Game 4 between the New York Islanders and Florida Panthers has a big act to follow.
Their Game 3, the first-ever playoff game at Barclays Center, had a thrilling comeback for the home team -- following a an alert video review that erased a goal that would've created a nearly insurmountable deficit after silencing the crowd -- a nerve-wracking overtime, and a very Hickey ending.
They always say Game 4 determines the direction of the series, but that is purely because teams emerge from it either tied 2-2 or with one team facing elimination. And so it goes tonight, with the Panthers aiming for the former while the Isles try to do the latter.
It's familiar territory for the Islanders: they could've pushed Washington to the brink last spring following another Game 3 OT win. Didn't happen.
But both teams are up against their own history and demons. Both teams are trying to take that proverbial "next step." And both teams are playing a pretty exciting, pretty clean series despite sometimes puzzling officiating.
Expect another knife's edge game tonight. Sunday's crowd was celebratory after a weekend day to pre-party. Tonight's...?
How to Watch: Florida Panthers at New York Islanders Game 4
8 p.m. EDT | Game 4, Eastern Conference Round 1
Barclays Center | New York City, New York
Local: MSG+, FS-F | Nat'l: USA, SN, TVAS2
Live stream at NBC Live Extra (U.S.) and Rogers GameCentre (Canada)
Tickets: Still select seats left here.
Watch it at a bar: Follow this thread to hook up with other LHHers in Brooklyn
Check out the opposing views at Panthers blog Litter Box Cats.