to become the second highest rookie goal scorer in club history, but the Bruins got a goal at 19:59 of the first period and two goals in the second to defeat the Islanders 3-2 before a sellout crowd of 17,565 at the TD Garden.

Almost a Scoreless First
The Bruins grabbed the lead at 19:59 of the first period when Shawn Thornton fired home his 10th goal of the season.

Grabner This Way, Grabner That Way
Michael Grabner scored both a power play goal and a shorthanded goal in the second period.  The power play goal, only his second with the extra man this season, tied the game at 1.  After Denis Seidenberg and Gregory Campbell scored to give Boston a 3-1 advantage, Grabner tallied his 6th shorthanded goal to get the Isles back in the game.  Grabner’s two goals give him 33 on the season; among Islander rookies, only Mike Bossy (53) had more.  He is the first NHL rookie to score 33 goals since Evgeny Malkin had 33 in 2006-07 and the first Islander to score both a power play goal and a shorthanded goal in the same game since Roman Hamrlik did so against Atlanta on October 20, 2000.

A Scoreless Third
The Isles pressed late in the game but could not find the equalizer. 3-2 Final.

Lots of PIM’s
The Isles have four players with at least 100 penalty minutes: Konopka (268), Matt Martin (145), Trevor Gillies (140) 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 33, Moulson 31, Tavares 28, Comeau 22, and Parenteau 19.  The quintet has combined for 133 of the Islanders’ 217 goals (61%) this season. At least one of the five players has scored a goal in 16 of the last 17 games.

200 Shot Club
The Islanders have three players (Tavares 231, Moulson 229 and Grabner 219) 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. Michael Grabner 33 (2010-11)
3. Bryan Trottier 32 (1975-76)

Most Shots on Goal by an Islanders Rookie
1. Mike Bossy 235 (1977-78)
2. David Volek 229 (1988-89)
3. Michael Grabner 219 (2010-11)

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 has the team lead with 33.

Second-Half Surge
Despite the loss, the Islanders are 15-11-5 since the All-Star Break and are 25-20-7 in their last 52 games.  With the injuries mounting, the Isles are 1-5-0 in their last six games, and have scored only eight goals in the five losses.

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). Only Trent Hunter (229 points) has more among current Islanders.
• Blake Comeau’s assist gives him 119 career points (54-65-119).
John Tavares has 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 has 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: 33 goals, 17 assists, 50 points (5-6-11), 6 SH Goals (0)
• Blake Comeau: 22 goals, 22 assists, 44 points (17-18-35), 4 pp goals (2 in 2008-09), 75 games (63)
Frans Nielsen: 13 goals, 31 assists, 44 points (12-26-38), 7 SH goals (1)
Andrew MacDonald: 4 goals, 23 assists, 27 points (1-6-7)
Josh Bailey: 4 pp goals (3 -- twice)
• Jack Hillen:  4 goals, 18 assists, 22 points (3-12-15)
• Zenon Konopka: 80 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 Martinek 16 points (17 in 2005-06 and 2006-07)

Home and Road
The Isles are 30-38-12, and are 13-20-7 on the road.   They are 26-28-9 under Jack Capuano, including 25-20-7 in the last 52.  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 Bruins are 45-24-11 and are 21-13-6 at home.  The Northeast Division champions are the third team in the East to reach 100 points.  It’s the 19th time that Boston has reached the century mark.  The Bruins are 6-2-1 in their last nine overall and are 6-1-3 in their last 10 at home.

First for Everything
Some stats are just hard to believe.  This was the Bruins’ 80th game.  Campbell’s goal was the first that Boston has scored all season 4-on-4. The Bruins have only one overtime goal all season and it was scored 4-on-3.  The Isles have now scored 11 goals and allowed 11 goals in 4-on-4s.

Sharing the Wealth
The Isles are 25-20-7 in their last 52 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
Rick DiPietro made 30 saves but falls to 8-13-4 on the season. DiPietro is 1-7-0 in his last eight decisions.  Rick did record an assist on Grabner’s power play goal.  He extends his own club records for goalie assists and points to 17.  It was his first assist of the season; he has had at least one assist in seven straight seasons. DiPietro needs two more wins (or Al Montoya needs one) 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).

Tim Thomas rebounded from the third period disaster at the Garden to make 30 saves and improve to 34-11-9 on the season.

Power Plays
The Islanders dominated on the special teams, as they went 1-2 on the power play while the Bruins were 0-5.  It’s only the Isles’ power play goal in their last nine games (2-28).  The penalty killers, who killed a full 2-minute 5-on-3 and scored a shorthanded goal, have stopped 33-of-36 in the last eight games, while scoring five shorthanded goals. 

