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Islanders x-factor and winners in series win over Penguins

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MAY 26: Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on May 26, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MAY 26: Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on May 26, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders
The Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders shake hands following the Islanders 5-3 victory. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With a 4-2 series win, the New York Islanders will advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Here are a few players who had a decisive role in the series win.

When it was all said and done the New York Islanders took round-one in six games over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Remember, the Pens were the number one seed while the Islanders were the number four in the MassMutual East Division. The Isles were the underdogs here.

And look, it wasn’t easy. While the Islanders won the series, you can’t say they were the better team through the entire six games. Heck, they shouldn’t have even won Game 5. But good teams find a way to make it work.

And while hockey is certainly a team game, this series was won thanks to some key individual contributions. Let’s look at some of those key contributions.

Like, who was the decisive x-factor for the Islanders? By that, I mean the one player who had the biggest positive influence on the team that we didn’t really see coming.

Then, let’s look at three winners for the Islanders. And by that, I mean three contributors that lead the way for the Islanders to take this series.

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