Eric Hornick takes you behind the game.
Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 12:44 AM / News
By Eric Hornick
Pittsburgh 3, Isles 0
Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for his 20th career shutout as the Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the Islanders 3-0 before 10,681 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The shutout ends the Islanders’ 3-game home winning streak and extends their losing streak to three games. It’s the first time that the Penguins have shutout the Isles at the Coliseum since Sebastian Caron did so on March 31, 2006.
Dupuis Strikes First
The Islanders had the better part of the play in the first session, but Pascal Dupuis beat Evgeni Nabakov at 17:06 for the session’s only goal.
Friends, Now Foes
The Penguins doubled the advantage just 21 seconds into the second period and it was two former Islanders who did the damage. Richard Park scored his second goal of the season through a screen in front of Nabokov; Arron Asham earned the assist.
CBF (Can’t Beat Fleury)
The score stayed 2-0 from the opening seconds of the middle period through the final minutes of third. Trailing 2-0, Jack Capuano pulled Nabakov with 3:29 to play. The Isles had some pressure but could not score. Jordan Staal hit the empty net for the final margin. It was the second straight game that the Islanders allowed an empty net goal. 3-0 Final.
Home and Road
The Islanders drop to 3-4-0 overall and 3-2-0 at home. After not being shut out on Coliseum ice all last season, the Isles have been shutout in both of their home losses. It’s the first time since 2007-08 that the Islanders have been shutout at least twice in a season at home.
The Penguins win their 4th straight and improve to 7-2-2; they are 4-1-1 on the road. Their 16 points are the most in the NHL; however Washington (7-0-0) is two points behind and have four games in hand.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabakov made 26 saves but drops to 1-2-0 on the season. Nabokov has allowed only seven goals in his three starts. It’s only his second defeat in 10 career games against Pittsburgh (8-2-0).
Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves. He has stopped 83 of 85 shots over the last three games, all Penguin wins. Ten of his 20 career shutouts have come against Atlantic Division foes.
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play while the Penguins were also 0-2. The Isles are now 5-27 on the power play and 24-26 on the penalty kill this season. They have killed 23 of the last 24 power plays against them.
They Tweeted It
(Former Newsday Beat Writer)@alanhahn: “First indication that #Isles are respected again: opponents no longer tossing their backup goalie against them. Fleury has been sensational.”
Leading Ice Men
Andrew Mac Donald led the Isles with 24:36; John Tavares was double-shifted in the first period and played 19:30. Paul Martin led all players with 27:18 of ice-time.
Penguin coach Dan Bylsma coached his 200th NHL game (121-58-21). Matt Moulson played in his 200th NHL game (171 for Isles). Kyle Okposo is one game short (199).
Can’t Win if You Can’t Score
The Isles have been shutout twice this season (both at home). They were blanked five times after Jack Capuano replaced Scott Gordon last season. The Isles have scored 14 goals in the first seven games (2.00 per game) and are tied with the Rangers for the fewest goals in the NHL.
Fewest Goals Scored, First 7 Games
• 12- 1973-74
• 14- 1995-96
• 14- 2010-11
• 15- 1998-99
• 15- 1999-2000
Stuck on 9,927
The Isles have scored 9,927 goals in their history (including 39 shootout winners), leaving the club 73 shy of 10,000.
The Isles have four forwards (Josh Bailey, Jay Pandolfo, Marty Reasoner and Matt Martin) who have played every game and have yet to record a point.
Best D Since Lockout
The Isles have allowed only 17 goals in seven games (2.43 goals per game). It’s the fewest goals that the Isles have allowed in the first seven games since the lockout and the 9th time in their history that they have allowed 17 or fewer over the first seven. The club record for Fewest Goals Allowed, First 7 Games is 14, set in 1976-77.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 30 of 55 (55%) face-offs. Marty Reasoner won 8 of 12. The Isles have won a majority of face-offs in the last two games after being out-drawn in each of the first five games.
Geno, Geno, Geno
Each team had a “Geno” in the lineup as Nabakov played for the Isles and Evgeni Malkin returned to the lineup for Pittsburgh. Malkin had several chances but was held off the scoreboard.
Brian Rolston, now a proud papa of four, returned to the line-up, replacing Trevor Gillies. Milan Jurcina and Al Montoya were scratched. The Isles have three players on injured reserve: Nino Niederreiter, Rhett Rakhshani and Mark Katic. Rick DiPietro returned to the active line-up and served as the back-up goaltender.
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 171 games since joining the team. Travis Hamonic has now played 69 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles. The Isles have used the same six defensemen in all seven games this season; it’s the longest streak to start a season since Butch Goring started the same sextet in the first 16 games of the 2000-01 season.
Season Series Stats
The Penguins lead the season series one game to none (two points to zero). The teams will complete their home-and-home series in Pittsburgh on Thursday. The loss ended a seven-game home streak in which the Isles managed at least a point against the Penguins (4-0-3).
25 years ago tonight: October 25, 1986. Brent Sutter broke a 3-3 tie early in the third period as the Islanders defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. Mike Bossy, who had sat out the first six games, began his final NHL season with a goal and an assist. A couple of hours later, and a few miles west, a ground ball got by Bill Buckner allowing the Mets to tie the World Series at three games each.
Overall the Islanders are now 4-8-1 on this date, despite playing 11 of the 13 contests at the Coliseum.
On The Farm
Bridgeport is 3-4-0-0 after splitting a weekend pair of games with the St. John's Ice Caps. Justin DiBenedetto leads the team in scoring (7-0-7) while captain Jeremy Colliton, David Ullstrom and rookie Casey Cizikas each have five points. The Sound Tigers are off until Friday, when they begin a weekend pair of home games.
On the Air
All remaining Islander games this month will air on the club’s normal TV home: MSG+.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27TH ISLANDERS AT PITTSBURGH 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), WRHU(88.7FM)]
The Islanders will look to get even on the season series Thursday night at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The Isles are 0-10-1 in their last 11 trips to Pittsburgh, managing just an overtime loss early last season since defeating the Penguins 4-2 on December 21, 2007. While last season’s games were all competitive, the Penguins have outscored the Isles 46-17 over the last 11 games. The Isles were shutout in their final two trips to Pittsburgh last season and will carry a scoreless streak of 148:45 in Pittsburgh into the contest.
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.