Super Shorties
Grabner now has six shorthanded goals, which ranks second in the NHL to teammate Frans Nielsen’s 7.  It’s the second time in club history that two players have reached six shorthanded goals (Bob Bourne -7, Anders Kallur-6 in 1980-81) and the first time it has been done in the NHL since Craig MacTavish and Mark Messier each scored six shorthanded goals for Edmonton in 1989-90.  The Isles lead the NHL with 15 shorthanded goals; the club record is 19, set in 1980-81.

Prior to this season, only five times in Isles history had a player scored as many as 6 SH goals.

Isles with 6+ Shorthanded goals in a season
• Bob Bourne 1980-81 7
• Shawn Bates 2002-03 6
Michael Grabner 2010-11 6
• Lorne Henning 1976-77 6
• Anders Kallur 1980-81 6
Frans Nielsen 2010-11 6
• Michael Peca 2001-02 6

One From the Record
Grabner is only the 4th rookie in NHL history to score at least six shorthanded goals in a season.  Jordan Staal is the only player to have seven:

• Jordan Staal (7) 2006-07 Pittsburgh
Michael Grabner (6) 2010-11 Islanders
• John Madden (6) 1999-00 New Jersey
• Gerry Minor (6) 1980-81 Vancouver

Scoring is Fun
Grabner now has two power play goals out of his total of 33.  Only two players in modern NHL history have scored more goals while tallying only twice on the power play: Petr Nedved (38 in 1992-93) and Jason Pominville (34 in 2006-07).

Need One More
The Isles are 12-15-12 in games decided by one 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).  Neither was penalized tonight.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 20 of 48 (42%) face-offs.   John Tavares won 8 of 18 for the Isles, while Rich Peverley won 7 of 9 for Boston.

Missing Men
Mark Streit, Mike Mottau, Trent Hunter, Kevin Poulin, Doug Weight, Andrew MacDonald, Mark Eaton, Milan Jurcina and Frans Nielsen are all out for the season, while Jack Hillen and Bruno Gervais also missed the game with injuries.  The Isles have lost 564 games to injury and 25 games to suspension this season.

Matt C-a-m-p-a-n-a-l-e
With seven defensemen out injured, Matt Campanale made his NHL debut on an Amateur Tryout.  Campanale, who ten days ago played in his last collegiate game for the University of New Hampshire, played 8:21 in 13 shifts.  He was not on-ice for any goals.  Campanale is a Valentine's Day birthday (1988).  He is the fourth Valentine's Day baby to play for the Islanders, joining Sean Hill, Viktor Kozlov and six-game NHL'er Mike MacWilliam.  There are also two "Dynasty Children" born on February 14th - Brandon Sutter and Eric Nystrom.

Youth Group
The six Islander defensemen entered the night with only 582 games of NHL experience, with 450 of those games belonging to Radek Martinek.  Boston’s Mark Recchi had 1,068 more games of experience than the entire Isles defense.  Recchi passed Chris Chelios for 4th place on the all-time games played list (1,651) by playing his 112th game against the Islanders. Tomas Kaberle also has significant more experience than the entire Isles defense; he played in his 900th NHL game.

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 162 games since joining the team last season.  Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have played every game this season; his 92-game streak includes the final 12 games last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 60 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.   Hamonic, who made his NHL debut on November 24th has played more games for the Isles this season than any defensemen other than Jack Hillen (64 games) and Radek Martinek (62 games).

Season Series Stats
The Bruins win the season series three games to one and six points to two.  Boston outscored the Isles 16-11 this season. The Isles scored shorthanded in both games in Boston but suffered a pair of regulation losses for the first time since 2007-08.

Happy Anniversary
36 years ago today (April 6, 1975):  Clark Gillies scored the winning goal midway through the third period, and Captain Eddie Westfall added an empty-net tally as the Islanders won for the first time ever at Madison Square Garden, as they defeated the Rangers 6-4, and tied the Blueshirts in the Patrick Division final standings.  The teams would meet twice more at MSG in the following five days and the Islanders would win them both, to eliminate the Rangers from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

All-time, the Isles are 9-5-2 in regular season play on this date.  They also opened playoff series in 1976 (Vancouver), 1983 (Washington) and 1988 (New Jersey) with April 6th victories.

Looking Ahead
With tonight’s defeat, the Isles fall into 14th place in the East (and 27th overall).  They are tied with Ottawa with 72 points, but the Sens have three more regulation/overtime wins. The Isles will have either the 3rd, 4th or 5th seed for the NHL Draft Lottery.

Up Next
Friday, April 8 Vs Pittsburgh 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]

The Isles return home for the home finale on Friday evening and a sellout crowd will be ready to greet them.  The Isles will need to win the home finale to reach NHL-.500 at home.  It will be the third straight home sellout – the first time that has happened in the regular season since 2003.  The Isles are 2-2-1 vs. Pittsburgh this season including a 9-3 victory on February 11th in the most-penalized game in Islander history.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in “The Skinny” has been gathered from various sources.  Follow Eric @ehornick on Twitter.
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