The start was thunderous and everything you wanted it to be, everything Islanders fans had been waiting years to have again.
The Penguins comeback was a firm reminder that playoffs are hockey, not poetry. Not karma. Not all romance. The adrenaline charges only exist because the constant risk is heartache. The penalties taken by the Isles top defensemen when the team had all the momentum let the Penguins back in the game.
But the Islanders responded well and continued to play the way they need to, using their speed and good passing to keep the play headed toward the Penguins net.
Kyle Okposo's brakaway shortie, with such skill taking the puck from his feet as he gained the zone, was a surge unto itself. John Tavares' wicked wrister to tie it at 4-4 was his latest, "I'm John Tavares" moment.
This was a playoff game. So many players did well, did the things this team needs now and in future playoffs. All accounts had the Coliseum parking lot as a fantastic party zone, and the Islanders fans did not disappoint before and during the game.
The penalty call that created the Penguins' game-winning power play opportunity in overtime was not conspiracy, so don't go there, Islanders fans. But it sure was a cruel decision that gave Sidney Crosby every benefit of the doubt. A shame for the Islanders after they outshot the Penguins 36-25 overall and 34-19 through regulation.
But the Islanders again made a statement. The home fans welcomed the chance to hear it.
We'll have more later. But you can begin the analysis and stories from the day here.