2 years ago tonight (2013) - Andrew MacDonald scored a first period power play goal and that stood up long enough for the Isles to add two empty net goals in the final 31 seconds as the Isles broke a three-game losing streak with a 3-0 shutout win over the Florida Panthers.
The win moved the Isles within two points of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves to record his third shutout of the season and 55th of his career, passing Islander foes Bernie Parent and Ed Giacomin for 19th place in NHL history.
The win pushed the Islanders once again go over all-time NHL .500 (1361-1360-435 in 3,156 games).
“We needed a win,” John Tavares said. “Games are starting to quickly tick down and we need the wins. There’s not too many home games left and we haven’t been very consistent over the season here. You’ve got to finish on a good note. Our fans deserved it. We needed it and it’s good to finish it the right way and get ready for a big road trip.”
The Isles improved to 14-15-3 on the season, which just 16 games to play in the lockout-shortened season. The Isles would go 10-2-4 in those 16 games to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in the Tavares era.
Here are the highlights with Howie and Butch:
Also on this date: (1973) – Ed Westfall broke a 2-2 tie, beating Flyer netminder Michel Belhemeur for the winning tally with 7:57 to play, as the Isles defeated Philadelphia 3-2. It was the Isles’ final win of their inaugural season, as they improved to 12-58-5 with three games to play.
Also on this date -- (1990) -- this one doesn't really count, because It Happened at the (Northlands) Coliseum. Pat LaFontaine scored two goals to give him 51 goals on the season in his only 50 goal campaign as an Islander as the Isles tie Edmonton 5-5.
All-time, the Isles have played eight March 24th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 3-3-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. The 9th and final March 24th home game is tonight and 25 years to the date of his 50th goal, LaFontaine will be honored in a pre-game ceremony –as the Isles host Minnesota at 7:00. Make sure you’re there, because after tonight, there are only a handful of regular season games (5) remaining.
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