Rangers close out Coliseum the way they opened it in 1972 (NYR 2 v. NYI 1)

Rangers celebrate with cam Talbot last regular season win ever at the Nassau Coliseum (Photo by Mike Stobe/ Getty Images)

Rangers celebrate with cam Talbot last regular season win ever at the Nassau Coliseum (Photo by Mike Stobe/ Getty Images)

In 1972 the Nassau Coliseum opened its doors to the NY Rangers who walked out of there with a 2-1 victory. The Blueshirts would perfectly bookend it with a 2-1 win in the last ever regular season game in Uniondale tonight.




It was a night for two of the Rangers young heroes. Cam Talbot stood on his head and weather the storm in the first period as the Islanders poured it on. Anders Lee would be the beneficiary of a jam play off some heavy forechecking by the home team in the opening period. Yet, Talbot shrugged it off talking afterwards about the team’s “heart” and “battle levels”. He would not let in another the rest of the way.

The other young hero was Kevin Hayes who made a statement by scoring a goal while an Islander defender was draped all over his back. In the second period, Hayes fended off Thomas Hickey using his body. Once he shook him off, he spun around whipped the puck by Halak. Matt Martin would come in late and knock Hayes down, but the real damage was done. “I wanted to fake backhand to see if he bit on it,” the kid said. “The defenseman bit on it, and I stopped. He went by and I knew I was one-on-one with the goalie. I just faked one way and went the other.”

The game was now tied and set up a tension filled third. As for the goal, it left many of his teammates shaking their heads in awe. Cam Talbot said, “his patience with the puck is crazy.”

Then the man who has done it all year scored his 39th goal of the season. For once in a Rangers Islanders game this year, the Blueshirts were the beneficiaries of a fortuitous bounce. Rick Nash carried the puck in and dangled at the blue line, backing the Islanders up as the Rangers went to the net. “I pulled up and I saw three of our guys going to the net,” Nash said. “I just shot it anywhere in the direction of the net, and lucky enough it went in.” When he let it fly the shot banked off of Ryan Strome and in.

Now with the lead, the Rangers clamped down and held the fort. Talbot continued to turn aside Islanders chances with help from his defense to mop up the mess. As the minutes ticked down like hours the Coliseum crowd chants of “Let’s Go Rangers” drowned out the early enthusiasm shown by the home town team.

Related: Greatest NYR Game Ever At Nassau Coliseum

The Rangers would seal the deal, winning the last two regular season games against the Islanders after losing the first three. Both wins came at the old barn on Hempstead Turnpike and have cut the Islanders division lead to one point with four games in hand.

Yes, the Rangers should be thinking division but with 89 points and 17 games remaining, the President’s trophy is no distant dream. Alain Vigneault didn’t have much to say except his team “worked hard” and “found a way to win.”

The Blueshirts have done a lot of that lately.




Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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