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Islanders: Winning Game 3 boils down to these 3 keys

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 16: The New York Islanders celebrate their 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins during overtime in Game One of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 16: The New York Islanders celebrate their 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins during overtime in Game One of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
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Fans arrive for the game between the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils at the Nassau Coliseum. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Harness the Power of the Crowd

I know that “Harness the Power of the Crowd” sounds like some sort of MMORPG skill where you sap energy from the players around you to power up your own player, but that’s exactly what the New York Islanders need to do today.

With 6,200 or so fans in attendance today the Islanders will have the biggest group of supporters cheering them on since March of 2020. The Coliseum crowd has always been a source of energy for the Islanders in the past and it should very well be one today (and Saturday).

There’s no question that the Pittsburgh Penguins tapped into a 50% capacity crowd and the PPG Paints arena early in the game on Tuesday. That boisterous crowd fueled the Penguins as they ran circles around the Islanders in the game’s opening minutes.

While you can’t directly credit the crowd for scoring a goal, it’s clear they helped the Penguins race to a 2-0 lead in the opening 13 minutes of the contest.

Now that the series heads to 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, the site of many playoff games, the current Islanders need to feed off of the history and vigor from that crowd of thousands tonight.

Say what you will about the outcome of Game 2, but the Islanders weren’t bad. The periods where the Islanders were totally outmatched, was more about the Penguins being at the peak of the powers thanks to the crowd than the Isles being truly poor.

The reverse has to happen today.

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