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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders
Game 41

Flyers 3, Isles 2

Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves as the Flyers, despite being outplayed for large stretches of the game, defeated the 3-2 in front of 11,751 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  The loss spoiled Evgeni Nabokov’s first attempt at his 300th victory and stopped an Islander three-game home winning streak.

The Scoring:
1st Period
02:49NYI SH Michael Grabner – stopped on penalty shot
17:20PHI PPG - Scott Hartnell (19) - ASST: J. Jagr (20) AND C. Giroux (31)

2nd Period
13:08PHI Wayne Simmonds (11) - ASST: K. Timonen (25)

3rd Period
00:22NYI Kyle Okposo (10) - ASST: M. Moulson (17) AND A. MacDonald (2)
18:30PHI Sean Couturier (8) - ASST: M. Talbot (9) AND M. Read (13)
19:44NYI John Tavares (15) - ASST: P. Parenteau (28) AND A. MacDonald (3)

The Skinny:

John Tavares extended his point streak to a career-high seven games. Tavares has three goals and ten assists in those seven games (including four multi-point games).  Andrew MacDonald had only one assist all season before assisting on both Islander goals in the third period (Mark Streit is the only other Isles defensemen with a multi-assist game this season).  Rookie Sean Couturier connected for the third straight game when he scored the eventual winner with 90 seconds to play; a Tavares goal with the 6th attacker cut the deficit to one in the final seconds.  PA Parenteau assisted on the Tavares goal, extending his assist/point streak to three games.  Okposo, who now has three goals against Philadelphia this season, has scored all ten of his goals in the last 23 games.

The Shots
The Islanders outshot the Flyers 12-8 in the first period, 10-5 in the second period and 13-9 in the third period.  For the game, the Isles outshot Philadelphia 35-22.  The Flyers went a period of about 22 minutes from midway through the first period to midway through the second in which they had only one shot: Hartnell’s goal.  It was only the third game all season that the Islanders had at least a ten shot advantage (2-1-0).

Home and Road
The Islanders are 15-20-6 overall and are 9-10-3 at home.  The Isles are 3-1-0 in the last four on home ice after going 3-8-3 in their prior 14 at home. 

The Flyers are 26-12-4 overall and 16-6-2 on the road. 

In the Nets

Evgeni Nabokov, in his tenth straight start, made 20 saves but falls to 6-11-0 on the season.  Nabokov is the first Islander to start ten straight games since Joey MacDonald started 17 straight in 2008-09.  It was his first loss (6-1-2) in his career against the Flyers.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves for Philadelphia; he is 7-0-0 in his career against the Isles.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-4 on the power play; the Flyers were 1-3.  The Isles, who entered the game 5th in the league with the extra man, are 9-27 on the power play over the last nine games after going just 1-22 in the previous seven games.  The Isles are also 6-17 in the last six games on the power play.

The Isles have killed 20-21 over the last eight games and 24-26 (92.3%) over the last 12 games.

Another Unsuccessful Penalty Shot
Michael Grabner was awarded his second penalty shot of the season (as well as the second for the team) in the first period but was stopped by Bobrovsky. It was the 50th penalty shot in Islander regular season history and they have scored only 13 times (26%).  The numbers on home-ice are even worse – the Isles have failed to score on their last 14 penalty shots at the Coliseum since Tim Connolly scored against Pittsburgh on March 21, 2000 (regular season only; they have missed 13 straight since Shawn Bates scored in a 2002 playoff game).

Grabner tied the club record for penalty shots in a season (2); he is the second player in Islander history to attempt at least three career penalty shots—Brad Isbister had 5.

Still One to Go
Evgeni Nabokov has 299 career wins. He is just one win shy of becoming the 26th goalie in NHL history with 300 career wins. Among current NHL goalies, only Martin Brodeur, Nikolai Khabibulin and Roberto Luongo have more career wins.

They Said It
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. "He was terrific.  He looked really sharp through the entire game, and he's looked that way for his last 10 starts or so. He did a good job. He was sharp."

