New York Islanders
7:00 p.m., Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
The Penguins are coming off their strongest game of the series since game one and it showed as they weathered a first period storm from the Islanders and then came out and dominated the game in the second and third period. The defense was good, the transition game was good and they didn't turn the puck over like it was a hot potato. It was refreshing to see and a lot more fun to watch the game when you are happy that the team can just clear their own zone without coughing it up.
Tomas Vokoun is going to be in net again and to be honest while I didn't like him starting in the first place I think it is the right call. I think that Marc-Andre Fleury eventually gets the start again if/when the Penguins get to the next series but if Vokes can come out and give them a strong game and clinch the series here then you take it.
Winning this game on the road isn't going to be easy. The Islanders have been a hungry team that has had little to no pressure on them because they were supposed to MAYBE get one win in the series. While they only have two wins as of now they are really playing with house money and that is a dangerous thing to play against. Playing at home they are going to get their choice of line match ups and that will have some baring on what goes on during the game. As I have said many times this Islanders team isn't as bad as you think/want them to be. They played some really good hockey the second half of the season and they are showing why they are a team that is going in the right direction. If the Penguins can close it out tomorrow this will be a good series for them despite the narrative that some might want you to think.
This might be about exercising some demons for the Penguins. They have had their fair share of playoff disappointments for one reason or another and if they can win and get out of a tough series in six games that will go a long way going forward, I think. I really don't think they are looking ahead because they have seen what the Islanders can do to them if they are not focused. This is going to be a great game and I can't wait to see how the Penguins react.
Maybe the biggest part of this game is going to be the first five to ten minutes of the first period. The Islanders are going to come out flying and if the Penguins can hold their ground and play "their game" then it is going to bode really well for them. Don't take any dumb penalties and don't let the emotions get the best of you and the Penguins are going to be in a good place. The worst thing that can happen is if they let the Islanders get out to a fast start with a couple of goals. If that happens it could get ugly really quick and the last thing the Penguins want is a winner take all game seven.
This is going to be a very hyped, emotional, game and I have a feeling I am going to be on the edge of my seat the entire game. Hopefully the Penguins come out like they did in games one and five and keep things simple and don't let the Islanders dictate the game play.
Pittsburgh (3-2 in playoffs)
Pascal Dupuis - Sidney Crosby - Jarome Iginla
James Neal - Evgeni Malkin - Chris Kunitz
Brenden Morrow - Brandon Sutter -Matt Cooke
Craig Adams - Joe Vitale - Tyler Kennedy
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Douglas Murray - Matt Niskanen
Simon Despres - Kris Letang
NY Islanders (2-3 in playoffs) (via Islanders website)
Josh Bailey - John Tavares - Brad Boyes
Matt Moulson -
Michael Grabner - Casey Cizikas - Matt Martin
Jesse Joensuu - Keith Aucoin - Colin McDonald
Brian Strait - Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey - Lubomir Visnovsky
Mark Streit - Radek Martinek
The Series (Pittsburgh leads 3-2)
May 9, 2013 - Pittsburgh 4, NY Islanders 0
May 7, 2013 - NY Islanders 6, Pittsburgh 4 May 5, 2013 - Pittsburgh 5, NY Islanders 4 (OT) May 3, 2013 - NY Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 3 May 1, 2013 - Pittsburgh 5, NY Islanders 0 The Stats: