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Curtain Call For The Coliseum

The Islanders are looking forward to playing one more game in their old home

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

What was the last preseason game you remembered? 

Think about it: what was the last preseason game you looked back on and thought about even a month later? In the grand scheme of an 82-game regular season and playoffs, these are the forgotten games. 

But Sunday's preseason game at Nassau Coliseum - now known as NYCB Live - is different. Sunday's matinee against the Philadelphia Flyers may be about as memorable an Islanders preseason game as you'll find. 

"It's probably the first time that a lot of the veterans have said they want to play in the first [preseason] game," Cal Clutterbuck said. "That place is special to a lot of guys who were here during that time."

For one afternoon, the Islanders are going to play in the building they called home for 43 years, their residence for four Stanley Cups, 19 straight playoff series wins and a host of Hall-of-Fame careers. It's going to look a little different than it used to, with new black seats, a modified scoreboard, a silver exterior and a freshly-painted interior, but on Sunday, the Meadowbrook Parkway will double as Memory Lane. 

Video: Islanders Share Coliseum Memories

 "It's going to have some of the old feel I assume, some of the old memories will come back," John Tavares said. "That place means a lot to this organization and to us as players and to the fans and people of Long Island. It should be a great game and a great way to start off preseason."

The memories of the 2013 and 2015 playoffs are still vivid for the Islanders who played in those series. Johnny Boychuk recalled how the locker room shook before Game Three of the Islanders-Capitals series in 2015, while Clutterbuck - whose Game Six empty-netter was the last goal scored at the Coliseum - said it was the craziest atmosphere he'd been a part of in sports. 

"Even if I'm not playing, I'd still want to come and watch just to see the crowd atmosphere," Boychuk said. "Just to be back in the building."

Video: John Tavares puts on the moves for nifty goal

Everyone from players to fans are looking to recapture the Coliseum spirit Sunday. The parking lot opens at 9 a.m. to officially start the tailgate - though Boychuk noted from his brief time living at the Marriott that it could start well before then - and the Islanders are playing a heated rival in the Flyers. 

So go tailgate, reminisce and honk your horns. Sure, it's preseason, so it won't be as loud as the dynasty days, or Shawn Bates' penalty shot or Tavares' OT winner vs Washington, but Sunday will be like revisiting an old friend. 

Make it memorable. 

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