They Tweeted It
@BComptonNHL: “Grabner is starting to feel it ... getting chances he simply wasn't getting the first half of the season. #Isles”

The Coach
"It's frustrating for the guys.  This is one that I really thought we played well. We came out slow in the first five or six minutes and didn't generate what we wanted to generate. But after that, I thought we played extremely well."

Leading Ice Men

Mark Streit led the Isles with 24:54 but was -2; Matt Carle led the Flyers with 23:55.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 31 draws; Philadelphia won 29. John Tavares was the Isles’ best, winning 16 of 29.  Claude Giroux, celebrating his 24th birthday, won 14 of 19 for Philadelphia.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders out-hit Philadelphia 28-22 with Matt Martin leading the way with eight hits.  Martin leads the NHL with 182 hits –22 more than anyone else in the NHL.

Third Periods
The Isles outscored the Flyers 2-1 in the third period; the Isles have been outscored 48-27 overall in the third period (38-24 excluding empty nets); the 27 goals scored are tied with Winnipeg for the fewest of any team in the third period.  In the first two periods, the Isles have been outscored 75-68. 

31 to Go
The Isles have scored 9,969 goals in their history (excluding 42 shootout winners), leaving the club 31 shy of 10,000.

Over .500
The Islanders go back over all-time NHL .500 (1328-1327-427 in 3,082 games).  The Isles have twice this season been one game below .500. Prior to this season, they had not been below NHL .500 since they were 177-178-83 prior to their victory on January 16, 1978.

The Isles have scored 56 goals over the last 20 games (10-8-2) after scoring only 15 in the previous nine games (1-6-2).  The Isles have scored 49 goals in their 14 wins (3.50 per game) and 42 goals in their other 26 games (0-20-6; 1.62 per game).  In their 20 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 26 goals (1.30 per game).

Head of the Class

John Tavares had a goal, giving him 13 points over the last seven games.  He now has 161 career points; he is 15 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks.  No other player in that draft is anywhere close. (Duchene suffered a knee injury in late December and is expected to miss the next month.)   Tavares’ 7-game point streak is the longest by an Islander since Josh Bailey had a seven-game streak (4-8-12) from 12/29/09-1/12/10.  The last Islander to have a longer streak was Trent Hunter, who had a 9-game streak in November, 2009.

Friends, Friends, Friends
Moulson has 20 goals this season; John Tavares has earned assists on 13 of them.  He has now been on-ice for 44 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 29 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa. 

MOT-ley Crew?

Since being put together six games ago, Matt Moulson is 4-5-9, Kyle Okposo is 4-3-7, and John Tavares is 4-9-13.  Tavares’ late goal kept his point streak alive; he was erroneously credited with an assist on Kyle Okposo’s goal but that was later changed.

Missing Men
Al Montoya (concussion), Marty Reasoner (broken thumb) and Dylan Reese (healthy) were scratched.  Mike Mottau, Rick DiPietro, and Mark Katic are on injured reserve.  The Isles have lost 205 man-games to injury so far this season.  Kevin Poulin dressed as the back-up to Nabokov. David Ullstrom has recovered from his concussion and was returned to Bridgeport.

20-20-20, 30-30-30?
Matt Moulson is the first Islander since Jason Blake (4 seasons: 2002-03 to 2006-07) to have at least three consecutive 20-goal seasons. He is 10 goals away from a third consecutive 30-goal season; no Islander since Ziggy Palffy has accomplished that feat.  Moulson has 81 goals as an Islander – the most by any Islander since the lockout.

A Better First-Half
This was the 41th game of the season.  The Isles are 15-20-6 in the first half this season after going 13-21-7 last season.

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 205 games since joining the team. Moulson’s streak is the longest for an Islander since Richard Park played in 221 games from October 2006- February 2009.  Travis Hamonic has now played 103 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles. 

