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What rivalry?

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
The word around the Islanders locker room Monday wasn’t about fanning the flames on last year’s rivalry with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Instead, it was about playing with a consistent effort for the remainder of the season, starting with the game against their Atlantic Division rival Tuesday night.

Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said, “For me, it’s not even a rivalry, it’s just another game because obviously the last two games we didn’t play a full 60 minutes, so it doesn’t matter who we are playing right now.”

Capuano didn’t want to dwell on what happened last year because the team, coming off a two-game losing streak, needs to regroup and reclaim the play that led them to a 3-1-0 record in their first four games.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury blocks a shot as teammate Brooks Orpik holds off Matt Moulson on April 8, 2011 at Nassau Coliseum. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
Islanders Captain Mark Streit shared that sentiment.

“We had a bad first road trip,” Streit said. “Nobody’s happy, but we had a good practice. Now we just have to turn the page and learn from our mistakes.”

And even though Streit said the team was able to take positives from last year’s 9-3 rout of the Penguins, the largest being their “support of each other,” the Islanders Captain said it’s a new season. As a team, they have to focus on the task at hand.

“We have to concentrate and play our game,” Streit said. “We can’t have any frustrations in us or bad feelings whatsoever. The most important thing is to win tomorrow. Everything else is not important right now.”

Learning from their mistakes on the road, Islanders forward PA Parenteau said the team needs to make sure they’re ready for when the puck drops to start the game, adding that their preparation for Tuesday night’s matchup started at Monday’s practice.

“It’s a process to get prepared for a game and I think we got away from that as a team in the games on the road,” Parenteau said. “You can’t just turn your switch on. You have to prepare for a game. We definitely want to fix that as soon as possible.”

Parenteau admitted he knows the game against their division rivals will be intense.

He said, “It’s about us, it’s about this locker room. We are going to dictate the way we are going to come out and the pace of the game. It’s going to be a really physical game, there’s no doubt about that.”
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