The Skinny: Capitals 2, Islanders 1 (SO)
Washington 2, Isles 1
Kyle Okposo scored the game-tying goal with just under five minutes to play, but Alexander Ovechkin scored the only goal in the shootout as the Washington Capitals moved into sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division with a 2-1 shootout win over the Islanders before a crowd of 18,506 at Verizon Center. With the shootout loss, the Isles move into sole possession of 7th place, one point ahead of the Rangers and Devils.
19:47 WSH M. Green (8) Wrist - ASST: M. Johansson (10) AND N. Backstrom (30) 1 - 0 WSH
15:01 NYI K. Okposo (4) Slap - ASST: F. Nielsen (18) AND J. Bailey (6) 1 - 1 TIE
Washington improves to 3-0 in the shootout, while the Isles fall to 3-1. All three Capitals shootouts have come in their last six games, with one shootout each against the three New York State teams.
Kyle Okposo’s goals was his first in ten games … Frans Nielsen is has seven points (one goal, six assists) in the last eight games and nine points (one goal, eight assists) in the last 11 games … Both Nielsen and Josh Bailey extended point streaks to three games … Mike Green extended his goal-scoring streak to four games but the Isles stopped Alex Ovechkin’s nine game point streak … The Caps are 11-3-0 when they lead after two periods while the Isles are 2-7-3 when they trail after two.
• 7 NY Islanders 38 games 18-16-4 40 points (15 ROW) Next game: Saturday vs. Tampa Bay
• 8 NY Rangers 36 games 18-15-3 39 points (15 ROW) Next game: Friday at Pittsburgh
• 9 New Jersey 37 games 15-13-9 39 points (13 ROW) Next game: Saturday vs. Toronto
The Isles have 24 points in their first 18 road games, which is their highest total in the Post-Cup era.
Most points in first 18 road games (all time):
• 27 in 1976-77 (12-3-3)
• 26 in 1980-81 (12-4-2)
• 24 in 2012-13 (11-5-2)
• 24 in 1983-84 (11-5-2)
• 23 in 1978-79 (10-5-3)
• 22 in 2001-02 (10-6-2)
Home and Road
The Islanders are 18-16-4 overall, 7-11-2 at home and 11-5-2 on the road. Their 40 points in 38 games is their highest total since they had 42 points in 38 games in 2007-08. The Isles remain two games over .500, equaling their high-level mark on the season.
The Isles have points in three straight (2-0-1) and are 5-1-1 in their last seven games. They are also 5-1-1 in their last seven games on the road.
The Caps are 18-17-2 overall, 9-8-0 at home and 9-9-2 on the road. The Caps, who started the season 2-8-1, are now 8-3-1 in their last 12 games.
In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves and is now 17-11-4 this season.
Braden Holtby made 35 saves as he improves to 16-11-1.
The Islanders went 0-for-2 while the Capitals also were 0-for-2.
The Isles have 16 PP goals in their last 23 games (with all 16 goals coming in nine games).
The Isles are 13-3-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 5-13-3 when they do not.
In (Almost) Every Game
The Isles have been tied or ahead at some point in the third period in 32-of-38 games this season (18-10-4).
Jack Capuano is the third winningest coach in Islander history and is just three wins behind Terry Simpson for second place.
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1. Al Arbour 740
2. Terry Simpson 81
3. Jack Capuano 78
4. Peter Laviolette 77
5. Ted Nolan 74
Most games coached (Islanders)
1. Al Arbour 1,500
2. Mike Milbury 191
3. Terry Simpson 187
4. Jack Capuano 185
5. Scott Gordon 181
They Said It
Evgeni Nabokov: "It is [a positive sign], we've been talking about that. We say all the time, it's not easy to win in this League and sometimes you're going to lose. It's like a chess match sometimes and you take a point and move on."
They Tweeted It
@MayHockeyCSN: Have to get this off my chest, Long Islander Rob Carlin did say SHUT OUT 3x intentionally during our 3rd period production meeting (Carlin, the former MSG intermission host now hosts Caps games.)
