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Stat Trick: Isles 3, Penguins 2. Tavares Notches First Career Game-Winner

Eric HornickCorrespondent INovember 28, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - NOVEMBER 27: John Tavares #91 (not shown) of the New York Islanders scores the game winning goal at 13:48 of the third period as Matt Moulson #26 (R) celebrates in front against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Nassau Coliseum on November 27, 2009 in Uniondale, New York.  The Islanders defeated the Penguins 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Sean Bergeheim and John Tavares scored third period goals as the Isles rallied to defeat the Penguins 3-2. On to the trick:

1. Josh Bailey and Evgeny Malkin traded first period goals. Bailey's goal gave the Islanders four players with at least seven goals before Malkin became just the second Penguin to reach the 10 goal mark. Mark Streit and Freddy Meyer assisted on the Bailey goal. Streit has an assist in three straight games while Meyer tied a career high with two assists in the game. 

2. Matt Cooke scored on a rebound 7:12 into the second period to give the Penguins the lead, but the game changed later in the session when the Penguins failed to capitalize on 5:05 of consecutive power play, including a 55 second 5-on-3. The Pens went 0-5 on the power-play, and are 4-55 in their last 14 games; they're also 0-8 against the Islanders this season. The Isles have killed 23-of-25 over the last six games. 

3. Sean Bergenheim evened the score just 84 seconds into the third period, setting the stage for John Tavares. Taveres, who had recorded the first goal, assist and point of his career against the Penguins on Oct. 3, scored the winner with 6:12 to play. He leads all rookies with 10 goals and 21 points. The Isles outscored the Pens 2-0 after having been outscored 28-15 in the third period so far this season. 

...a few more...

4. Dwayne Roloson improved to 8-2-5, facing only 21 shots one game after facing 61. The Isles bombarded Brent Johnson with 37 shots, including 18 in the third period. 

5. Trent Hunter extended his point streak to nine games. He has a single point in each game. Kyle Okposo broke a five-game drought with an assist on the winning goal. 

6. Talk about a reversal of fortune—the Pens were 11-1 when leading after two periods, while the Isles were 0-7-3 when trailing after two. It was only the second time all season that the Penguins dropped a one-goal game. 

7. Nate Thompson had another strong game, even though four of his five shots missed the net. He also was involved in an altercation with Jordan Staal that landed the Penguin 17 penalty minutes early in the third period. Seven of the last nine Isles games have been decided by one goal.  

8. The Islanders ended the month 3-1-0 at home. They are 6-1-1 in their last eight at home, and 6-3-2 for the season on home ice. Only twice in the last 21 seasons have the Isles recorded more points in their first 11 home games than the 14 that they have this season. They had 17 in 2001-02, and 16 two seasons ago.

9. The Isles contained Sidney Crosby as he has only one shot on goal and was minus-two. Crosby did do well on draws, winning 14-of-23.

10. The Isles lead the season series three points to two after earning a loser point on Opening Night; the series is tied at a game each. It was the Isles first regulation win over he Penguins since March 24, 2008. The next three meetings will be in Pittsburgh before the teams close the regular season against each other on April 11.

Up next: The Isles play the back end of the back-to-backs on Saturday afternoon in New Jersey. The Devils lead the series 1-0 and have beaten the Isles four stragiht times in Newark, with the Isles scoring a total of six goals.

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

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