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Penguins vs. Islanders

Islanders expect another boost from home crowd

Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 1:22 PM

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist / Penguins-Islanders series blog

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Penguins-Islanders series blog
Islanders expect another boost from home crowd

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders' return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs has brought the noise back to Nassau Coliseum. They hope the roars that raised the roof of the old barn on Hempstead Turnpike in Games 3 and 4 will help them win Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

The Coliseum is the oldest non-renovated facility in the NHL. It's small (16,170 capacity) and lacks the amenities of newer buildings. But its low roof means that the noise generated by a packed house has nowhere to go but back toward the ice. The result is the kind of noise you rarely hear in a newer, larger building.

"Playing at home for us has been great," Islanders captain Mark Streit said after the morning skate Saturday. "The fans have been unbelievable. It's been so loud and energizing in here. It's a big advantage for us."

The one danger, Streit said, is getting too revved up.

"You want to use it as a positive, but you don't want to get too pumped up," he said. "You don't want to go too hard. It should be exactly where it was last time. We had a great start, a lot of shots, a lot of physicality."

The fan support at the Coliseum has been a revelation to most of the players.

"It was incredible," center John Tavares said, "and [Saturday] will be just as loud, if not louder."

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Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

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