31 years ago tonight (1984) – Denis Potvin scored twice and Butch Goring added a goal and an assist as the 4-time defending Stanley Cup champions defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-3.
The Isles raced to a 3-0 first period lead on goals by Potvin, Clark Gillies, and Goring. But the young Oilers, who would dethrone the Islanders that spring, fought back on goals by Tim Hunter, Charlie Huddy and Rick Chartraw to tie the game midway through the 3rd period.
John Tonelli scored the winning goal at the 10:24 mark of the 3rd. Potvin’s second goal, shorthanded and into an empty net, cemented the win with ten seconds to play and gave the Isles a 10-game winning streak against Edmonton.
“You like to think every game is a big one,” Al Arbour told Newsday’s Pat Calabria. “But from their point of view, you’d have to think that this was a little extra special.”
Oilers coach Glen Sather echoed what everyone was saying: “We have to improve on defense….(The Islanders) move people out from in front of their net and they move the puck out of their end much better under pressure than we do.”
With the win, the Isles moved into sole possession of first place in the Patrick Division.
Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri were out injured for Edmonton while the Isles were without a quintet of injured players, including Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier.
Also on this date: (2007) – Rick DiPietro made 27 saves as the Isles blanked Philadelphia 2-0. Viktor Kozlov and Miro Satan scored for the Islanders.
Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe have the highlights:
All-time, the Isles have played eight February 7th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 5-1-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
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