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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 18th

31 years ago tonight (1984) – Brent Sutter played hero at the Coliseum, scoring the winning goal by deflecting in a Denis Potvin shot with six seconds to play, to give the Isles a 5-4 win over the Rangers.

Sutter was still a kid in 1984; he captained the Isles  from 1987-1991

Goals by Denis Potvin and Mike Bossy had given the Isles a 2-0 lead but Mike Rogers and Pierre Larouche scored for the Blueshirts to tie the game after 40 minutes.

Future Islander (and Islander General Manager) Don Maloney put the Rangers on top six minutes into the third (he’d score an even more important Coliseum goal about 9 weeks later) but Greg Gilbert tied the game at 12:30 of the third period, setting the stage for Sutter’s heroics.

“This was sort of a tough loss”, Ranger coach Herb Brooks told the NY Times’ Kevin Dupont. But, in this type of building, we showed a lot of character in coming back to take the lead.”

The win moved the Isles back into a tie with the Rangers for the Patrick Division lead.  It was Al Arbour’s 501st career win, breaking a tie with Toe Blake for 4th place on the all-time list.

Despite the win, the Isles lost the season series 4 games to 3 to the Rangers.  But, as Pat Calabria wrote in Newsday, “There’s always the playoffs”.  And what a playoff series that would be.

Also on this date: (2012) - John Tavares scored two goals and added an assist, while PA Parenteau and Mark Streit each added two assists as the Islanders completed a sweep of the season series with a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.  The win improved the Isles’ record to 6-3-1 in their last ten games.

Here are the highlights, with Howie and Butch.

All-time, the Isles have played eleven February 18th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 6-4-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

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