On Tuesday, the New York Islanders joined with the Pittsburgh Penguins to honor those who were affected by the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
In today’s explosive political climate where everything gets taken to the extreme, and seemingly nothing is agreed on, the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins joined together to help support victims whose lives were forever grieved.
Before the game, both teams posted on their respective Twitter feeds photos of the logo they were outfitting and where to go to give donations to the families and victims.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 30, 2018
Our hearts are with Pittsburgh. Please join in the effort to support victims and families of Saturday's tragic shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue: https://t.co/mgwgiO1WK4 pic.twitter.com/DVbq1hjb1F
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 30, 2018
Penguins players wore special jersey patches which read “Stronger Than Hate” and meshed the team’s logo and the Star of David. The jerseys were autographed and auctioned off. Proceeds benefited the victims.
Before faceoff, a moving ceremony included an 11-second moment of silence (honoring the 11 victims) and a three-minute video highlighting the prideful residents of Pittsburgh earned emotional applause. The video scoreboard also posted the names of victims followed by a single word, “Shalom,” which means peace.
The ceremony concluded with two first responders dropping the ceremonial first puck between Islanders captain Anders Lee and Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.
Crosby and Islanders coach Barry Trotz commented on the touching ceremony.
“Emotionally, I think everyone felt that,” Crosby said. “You try to recognize and go out there and play as hard as you can and show your appreciation. Words are one thing, and you try to go out there and follow it up the same. I think everyone felt that. We wanted to go out there and play for them.”
“This city is a special city,” Trotz said. “This city is strong. It’s a gorgeous city. The people are great, and I know the healing process here will start. And they’ll rally around their sports team and community.”
Despite the incredible show of unity, a game still needed to be played, which the Islanders dominated 6-3. The win was the third on the road in four days against Metropolitan Division foes. This was the first time the Islanders won three road games in four days since November 5-8, 2014.
Josh Bailey extended his point streak to seven games with an assist (1 G, 7 A during streak) while Brock Nelson scored his fifth goal in five games. Mathew Barzal also continued his strong start with two assists. The reigning Calder Trophy winner has earned points in eight of the 11 games this season. He and Bailey lead the Islanders with 12 points.
After a slow start where they collected just seven points in their first eight games, the Islanders now sit one point behind the Penguins in the Metropolitan Division.
The Penguins donated $50,000 to the Jewish Federation and police officer’s fund. The game’s 50/50 raffle proceeds benefitted the charities, as well. Both teams reunite on Thursday at Barclays Center.