Isles 40 in 40 -- #28
If you're an Islander fan old enough to remember the team having success in the playoffs, but are under 30, then 1993 is your year of memories.
What you may not remember is that coming into April that spring, a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in three seasons was far from a certainty. Check out the NHL's Patrick Division standings on the morning of April 2nd:
The Isles thus had a one-point lead over the Rangers for the final playoff spot, with each team having seven games to play, as they met for the final time in the regular season, at Madison Square Garden.
The Isles jumped out to a 2-0 lead on two goals 2:07 apart. Derek King scored on a 5-on-3 at 18:25 of the first
... and Vlad Malakhov doubled the advantage early in the second period with this goal:
However, Ed Olczyk brought the Rangers within one late in the second period and Peter Andersson tied the game on a power play at 8:26 of the third.
The Islanders were awarded a power play with 1:43 to play but could not convert, thus sending the game into overtime. This was still several years before the loser points contaminated the standings so neither team was assured of anything when the extra session began.
Pierre Turgeon had come into the game with 49 goals and was still looking for #50 as overtime play began. With less than 90 seconds remaining in the extra session Turgeon took a pass from Brad Dalgarno in the slot and beat Ranger goalie Mike Richter for the overtime winner...and his 50th goal.
Here is the video of the entire overtime--the audio is the MSG feed with Sam Rosen and John Davidson. (If you'd like to skip to the goal start at about 7:00)
You can see Jiggs' call as part of this highlight reel (recorded at a lower quality)
Turgeon thus joined Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and Pat Lafontaine as the only Islanders to score 50 goals in a season -- no Islander has done it since. Pierre would finish the regular season with 58 goals; only Mike Bossy has ever scored more for the Isles.
Turgeon would be honored as the 1992-93 SportsChannel Islanders Most Valuable Player in a ceremony prior to the final regular season game:
As it turned out, Turgeon's goal essentially decided the final playoff spot. The Rangers would win only one more game that season while the Isles would go 40-37-7, finishing with an identical record as the Devils. A tie-breaker placed the Isles third, where they would go on to eliminate Washington in large part due to Ray Ferraro's overtime escapades (see #32), and the Devils fourth, where they would lose to the Penguins...setting up the opportunity for David Volek to end Pittsburgh's run...with another moment on the Isles 40in40 list.
However, Moment #28 belongs to #77, the best player...on the Islanders best team of the 1990s.
The List to Date:
#28--April 2, 1993-- Turgeon's 50th OTs Rangers at MSG
#29--October, 2001 -- Isles Start Laviolette Era 9-0-1-1
#30--November 23, 2009-- Roloson sets franchise record with 58 saves
#31--December 20, 1985 and January 28, 1986--Potvin Passes Orr.. Twice
#33 -- June 26, 2009 -- Islanders Select John Tavares
#34 -- May, 1982-- Bossy leads the Isles to 3rd Stanley Cup
#35 -- January 6,1981 --With Bossy Chasing 50, Tonelli Lights Up the Leafs
#36 -- January 18, 1973 -- Expansion Isles Beat the Champs
#37 -- November 28, 1979 -- Billy Smith is credited with a goal
#38 -- December 23, 1978 -- Trottier re-writes the record book
#39 -- February 11, 2011 -- Isles pound Pens 9-3
#40 -- Summer 2001 -- Isles hire Laviolette, trade for Peca and Yashin, claim Osgood.
Like any of these lists, my #2 may be your #20...