Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Islanders Full of Confidence

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Islanders Full of Confidence

Article excerpt

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The team without the home advantage in a seven- game series can swing some bit of an edge in its direction if it can earn a split in the first two games the road.

That's part math, part sports lore and a whole lot of something to talk about, according to the New York Islanders, who did just that by winning Game 2 against the Penguins Friday at Consol Energy Center.

That tied the teams' Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at one win apiece going into Game 3 today at Nassau Coliseum.

"I don't really believe in that," winger Colin McDonald said Saturday after a well-attended optional Islanders practice.

"I can understand the logic behind it. When you start the series, you don't really talk about it, but they said if we can get a split we'd be happy with that. But you just never know. There's so much extra energy that goes into every game.

"I don't think we look into those scenarios too much."

It's not that New York is casting aside its comeback, 4-3 win Friday.

"We came back, and that shows how good a team we are," defenseman Mark Streit said. "We didn't get down. We stuck with our game plan and played well, got a lot of pucks at the net and put a lot of pressure on their [defense]. It paid off."

McDonald, who had a goal Friday, doesn't think it was a matter of catching the Penguins -- who won Game 1, 5-0 -- off-guard.

"I don't think they should be surprised by that," he said of the Islanders win. "The last two months we've been playing pretty darned well. We're here for a reason."

Games 3 and 4 are on Long Island. If the top-seeded Penguins split, and certainly if they win both, does that negate the good from the No. 8 Islanders' win Friday?

"I don't think there's a right way to win a series, or a pattern or whatever you want to call it," Streit said. "Every series is different. You see it in basketball. You see it in baseball. …

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