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Saturday, May 02, 2020

Road to the Cup - May 1, 1980 -- Isles 2, Buffalo 1 2OT (Isles lead best-of-7 series 2-0)

40 Years Ago Tonight... (actually last night)

By Eric Hornick

Game 2
Isles 2, Buffalo 1 (2 OT)
Bob Nystrom's fourth career overtime goal is by far his most famous; however it was his third overtime goal 1:20 into the second overtime that gave the Isles a 2-1 period over Buffalo, and a 2-0 lead in their semi-final series.

Nystrom's rebound of a Bob Lorimer shot ended the longest game in Islander history (to that point) and ended the only Islander multiple-overtime game in the Cup era. The winning goal was scored at 12:10 AM Buffalo time, marking the first Islander game to start on one day and finish on the next.

Butch Goring had broken a scoreless tie late in the second period but Andre Savard tied the score at 11:47, setting the stage for the first five-period game in Islander history.

The Isles had swept the two games in Buffalo, and despite having won only three regular season season games ever in Buffalo to that point, had extended their road winning streak over the Sabres to five games.  They also extended their overall playoff win streak over Buffalo to 10 games.

Here is a news clip of all three goals from the game:

And here's the CBC call of the game (with Bob Cole and Gary Dornhoefer); check out Bob Cole wearing Islander goalie equipment in the pre-game!

The Scoring:
1st Period
No Scoring

2nd Period
15:02 NYI Butch Goring (3) Gord Lane, Denis Potvin

3rd Period
11:47 BUF Andre Savard (1) Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin

First Overtime Period
No Scoring

2nd Ovetime Period
01:20 NYI Bob Nystrom (4) Bob Lorimer, Clark Gillies

The Series:
Game 1: Isles 4, Buffalo 2
Game 2: Isles 2, Buffalo 1 (OT)
Game 3: At Coliseum May 3
Game 4: At Coliseum May 6
(Isles lead series, 2-0)

Buffalo outshot the Isles 42-33 with each team having 10 shots in overtime....  Billy Smith improved to 9-1 in the playoffs while Bob Sauve took the loss... The win was the Isles' ninth in the playoffs (9-2), tying the then-club record set in 1975....The Isles recorded their seventh straight road victory (2 in LA, 3 in Boston, 2 in Buffalo)...Bob Nystrom became the first Islander to score three career overtime goals (he is the only Islander to finish with four)...Andre Savard's goal, the first since Buffalo opened the scoring in game 1, ended a 106:23 scoreless stretch for Billy Smith.

Mr. Overtime
Bob Nystrom scored four overtime goals for the Isles:
4/25/1978 - Game 5 vs. Toronto 8:02
5/3/1979 - Game 4 @ Rangers 3:40
5/1/1980 - Game 2 @ Buffalo 21:20
and (spoiler alert!)
5/24/1980 - Game 6 vs. Philadelphia 7:11 

Overtime is Our Time!
1st round vs LA: Game 3 (W 4-3 Morrow 6:55)
2nd round vs Bos: Game 1 (W 2-1 Gillies 1:02)
2nd round vs Bos: Game 2 (W 5-4 Bourne 1:24) 
2nd round vs Bos: Game 4 (L 4-3 O'Reilly 17:13) 
Semi-Finals vs Buf: Game 2 (W 2-1 Nystrom 21:20)

Isles Scoring Leaders thru 11 Games
Bryan Trottier 6-9-15
John Tonelli 6-5-11
Bob Bourne 6-4-10
Butch Goring 3-7-10

Isles +/- Leaders thru 11 Games
Dave Langevin +10
Bryan Trottier +8
Stefan Persson +8

Isles Penalty Minute Leaders thru 11 Games
Garry Howatt 63
Duane Sutter 46
Clark Gillies 46
Gord Lane 44

The Isles had a 2-0 lead in the semi-finals for the first time in their history.  They were heading home with a chance to take a stranglehold on the series. 

We'll pick up the story on Sunday, the 40th anniversary of Game 3.

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