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Islanders Playoffs Gameday News: It is time for the Isles to finish the Penguins

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Game 6 on Coliseum ice with a chance to clinch it. What could be better? Well, converting that chance, of course.

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders - Game Four
Let’s see a lot more smiles tonight, boys.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This is it, folks. The New York Islanders, after stealing Game 5 in double-overtime on the road, have a chance on home ice to eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins and advance to the second round.

It is just like 2016 against the Florida Panthers. That time, the Islanders looked destined to be shutout at home in Game 6, only to tie it late and win it in the second overtime. But the big difference—other than, obviously, the opponent—is that Barry Trotz is their coach now. He will have them prepared for tonight. He smells blood, and so will his team.

Let’s do this.

Islanders Playoffs News

  • The team site previews Game 6 from the Coliseum.
  • If they clinch it tonight, it will be the first time the Islanders have won a series on Coliseum ice since the 1993 Patrick Division Semifinal against the Washington Capitals. [Newsday]
  • Remember, everyone: Game 6 starts at 6:30 p.m. ET, not 7:00 p.m. ET. [Islanders]
  • If Oliver Wahlstrom cannot suit up, it is expected that it will be Travis Zajac that draws into the lineup for him. Also, capacity will increase for tonight. [LHH | Newsday]
  • LISTEN: No Sleep Til Belmont chats about Ilya Sorokin’s heroism in Game 5 and what the Islanders need to address before tonight’s Game 6.
  • Arthur Staple discusses some of the takeaways from Game 5. [The Athletic]
  • One thing is certain: The Islanders are definitely “pesky.” [Islanders]
  • One thing is less certain but is tracking well: Sorokin has been living up to the hype. [Newsday]
  • They also have a chance to clinch the series on Mathew Barzal’s 24th birthday, the first time he will play NHL hockey on his birthday.
  • I love watching the bench celebrate an OT winner.

Beyond Long Island and Pittsburgh

Only two playoff games last night: The Toronto Maple Leafs shut out the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead, and the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Nashville Predators a couple of minutes into overtime to take a 3-2 series lead.

  • A story about the Leafs finding that long-elusive “killer instinct.” I think I would have saved this draft until they actually win this series. But hey, I am not a cockeyed optimist like the author of this story, Billy Mumphrey. [Sportsnet]
  • After getting swept as the high seed and, you know, having both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Edmonton Oilers are in shock and disbelief. [NHL]
  • That series was a lot closer than a sweep seems, with a one-goal game (before empty-netters) and three overtime games. All the more reason that fans are displeased with GM Ken Holland, who openly admitted that he did not want to go “all-in” this season. [Copper & Blue]
  • McDavid says that, despite the sweep and another early exit, the “standard has gone up” in Edmonton. [NHL]
  • Alex Ovechkin is “confident” that he will sign a contract and finish his career with the Washington Capitals. [NHL]
  • Zdeno Chara, 44, will take some time to decide whether to play his 24th NHL season or to retire. [NHL]
  • Despite being from the state of Washington, T.J. Oshie does not want to be plucked by the Seattle Kraken. I have a feeling he will be the first captain of the Kraken, though. [NHL]
  • It is time that we stop accepting refs putting away their whistles in the postseason. [The Athletic]
  • Old friend Al Montoya penned a piece for The Players’ Tribune about why he plays goalie.
  • And finally, Wayne Gretzky has stepped down from his role as vice chairman of the Oilers and appears to be headed for an analyst role with TNT next season. [ESPN]