New York Islanders Top 10 Moments – Nassau Coliseum [Video]
Islanders Fans won’t forget. Flickr Creative Commons: Clyde
#9 April 28th, 1993: Dale Hunter‘s cheap shot on Pierre Turgeon during Game 6 of the Patrick Division Semifinals The Islanders and Washington Capitals ended their 1993 first round playoff series with quite the fracas. The series would’ve most likely been known for having 3 straight overtime games (including double-overtime in game 2) had it not been for one of the worst cheap shots in NHL history.
Pierre Turgeon sealed the game and series win for the Islanders by stealing the puck from Dale Hunter and beating Don Beaupre to make it 5-1 New York with under 9 minutes left in the third. Hunter, who claimed he didn’t hit Turgeon dirty but was just “finishing his check,” proceeded to blindside Turgeon with an elbow from behind during his celebration. Isles forward Steve Thomas led the retaliation on the Capitals and Rich Pilon threw an elbow to the head of Hunter. Even the mild-mannered Benoit Hogue mixed it up in defense of Turgeon and was ejected for the remainder of the game. Turgeon suffered a concussion and a separated right shoulders a result of the hit.
He would miss the following series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hunter received a 21-game suspension from new NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, which was an NHL record at the time. The Islanders would go on to knock off the defending champion Penguins in seven games, then lose to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Montreal Canadiens in the Conference Finals. This was the first series win since 1987 for the Islanders and also the last series-clinching game at the Coliseum. In fact, the 1992-93 season marks the last time the Islanders have won a playoff series at all.