The New York Islanders held serve and did it in a favorite, nostalgic place, winning the first two games of their first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins at raucous Nassau Coliseum.
Young center Mathew Barzal has enjoyed his first postseason experience as much as those vocal fans have digged cheering the Islanders to a 2-0 series lead.
"I just love the intensity out there," Barzal said. "Being in the playoffs, every game is so big and every play matters so much. I just love how focused our group is and just dialing in to a game."
The series shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 3 Sunday with a chance for New York to take a commanding 3-0 lead.
This is the first time the Islanders have held a 2-0 lead in a best-of-7 series since the last time they won a Stanley Cup, 36 years ago.
"We're not relying on some mystical history from over 30 years ago. It's about what we do now," said energy line mainstay Cal Clutterbuck.
The Islanders have been physical and strong defensively and have prompted the Penguins to take penalties and make mistakes with the puck, matching their regular-season identity. >> Read more
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