John Tavares had been sitting on the cusp of 500 points for three games, but broke through the barrier in a big way on Friday night, scoring a hat-trick in a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers.
Tavares' three-goal night were points 499, 500 and 501 as the captain moved into 10th place on the Islanders' all-time leaderboard. Tavares reached the milestone in only 550 games.
"It's nice to just get it over with honestly," Tavares said. "It's a great accomplishment, a lot of the credit goes to my teammates, guys I played with to get to this point and it's nice to get it in a big win."
That's typical Tavares, passing the credit off to his teammates, reveling more in the win than the individual accomplishment. But on a milestone night, the Islanders weren't going to let him leave the stage without at least sticking around for the applause.
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"Great things happen to great people," head coach Jack Capuano said. "Forgetting what he is on the ice, he's a great leader, a character guy and he does things the right way. He's not a sometimes player, he does it all the time. We know he has tremendous skill, but for me as a coach it's been great. Hopefully he's learned a little bit from me and I know I've learned a lot from him."
Nick Leddy, who also had a three-point night (1G, 2A), spoke for his teammates when it came to Tavares.
"He's incredible," Leddy said. "I think everyone in the league knows what a special player he is. He showed it again here tonight."
Tavares is the first player from the 2009 NHL Draft to hit the milestone, 100 points ahead of Matt Duchene the next highest-scoring player from that draft.
"It's a great milestone for him," Capuano said. "There's a lot more coming."