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Byslma ready for another noisy night at Coliseum

by John Kreiser

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma hopes his players do a better job of handling the raucous atmosphere at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series than they did in Game 3.

The Coliseum, one of the NHL's smallest and oldest buildings, was roaring on Sunday when the New York Islanders played their first home game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six years. Bylsma, an assistant coach with the Islanders before joining the Penguins' organization, had warned his players that the atmosphere they'd see in Game 3 wouldn't be like anything they'd seen in their regular-season visits to Long Island.

"I can't say we handled it well," Bylsma said Monday when asked how his team had dealt with the noise and the atmosphere at the start of the game. "We got off and allowed two goals against [in the first 5:41], and we let them feed off that speed and energy, so I can't say we handled it well.

"From the time we got here, our players were really excited about the atmosphere. It was pretty crazy here. Our guys were really excited about playing in that type of atmosphere. That's what it's all about. This is playoff hockey, and we haven't been in this building to play playoff games before. It was an awesome crowd; they were great."

Bylsma knows that the volume will be just as loud for Game 4 on Tuesday night -- but he's hoping his team is a little more accustomed to the noise.

"They got on top and they came with a lot of speed," he said. "We can do a better job."

In the first period, "we didn't execute with the puck. Some of our turnovers led to them being able to get in on the forecheck. But it certainly was a pretty great atmosphere in this building. I expect the same thing tomorrow."

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