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Eric Nystrom scored a goal and added an assist in his first NHL game on the ice where his father once starred, but the Isles rallied for two goals in the third to hand the Flames a devastating 3-2 defeat. On to the trick:
1. Trent Hunter broke the seal when he scored 8:23 into play. It was Hunter's first goal since January 19 and his 10th of the season. Hunter has scored at least 10 goals in each of his six full NHL seasons. The Flames knotted the game 50 seconds later when Nigel Dawes deflected home a shot by Cory Sarich.
2. The Flames grabbed the lead with seven minutes left in the second period on Nystrom's 11th goal of the season. It's the first time since October 6 that Nystrom, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, has recorded two points in a game.
3. The Isles have struggled in the third period all season but got goals from Matt Moulson (28 seconds into play) and Bruno Gervais. Mark Streit earned assists on both goals. It was the 27th goal of the season for Moulson; over the last four seasons only Jason Blake (40 goals in 2006-07) has scored more goals for the Islanders.
Gervais' goal, which came one second after an Isles power play expired, was his third of the season, matching his career high. The Isles then hung on for the final 8:29 to record the victory.
...a few more...
4. Hunter's goal ended 154:06 of scoreless hockey for the Isles.
5. The Isles improve to 2-28-4 in games that they trailed after two periods. Their other win came on November 27 vs Pittsburgh when Sean Bergenheim and John Tavares recorded third period tallies to also turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 victory.
6. The Isles have won three straight on Coliseum ice and are 3-0-1 in their last four games at home. All three wins have come in regulation, the first time that they have done that since October 28-November 7 when they record four consecutive regulation wins at home. The Isles have earned 43 points at home (20-13-3), guaranteeing them their first over-NHL .500 season at home since 2006-07, when they earned 50 points.
7. Gervais suffered a groin strain late in the game, joining Dustin Kohn, Andrew MacDonald, and Radek Martinek as injured Islander defensemen. Mark Flood played 10:49 in his NHL debut, replacing the injured Kohn, and was -2.
8. The teams combined for only 45 shot on goal (23 by Calgary). It's the fewest shots in an Islander game since the teams combined for only 40 shots in a 3-1 Montreal win over the Isles on January 15, 2008. Martin Biron made 21 saves and improved to 4-0-2 in six starts since returning to the Islander lineup on February 9th. Miikka Kiprusoff made 19 saves for Calgary.
9. The Isles improve to 9-6-2 against the West, with one inter-conference game remaining (Saturday in Columbus). Pittsburgh is the only other Atlantic Division team to earn 20 points against the West; the Penguins finished 9-7-2 against the Western Conference. Only Buffalo (10-5-3) and Washington (9-4-3 with two games to play) have better records against the West than the Islanders.
10. This was the only meeting of the teams this season. The Islanders have won two straight on Coliseum ice against Calgary (they last hosted the Flames in 2006) and are 3-1-0 in their last four overall against the Flames.
The Isles' win gives them 70 points, keeping them one point behind Carolina and two points behind Columbus (who both won tonight); the Isles are also four points ahead of Toronto (who also won tonight) and one point behind Florida (who lost to Montreal). The Flames remain in ninth place in the West, four points behind Detroit.
Up next: The Isles will look for their first win in Ohio in 33 years when they visit Columbus on Saturday night. The Isles are 0-4-2 in six trips to Nationwide, managing only a tie and a shootout loss. The last time the Isles won in Ohio was on March 27, 1977 when they defeated the Cleveland Barons 6-3 behind two Denis Potvin goals and three Lorne Henning assists.
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