Islanders top five goals of the last decade
3. Josh Bailey OT Winner Game 1 vs. Pittsburgh
The New York Islanders weren’t supposed to make the playoffs in 2018-19. They weren’t supposed to do anything but exist in the basement of the NHL.
On paper, they weren’t a good team. John Tavares wasn’t there anymore and in free agency, the Islanders added a number of bottom nine players.
Again, it wasn’t supposed to be a good year for the New York Islanders. But after 82 games they accumulated 103 points and earned a date against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Just like in the regular season, the Islanders weren’t expected to do much against a Penguins team that had won the Stanley Cup twice in the previous three seasons.
Leading up to the final minutes in regulation, the Islanders held a 3-2 lead. It looked like the Islanders would win their first playoff game at the Nassau Coliseum since April 25th, 2015. Justin Schultz ruined that by tieing it up at 18:31. Which meant the game would be settled in sudden-death overtime.
It took Josh Bailey 4:19 to find the back of the net.
To be fair, give Matt Barzal a ton of credit here. He carries the puck into the offensive zone, opens up the goalie, and gets it on net, and chaos ensues. In that resulting chaos, Josh Bailey finds twine and with it, the Isles get their first playoff win at the Coli in four years.
They weren’t supposed to make the post-season, they weren’t supposed to win, and the Islanders did both. Add the inherent drama of overtime in playoffs and that’s why this goal was so big.