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Sunday, January 25, 2015

It Happened at the Coliseum … on JANUARY 25th



18 years ago tonight (1997) – Derek Armstrong broke a 2-2 tie late in the third period as the Islanders capped an emotional night and an emotional week with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks before a sell-out crowd at the Coliseum.

The Islanders, playing their second game after “owner” John Spano had Mike Milbury step down as head coach to concentrate on his general manager duties but it was a previous coach that drew all of the attention on Al Arbour Night.

Master of Ceremonies Clark Gillies introduced Arbour as ''the greatest coach in the history of hockey” and the sellout crowd “… brought back a lot of memories (to Arbour), with the Coliseum being full.”

Here's the video of the pre-game ceremony:
Arbour, at his Hall of Fame induction



Then Rick Bowness, in his second game behind the bench, got a first period goal from Ziggy Palffy. It was Palffy’s 30th goal of the season.  Despite being outshot 31-15 through two periods, the Isles nursed the lead into the third period.

However, Eric Weinrich and Tony Amonte scored third period goals to give the Blackhawks the lead in the third period.  Bryan Smolinski tied the game, before Armstrong scored the winning tally.  Eric Fichaud was brilliant in the Isles’ net, making 47 saves.

''Eric Fichaud won the game for us,'' Bowness told the NY Times’ Jason Diamos. ''We won with our 'B' game and that's encouraging.''

Here's the NY Times story on Arbour's night
 http://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/26/sports/islanders-and-fichaud-sparkle-on-a-night-to-honor-ex-coach-arbour.html

Here's the Times on Milbury being pressured to step down as Isles coach:
http://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/25/sports/isles-owner-prevails-and-milbury-steps-down.html

Also on this date: (2014) - TJ Oshie scored the tying goal in the final minute and video review erased an overtime goal from Thomas Vanek as the St. Louis Blues rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits and defeated the Islanders 4-3. US Olympian Kevin Shattenkirk scored the deciding goal in the shootout.  With 1:15 remaining in overtime, a puck deflected into the Blues goal off of the skate of Thomas Vanek. "My foot was on the ice the whole time," he said. "It hit my skate blade and spun right in." However, video review overturned the goal, saying that it had been directed in by a distinct kicking motion. The Islanders and their fans vehemently disagreed.

Check out who the Blues goalie was -- he's won a lot of games for the Isles this season!

The NHL clarified (and some would say changed) this rule over the summer.  Had Vanek's goal occurred this season, it would not have been overturned.

All-time, the Isles have played five January 25th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 1-1-3 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

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