The New York Islanders tonight will look to extend their series lead to 2–0 heading back to Nassau Coliseum against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins controlled the first period and most of the second, but by the end of the period, the Islanders started to get into a groove.
They controlled the rest of the game, scored twice in the third period, and won it in overtime on a snipe from Kyle Palmieri. It puts all the pressure on Pittsburgh and takes a lot of the attention away from the Isles, just as they like it.
The Islanders made the right adjustments going into the third period—perhaps those same plans and their effectiveness will carry right over to the beginning of tonight’s Game 2 so that the Islanders can take control early.
Islanders Playoffs News
- The Isles know that the Penguins will be “desperate” to salvage the home split before heading back on the road. But they started getting ready for Game 2 as soon as Game 1 ended. [NY Post]
- They had a relaxed day yesterday to recuperate, but they will be ready for battle tonight. [Newsday]
- Semyon Varlamov is “very close” to a return. We shall see whether he or Ilya Sorokin, who had a strong Game 1 in his NHL playoff debut, gets the net. [NY Post]
- The Islanders held an optional practice yesterday; attendance was low, but that is okay. Hear from the coach and some players, too. [Islanders]
- One of the adjustments that the Islanders will hope to effectuate tonight: a better power play. [Newsday]
- One adjustment that does not need to be made: the goaltending, where the Isles still hold the advantage. [Best @ Newsday]
- Dan reflects on the final game of the regular season against the Boston Bruins and the first game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Pens. [LHH Back & Forth]
- Palmieri is the first-ever Islander to score a playoff overtime winner in his playoff debut with the team. [NHL Media]
- His game is playoff-made: play physical, drive to the front of the net, and get off shots from in tight. [Islanders]
- Show your support for the Islanders in the playoffs—and maybe earn some prizes for it! [Isles Tell You]
Regular Islanders News
- Barry Trotz has had years of experience to help him become a hockey “mastermind.” [NY Post]
- Some thoughts on the Bridgeport Islanders rebrand from the team at IslesBlog.
- As we discovered this week, Reece Newkirk has turned professional, signing his entry-level contract with the Isles. [Islanders Prospect Report]
- This (Yester)Day in Isles History: The Islanders win their fourth straight Stanley Cup, completing a sweep of the upstart Edmonton Oilers (1983).
Last night’s playoffs scores include the Bruins defeating the Washington Capitals thirty-nine seconds into Game 2’s overtime after tying the game with under three minutes remaining. Also, the Carolina Hurricanes took Game 1 from the Nashville Predators in the Central Division’s (1) v. (4) matchup, and the Colorado Avalanche knocked off the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 in the West Division’s (1) v. (4) matchup.
- Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett has been suspended for one game for boarding Blake Coleman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He will miss Game 2. [NHL]
- ESPN has hired Leah Hextall to serve as one of its play-by-play broadcasters, which will make her the first woman to do play-by-play for a national American hockey broadcast. [NY Post]
- In 1993, the Toronto Maple Leafs were a Game 7 away from facing the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final. Pierre LeBrun wrote out his fantasy. [The Athletic]