No.3 - Game 7 2015 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs Washington
The 2014-15 season was a blast. In the (scheduled) final year at the Nassau Coliseum, the team had its most exciting team in over a decade. The Islanders had missed the playoffs the previous year, but their outlook changed dramatically when GM Garth Snow acquired defenseman Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy just ahead of the start of the regular season. John Tavares was Hart Finalist, Jaroslav Halak was an All-Star in net, and the best fourth line ever was created.
Jack Capuano had his team firmly in playoff position most of the year and had a chance to lock up home ice in the first round of the playoffs in the final game of the regular season vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Isles lost in a shootout, giving the Washington Capitals home-ice advantage.
That shootout loss in the regular season finale proved costly as instead of being in front of a raucous Coliseum crowd for Game 7, the Islanders were inexplicably flat and out of sync, registering only 11 shots on goal for the game against Braden Holtby. Nevertheless, they found themselves tied after Frans Nielsen's third-period goal. However, thoughts of stealing a Game 7 on the road were dashed when Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a highlight reel goal with 7:18 remaining.
Does a win there send the Islanders onto a deep playoff run? We don't know, but it would've set up a series to remember with the Metropolitan Division champion New York Rangers. It would've been the teams' first playoff series matchup in 21 years, but alas, it wasn't meant to be, and this upcoming season will mark 30 years since the cross-town rivals have met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.