Top Shelf : Islanders Daily : 5/7/13
May 5, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wingDavid Ullstrom
(41) checks Pittsburgh Penguins defensemanDouglas Murray
(3) during the second period in game three of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Middletown, N. J. – Optional skate yesterday at the Nassau Coliseum and stars from both teams decided to take advantage and get the rest they need to do battle again tonight in game four of the Eastern conference quarter-final at Nassau Coliseum. Brooks Orpik is back and will play with no word on James Neal‘s availability. More on the Isles after today’s morning skate.
The Islanders are faced with a must win situation in front of what is sure to be another raucous crowd after dropping game three, 5-4 in overtime. The Penguins meanwhile are looking to put this series in a choke hold and take a commanding lead back home to Consol Energy Center.
New York has clearly been the better team over most of this series, save for the game one debacle , where the young, inexperienced club was getting their feet wet and got caught looking more like a deer in headlights than a playoff ready team. With those nervous and anxious moments now gone, they have taken the 5 v 5 play away from Pittsburgh and established a very noticeable physical presence in the series, one that says loud and clear to the rest of the league that they will not go down without a fight and will push the best team in the Eastern conference right to the brink.
For the Isles, keys to success in-game four will hinge on tightening up the defensive zone coverage, taking advantage of power play opportunities and Evgeni Nabokov getting back to the play that led New York to the playoffs in the first place. If those three things are accomplished tonight, there might be not be a logical way for the Pens to beat the Islanders, given the way this series has dictated itself thus far.
- Mike Willhoft writes a masterful piece on what it was like to be at the Coliseum on Sunday afternoon
- Yesterday’s Rants and Ramblings piece highlights 3 videos at the end that set the standard for fans going to the game tonight.
- New York Post covers Jack Capuano and his style with the young Islanders
- Art Staple covers the same topic with a little different tone here
- Post Gazette about the Isles series MVP thus far, Kyle Okposo
- Rant Sports on how this postseason could be hurting the value of UFA Brad Boyes
Around The Twitter-Sphere
- I am really trying to move past Sunday’s clown show by the officials but this is just way too funny to not post. Outstanding job Michael!
- The Islanders would be wise to have very short memories in the playoffs as the ebbs and flows not only change game to game but sometimes minute to minute. Move on, get back to work and what HAS been successful and the result will be there.
- Those will definitely go by this afternoon so if you have the time and want to attend, you might be able to still get in and score and ticket. The barn will surely be sold out tonight and rocking again.
- This series does have the feeling like it has one more rout in it Ross. And I feel the same way. The Islanders offense is clicking right now so if that does come to fruition, the feeling is shared that it will be coming from the Islanders sticks.
Around The NHL
- The Rangers shook off their scoring cobwebs last night and were consistent throughout, battling against comeback after comeback from the Washington Capitals to score a game three win, 4-3 at Madison Square Garden. Theatrics continued late in the third when Alex Ovechkin was high-sticked by Brad Richards and proceeded to act as if he was shot from the top row. New York masterfully killed off the penalty and cut the Caps series lead to 2-1.
- The atmosphere in Toronto was absolutely insane but the Maple Leafs could not skate with the Boston Bruins, losing 5-2 at home to go down 2-1 in their Eastern conference series. 5 difference goal scorers for the Bruins, including an empty netter sealed the deal.
- The Red Wings edged the Ducks in overtime, 3-2, behind a goal by Damian Brunner with 5 minutes to play in the first extra session. That series is now knotted at two and we here at Eyes believe its Detroit’s to lose at this point.
- There were goals a plenty in the Kings 4-3 victory over the Blues and that series is also tied heading back to the music city. Two third period markers just over a minute apart by Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams won it for the Kings.
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