The New York Islanders carved out a little piece of history on Tuesday night, winning a 10th consecutive game for only the second time in the team's storied past.
It was a feat that hadn't been accomplished in over 37 years - a span so long that no current Islanders player had even been born. The last time the Isles won 10 straight games came all the way back in February 1982, when Hall and Oates were burning up the charts and the Isles were marching towards a franchise record 15-straight wins.
Win number 10 came over the Ottawa Senators, a 4-1 decision in the team's first game this season at Barclays Center. Cal Clutterbuck, Cole Bardeau, Casey Cizikas and Josh Bailey provided the offense, while Thomas Greiss made 27 saves. While a 10-game winning streak isn't the accomplishment for the Islanders this season, it is still a worthy one, especially in the age of parity.
"It's tough to do, especially in the league today, the way it is," Clutterbuck said. "There is no easy night. Even a team like that, that's trying to build something comes out and give you fits and work extremely hard and they have some talent. Sometimes a game like that can be tougher than a game against Tampa Bay, but we found a way."
Video: OTT@NYI: Bardreau nets first NHL goal on penalty shot
COLE BARDREAU SCORES FIRST GOAL VIA PENALTY SHOT:
Of all the ways Cole Bardreau could have imagined his first NHL goal - a penalty shot certainly had to be wedged somewhere between fairytale and fat chance. Prior to Tuesday, only six players since 1934-35 had recorded their first goal via penalty shot.
But there Bardreau was, heart racing and staring down Craig Anderson at center ice in his seventh NHL game, thinking shoot all the way after a pair of dekes were denied in games past. The 26-year-old rookie started out wide to the left, came back into the slot and snapped a shot through Anderson's five hole to put the Isles ahead 2-1.
"Going out there right before they blew the whistle and looking up it was pretty surreal. It was crazy and the nerves were going pretty good. I'm just grateful that one fell," said Bardreau.
The celebration was pure elation from Bardreau, who paid his dues with 230 American Hockey League games after going undrafted.
"It's been a roller coaster of a career to get to this point," said Bardreau, still beaming in the Isles locker room.
Bardreau is a recent addition to the Isles lineup, earning a rushed callup in Leo Komarov's absence on Oct. 19 in Columbus. Since then, he's made an impression with his straight-line play and tenacity, helping the Isles to the tune of seven-straight wins since joining the team.
He's a hard player to not root for, after nearly breaking his neck in college and nearly losing his hand to infection after an AHL fight. That spirit showed as his Islanders teammates swarmed him at the bench.
"It makes you proud of him as a teammate," Clutterbuck said of Bardreau's perseverence through his career. "To a room and group of guys that are really tight, he fits in. That's one of the fun parts about being here, is that we're really pulling for each other and that's just awesome to see. It was a lot of fun."
Video: OTT@NYI: Clutterbuck lifts rebound past Anderson
CLUTTERBUCK NETS FIRST OF SEASON IN TWO-POINT NIGHT:
Despite their difference in the standings, Tuesday's win wasn't a gimme for the Isles, who had to overcome an early shorthanded goal, the result of a miscue between Ryan Pulock and Michael Dal Colle behind the Islanders net. Vladislav Namesnikov found the puck in no man's land and fed Jean-Gabriel Pageau for the 1-0 tally at 7:44.
The Isles answered back less than a minute later to tie the score 1-1. Devon Toews' point shot - one of his team-high four in the first period - found its way to Cal Clutterbuck in front of the net and Clutterbuck roofed his first of the season past Craig Anderson at 8:23.
The goal was the exclamation point on an active period for Clutterbuck, who toppled Senators' big man Mark Borowiecki with an early hit and had a second goal denied by the knob of Anderson's stick.
"I think Cal has played pretty well for a while here and hasn't been rewarded. Today I thought he was rolling," Head Coach Barry Trotz said. "Sometimes those guys need a little reward for their hard work and effort. Tonight they got it."
Video: OTT@NYI: Cizikas buries Clutterbuck's feed for SHG
Clutterbuck finished an effective game by leading a shorthanded two-on-one rush and dishing to Cizikas for a one-timer to make it 3-1 at 10 minutes of the third period. If that was the insurance goal, Bailey's deflection 40 seconds was the backbreaker, ultimately finishing the 4-1 scoreline. From there the Isles put it in cruise control, with the crowd counting from one to 10 ringing throughout Barclays Center.
Of course, on the bench, it was business as usual for Trotz, who said he's more worried about the next game, rather than the last 10.
"After games, we're not having a big party, we know we have a big test vs Pittsburgh coming up," Trotz said. "We just take it game by game we really do."
The Islanders look to keep their streak alive - and match the NHL's longest streak from last season - when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in a playoff rematch on Thursday night. Puck drop from Barclays Center is at 7 p.m.