Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Skinny: Atlanta 3, Isles 2 (40 years ago today)

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Islanders' first-ever game, a 3-2 loss on home ice to expansion cousin Atlanta before 12,221 at the Coliseum.

The Skinny:
Most Islander fans of a given age know that Ed Westfall scored the Isles' first goal; fewer will know that it was Morris Stefaniw who scored the game's first goal -- for Atlanta while shorthanded.  You're a stats afficionado if you know that Stefaniw, who for a period and a half was the all-time leading goal scorer in Flames history, scored only one NHL goal in his career.
... Billy Harris scored the Isles 2nd goal.  He would go on to score 28 in total after being the first-ever Islander draft pick...While Dynasty goalie Billy Smith served as the  back-up, Gerry Desjardins made 19 saves for the Islanders... The Flames dominated the season series in 72-73, winning the first 4 games (twice by shutout) before the teams tied the season finale in Atlanta. ...  Of course things got better for the Isles over the years; the Flames played their last game in Atlanta one month before the Islanders won their first Cup.

Box score excerpted from the Hockey Summary Project.


1st Period
1 - ATLF : Stefaniw 1  (Morrison) (SH) 12:48
Penalties -  ATLF - Manery  11:13 ; NYI - Murray  17:42 ; NYI - Mikkelson  19:13 ;

2nd Period
2 - NYI : Westfall 1  (Gagnon, Hudson) (PP) 19:29
Penalties -  ATLF - Paradise  9:10 ; ATLF - Romanchych  18:28 ; ATLF - Richard  19:41 ; NYI - Lavender  19:41 ;

Third Period
3 - ATLF : Comeau 1  (Richard) (EV) 2:12
4 - ATLF : Leiter 1  (Harris, Hicke) (EV) 3:17
5 - NYI : Harris 1  (Mair, Hudson) (PP) 16:51

Penalties -  NYI - Murray  3:50 ; ATLF - Leiter  6:00 ; NYI - Murray  6:00 ; ATLF -  Morrison  8:14 ; NYI - Lefley  10:30 ; ATLF - Plager  15:51 ;

Shots On Goal
Atlanta Flames 8+4+10=22 Isles  5+ 9+ 923

Goaltenders
Myre (ATLF) (W) 21 saves on 23 shots - 60:00 mins
Desjardins (NYI) (L) 19 saves on 22 shots - 60:00 mins

Attendance - 12,221

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick 

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