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Friday, December 05, 2014

It Happened at the Coliseum … on DECEMBER 5th

25 years ago tonight (1989) – The Buffalo Sabres came into the game with the most points in the NHL; the Isles entered with the second-fewest.  However, this was during one of the hottest stretches of Mark Fitzpatrick;s career and the Islander netminder made 32 saves as the Isles beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0.  It was Fitzpatrick’s third consecutive win and his second (of three) shutouts in a four game stretch.




Brad Lauer, Randy Wood and Hubie McDonough (into an empty net) had the goals for the Isles but it was the play of Fitzpatrick that drew all of the attention
.
“It's not a matter of being hot…It's a matter of having confidence”, Fitzpatrick told Newsday’s Mark Herrmann.  The streak was coincident with a deal the Isles made to acquire McDonough and Ken Baumgartner from Los Angeles.  The trade would eventually turn a team that was 5-18-3 at one point into a division leader, and despite a late season 15-game winless streak, a playoff team.


Fitzpatrick won the 1992 Masterton Trophy.
He and Ed Westfall are the only players to win the award as an Islander,
 although several others (G. Resch,  B. Bourne, J. McLennan,P. Lafontaine, J. Blake)
won the award after leaving the team

Also on this date: (1974) – Ralph Stewart scored his tenth goal of the season with just nine seconds to play as the Isles rallied to tie Toronto 3-3.


All-time, the Isles have played ten December 5th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 1-7-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

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