UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Islanders said all the right things in the days leading up to their first-round playoff matchup against the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins.
Yes, they knew the odds of an upset in a No. 1 vs. No. 8 series were stacked heavily against them, and yes they were aware that the Penguins roster reads more like an All-Star game lineup than an everyday club.
Still, the upstart Islanders declared they were ready and up to the daunting challenge ahead of them. With a little help from some odd bounces, the Isles were able to defeat the Penguins in Game 2.
Whether they truly believed will never be known, but make no mistake, their comeback victory in Game 2 in Pittsburgh gave them a jolt of positive energy they hope carries them through their first home playoff game in six years on Sunday.
John Tavares believes Kyle Okposo’s game-winning goal gave the Isles momentum they can carry into Game 3.
“Kyle just stepped up for a teammate and anytime you see somebody do that this time of year, it goes a long way,” New York center John Tavares said. “It just seemed to keep pushing our game to get better.”
The Isles will have the chance prove Game 2’s win wasn’t a fluke in front of a suddenly-energized Nassau Coliseum on Sunday.
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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)