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Saturday, March 14, 2015

It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 14th

28 years ago tonight (1987) – Pat LaFontaine scored the winning goal 1:01 into overtime as the Islanders rallied from 2-0, 3-1 and 6-2 deficits for a 7-6 win over the New Jersey Devils. 
Kelly Hrudey was chased after allowing 2 goals on 3 shots (one to Gord Mark, the first of his three career goals) and was replaced by Billy Smith.

The Isles cut the deficit to 3-2 by the end of the first period, but Craig Adams scored twice and Craig Wolanin once in the middle session, to give New Jersey a 6-2 stranglehold going to the third.

Yet somehow, the Isles got out of it.  Devils penalties certainly helped as the Isles had four power plays in the third period, and converted on three of them. Bryan Trottier got the Isles on the board at 8:19 of the period and Neal Coulter scored 3:53 later to make it 6-4.

Mike Bossy then brought the Isles within one at 13:36 with his 38th goal of the season; it was the 573rd goal of his majestic career.  Nobody knew it at the time, but it was also the final one he would score in the NHL.  His final NHL game would be one week later, against the Rangers.

The Devils took back-to-back penalties late in the third period, and Mikko Makela tied the game with just 11 seconds to play. The Isles outshot New Jersey 20-2 in the third period.
LaFontaine then scored the winning goal in overtime; the first of four regular season overtime goals that he scored as an Islander.  Five weeks later in Washington he would score an even more meaningful overtime goal.

“It’s on the border of the ridiculous”, Mike Bossy told the NY Times’ Robin Finn. “It’s nice to win, but why wait until the third period when you’re down so far that it is almost become a meaningless game?”

With the win, the Isles remained alone in second place in the Patrick Division, and improved to a ridiculous 31-1-3 all-time against the Kansas City-Colorado-Devils franchise at the Coliseum.

The Isles and Devils have not played a game in which 13 goals were scored between them since then.

Here's the box score:


First Period
1 - NJ : Mark 1 (EV) 04:04
2 - NJ : Broten 21 (Verbeek, Muller) (EV) 05:09
3 - NYI : Bassen 6 (Kerr, Lauer) (EV) 06:12
4 - NJ : Maclean 27 (Mark, Johnson) (EV) 13:38
5 - NYI : Sutter D 13 (Makela, Dineen) (EV) 15:19
Penalties - NJ - Verbeek 00:14 ; NJ - Mark ( (maj)) 06:12 ; NYI - Lauer ( (maj)) 06:12 ; NJ - Daneyko 07:06 ; NJ - Daneyko 07:06 ; NJ - Maclean ( (maj)) 13:38 ; NYI - Bassen ( (maj)) 13:38 ;

Second Period
6 - NJ : Adams 17 (Maclean, Sulliman) (EV) 02:12
7 - NJ : Adams 18 (Cirella, Johnson) (PP) 09:43
8 - NJ : Wolanin 3 (EV) 17:19
Penalties - NYI - Bassen 08:14 ; NYI - Dineen 09:15 ; NJ - Velischek 12:55 ; NYI - Sutter D 18:09 ; NYI - Coulter 19:08 ;

Third Period
9 - NYI : Trottier 20 (Flatley, Boyd) (PP) 08:19
10 - NYI : Coulter 2 (Lafontaine, Makela) (EV) 12:12
11 - NYI : Bossy 38 (Flatley, Trottier) (PP) 13:36
12 - NYI : Makela 22 (Lafontaine, Boyd) (PP) 19:49
Penalties - NJ - Loiselle 02:24 ; NYI - Diduck 02:24 ; NJ - Loiselle ( (maj)) 02:24 ; NYI - Diduck ( (maj)) 02:24 ; NJ - Wolanin 07:53 ; NJ - Maclean 13:10 ; NJ - Cirella 15:56 ; NJ - Cirella ( (maj)) 15:56 ; NYI - Kerr ( (maj)) 15:56 ; NYI - Kerr (Misconduct (10 min)) 15:56 ; NJ - Velischek 17:57 ;

Overtime
13 - NYI : Lafontaine 30 (Makela) (EV) 01:01
 Penalties - NJ - Verbeek 00:45 ; NYI - Sutter D 00:45 ;

Shots On Goal
New Jersey  12 - 10 - 2 - 0 = 24;   Islanders   16 - 12 - 20 -1 = 49

Goaltenders
Chevrier (NJ) (L) 42 saves on 49 shots - 61:00 mins
Hrudey (NYI) 1 saves on 3 shots - 5:00 mins

Smith (NYI) (W) 17 saves on 21 shots - 56:00 mins


Also on this date: (2010) Blake Comeau recorded the first three-assist game and set a career high with 27 points as the Isles defeated Toronto 4-1. Nikolai Kulemin scored just 57 seconds into play, to give Toronto the lead.  However, Tim Jackman tied the game just 1:54 later, and Richard Park gave the Isles a lead with a shorthanded tally.  Frans Nielsen and Matt Moulson added the other Islander goals. Trevor Gillies recorded his first NHL point on the Park goal, leaving him  662 points behind Clark Gillies on the all-time Isles list.

Here are the highlights, with Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe.



All-time, the Isles have played nine March 14th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 3-4-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.  The 10th and final March 14th home game is tonight –as the Isles host Montreal at 7:00. Make sure you’re there, because after tonight, there are only six regular season games remaining.  

(Reminder – Howie and Butch have the night off - this game will be televised exclusively on NBCSN; Dave Strader and Brian Engblom will have the call.)

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