About 15,795 ticketed stands plus countless team and arena staff were desperate for this moment. The New York Islanders had their chance to end decades of demons and win their first playoff since 1993. After falling short twice in the last three seasons, they had a chance to do it at home, and avoid a scary Game 7 against the youthful (most of the roster) and tireless (Jaromir Jagr) Florida Panthers.
But it almost didn't happen.
It took a goal by John Tavares in the 60th minute of regulation to end Roberto Luongo's shutout and send it to overtime.
It took 30 minutes of overtime for Tavares to do it again, and send the Isles to the second round.
He was already a major part of Islanders history, a crucial first-overall pick at a time when the franchise's future in New York was in jeopardy.
Now, in their first year in Brooklyn and a new era of expected stability, Tavares brought them to a place their fans hadn't witnessed since 1993 (if they're old enough to have witnessed that at all).
It's "just" a first-round win. It pales in comparison to the franchise's best history, that of the NHL's last true dynasty and the only major sports franchise to win 19 playoff series in a row. The Isles will be underdogs in their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning like they were in this one against Tampa's in-state rivals.
But it's a step that had to be taken, and it was long overdue. Only fitting that Tavares be the one, at home, in an electric atmosphere.