33 years ago tonight (1982) – Mike Bossy scored the winning goal with just 24 seconds to play as the Islanders rallied from 2-0, 3-1, and 4-3 deficits and clinched first place overall with a 5-4 win over the Hartford Whalers.
It was a good night for future Hall of Famers as Ron Francis scored twice for the Whalers and Dave Keon scored once; Denis Potvin scored a goal early in the third period and then assisted on John Tonelli’s tying tally. Bryan Trottier assisted on the winning goal while Mark Howe assisted on Keon’s goal, which was the final goal of his NHL career.
The Isles set franchise records with their 52nd win and 32nd home victory as they improved to 20-0-2 in their last 22 games on Coliseum ice and 27-2-3 in their last 32 games overall. It assured the Isles of finishing with the best record in the league for the third time in the last four seasons.
Despite the win, Al Arbour was not particularly pleased, telling Newsday’s Pat Calabria: “…they can’t always turn it on like they think they can. They know we were very fortunate to come out of this with a victory.” But as Ken Morrow pointed out, “He tells us we can’t turn it on and off, and then we wind up winning in the last few seconds. But he’s right.”
Check out the highlight of Bossy’s winning goal with WNBC’s Len Berman:
About two weeks later, the Isles would have to turn it on again in the final minutes of a game, rallying for a dynasty-saving win against Pittsburgh.
Also on this date: (1984) – Billy Smith made 27 saves and Brent Sutter scored two goals as the Isles pounded the Canadiens 7-0 in the most one-sided game ever played between the two teams. Mike Bossy scored his 49th goal of the season while Pat LaFontaine added his 12th goal in 13th NHL games.
All-time, the Isles have played nine March 27th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 3-6-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
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