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It was a lost weekend in the Midwest for the Isles as they dropped back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday, dropping their record to 2-2-2 on this seven game trip and 8-8-7 on the season. On to the trick:
1. Owen Nolan was the star of the Friday game, scoring twice, including the winner with 67 seconds to play as the Wild erased a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Isles.
It was the the first time this season that the Isles had lost a game in regulation that they led after two periods (7-1-3) but equalled Florida and Colorado for the most non-wins in games that were led after forty minutes.
The loss broke a five-game point streak (3-0-2) for the Isles, including the first four games of this trip (2-0-2).
2. Patrik Bergulund broke a 1-1 tie with a goal late in the second period and David Perron added two third period goals as the Blues beat the Isles 4-1 on Saturday.
It was Berglund's first goal in thirteen games.
Meanwhile, Perron now has six goals in his last six games, after scoring just 31 in his first 157 NHL games.
3. Josh Bailey scored in both games, giving him five goals on the season. Bailey has two goals and one assist, and is +3 in four games since being scratched in Carolina last Friday.
It's the first time in his NHL career that Bailey has scored in consecutive games. Jon Sim had the other Islander goal on Friday and also assisted on Bailey's goal. It was his first goal in seventeen games.
...and a few more...
4. Martin Biron and Niklas Backstrom each faced 29 shots. The Isles dropped to 2-6-2 with Biron in their nets, but Biron has allowed three goals or less in eight of the ten games.
5. Special teams let the Isles down. The power-play was 0-6, while Miko Koivu scored the tying goal for Minnesota on a third period power play.
6. Matt Moulson led the Isles with five shots, while Mark Streit and Blake Comeau each had four. However, it was Comeau's mis-play that led to the winning goal. The Isles won 30 of 57 face-offs; Frans Nielsen led the way, winning 12 of 20.
7. Minnesota broke a four-game losing streak with the victory.
8. The Isles have lost five straight to Minnesota (0-4-1) dating back to a 3-1 victory on March 19, 2004 at the Coliseum. They are now winless in their last three trips to St. Paul, dating back to a 4-2 win in December, 2002 in Rick DiPietro's first NHL game after having spent all of the preivous season in the minors.
9. Brendan Witt rejoined the team after missing the game in Boston due to "personal reasons" but did not play. In a related note, the Islanders were out-hit 27-9.
10. This was the only meeting of the season between the teams. The Isles are 0-3 against the Wild under Scott Gordon.
St. Louis game
11. The Isles dropped to 6-3-3 when scoring first, meaning that they have won only half of the games in which they have grabbed a 1-0 lead. Only four teams in the NHL have won a smaller percentage of games in which they scored first.
12. Officially, the Isles were 0-3 on the power play, but they had only one complete power play (and 2:56 of power play time). The Blues failed to capitalize on a five-on-three, and finished 0-4 with the extra man.
13. Chris Mason made 23 saves to record the victory for the Blues, while Dwayne Roloson suffered his first regulation loss since October 16 (5-0-3). Roloson finished with 22 saves.
14. Kyle Okposo led the Isles with five shots on goal, but both he and John Tavares were held off the scoresheet for the second straight game. However, Tavares continues to lead all rookies in both goals (9) and points (19). Tim Jackman led the Isles with four hits (in just 10:16 of ice-time) while David Backes led all players on both teams, with six hits.
15. Besides Perron, who had the two goals, ten other Blues figured in the scoring. Blues Captain Eric Brewer had the other St. Louis goal—it was his first goal since October 16, 2008.
16. The Isles suffered their first regulation loss in St. Louis since December 19, 1995 (four wins, including two in overtime, one overtime loss and two ties). It was St. Louis' first regulation win over the Isles since March 6, 2004.
Up Next: The long road trip concludes with John Tavares' first game in Toronto as the Isles visit the Air Canada Centre (and the Maple Leafs) on Monday. The Leafs won last season's series three games to one, and six points to four. It will be the Isles 15th road game, out of 24 games played. This marks only the second time in Islander histroy that they have opened with 15 of the first 24 on the road, having also done it in 1992-93.
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