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The Skinny

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders

Game 67

New Jersey 5, Isles 1

Ilya Kovalchuk recorded his 13th career hat trick and Martin Brodeur made 29 saves for his 649th career win as the Devils defeated the Islanders 5-1 before 14,573 at Prudential Center in Newark. The teams have split a pair of games this week and will play again on Saturday at the Coliseum.

The Scoring:
First Period

8:07 EV N.J 17 I.KOVALCHUK(27) 9 Z.PARISE(31) 14 A.HENRIQUE(29)

Second Period
3:33 PP N.J 17 I.KOVALCHUK(28) 2 M.ZIDLICKY(15) 26 P.ELIAS(42)
16:21 EV NYI 47 A.MACDONALD(4) 12 J.BAILEY(9) 41 D.ULLSTROM(4)

Third Period
7:05 EV N.J 26 P.ELIAS(23) 20 R.CARTER(3) 5 A.LARSSON(15)
8:09 EV N.J 17 I.KOVALCHUK(29) 9 Z.PARISE(32) 14 A.HENRIQUE(30)
15:59 EV N.J 23 D.CLARKSON(27) 2 M.ZIDLICKY(16) 16 J.JOSEFSON(5)

The Skinny
Among active players, only Teemu Selanne (22) and Jaromir Jagr (14) have more hat tricks.  It was Kovalchuk’s first career hat trick against the Islanders and the third allowed by the Isles this season. Zach Parise now has 400 career points.  Josh Bailey added his fifth point in the last five  games for the Isles (4-1-5); it was his first helper since December 31st.  Andrew MacDonald’s goal was the first by an Islander defenseman since Mark Streit’s overtime tally against Los Angeles February 11th; it was also his 50th career point.  Kovalchuk now has 331 goals since the start of the 2003-04 season (most in NHL); he is two goals shy of 400 career goals and is 20-19-39 in 42 career games against the Isles.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 28-30-9 overall and are 13-16-4 on the road.  Since winning four straight road games, the Isles are 1-5-1 in their last seven away from the Coliseum.
The Devils are 38-24-5 overall and 18-12-3 at home. 

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 25 saves but falls to 16-17-1 on the season. It’s the third time this season that he has allowed five goals.
Martin Brodeur made 19 saves for New Jersey to improve to 24-17-3 on the campaign.  It’s his 49th career win against the Isles (49-27-6).

Holding Their Own Against the Locals
The Isles are 4-5 against the Rangers/Devils this season.  They are 3-2 at home (2-1 against the Rangers and 1-1 against the Devils), 0-2 at MSG and 1-1 in New Jersey.

Leaning on #91

John Tavares has 63 points (26-37-63) on 151 Islander goals this season (41.7%).  No Islander since Zigmund Palffy has recorded points on over 40% of the team’s goals in a complete season.

Don’t Forget PA

With 59 points, Parenteau has points on 39.1 percent of the Islanders’ goals this season.  He has 44 assists – most by any Islander since Travis Green had 45 and Ziggy Palffy had 44 in 1995-96.

As Seen on MSG+

The Isles had won 4 out of their last 5 against Atlantic Division opponents entering the game.  It was their best streak against divisional foes since winning four straight games from October 20-November 10, 2007.

Power Plays

The Islanders went 0-3 on the power play while New Jersey was 1-3.  The Devils also scored a goal in a delayed penalty situation. The Isles are 2-26 in their last nine games with the extra man and have killed only 19 of 28 in the same span. 

They Said It
Matt Moulson: “We have to start the (next) game off better…we have to be feistier.”

They Tweeted It
@TGFireandIce With win tonight, Devils increase season point total to 81, equaling their total from 2010-11 when they were 38-39-5.

The Coach
“When 17 (Kovalchuk) is on the ice you have to have good puck management…we didn’t close the gap. … We have to get some guys play with a little bit more passion and urgency (on Saturday) because if not it’s going to be the same result.”

