The Islanders had just beaten the Edmonton Oilers, 3-2, and Colin McDonald played a large role in that win. So, it was only fitting he received the number one honor. It was McDonald's backhander that found the back of the net to tie the game at one, 13:20 into the first period.
And it was McDonald's diving effort to get the puck to Casey Cizikas in the slot and give the Islanders a 3-2 lead with 4:37 left in the game. Not to mention, he recorded a whopping nine hits as well.
"He chipped pucks, he grinded," Jack Capuano said about Tuesday's unlikely hero. "You know exactly what you're going to get and he makes high percentage plays. He plays the Islander way. He plays within the team's concept that we talk about all the time and when you do those things good things happen.
"In the last couple of games that he's played in, he's got a few goals there. He's made a solid impact."
McDonald has three points in his last two games, the first he's played with the Islanders since October 21 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
At the time he was the victim of numbers. The Islanders needed to make room and McDonald was the odd man out. Now with several guys out due to injury McDonald is back on Long Island and back in lineup.
For the Islanders, McDonald serves as a player who has been able to jump right back into the lineup and produce for the team. Especially fitting in with the Isles' all important fourth line.
The fourth line has been a major spark for the club this season, but as of late had quieted down. McDonald's presence -- in the wake of an upper body injury to Cal Clutterbuck -- has reignited the spark for that line.
"Obviously, Clutter is missed, he's a big part of our hockey team," Matt Martin said. "But when guys are hurt you have to find ways to win and Colin is doing a great job coming in. Being offensive and being physical and providing that energy."
Martin later added: "He's an affective player. He's big, he's strong, he's physical and he's got talent... As a line we know what to expect. We have chemistry together and I'm happy to see him having success."
Inside the Islanders dressing room Tuesday night no one seemed surprised at the impact that McDonald has had in the last two games. McDonald himself was low key and humble about his success as of late.
The Islander forward knows that his time on the ice could be short-lived once players return from injury.
"Even going back to training camp, I felt really good. I felt really confident," McDonald said. I feel really confident now. I've felt confident all year, so that was never an issue with me. I was just waiting for an opportunity, trying to take care of my part... It's a one day trial for me everyday. That's kind of how my mind set is right now. I've been there before, so it's really nothing new for me."
The 30-year-old has goals in his last two games and seems to have a prowess for finding the back of the net. In the AHL, McDonald is a goal scorer, even leading the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in goals at one point this season. Before he was called up he had 14 goals and 38 points.
But in the NHL his role is different. He plays the role of the fourth line grinder -- similar to Clutterbuck -- traditionally known for their grind it out, physical style of play. However, the Islanders fourth line contributes both of those qualities as well as the ability to find the back of the net on occasion.
"I feel like I've always been able to produce at every level," McDonald said. "Even when I was here as a fourth line guy I felt like I did a pretty good job of helping contribute offensively. Throughout my career that's always been something I've been able to do. I understand my role here, just try to be an energy guy. Try to play physical, be smart. I know I keep repeating myself, but just fortunate bounces right now."
The Islanders will eventually have to make a decision again about what to do with Colin McDonald. Right now, he's making it hard for them to do anything other than keep him right where he is.