25 years ago tonight (1989) – Of all the hundreds of games the Isles and Rangers have played, one of the most memorable did not have a single goal scored in it. Mark Fitzpatrick and John Vanbiesbrouck battled to a scoreless tie.
The Rangers outshot the Isles 33-26, but neither team could score. Fitzpatrick, who extended his shutout streak to 136:45, recorded his third career shutout, all in a four-game period.
It was the first time the Islanders had ever blanked the Rangers at the Coliseum in regular season play.
Fitzpatrick told Newsday’s Mark Herrmann: "Zero-zero games don't happen all the time. It was great to play in one. It was probably the best hockey game I've seen this year."
Islander winger Don Maloney noted: "For my money, that was the type of hockey you can see in the playoffs. Everybody got their money's worth." Four months later the teams would meet in the playoffs.
Each team had some great scoring chances, none finer than the 2-on-0 the Isles had late in the game that was broken up on a (penalized) stick slash by Tomas Sandstrom.
Here's the NY Times story on the game:
Also on this date: (2003) – Radek Martinek scored the game-winning goal early in the third period as the Isles rallied for a 5-2 win over Tampa Bay. Garth Snow made 29 saves for the win.
All-time, the Isles have played nine December 9th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 3-5-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
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