Leading Ice Men
PA Parenteau led the Isles with 22:59; Adam Larsson led New Jersey with 21:09.  It’s the second time this season that a forward has led the Isles in ice-time (Tavares vs. Carolina on 1/21).

In the Circle
The Islanders won 19 draws; New Jersey also won 30. In the last 16 games, the Isles have won the majority of draws only three times (with one game even). John Tavares won 10 of 18 for the Isles; Jacob Josefson won 9 of 11 for New Jersey.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders out-hit New Jersey 25-22. NHL hit leader Matt Martin had 3 hits, raising his total to 314, and extending his club record (hits have only been recorded since 2005-06).  Martin leads the NHL in hits by a wide margin.  He is on a pace to have 384 hits, which would be the highest total of any NHL player since the lockout; Cal Clutterbuck had a record 356 hits for Minnesota in 2008-09. 

Only 5 Blocks
The Isles were credited with 5 blocks.  They lead the NHL with 1,144. 

Goals by Period (Season)

Isles:           53-47-48-3 = 151
Opponents: 60-60-71-6 = 197
Third period goals include 8 empty net goals for the Islanders and an NHL-leading 13 empty-net goals against the Isles.

All-time Winners
The Islanders fall to three games over all-time NHL .500 (1341-1338-430 in 3,109 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 89 goals in their 28 wins (3.18 per game) and 63 goals in their other 39 games (0-30-9; 1.62 per game).  In their 30 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 38 goals (1.26 per game).

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 184 career points; he is 36 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks.  No other player in that draft is anywhere close.
Longest Point Streaks in NHL, Last 2 Seasons
•    Sidney Crosby, 25 games (11/5/10-12/28/10)
•    Eric Staal, 12 games (2/8/12-3/6/12)
•    John Tavares, 12 games (12/29/11-1/21/12)
•    Ilya Kovalchuk 12 games (2/1/11-2/25/11)

Friends, Friends, Friends
Moulson has 28 goals this season and John Tavares has assists on 19 of them. He has now been on-ice for 52 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 35 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa. 

Three Different Leaders
Matt Moulson continues to lead the Isles in goals (28); PA Parenteau leads the Isles in assists (44); John Tavares leads the Isles in points (63).

25-25-25, 30-30-30?

Matt Moulson is the first Islander since Ziggy Palffy to have at least three consecutive 25-goal seasons. He is two goals away from a third consecutive 30-goal season; Palffy was also the last Islander to accomplish that feat. Moulson has 89 goals as an Islander – the most by any Islander since the lockout. Moulson has opened the scoring ten times this season and the Isles are 9-1-0 when he does so.  He is the first Islander with at least ten opening goals since Alexei Yashin had 12 in 2001-02.

20-20-20 x 2
Moulson and Tavares are the first Islander teammates to record at least twenty goals in three straight seasons since Mark Parrish and Jason Blake did so in 2002-03, 2003-04, and 2005-06.  Tavares, by the way, is the fifth player to score at least 20 goals for the Islanders in each of his first three NHL seasons, joining:
•    Billy Harris (first six seasons: 1972-73 through 1977-78),
•    Clark Gillies (five: 1974-75 through 1978-79),
•    Bryan Trottier (13: 1975-76 through 1987-88) and
•    Mike Bossy (all 10 seasons: 1977-78 through 1986-87).

Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 231 games since joining the team. Moulson’s streak is the longest for an Islander in the Post-Cup era.   Billy Harris played in the first 576 games in Islander history; that figure still stands as the club record.
Four other forwards: PA Parenteau, Matt Martin, Frans Nielsen and John Tavares have also played in every game this season while Mark Streit is the only Islander defender to do so.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1.    Billy Harris         576
2.    Bob Nystrom     301
3.    Denis Potvin     262
4.    J.P. Parise        240
5.    Matt Moulson  231

Missing Men
Michael Grabner and Dylan Reese were scratched as was Al Montoya (upper body injury). Rick DiPietro is on injured reserve.  The Isles have lost 314 man-games to injury so far this season.  Anders Nilsson served as the back-up.

