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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 25th



21 years ago tonight (1994) – Ron Hextall made 23 saves for his third consecutive home shutout as the Isles blanked Philadelphia 2-0. The shutout extended Hextall’s home shutout streak to 207:00.

Ron Hextall, as an Islander

Hextall had blanked Ottawa (4-0) on February 19th and Washington (4-0) on February 21st before turning the trick on his former team.  Hextall became the first goaltender in Islander history to record three consecutive home shutouts as the Isles recorded three straight home shutouts as a team for the first time in franchise history. (Both streaks were later tied by Rick DiPietro in 2006).

Scott Lachance and Pierre Turgeon scored for the Islanders, who earned a split of a home-and –home series with Philadelphia. 

The Isles’ defense suffocated the Flyers.  Steve Thomas told Newsday’s Jeff Williams that Darius Kasparitis was a major factor: “You know Kaspar is in the game when he's hitting people, especially the big guys.  I think he gets pumped up for guys like Lindros. When Lindros was skating the puck through the neutral zone, I think he knew he'd have Kaspar to deal with."

For his part, Kasparaitis criticized his Hall of Fame coach: "I like playing the big teams. I think {Arbour} made a mistake {Thursday night}. I played against {Mark} Recchi and {Kevin} Dineen instead of Lindros."

Hextall would record five shutouts on the season, his only one with the Islanders.  His streak would end 22:39 into the next game as Chris Simon scored for Quebec.

Keith Acton, who had played in his 1000th NHL game earlier in the week, was honored in a pre-game ceremony.  Acton remains the 1st player alphabetically in Islander history.  Harry Zolnierczyk, who made his Islander debut earlier this month, is the last.
Acton is now an assistant coach with Edmonton
Also on this date: (1984) – Greg Gilbert recorded his only hat trick as an Islander as the Isles whipped New Jersey 7-1.

Gilbert is the only player to win the Stanley Cup with both the Islanders & the Rangers
 
All-time, the Isles have played twelve February 25th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 7-2-3 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

Note from Eric: 
Recently, I was approached by @Islesblog to participate in a project for charity based on the "It Happened" theme.

The result is these gorgeous T-shirts and hoodies:


and now they can be yours.

Please visit http://teespring.com/IslesBlogIHATC to order.

Check out http://nyislesblog.com/articles/it-happened-at-the-coliseum-shirts-now-available for more on the campaign.

 All proceeds benefit one of my favorite charities: Make-A-Wish® Metro New York.

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