New York Islanders Stanley Cup Banners” Flickr Creative Commons: Doug Kerr
#8 December 23rd, 1978: Bryan Trottier scores 5 goals to beat the New York Rangers
Bryan Trottier tallied 5 goals and 3 assists as the Islanders gave their fans an early Christmas present by routing the Rangers 9-4. The 8 points scored by Trots set the Islanders franchise record for points in a game which still stands to this day. The win over the then last place Rangers extended the Islanders unbeaten streak at home to 17. They were 13-0-4 in that span and had begun to pull away from the rest of the Patrick Division, en route to another deep Stanley Cup Playoff run. This game was important as it showed how the tide had turned in the Islanders-Rangers rivalry.
Blue Line Station
The Rangers had beaten the Islanders handedly in their early years of existence, but towards the end of the 70’s the Islanders began to do the beating. Over the eight games leading up to this one the Islanders were 7-0-1 against the blueshirts. The Islanders also continued their dominance at home. After this win, the Islanders improved to 40-3 at the Coliseum from 1977-78 to this game in 1978. Trottier scored a “natural” hat trick (three consecutive goals) starting with the last 2 of the second period and the first goal of the third period. Trots would go on to a monster season in which he set a career high in points (134), assists (87) and +/- (76). Trottier was named to his second All-Star Game and won the Art Ross trophy as the leagues leading scorer, as well as the Hart trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the NHL in the 78-79 campaign.