The Skinny: Islanders 4, Rangers 3 (SO)
Isles 4, Rangers 3 (SO)
Evegeni Nabokov made 36 saves and the Islanders rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the New York Rangers 4-3 in a shootout before a sellout crowd of 17,200 at Madison Square Garden. Frans Nielsen and John Tavares beat former mate Martin Biron in the shootout, as the Islanders snapped their five-game losing streak (0-5-0) and an eight-game losing streak in Manhattan (0-7-1).
03:36 NYR D. Girardi (1) Slap - ASST: C. Hagelin (3) AND R. Nash (8) 1 - 0 NYR
11:28 NYR M. Gaborik (7) Wrist - ASST: B. Richards (8) AND R. Callahan (1) 2 - 0 NYR
00:29 NYI C. McDonald (2) Snap - ASST: C. Cizikas (3) 2 - 1 NYR
06:45 NYI J. Tavares (8) Snap - ASST: NONE 2 - 2 TIE
07:25 NYI B. Boyes (4) Snap - ASST: L. Visnovsky (3) AND B. Strait (4) 3 - 2 NYI
11:14 NYR PPG - C. Hagelin (5) Backhand - ASST: M. Gaborik (4) AND M. Staal (7) 3 - 3 TIE
M. Gaborik FAILS/F. Nielsen SCORES/ R. Nash FAILS/ J. Tavares SCORES Isles win shootout 2-0
The Skinny: It’s the Isles first win at Madison Square Garden since December 26, 2009 when Kyle Okposo scored in overtime … The Rangers had been perfect (5-0-0) when scoring first and when leading after one period; this was the second straight game the Rangers had blown a multi-goal lead and ended up in a shootout. John Tavares now has 21 points in 19 career games against the Rangers (8-13-21) … John Tavares scored for the fourth straight game (he also had a four-game streak last season); he now has eight goals in the last nine games … Jack Capuano won his 65th game as Islander coach—one more than his predecessor, Scott Gordon … The Isles improve to 3-4-0 in the division; the Rangers are 2-4-1. … The Isles allowed at least three goals for the seventh straight game and 10th time in the last 11 games. Lubomir Visnovsky has been on-ice for seven of the Isles’ nine goals in his three games with the team … Frans Nielsen has now converted 24 of 39 career shootout attempts; he was credited with his 10th game deciding goal … Joe Finley played 18:58; he had played less than 12 minutes in each of his ten previous NHL games … The Rangers have scored first in their last four games … All three Islander goals were at 5-on-5. It’s the first time that the Isles have won a road game without scoring on the power play since last February 7 in Philadelphia, which the Isles won 1-0 in a shootout.
The Isles are 6-1 all-time in shootouts against the Rangers, including 4-1 at MSG … The Isles are 45-32 all-time in shootouts … Nielsen is now 24 of 39 in shootouts; he has scored on 61.5% of his chances, which is the best percentage in NHL history (minimum 13 attempts). He is even better on the road (13 of 18, 72.2%). Nielsen’s goal was his tenth career game-deciding goal. Each of his last seven deciding goals has come on the road, including four last season.
The Streak is Over
The third period was scoreless, ending a club-record 21 game streak (over two seasons) that the Isles had allowed a goal in the third period.
The Rangers had the game’s first ten shots; Matt Martin’s breakaway with 6:02 to play in the opening period was the Islanders’ first shot.
Home and Road
The Islanders are 5-7-1 overall, 1-5-0 at home and 4-2-1 on the road. The Isles have earned nine points in the first seven road games, which is their best record after seven road games since starting 6-1-0 in 2001-02.
The Rangers are 7-5-1 overall, 5-2-1 at home and 2-3-0 on the road.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 36 saves as he evens his record at 5-5-1 on the season and 7-7-1 against the Rangers. Nabokov is now 25-22 in his career in shootouts.
Martin Biron, in his second start of the season, made 28 saves for the Rangers. Biron is 21-4-3 in his career against the Isles. He is 13-0-2 in his last 15 decisions against the Isles.
The Isles went 0-for-1 on the power play while the Rangers were 1-for-4. The Rangers have five power play goals on the season, and two of them have come against the Isles.
They Said It
John Tavares: "I thought Casey (Cizikas) was our best player tonight. He was fantastic out there. He contributed all over the ice. It's big to have that contribution from those guys. It really gets you going."
They Tweeted It
@ HartnettHockey: “Nash saved by Nabokov. Tavares with the weird hair and winner. Isles win in the shootout. 4-3 win.”
We came out in the second and third and worked hard. You saw the sacrifice in some guys tonight. That's the way we have to play.
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 218 career points; he is 58 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks. No other player in that draft is anywhere close. Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player in that draft.
Friends, Friends, Friends
Matt Moulson has six goals this season; John Tavares has earned an assist on three of them. Tavares has now been on-ice for 66 consecutive Moulson goals, earning assists on 43 of them, dating back to a Moulson goal on November 17, 2010 against Tampa Bay.
109 NHL Goals
Moulson has 109 career goals (103 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, only 17 have more goals.
Leading Ice Men
Marc Streit led the Isles for the fifth straight game, playing 29:51. Dan Girardi led the Rangers with 26:41.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 32 draws; the Rangers won 44. John Tavares won 15-of-27 for the Isles; Jeff Halpern won 11-of-14 for the Rangers. The Rangers won 27-of-35 draws in the third period and overtime.