Century Club
Hamonic is only the 8th defensemen in Islander history to play in 100 consecutive games and the first since Janne Niinimaa.
•    Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979  262
•    Bryan McCabe 10/7/95-2/4/98 220
•    Gerry Hart 3/1/75-11/22/77 198
•    Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136
•    Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134
•    Jean Potvin 10/23/75-1/2/77 110
•    Kenny Jonsson 12/26/96-2/4/98 104
•    Travis Hamonic 11/24/10 – CURRENT 103

Like Hamonic, McCabe and Morrow’s streaks came at the start of their NHL careers.  Niinimaa’s streak included the only 136 games he played as an Islander.

List Time
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 637
2. Nikolai Khabibulin 327
3. Roberto Luongo 325
4. Evgeni Nabokov  299
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 295

Career Goals, Active Players

13. Patrik Elias 349
14. Brian Rolston 339
15. Dany Heatley 338

Most First Goals of Game (NHL This Season)
1    Matt Moulson     7
1    Evander Kane     7

Most Games With at Least Three Points (NHL This Season)
1    Claude Giroux     6
1    Stephen Weiss    6
3    John Tavares    5

Career Goals as an Islander

32    Butch Goring     87
33    Tomas Jonsson     84
34    Matt Moulson     81
34    Wayne Merrick     81
34    Dave Scatchard     81
37    Marty McInnis     79
42    Alan Kerr     69
43    John Tavares     68
44    Brad Isbister     67       

Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
61    Jeff Norton     282
62    Frans Nielsen     278
63    Steve Thomas     275
68    Pierre Turgeon     255
69    Josh Bailey     252
70    Jude Drouin    250
89    Paul Boutilier     211
90    Gary Nylund     209
91    Tom Fitzgerald     205
92    Matt Moulson     205
93    John Tavares     202
94    Billy Carroll     200
95    Ralph Stewart     199
96    Mark Streit     197
97    Tom Kurvers     192
97    Todd Bertuzzi     192

Career Points as an Islander

46    Miroslav Satan     166
47    John Tavares     161
48    Oleg Kvasha     156
51    Michael Peca     142
52    Dave Lewis    141
53    Robert Reichel     140
53    Frans Nielsen     140
55    Bryan Smolinski     139
56    Matt Moulson     138
57    Kyle Okposo     136
As Seen on MSG+
Most Career Points against the Islanders
1.    Jaromir Jagr --142
2.    Mario Lemieux-- 131
3.    Mark Recchi --120
4.    Wayne Gretzky-- 98
5.    Rod Brind’Amour-- 94

Season Series Stats

The Flyers lead the season series two games to none (four points to one). The Isles are 1-9-3 in their last 13 at home vs. Philadelphia.   The next three meetings will be in Philadelphia, including one next Thursday; the Isles will be looking for their first win in Philly since April 7, 2007.

Happy Anniversary

2 years ago tonight (1-12-10):  In perhaps the most dominating victory of the Scott Gordon era, the Islanders get two goals by Rob Schremp and two goals by their defense as they batter two Red Wing goalies and blank the Red Wings 6-0 behind Dwayne Roloson at the Coliseum. 

Overall, the Isles are 9-6-3 on this date, having won three straight before tonight’s loss.

On The Farm
Bridgeport is 16-17-3-1 on the season following a 4-0-0 start to 2012. Kevin Poulin broke Rick DiPietro’s individual shutout record with a 221:54 streak and the team also set a new club record scoreless streak.  The Sound Tigers visit Manchester on Friday before hosting Providence on Saturday night and Binghamton on Sunday afternoon.

Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 6:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]

The Islanders continue their four-game homestand as they face the Sabres for the second time this season.  It’s Pat Flatley night as they Isles will honor their former captain and induct him into the team’s Hall of Fame.

The Islanders defeated the Sabres 2-1 on November 29 and are 8-3-1 in their last 12 against Buffalo, including 4-1-0 in their last five Coliseum meetings.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since January 21, 1982. Information contained in “The Skinny” has been gathered from various sources.  Follow Eric @ehornick on Twitter.

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