Islanders game 3 lookahead tv tonight

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. -- There's precious time for regret in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Wallow for too long and the ride is over before it gets to where you want it to go.

That's the reality the New York Islanders face heading into Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Carolina Hurricanes at UBS Arena on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; MSGSN, BSSO, ESPN2, SN360, TVAS).

The Islanders have moved through their anger, denial and depression over Game 2, a 5-3 loss Monday when they gave up a 3-0 lead in a playoff game for the first time in their history and were out-attempted 110-28.

Preparation started in earnest Wednesday with a spirited 45-minute practice. Mentally, the attention was on a must-win game in their arena, in front of their fans.

"You have to work on it every day," Islanders captain Anders Lee said of the mental part of the game. "You know you are not going to feel great about this or that, or how you are playing or whatnot. You just got to find the good things, take a breath, let the power be you and really, really come into the present."

Lee felt miserable Monday in the moments after New York allowed the tying and winning goals in a nine-second span. In a cramped and somber visitors room at PNC Arena, he admitted the loss was a gut wound.

"You got to let those emotions ride," he said. "We wanted to win that game and the way it went down just didn't sit well and all those things, but at some point, you have to turn the page. Unfortunately, what is done is done.

"How do we handle our next steps? How do we move forward? How do we pull ourselves back into it? That's our mindset."

Professional athletes must be adept at thinking about tomorrow and forgetting yesterday. It is a necessity for survival.

It's not always easy, though.

"You have to have a short-term memory," forward Brock Nelson said. "We have to learn from what happened in the last game, but at the same time kind of put it in the rearview mirror."

Islanders coach Patrick Roy is intimately familiar as a player with the highs and lows of a playoff journey. He won the Stanley Cup four times and the Conn Smythe Trophy voted as playoff MVP on three occasions. He played 247 postseason games.

Yet, none of it came easy. There was heartbreak and pain even during the joyous campaigns.

He points to 1993 postseason when he was with the Montreal Canadiens. They opened on the road and lost the first two games of the Adams Division Semifinals to the rival Quebec Nordiques, including 4-1 in Game 2.

To say things looked grim would be an understatement. The sky was falling in hockey-mad Montreal.

"We gathered [ourselves], we rallied at home, and you have your fans in the building," Roy said. "You have the energy from [being] home, and that's going to be very important. And hopefully, we're going to respond to that. The key to me is when [the Hurricanes] are going to make a push, we're going to have to stand tall and big."

Roy lost two games the rest of the way and won the Cup for a second time.

In his final Cup win with the 2001 Colorado Avalanche, Roy's team was down 3-2 after a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. There was a two-day break before Game 6 and that was enough time to change the momentum. The Avalanche won Game 6 on the road 4-0 and defeated the Devils 3-1 in Game 7 to win the Cup on home ice.

Roy insists the extra day was the difference with travel involved.

"If we would have played the following day, I don't know if we would have won," Roy said. "Having that off day, it gives everybody time to reflect and think about what we did and what we could have done differently as a group. This is not a game of perfection, but this is a game of momentum, intensity and compete level."

Roy said he shares incidents from his playing days to help the Islanders' current players understand anything is possible.

"We want [the players] to feel that they are being supported," he said. "I want them to feel we are with them, and we try to find ideas.

"We knew when the series started, we had to be good at home. We have to win our home games and that's all we need to give ourselves a chance to win the series. All we need to do is one game in their building if we win all our home games. That's the positive side to me."

The Islanders insist they are on board.

"Going into tomorrow, our heads are clear and we're ready to get at it again," forward Casey Cizikas said.