18 years ago today (1997) – Zigmund Palffy had a hat trick and added an assist while Robert Reichel added four helpers as the Islanders pounded the Bruins 8-2 to complete a sweep of a home-and-home series with Boston.
Palffy’s goals gave him 5 goals in the back-to-back set as the Isles improved to 4-0-1 in five games since acquiring Reichel from Calgary.
The game was so one-sided that Palffy, Reichel and goaltender Tommy Salo were given the night off, as the Bruins suffered their sixth straight loss.
The Isles had caught lightning in a bottle with the Palffy/Reichel/Bryan Smolinski line. As Jeff Williams noted in Newsday:
Since Reichel joined the team in a trade with the Flames March 18 and was put on a line with Palffy and Smolinski, the Islanders are unbeaten in five games (4-0-1). Reichel has three goals and nine assists during that span. Palffy has seven goals and four assists. Smolinski has three goals and five assists. That's 31 points for the line in five games."Our team is winning, our line is playing great. It's nice to see, you know." said Palffy.
Here are Palffy's goals, as called by Howie Rose and Ed Westfall:
If you want to see more, here are whole game highlights, from a series called "Frozen in Time" that aired that summer.
Reichel had nine points in the home-and-home series; no Islander would have consecutive four point games in consecutive games again until John Tavares did it in October 2011.
The win moved the Isles (28-36-11) within 2 points of the final playoff spot, with 7 games to play. However, the Isles would win only once more, and miss the playoffs by seven points.
Also on this date: (2012) - Josh Bailey scored two goals and added three assists as the Islanders completed a sweep of the home-and-home series with Pittsburgh, defeating the Penguins 5-3. Bailey became the first Islander since Niklas Andersson (12/10/96 vs. Phoenix) to record five points in a game at the Coliseum.
Here are the highlights with Howie and Butch:
All-time, the Isles have played eleven March 29th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 6-3-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. The 12th and final March 29th home game is tonight –as the Isles host Detroit at 5:00. Make sure you’re there, because after tonight, there are only two regular season games remaining.
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