Career Years
•    Matt Moulson: 28 assists and 56 points are new career highs. He has 28 goals, three shy of his career best.
•    PA Parenteau: 44 assists and 59 points are new career highs. He has 15 goals, five shy of his career best.
•    John Tavares is 26-37-63; he is three goals, one assist and four points shy of career highs, all set last season.
•    Frans Nielsen has 13 goals, matching a career-high set last year.
•    Kyle Okposo has 15 goals, four shy of his career-high set in 2009-10.

List Time
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 649
2. Roberto Luongo 335
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 328
4. Evgeni Nabokov 309
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 305

Career Wins
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov 309
23. Billy Smith 305
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 305

Most First Goals of Game (NHL This Season)
1    Matt Moulson     10
1    Ilya Kovalchuk     10

Career Goals as an Islander
31    Travis Green     92
32    Matt Moulson     89
33    Butch Goring     87
34    Tomas Jonsson     84
35    Wayne Merrick     81
35    Dave Scatchard     81
37       Marty McInnis    79
37    John Tavares     79
39    Miroslav Satan    78
Career Assists as an Islander – active players
1    Mark Streit    108
2    John Tavares    106
3    Frans Nielsen    103
4    Kyle Okposo      90
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
56    Mikko Makela     307
57    Gord Lane     304
57    Frans Nielsen     304
59    Arron Asham     300
59    Roman Hamrlik     300
61    Gord Dineen     287
62    Jeff Norton     282
63    Josh Bailey     276
64    Steve Thomas    275
65    Blake Comeau     261
65    Andre St. Laurent     261
69    Kyle Okposo     256
70    Pierre Turgeon    255
71    Jude Drouin     250
81    Zdeno Chara     231
81    Billy MacMillian     231
81    Matt Moulson     231
84    Chris Campoli    228
84    John Tavares     228
86    Bryan Smolinski    227
87    Mark Streit     223
88    Michael Peca    222

Career Points as an Islander
38    Jeff Norton    188
39    Lorne Henning     184
39    John Tavares     184
41    Randy Wood     172
47    Miro Satan    166
48    Oleg Kvasha    158
49    Matt Moulson     157
50    Alan Kerr    154
51    Roman Hamrlik    153
51    Frans Nielsen     153
53    Kyle Okposo     149
54    Michael Peca     142
Season Series Stats
The season series is even two games to two (and four points to 4). The teams will play Saturday at the Coliseum before they finish the season series on April 3rd at The Rock.  Three of the four games in the season series have been decided by one goal.

Happy Anniversary
25 years ago tonight (3-8-87):  Bryan Trottier capped an Islander 5-goal third period with the winning goal at 19:37 as the Isles rallied from 3-0, 4-2, and 5-4 deficits for a 6-5 victory at the old Chicago Stadium. Trottier had set up Mike Bossy for the tying goal at 17:59 of the third.
All-time, the Isles are 9-11-0 on this date, including five losses in seven games.

On The Farm
You can call them the first place Sound Tigers. Bridgeport is 32-19-3-3 overall, having earned points in 22 of their last 24 games.  Bridgeport now has 70 points, two points ahead of Connecticut for the division lead. The Sound Tigers also hold a game in hand.  The Sound Tigers and Whale have a showdown in Hartford on Friday, before Bridgeport returns home for games
Saturday and Sunday.

\Up Next
[MSG+ (Islanders Game Night at 6:30pm), WRHU (88.7FM)]
The Islanders will play their third consecutive games against New Jersey when they host the Devils on Saturday.  It’s the first time in Islander history that they have played the same opponent in three consecutive regular season games.  The Islanders have sold out the last two home games and will exceed last season’s attendance on Saturday, which is home game 35.

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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