29 years ago tonight (1986) – In the final regular season home game of Al Arbour’s first stint as Islander coach, the Islanders pound the Devils 7-1.
The game got off to a ceremonial start, as Bob Nystrom was on-ice for the opening face-off. Nystrom, who had suffered an eye injury during the season, played in his 900th regular season game- all for the Islanders.
Following that, the Isles jumped all over New Jersey as Gord Dineen and Pat LaFontaine scored in the first 3:21. It was Dineen’s only goal of the season and just his third in 149 NHL games.
Rich Kromm, who had been acquired in a trade for John Tonelli less than a month earlier scored twice for the Isles.
Arbour would retire after the Isles were swept in three games by the Washington Capitals but would return to the bench in December 1988.
Also on this date: (2012) - Michael Grabner scored two goals in the final 8:15, including the winning goal in the final minute, and Kyle Okposo also scored twice as the Islanders closed out the home season with a 5-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Grabner’s first goal came on a penalty shot—it was his third attempt of the season. Grabner's goal ended a streak of 14 consecutive regular season home ice penalty shot failures, dating back to a goal by Tim Connolly on 3/21/00.
Here are the highlights, with Howie and Butch.
All-time, the Isles have played 8 regular season and one playoff game on April 5th at the Coliseum; they have compiled a 4-3-1 regular season and 1-0 playoff record (a 5-2 win over Chicago in 1977) on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.
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