Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk each scored a goal and added two assists while Travis Zajac added three helpers as the Devils
pounded the Isles 7-1 at The Rock in the final road game of the 2009-10 season. On to the Trick:
1. With a chance to wrap up the Atlantic Division, the Devils wasted no time, grabbing a 3-0 first period lead on goals by Dainius Zubrus, Parise, and Dean McAmmond.
2. Patrik Elias (first of two on the night) and Brian Rolston scored second period power play goals to turn the game into a 5-0 rout. Rolston, Elias, and Parise each had four goals against the Isles this season.
3. Kovalcuk and Elias sandwiched Matt Moulson's third period power play tally. Moulson now has 29 goals on the season; he'll look to record the 72nd 30-goal season in Islander history on Sunday. Elias meanwhile will be looking for his 20th goal of the season, which would be an impressive total considering he has missed 24 games.
...a few more...
4. Dwayne Roloson came in to bail Marty Biron out on Thursday in Pittsburgh
, but Biron was in net for the entire game tonight, making 30 saves. It's only the third time in his career that Biron has allowed at least seven goals in a game, and the first time that he has done so since November 5, 2003.
Martin Brodeur made 18 saves in winning his 601st career game. He is 44-24-6 in his career against the Isles, which is almost identical to his 44-25-6 record this season.
5. The Isles are 19-15-3 in road finales, but have been blown out in the finale in each of the last two seasons (6-1 in Pittsburgh last season). The Isles finish the road portion of the schedule with a record of 11-23-7 (29 points). While an improvement of eight points over last season, the Isles are only 20-52-10 over the past two campaigns.
6. The Isles have allowed seven goals in consecutive games for the first time since October 15-17, 1991 (a span of over 1400 games). It's the first time that they have allowed seven goals in consecutive games in regulation since October 23-24, 1990 and the first time that they have done it in consecutive games, both on the road, since January 28-30, 1989.
7. Micheal Haley made his NHL
debut, playing 10:18. He was credited with one hit, and fought Rod Pelley after Pelley injured Sean Bergenheim.
Trevor Gillies recorded 21 penalty minutes to set a season-high for an Islander, including a lengthy fight with Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond. Gillies now has 73 penalty minutes in just 13 NHL games; he is 13 minutes behind Tim Jackman (86) for the team lead. Jackman has a chance to have the lowest penalty minute total of the Islander club leader in team history; Mike Comrie had 87 to lead the team two seasons ago.
8. John Tavares and Kyle Okposo assisted on Moulson's goal. They are the Isles' top three scorers this season, with 51, 49 and 47 points respectively. Tavares' point total matches Trent Hunter's 2003-04 output. No Islander rookie has had more points since Vladimir Malakhov had 52 in 1992-93. If Tavares can earn a point tomorrow, he'll match the highest total by an Isles freshman since David Volek had 59 in 1988-89.
9. The Devils went 2-5 on the power play, while the Isles were 1-3. On the season, the Isles have had 297 power plays to their opponents' 294. They will enter the season's final day with a chance to finish a season with more power plays than their opponents for only the third time in club history.
10. The Devils swept all three games at The Rock for the second straight season; the Isles are 3-7-0 in Newark since the facility opened three seasons ago. The Devils win the season series four games to two (and eight points to four), outscoring the Isles 21-13.
The Isles have lost seven straight divisional road games and finish the season 2-10-0 in divisional road tilts (they were 1-10-1 in divisional road games last season). The Isles have not won in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia
or New Jersey under Scott Gordon.
Up next: The Isles conclude their 37th season in the National Hockey League on Sunday at 5:00 when they host the Penguins. With the Penguins' 1-0 loss to Atlanta
tonight, the game becomes a postseason tune-up for Pittsburgh, who will face Ottawa
in the first round of the playoffs (the game has potential implications for home ice in the Stanley Cup Finals, if the Penguins get there for the third straight season).
The Penguins may be without Matt Cooke, who was beaten in a fight by Evander Kane on Saturday. Sidney Crosby
will be looking to score his 50th goal of the season against the Islanders
for the second time in four days; his previous 50th goal was reversed in a post-game scoring decision.
Draft pick Implications: The Isles can still finish anywhere between 25th and 28th. Here is where they will finish, based on the results of Sunday's games:
If Isles win: Isles finish 25th (No. 6 seed)
If Isles lose in overtime or shootout: Isles finish 25th (No. 6 seed) if Florida
beats Tampa and finish 26th (No. 5 seed) if Tampa beats Florida
If Isles lose in regulation - Isles finish 27th (No. 4 seed) unless Florida beats Tampa in overtime/shootout. If that happens, Isles finish 28th (No. 3 seed)
The draft lottery is Tuesday.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick