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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 11th

4 years ago tonight (2011) - Where to begin? Three Islanders reached 20 goals in the same game, 346 penalty minutes were assessed, the Isles scored four goals in each of the first two periods, and put up a 9-spot at the Coliseum for the first time since 1992. Add it all up and the Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 9-3.

Michael Grabner, Matt Moulson and John Tavares all reached 20 goals on the season in this game as the Isles raced to 6-0 and 8-2 leads. But it was the brawls throughout this game that made it so memorable.

To put it in perspective this game was played 9 days after Brent Johnson had knocked out Rick DiPietro in a goalie fight and just days after John Tavares, frustrated with lack of calls against Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf, had slammed a bench door so hard it reverberated throughout the Coliseum.

Here's the video of the DiPietro fight nine days earlier:

Here are the game highlights from NHL.com

And of course, here are the fights... all of them.

The first brawl of the evening came at 5:21 of the second period. Three Islanders (Matt Martin, Josh Bailey and Travis Hamonic) and three Penguins (Deryk Engelland, Pascal Dupuis and Mike Rupp) were ejected.  By the time Hamonic was ejected he already had a goal and an assist as he recorded at Gordie Howe Hat Trick.  Along the way, he became the first defensemen in, well, Travis Hamonic's lifetime to record at least 3 points and at least 17 penalty minutes.  No defensemen had done that in the NHL since at least 1987-88.

The third period featured several sets of fights, including an incident at 4:47 that saw Haley get into two fights following a check by Trevor Gillies on Eric Tangradi. One of Haley's fights was with Penguin netminder Brent Johnson.  Former Islander Eric Godard came off the Penguins bench during that altercation, earning himself an automatic 10-game suspension. Gillies, Haley, and Pittsburgh's Craig Adams all received game misconduct penalties, while Godard earned two. The officials spent the rest of the period giving out misconduct penalties. When the game ended, Pittsburgh had only two players on the bench.

The Isles scored 9 goals for the first time in 653 games, dating back to a 9-2 win in Chicago on March 25, 2003. They scored four goals in two separate periods for the first time since that same game. The Isles had gone over 18 YEARS without scoring nine goals at home; they last did so against Ottawa on December 17, 1992.

Of the 346 penalty minutes assessed, 183 were to the Islanders. Both are Islander club records, breaking marks of 233 combined and 108 to the Islanders in an October 14, 1982 game between these same two teams. 213 of the penalty minutes (108 to the Islanders) were assessed in the third period, establishing new club records in those categories as well.
Mikko Koskinen made 35 saves to record his second straight win, and improve his record to 2-1.

Also on this date: (1986) -: Bryan Trottier scored the game's only goal as Billy Smith shutout the Canucks 1-0 at the Coliseum. It is the only 1-0 regular season win of Smith's career; he also defeated the Blackhawks in a 1-0 overtime game in the 1979 playoffs.

All-time, the Isles have played ten February 11th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 8-1-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

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