“We’ll take the point and head home and hopefully take two.”
As Tavares Goes…
The Isles are 1-0-0 when Tavares has four points, 1-0-1 when he has three points, 6-2-0 when he has two points, 9-4-0 when he has one point, and 1-10-3 when Tavares is pointless.
What a Pair!
John Tavares and Matt Moulson have combined for 35 goals this season. Moulson has assisted on 17 Tavares goals this season after assisting on 12 of his 31 goals last season. Tavares has earned an assist on 8 Moulson goals this season. Since November 2011, Tavares has been on-ice for 40 of Moulson’s last 41 goals, earning 26 assists; since November 2010, he has earned 48 assists on Moulson’s last 72 goals, while being on ice for 70 of them.
Head of the Class
John Tavares has 241 career points; he is 55 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.
115 NHL Goals
Moulson has 115 career goals (109 as an Islander). While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, only 16 have more goals. Moulson is tied with Nikolai Zherdev for 17th place.
Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic played 23:47 to lead the Isles. Mike Green led the Caps with 26:00.
In the Circle
The Islanders won 22-of-50 draws. In addition to scoring the tying goal, Kyle Okposo won 6-of-7 for the Isles.
The Islanders were out-hit 28-14. Matt Martin led the Isles with six hits; he has an NHL-leading 186 hits. There were no fights, leaving the season total at 14.
Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 16 blocked shots. Travis Hamonic had three to lead the team.
The Islanders remain four games over .500 all-time (1365-1361-436 in 3162 games). The Isles have been one game below .500 twice last season and four times this season. Prior to that, they had not been below .500 since they were 177-178-83 before their victory on January 16, 1978.
Good Start to April
The Isles were 4-2-1 in January, 4-9-1 in February and 8-5-1 in March. They are 2-0-1 in April.
Matt Moulson, the Isles’ reigning ironman, has played in all 284 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.
Three other Islanders, Frans Nielsen, John Tavares and Mark Streit, also played in every game last season. Tavares extended his streak to 197 consecutive games, while Nielsen and Streit have each played in 120.
Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Islander History
1. Billy Harris 576
2. Bob Nystrom 301
3. Matt Moulson 284
4. Denis Potvin 262
Mark Streit now has the sixth-longest consecutive game streak of any defenseman in Islander history:
1. Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979 262
2. Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220
3. Gerry Hart 3/1/1975-11/22/1977 198
4. Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136
5. Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134
6. Mark Streit 10/8/2011-CURRENT 120
7. Travis Hamonic 11/24/2010 – 2/4/2012 113
8. Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110
9. Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104
Hamonic, McCabe and Morrow's streaks came at the start of their NHL careers. Both Niinimaa's streak and McCabe's streak encompassed their entire Islander careers.
Anders Lee was replaced by Marty Reasoner in the lineup while Matt Carkner was replaced by Radek Martinek. Eric Boulton was also scratched as was Jesse Joensuu, who was added to the active roster on Wednesday. Joe Finley and Brian Strait are on Injured Reserve.
The Isles have scored 72 goals in their 18 wins (4.00 per game) and 34 goals in their other 20 games (0-16-4; 1.70 per game). In their 16 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 24 goals (1.50 per game).
