34 years ago tonight (1981) – Four times the Pittsburgh Penguins would take the lead; four times the Isles would answer as the teams played a 4-4 tie on Coliseum ice.
The Penguins grabbed a 2-1 lead after one period, but Butch Goring’s shorthanded tally (a club record 17th for the team) evened the game early in the second period. Paul Baxter restored Pittsburgh’s lead before the second session ended.
In the third period, John Tonelli tied the game at the 11:13 mark but Greg Malone, who like his son Ryan had some big games against the Isles, scored just 23 seconds later to give Pittsburgh a 4-3 lead. However, much like they couldn’t do 13 months later, the Penguins couldn’t seal the deal and instead Bob Nystrom sealed the game at 18:14.
“I’m relieved and disappointed… but more relieved”, Denis Potvin told Newsday’s Pat Calabria as the Isles fell two points behind St. Louis for 1st place overall.
The tie left the Isles with a 44-17-14 record; only 21 of the wins were at home, leaving the Isles as the only NHL team with more road wins than home wins.
Also on this date: (1989) – Mike Walsh scored his first two NHL goals as the Islanders defeated Washington, 5-4, stopping the Caps’ eight-game win streak. They would also be Walsh’s only two NHL goals.
All-time, the Isles have played five March 28th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 2-1-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. The sixth and final March 28th home game is this afternoon –as the Isles host Anaheim at 1:00. Make sure you’re there, because after today, there are only three regular season games remaining.
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