The rivalry between the squads is in full-force. It was in game 1 of the series that Pat LaFontaine was knocked unconscious on a hit from James Patrick (the Isles' Jeff Norton noted it was "Clean"). There was a disagreement regarding the medical treatment of LaFontaine -- Islander trainer Mark Aldridge also complained LaFontaine's ambulance was "rocked and pounded by fans" leaving MSG. The Rangers won that game 1, 2-1 and then beat the Isles 5-2 in game 2.
That set up a must-win game 3 for the Isles at the Coliseum. It is that game 3 that is featured on MSG tonight (9:00pm). It turns out to be the first of only three double-OT games in Coliseum history, won by Brent Sutter early in the second OT.
A couple of personal memories from that night:
1. It's one of the only times in recorded history (because who records such things) that two statisticians were jointly interviewed on radio between periods -- the late Joel Blumberg needed guests on Isles radio between the 1st and 2nd overtime so Kenny Albert (who was working with his dad on Ranger radio) and I were Joel's guests. I wonder whatever happened to Kenny? :)
2. The game was played on the first night on Passover. So while I was breaking matzvah with Blumberg, Landers, Fischler and Albert at the Coliseum, my fiancee was at a Passover seder ...with my extended family! (FWIW, the Isles are 3-1 in playoff games played on the first night of Passover...and we're still married!)
The Rangers would win the series in 5, but would lose to the Capitals in the Division Final, extending their Cup-less streak to an even 50.
In addition to tonight's 9pm airing, the broadcast will also air at midnight Mon/Tue, as well as at noon and 4 pm on Tuesday, and noon and 4 pm on Thursday.