The Islanders’ rallying cry is “Believe.” Even the most ardent of supporters might find that optimism difficult following Sunday’s home loss to the Penguins.
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.
Kyle Okposo’s first career playoff goal with 7:37 remaining lifted the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night, evening their playoffs series at one game each.
Islanders star John Tavares anticipated the open space he found so easily during the regular season to be whittled away. He never thought it would disappear entirely.
“I thought some guys worked hard and played a good game,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “Again, with our club we need all 20 guys going, and we didn’t have all 20.”
Putting aside the panic among Islanders fans, there are a few items that make this opening-round series interesting.
While the Penguins are fixtures this time of year, New York is making its first playoff appearance since 2007.
Who’s ready to lift the Stanley Cup? Sean Hartnett gives you a full breakdown of the 2013 NHL Playoffs.
So how do the Islanders pull this miracle off? They can start by watching “Miracle,” of course.
The Islanders closed out their regular season by losing to the Sabres in a shootout.
The Islanders are headed to the playoffs for the first time in six seasons, but failed to earn a point for the first time in 12 games by losing to the Flyers on Thursday.
No, this team will not bring back the echoes of the great Islanders dynasty of 30-plus years ago. They are not going to win the Stanley Cup this year. But this team is young, hungry and improving. They have become the team that nobody wants to play.
All season I’ve stated the Islanders needed 54 points to make the playoffs. They have used a 7-0-3 run to get there. But where they are now can be attributed to many more factors, all of which had to happen.
Whether or not the Islanders’ John Tavares should win the Hart Trophy goes back to the age-old argument of “most valuable” versus “best” player. So, let’s ask the questions that should be asked.
The New York Islanders clinched an Eastern Conference playoff spot despite a 4-3 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.