The Islanders out-hit the Rangers 33-29; Matt Martin led the Isles with nine hits (giving him 52, tying him with Toronto’s Leo Komarov for 2nd in the NHL), while Brian Boyle had eight for the Rangers. Eric Boulton and Arron Asham fought in the first period; it was the Isles’ seventh fight of the season.
Back to .500
The Islanders regain an all-time .500 record (1352-1352-433 in 3,137 games). The Isles were also one game below .500 twice last season. Prior to that, they had not been below .500 since they were 177-178-83 before their victory on January 16, 1978.
4 Usually Enough
The Isles are 5-1-1 when scoring at least four goals and 0-6-0 when scoring two or less.
A Tale of Two Months
The Isles were 4-2-1 in January, outscoring their opponents 27-23. The Isles are 1-5-0 in February, and have been outscored 23-12.
Tough Stretch at Home
The Isles are in the midst of a stretch in which they will play nine consecutive games in the New York area (six at home, two at MSG, and one in New Jersey). The Isles are 2-5-0 so far in this stretch, with home games against New Jersey and Philadelphia remaining.
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 259 games since joining the team. Moulson’s streak is the longest for an Islander in the Post-Cup era and the fourth-longest in club history. Billy Harris played in the first 576 games in Islander history; that figure still stands as the club record.
Three other Islanders, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares and Mark Streit, also played in every game last season. Tavares extended his streak to 172 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 95.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1. Billy Harris 576
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Denis Potvin 262
4. Matt Moulson 259
Spirit of ‘76
Lubomir Visnovsky is now the oldest skater on the roster (Evgeni Nabokov is 12.5 months older). He is six days older than Eric Boulton and twenty days older than Radek Martinek. All three players were born in August, 1976.
Visnovsky was credited with another assist. He has three points, all assists, in three games as an Islander.
The Isles have scored 23 goals in their five wins (4.60 per game) and 16 goals in their other 8 games (0-7-1; 2.00 per game). In their 7 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 12 goals (1.71 per game).
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 662
2. Roberto Luongo 343
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 328
4. Evgeni Nabokov 317
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 313
21. Sean Burke 324
22. Evgeni Nabokov 317
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 313
Career Goals as an Islander
22 Benoit Hogue 105
22 Ed Westfall 105
24 Matt Moulson 103
25 Anders Kallur 101
32 Travis Green 92
32 John Tavares 92
34 Butch Goring 87
Career Assists as an Islander – active players
1 John Tavares 126
2 Frans Nielsen 121
2 Mark Streit 121
4 Kyle Okposo 95
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
44 Butch Goring 332
44 Oleg Kvasha 332
44 Frans Nielsen 332
47 Bruno Gervais 331
47 Ziggy Palffy 331
49 Shawn Bates 330
58 Gord Lane 304
59 Arron Asham 300
59 Roman Hamrlik 300
61 Josh Bailey 295
62 Gord Dineen 287
63 Kyle Okposo 284
64 Jeff Norton 282
65 Steve Thomas 275
68 Brad Lauer 259
68 Matt Moulson 259
70 Benoit Hogue 258
71 John Tavares 256
72 Pierre Turgeon 255
73 Mark Streit 251
74 Jude Drouin 250
Career Points as an Islander
28 Benoit Hogue 229
28 Trent Hunter 229
30 Mikko Makela 219
31 John Tavares 218
31 Mark Parrish 214
40 Lorne Henning 184
41 Matt Moulson 183
42 Frans Nielsen 176
43 Randy Wood 172
44 Claude Lapointe 171
44 JP Parise 171
46 Shawn Bates 170
47 Jude Drouin 169
48 Dave Scatchard 168
49 Miroslav Satan 166
50 Kyle Okposo 165
51 Oleg Kvasha 158
52 Mark Streit 157
53 Alan Kerr 154
Season Series Stats
The season series is even at one game each (The Rangers have three points to the Islanders’ two). The teams will meet again on March 7 and April 13 at the Coliseum.
31 years ago today (2-13-82): The Islanders won the 12th of what would eventually be their then-NHL-record 15 straight games, embarrassing the Whalers 9-1 in Hartford. Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Brent Sutter and Clark Gillies each scored twice for the Isles.
All-time, the Isles are 8-9-4 on this date, including 3-2-0 in the last five.
On The Farm
Bridgeport is 21-19-2-3 after an overtime win on Tuesday; John Persson had the overtime tally as Bridgeport defeated Springfield. The Sound Tigers have a home and home series with Providence beginning this Friday, and then finish their busy weekend by hosting Norfolk on Sunday.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16 NEW JERSEY AT ISLANDERS (7:00PM)
[MSG+ (Pre-game show at 6:30PM), WRHU (88.7FM)]
Only one opponent will visit the Coliseum three times this season and that team is the New Jersey Devils. In a bit of a schedule quirk, those three visits are all in the Isles’ first seven home games. It will be the fourth meeting of five meetings between the teams this season, and the road team has won the first three games.
The Islanders will look to improve on home ice, where they are only 1-5-0. In fact, the Devils hold more wins (two) on Coliseum ice than the Isles do so far this season.
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.