Career Wins, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 666
2. Roberto Luongo 346
3. Nikolai Khabibulin 331
4. Evgeni Nabokov 329
5. Miikka Kiprusoff 317
19. Nikolai Khabibulin 331
20. Harry Lumley 330
21. Evgeni Nabokov 329
22. Sean Burke 324
23. Miikka Kiprusoff 317
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
1. Martin Brodeur 120
2. Roberto Luongo 62
3. Evgeni Nabokov 55
4. Tomas Vokoun 51
5. Nikolai Khabibulin 46
6. Miikka Kiprusoff 44
18 Clint Benedict 57
19 Evgeni Nabokov 55
20 Bernie Parent 54
20 Ed Giacomin 54
Career Goals as an Islander
21 Ray Ferraro 116
22 Matt Moulson 109
23 John Tavares 107
24 Benoit Hogue 105
24 Ed Westfall 105
Career Assists as an Islander
27 Greg Gilbert 138
28 John Tavares 134
29 Mark Streit 133
30 Frans Nielsen 131
30 Jason Blake 131
32 Trent Hunter 130
Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
25 Gerry Hart 476
26 Mariusz Czerkawski 470
27 Radek Martinek 464
28 Trent Hunter 459
39 Randy Wood 381
40 Frans Nielsen 357
41 Dave Scatchard 347
52 Brad Dalgarno 321
53 Josh Bailey 319
54 Ray Ferraro 316
54 Steve Webb 316
54 Richard Park 316
57 Gerald Diduck 314
58 Kyle Okposo 309
59 Mikko Makela 307
60 Gordon Lane 304
61 Arron Asham 300
61 Roman Hamrlik 300
63 Gordon Dineen 287
64 Matt Moulson 284
65 Jeffrey Norton 282
66 John Tavares 281
67 Mark Streit 276
68 Steve Thomas 275
Career Points as an Islander
23 David Volek 249
24 John Tavares 241
25 Ray Ferraro 238
35 Anders Kallur 211
36 Matt Moulson 207
37 Marty McInnis 198
38 Wayne Merrick 197
39 Robert Goring 195
40 Frans Nielsen 189
41 Jeffrey Norton 188
42 Lorne Henning 184
43 Kyle Okposo 177
44 Mark Streit 172
44 Randy Wood 172
46 Claude Lapointe 171
46 Jean-Paul Parise 171
Season Series Stats
The Isles win the season series two games to one (the Isles earned five points to the Caps’ two). The Isles are 4-0-3 against Washington over the last two seasons.
26 years ago tonight (4-4-87): Denis Potvin became the first defensemen to reach 1,000 career points when he scored the tying goal with 17 seconds to play as the Isles rallied for a 6-6 tie with Buffalo. The milestone goal came just 68 seconds after fellow Hall of Famer Clark Gillies scored to give the Sabres the lead.
Also on this date: The Rangers’ 3-2 win in Atlanta clinches the Isles’ first-ever playoff spot (1975), Mike Bossy becomes the first NHL rookie with 25 power play goals in a 3-3 tie with Philadelphia (1978), the Isles begin the “Drive for 5” with a 4-1 win over the Rangers in Game 1 of the Patrick Division Semi-Finals (1984).
All-time, the Isles are 6-6-4 in regular season play and 1-0 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on this date.
On The Farm
Ryan Strome recorded two assists in his second professional game; Brock Nelson scored twice and added an assist; Matt Donovan became the first defenseman in Sound Tigers history to have four points in a game as Bridgeport completed a sweep of a home-and-home with a 6-3 win over Worcester. Rick DiPietro, who played the first game in Sound Tigers history, was in net for the win in Bridgeport’s 1000th (regular season/playoffs) game. Bridgeport is 29-28-6-5 on the season. Six of their final eight games will be at home. The Sound Tigers are four points out of a playoff spot with eight games to play. Bridgeport hosts the Connecticut Whale on Saturday and the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday.
SATURDAY, APRIL 6 TAMPA BAY AT ISLANDERS (7:00PM)
[MSG+2 (pre-game show at 6:30), WLNY-TV55, WRHU (88.7FM]
The Isles return home to entertain the Lightning. Regardless of what happens to the Rangers in Pittsburgh on Friday, the Isles will begin play Saturday sitting in a playoff position.
The Isles will be looking to sweep the season series, owning a 4-3 Coliseum win in January and a 2-0 win in Tampa in March.
The Isles have won four straight at home vs. Tampa and are 9-2-0 in their last 11 Coliseum contests against Tampa. They will be looking for a fifth straight home ice win vs. the Bolts.
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.