New York Islanders
12:00 p.m., Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
The Penguins got their first test of the 2013 playoffs as they were outplayed in the second game of the series and now go to Long Island with a tied series. This is not a position that most Penguins cans saw themselves in but that is why you play the game. The playoffs are a grind and games are going to be won and lost by the slimmest of margins. That was true in game two when a puck off the end boards bounced back and found the back of the net behind Marc-Andre Fleury and that was pretty much the game.
In game two the Islanders threw a ton of shots at MAF and that seems to be what their process is going to be going forward. If you take enough shots you are going to get bounces and that is going to give them a better chance to win. The Penguins defense did not do a very good job in game two and in the early parts of game one they didn't play all that well so they need to tighten things up and keep the Islanders to the outside and create their own turnovers.
The team as a whole is turning the puck over way too much. In game two the Penguins coughed the puck up 11 times which seems to be a little favorable since it was most certainly more than that. They they take care of the puck and get to their game then the Islanders are going to have a hard time winning the game. The Islanders got to their game and that was a huge reason they came away from the first two games even.
The Islanders are actually a better road team than they are a home team. In the regular season they 10-11-3 in Nassau Coliseum so this might be a perfect opportunity for the Penguins to come in and take a win. Make no mistake about it, the atmosphere is going to be pretty unreal today. While most people don't see that this is the first time since 2007 that the Islanders are going to be playing a home playoff game so the place should have a really good buzz. The Penguins really shouldn't be phased by this since they have consistently played in hostile places in the playoffs but it should be interesting to see.
Losing this game would really put the Penguins behind the eight ball. You do not want to go down 2-1 against a team that was said to have no chance and if they do then the doubt could start to creep back in. Get the win today and then go from there.
Pittsburgh (1-1 playoffs)
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Beau Bennett - Evgeni Malkin - Jarome Iginla
Brenden Morrow - Brandon Sutter - Matt Cooke
Tanner Glass - Jussi Jokinen - Craig Adams
Paul Martin - Deryk Engelland
Douglas Murray - Matt Niskanen
Mark Eaton - Kris Letang
NY Islanders (1-1 playoffs) (via NY Islanders website)
Josh Bailey - John Tavares - Brad Boyes
Matt Moulson - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
David Ullstrom - Keith Aucoin - Colin McDonald
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Michael Grabner
Travis Hamonic - Andrew MacDonald
Lubomir Visnovsky - Brian Strait
Mark Streit - Matt Carkner
The Series (Tied 1-1)
May 3, 2013 - NY Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 3
May 1, 2013 - Pittsburgh 5, NY Islanders 0