Twenty Years Later - Penguins 4, Islanders 3 - 12-22-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

"Twenty Years Later" is a segment with a highly unimaginative name which will appear on Empty Netters throughout the 2010-11 season. We will examine the Penguins' 1990-91 season which led to the first Stanley Cup title in franchise history. We will look back on games on a particular date and catch up with former players, coaches, executives and media members who were a part or around that team.

Today, we look at the Penguins' 4-3 defeat of the Islanders, Dec. 23, 1990.

A road win at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum extended the Penguins' winning streak to six games. Late in the first period at the 19:58  mark, A goal by right winger Patrick Flatley against goaltender Tom Barrasso gave New York a 1-0 lead. Assists went to center Pat Lafontaine and left winger Randy Wood.

At 2:27 of the second, defenseman Dean Chynoweth gave New York a 2-0 lead with an unassisted goal.

The Penguins got on the scoreboard at the 6:00 mark with a power play goal by left winger Kevin Stevens against goaltender Glenn Healy. Center John Cullen and defenseman Paul Coffey recorded assists.

The game was tied, 2-2, at 8:32 when left winger Phil Bourque scored off assists from Cullen and right winger Mark Recchi.

At 17:32 of the period, defenseman Zarley Zalapski scored on a slap shot to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead. Center Bryan Trottier recorded the lone assist.

Wood tied the game, 3-3, at 6:19 of the third on a power play. Defensemen Gary Nyland and Brad Norton were credited with assists.

Just under three minutes later at 9:06 a goal by left winger Bob Errey scored the game-winning goal off assists from Zalapski and rookie right winger Jaromir Jagr.


-Barrasso made 33 saves to earn the win.

-The three stars were 1.) Errey 2.) Zalapski 3.) Wood.

-Coffey's assist was the 1,000th point of his NHL career. He joined former Islanders captain Denis Potvin (1,052) as the only defensemen in NHL history to reach that milestone.

-In his Penguins' debut, right winger Scott Young had one shot on goal.

-Right winger Joe Mullen missed the game due to a pinched nerve in his shoulder.

Patrick Division Standings:

Record Points
Rangers 20-13-5 45
Flyers 19-17-4 42
Devils 18-13-6 42
Penguins 18-16-3 39
Capitals 18-19-1 37
Islanders 12-18-4 28

Also in the news that day:

-Forward Brian Shorter and guard Jason Matthews each scored 13 points and led No. 18 Pitt to an 88-68 defeat of Toledo at the Fitzgerald Field House. It was Pitt's fifth consecutive win.

(Photo: Penguins Hockey Cards)

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