Monday night against the Capitals will be the eighth Game 7 in Islanders history and first since 2002. Some of the previous seven have gone straight into hockey lore and established the Islanders as a team that's sometimes capable of magic.
Here's a quick rundown of the previous Game 7's with reports and quotes from the time. I'm sure we have more than a few readers who have seen each one live.
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1975 Quarter-Finals: Islanders 1, Penguins 0
After their stunning win over the Rangers in their first ever playoff series, the Islanders promptly dropped the first three games against Pittsburgh in the next round. Four straight wins later, the Islanders had made history, becoming the first team since the 1942 Maple Leafs to come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a series. Ed Westfall's goal and Chico Resch (and his goal posts) were all they would need.
"Nobody picked us to make the playoffs; nobody picked us to beat the Rangers; and nobody picked us to come back against Pittsburgh," Arbour recalled. (AP, April 28, 1975)
1975 Semi-Finals: Flyers 4, Islanders 1
Not content to do the impossible only once, the Islanders almost did it again after falling behind three games to none against the Flyers in the very next round. The Islanders forced a Game 7 but ran out of magic against Rick MacLeish and Kate Smith.
Miss Smith had hardly finished singing "God Bless America" when Gary Dornhoefer scored to start the destruction of the "Cinderella" dreams of the comeback Islanders. (UPI, May 15, 1975)
1978 Quarter-Finals: Maple Leafs 2, Islanders 1 (OT)
After three straight trips to the Stanley Cup semi-finals, the Islanders probably expected a first round series against the Maple Leafs to be a formality. But the truculent Leafs had other ideas and bullied the Islanders physically all series. It all ended on Lanny McDonald's overtime goal, scored - of all times - on the Islanders' payday.
Trainer Ron Waske went from locker to locker handing out paychecks. Some of the recipients were crying, some were talking softly - trying to explain how they had lost their National Hockey League quarter-final playoff series to the underdog Toronto Maple Leafs.
Waske handed an envelope to right wing Bob Nystrom, who opened it, looked at the numbers and set the envelope aside.
"Even this isn't worth it," he said somberly. (AP, May 1, 1978)
1987 Patrick Division Semi-Finals: Islanders 3, Capitals 2 (4OT)
No introduction needed. After coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the series, Pat LaFontaine's turnaround slapshot gets behind Washington goalie Bob Mason and deflates the Cap Centre in the wee hours of Easter morning. Epic.
"I was just trying to get a shot on net," LaFontaine said. "The puck was on my backhand, on edge, like a butterfly." (AP, April 20, 1987)
1987 Patrick Division Final: Flyers 5, Islanders 1
(It's a Flyers video. Islanders series starts at 1:05)
Dog tired from their series against the Caps, the Islanders go down three games to one against the Flyers before forcing Game 7. But Philadelphia, who would go on to lose to Edmonton in a seven-game Cup finals, ousted the Islanders on the back to two quick short-handed goals.
Brian Propp and Brad Marsh scored short-handed goals 44 seconds apart in the first period Saturday night, sparking the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-1 victory over the New York Islanders in the seventh and deciding game of the Patrick Division finals. (AP, May 3, 1987)
1993 Patrick Division Final: Islanders 4, Penguins 3 (OT)
Without leading scorer Pierre Turgeon - who was injured by a vicious cheap shot from Washington's Dale Hunter in the first round - the plucky young Islanders faced the two time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins. You know what happened next: Volek.
"All day long, people were stopping us on the streets telling us to get the golf clubs out, we were done," the Islanders' Ray Ferraro said. "There were numerous times in this series when people said it was over. We were shown no respect, we were told along that we should be just happy the be here. That was a good motivator for us." (AP, May 15, 1993)
2002 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals: Maple Leafs 4, Islanders 2
Making their first appearance in the playoffs in eight years, the Islanders played the Maple Leafs in a brutal, bloodthirsty series that left Islanders captain Michael Peca and key defenseman Kenny Jonsson injured.
New York's Dave Scatchard said it was the dirtiest series he's been part of.
"It's tough to shake hands after some of the things that have happened," Scatchard said. (AP, May 1, 2002)