It takes quite a bit to excite Islander coach Al Arbour, but a strange coincidence in Tuesday night's 9-1 romp over the Colorado Rockies got him thinking.
Including 42 victories with the St. Louis Blues, Arbour has amassed 200 career coaching wins in the NHL, placing him third on the all-time list behind Scotty Bowman (438) and Fred Shero (284). And when Clark Gillies netted his 13th goal of the year late in a six-goal third period, it gave the Islander captain 200 career points.
"Oh, I don't keep track on those things," said Arbour when informed of his milestone.
"I'll tell you one thing," added Gillies, "Arbour's not getting his name on my plague."
Michael Bergeron started the scoring for New York at 4:21 of the first period, flipping a 10-footer by the stick side of goaltender Doug Favell. Bergeron scored again 42 seconds later when his 30-foot angle drive sneaked through the legs of Favell.
Andy Spruce halved the margin at the start of the second, beating Chico Resch on a power play. But the Islanders countered when Mike Kasycki tallied his second goal of the season at 18:27, giving New York a two-goal margin heading for the third period.
"That's the goal that killed them," said Resch, who stopped 32-of-33 shots on the evening. "This wasn't one of our best nights, and they were starting to outplay us. But when Mike scored that goal near the end of the second, I knew it would be alright."
Bobby Bourne, Billy Harris, Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Bobby Nystrom, and Harris again chalked up third-period goals.
"Favell was just terrible in that third period," said an angry Pat Kelly, coach of the Rockies. "This is the worst game he's played all year. In fact, it's the worst game this team has played all year. We'll just have to regroup."
In the only other NHL game.
Flames 2, Canucks 2
Eric Vail knocked Vancouver goalie Curt Ridley out of the game with a shot to the throat and later scored the tying goal against Cesare Maniago, Ridley's replacement.