The Islanders will be facing the Penguins for the first time since 2013 in which the Penguins defeated the New York Islanders in six games. Game 1 on Wednesday went the way of the Islanders, who finished with three more points than Pittsburgh during the regular season to snag home-ice advantage. "Not the way we wanted to start for sure".
"It's one game. There's still a ways to go, but we'd obviously rather win it than lose it, obviously, and try and get ready for game two".
The New York Islanders are three wins away from coming back to Brooklyn for the remainder of the playoffs.
Evgeni Malkin would tie the game at two for Pittsburgh with the lone goal of the middle period and the 2-2 score line would hold up through the first half of the 3rd period as well. The Pens also finished the season with 100 points. Nick Leddy gave NY a 3-2 lead but the Islanders couldn't hold on as Justin Schultz tied the game with 1:29 to go, forcing overtime in the process. NY is 5-1 in their last 6 games overall and 5-2 in their last 7 home games while the under is 20-7 in their last 27 games against the Eastern Conference. Although the teams split four meetings during the regular season, Wednesday's matchup was the first in four months and was settled when Josh Bailey scored more than four minutes into overtime after the Islanders failed to protect a trio of one-goal leads.
"We just stayed to it".
"They didn't flinch at all, which is good", he added.
"That was tough to shake".
New York, which will play all its home games in the opening round at "The Old Barn", hasn't skated on the Barclays Center ice since February 16. "A little bit of redemption - just happy to get the win".
But that could change if the Isles continue to be as resilient as they were in this scintillating playoff opener, overcoming a pair of replay challenges that went against them and some unfortunate puck luck via Bailey's bid for a game-winner in regulation that clanged off the post with five seconds remaining.