The Skinny - Isles 5, Lightning 1
Eric Hornick has all the detail from every game. This is one not to be missed.
Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 11:35 PM ET / News
By Eric Hornick
Isles 5, Tampa Bay 1
John Tavares became the first Islander in nearly fifteen years to record four points in a period as he tallied two goals and two assists in the opening session as the Isles rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning before 9,759 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Tavares needed only 36 seconds of play to be credited with his first goal of the season. Tavares’ shot was stopped by Dwayne Roloson but Victor Hedman put the puck into his own net to give the Isles the lead. After Steven Stamkos tied the game on a deflection, the Isles regained the lead off a goalmouth scramble with Matt Moulson being credited for the goal. Tavares made it 3-1 at 15:15 of the period and then he set up PA Parenteau with 1:21 to play for a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes. It’s the first time an Islander has recorded 4 points in a period since Niklas Andersson had four second period points on December 11, 1996 against Phoenix.
Michael Grabner became the first Islander to score a second period goal this season when he edged a puck over the goal line, chasing Roloson at 6:47 for the period’s only tally. A scoreless third period then followed. 5-1 Final.
Home and Road
The Isles improve to 2-1-0 overall and 2-1-0 at home. Their 4 points match their most through three games since 2001-02. This was the third game of a four-game homestand, marking the first time since the inaugural 1972-73 season that the Isles have opened with at least four consecutive home games. The Isles are over NHL .500 for the first time in nearly a year – they were 4-3-2 after nine games, but were already two games into a slide that cost Scott Gordon his position.
The Lightning fall to 1-2-1 as they lose the fourth game of their season-opening five game road trip.
In the Nets
Al Montoya made 34 saves to improve to 2-1-0. His save percentage is a sparking .953 while his goals against average drops to 1.35. Montoya ended last season with the lowest career goal against (2.39) in Islander history among goalies that have appeared in at least ten games, just ahead of Kevin Poulin (2.44). Montoya’s start this season has lowered his Isles career mark to 2.25. He is 11-6-5 as an Islander (14-7-5 overall).
Roloson made 13 saves in 18 shots on his return to the Coliseum. Mathieu Garon replaced Roloson after Grabner’s goal and stopped all 16 shots he faced.
No Respect for Your Elders
Roloson is 42 years, 1 day old. It’s the first time that the Islanders faced a goalie over 42 since they lost to Dominik Hasek in his final appearance against the Isles. Hasek was also exactly 42 years, 1 day old on January 30, 2007.
No older goaltender has faced the Isles since Eddie Johnston did so for the St. Louis Blues on December 3, 1977. The Isles beat St. Louis 7-2. Johnston was 42 years, 9 days old (or one day older than Roloson will be next Thursday when the Isles again face Tampa).
The oldest goalie to ever face the Isles was Gump Worsley, who was 44 years, 180 days old when the Isles defeated him 4-3 on January 12, 1974 in Minnesota (Roloson won't reach that age until April of 2014)
The Islanders were 0-4 on the power play while the Lightning were 0-3. The Isles are now 1-10 on the power play and 14-15 on the penalty kill (allowing only a 5-on-3 goal) this season. The Isles are a perfect 10-10 on the penalty kill in the last two games.
The Isles did not score a goal in the first 36 seconds of any game all last season; Michael Grabner scored 40 seconds into the February 13th game in Buffalo for the earliest Islander goal. In the 2009-10 season, Tim Jackman scored 16 seconds into a game on November 14th in Florida – establishing an NHL record for the fastest goal scored on your birthday.
Fast Start II
The Isles have now outscored their opponents 6 to 3 in the first period this season. They were outscored 80-58 in the first period last season.
Breaking the Tie
John Tavares’ four points gives him 125 as an Islander. He began the night tied for the club lead among current players with Frans Nielsen and Blake Comeau (each of whom have 121)
Head of the Class
Tavares had 4 points tonight while Colorado’s Matt Duchene had 2. They are now tied for the most career points among 2009 draft choices with 125 each. Nobody else is within 50 points of them.
Lots of Plusses
Moulson, Tavares and Parenteau were all +4 while Mark Eaton and Mike Mottau were both +3. The Isles had three players +4 against the Rangers last March 31st (Tavares, Parenteau, Hamonic). This was Eaton’s 2nd +3 game as an Islander and Mottau’s 1st.
Matt Martin led the Isles with six hits. He also had four shots on goal and three takeaways. Martin has 16 hits over the first three games.
4 in 3
It has been 24 years since the Isles have allowed four goals or fewer through the first three years. The 1987-88 team allowed only two goals in the first three games.
They Tweeted It
@TSNBobMackenzie: NYI post-game win salute is pretty cool. Mark Streit's idea. If u haven't seen it, players form two lines, stars run gauntlet back on ice.
Rolling All 4
All 18 Islander skaters played at least 12:31. Andrew MacDonald played 23:29 to lead the way.
Countdown to 10K
The Isles scored five goals in this game and now have scored 9,920 goals in their history (including 39 shootout winners), leaving the club 80 shy of 10,000.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 26 of 53 (49%) face-offs. Marty Reasoner won 8 of 12.
The Isles held noted nemesis Ryan Malone without a point, ending his three-game point streak. Malone has scored 18 goals in 37 career games against the Isles.
Au Revoir Ryan
Earlier in the day, the Isles returned Ryan Strome to the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League. Strome recorded a hat trick for the Dogs in a 5-0 win over Belleville tonight.
The Isles scratched Milan Jurcina and Rick DiPietro. Jeremy Colliton was activated from injured reserve and placed on waivers. Assuming he clears, he will be the Captain of the Sound Tigers this season. The Isles have four players on injured reserve: Nino Niederreiter, Trevor Gillies, Rhett Rakhshani and Mark Katic.
With DiPietro sidelined, Evgeny Nabakov dressed for the first time as an Islander (not counting pre-season); his last NHL games was on May 23, 2010 when the Sharks were eliminated in the playoffs by Chicago. Nabakov has 293 career wins, one behind Mike Liut and three behind Ron Hextall. He is seven wins away from becoming the 26th goalie in NHL history with 300 wins.
The Isles have played the same 18 skaters and Al Montoya in all three games this season.
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 167 games since joining the team last season. Travis Hamonic has now played 65 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.
Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season 1-0-0 (two points to none). The teams will meet again next Thursday at the St. Pete Times Forum in the first road game of the season for the Islanders. The Isles have beaten Tampa three straight times and in five of the last six games.
34 years ago tonight: October 13, 1977. Mike Bossy scores 9:24 into play for the first of his club-record 573 goals, but the Isles drop the season opener in Buffalo 3-2. Tonight’s win raised the Isles record to 4-7-3 on this date.
On The Farm
Bridgeport opened their season by splitting two games. The Sound Tigers begin a 3-game in 3-night stretch in Glens Falls (Adirondack) on Friday night.
On the Air
All remaining Islander games this month will air on the club’s normal TV home: MSG+.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15TH RANGERS AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), WRHU-FM]
The Islanders conclude their season-opening homestand against the New York Rangers on Saturday. It's the first divisional game of the season for the Isles and the first of six meetings this season with the Rangers.
The Isles won 2-out-of-3 from the Rangers at the Coliseum last season, but the Rangers won the season series 4 games to 2. There were 49 goals scored in the six games last season and the winning team scored at least six goals in all but one of them.
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.