There was nothing ordinary about the Islanders' 4-3 overtime victory over Pittsburgh at Barclays Center on Thursday night, but for the Isles themselves, it was just another game with a point-worthy result just as they have accomplished in the past 16-straight games.
The win over the Penguins extended the Islanders point streak to 16 games (15-0-1) to break the franchise record as the longest point streak in the club's 47-year history. It's an impressive feat that wasn't accomplished by any of the four-time Stanley Cup-winning teams from the early 80s.
But there were no boisterous celebrations on Thursday night, only the calm, cool collectedness of the Islanders, who are taking it all in stride.
"It's just the way this group is," Mathew Barzal, who had three assists on the night, said. "We have a lot of chill guys that like to compete. We don't even talk about the streak at all really. We don't even bring it up. We just talk about how we're playing good and that we're hot, that's all really. We're just going about our business day-in and day-out. It's just business as usual."
Throughout the point streak, which dates back to Oct. 12, the Isles have taken it day-by-day. It's been by committee as well, as they've had goals from 17 different players and lights out performances from both goaltenders who have split the pipes.
Health hasn't been on their side either, the Isles have had five players on and off of the injured reserve list and have relied on their depth and character to show resilience amidst the adversity.
"We showed it last year too," Brock Nelson who scored the overtime winner for the second-straight game. "I think no one really thought we'd be where we are and we just try to feed off of that. I think everyone in here is just having fun, coming together as a group, playing for each other and finding different ways to get it done. I think the results reflect that."
"Everybody in the organization and everyone in the room is pretty close," Nelson continued. "I think that helps that everyone comes together and when we go out there we play for each other, we lay it all on the line, everyone sticks with it and believes in each other."
The streak, as impressive it as may be for the hard-nosed Islanders, it's not satisfactory. Hence why Scott Mayfield, who scored his third goal of the season, was more focused on the Isles relinquishing a goal to the Penguins just 1:04 into the start of the game.
"Good teams find ways to win," Mayfield said. "You always hear that saying, but we need to fix our starts. There's a lot of history with this organization too. To set a record, it's not easy to do and we did it. Proud of it, but we've just got to keep going."
Video: Islanders set club mark, top Penguins in OT
The reality of a grueling 82-game regular season is that it is only November. At 16-3-1, this may be the best 20-game start in team history, but the season is only one-fourth of the way completed. The streak, while an impressive feat among in the storied history of the franchise, is a testament to the work ethic and commitment of the group, but unsatisfactory in the big picture.
"We understand the importance of the right way to play," Head Coach Barry Trotz said. "They've just become really good pros. They understand that every game is going to be a different challenge, every game is winnable, but you can't quit on a game. You hear coaches talk about process. It's when you're able to stay doing what you know works and you don't deviate. You're probably going down the right path. When we get away from that we tend to not have success.
The Isles embark on their west-coast road swing in California facing the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, and Los Angeles Kings. With a 16-game heater in their back pocket and 33 of a possible 34 points (16-3-1), the Isles are planning to tackle the road trip like any business trip; taking each game one shift at a time.
"This group just focuses and stays in the moment," Coach Trotz said. "They come to work, they come to compete every night and they give you their best effort. That's the Islander way. That's a reflection on the way we play, that's a reflection on the people we have and that's a reflection on the community we live in."