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Game 6 Preview: Islanders-Panthers

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS 

ISLANDERS LEAD SERIES: 3-2 

7 P.M., BARCLAYS CENTER. MSG+, NBCSN, WFAN 660AM, 101.9 FM 

FOUR THINGS

1. GAME 6

The New York Islanders can advance to the second round on Sunday night. 

The Islanders can put away the Florida Panthers at Barclays Center on Sunday, as they bring a 3-2 series lead back home after a 2-1, double-overtime win on Friday in Game 5. The Islanders haven’t led a series 3-2 since the 1993 and haven’t had a chance to clinch on home ice since doing so against the Washington Capitals in the ’93 Division Semi-Finals. 

The Islanders are 13-2 all-time at home in Game 6 scenarios and are a perfect 6-0 with an opportunity to clinch a series in Game 6. 

2. GREISS, GREISS BABY

Alan Quine scored the overtime winner, but Thomas Greiss undoubtedly won Game 5 for the Islanders on Friday night. Greiss stopped 47-of-48 shots, non bigger than a penalty shot on Aleksander Barkov at 7:19 of the first overtime period. 

“He made some great saves,” Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “We had a couple of breakdowns and then the penalty shot obviously.”

Greiss deflected the praise like it was just another shot in overtime. 

“It’s one of those games where the puck just finds you,” he said. 

The Islanders goalie has been outstanding in the postseason, with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage. 

3. TROCHECK BACK, BJUGSTAD UNCERTAIN:

The Panthers got one of their top scorers back on Friday night, as Vincent Trocheck returned from a foot injury. Trocheck, who was second on the Panthers with 25 goals and fifth with 53 points, hadn’t skated since March 29. He started the night on the third line with Jiri Hudler and Teddy Purcell, but finished on the second line with Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen, where he played most of the season. 

Trocheck’s second-line assignment is also necessitated by Nick Bjugstad’s absence. Bjugstad did not accompany the Panthers on their charter to New York on Saturday, as he went into the boards head first on Friday and was forced to leave the game. Bjugstad has four points (2G, 2A) in five games this series. 

4. HOME-ICE ADVANTAGE:


Expect Barclays Center to be rocking on Sunday night. 

That’s based purely off the noise and energy levels of the two playoff games played on Atlantic Avenue last week, but with the stakes being raised, it’s an educated guess that the Barc will be rocking. The Islanders say they feed off the energy of their fans, so it’s up to the crowd to create that home-ice advantage. 

Fans should arrive at 4 p.m. for the playoff pre-game party outside Barclays Center at the Resorts World Casino NYC Plaza. 

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