We are just hours away from game one of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals as the Islanders get set to host the Penguins for a best of seven series.
It is the first time since 1988 that the Islanders clinched home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Also, within the past 13 years, the Islanders made the playoffs five times, winning only one playoff series in that span.
Both teams finished up their regular season on Saturday. The Islanders needed at least one point in order to clinch home-ice. The Penguins needed at least a point to keep the Hurricanes from taking the number three seed.
The Islanders took on the Capitals on Saturday in Washington, D.C. The Capitals had already clinched the Metropolitan Division title, so they did not have anything to play for, so they sat a few key players.
In his first game back for the Islanders, after missing eight games, Valtteri Filppula scored two goals to help the Islanders to a home-ice clinching 3-0 win.
For the Penguins, they were also playing for home-ice.
The Penguins hosted the Rangers on Saturday looking to make it difficult for the Islanders to get home-ice advantage in the first round.
Sidney Crosby gave the Penguins the early 1-0 lead but the Rangers answered right back to tie the game. In the third period, the Penguins were up 2-1 until the Rangers scored two goals in 1:24 to take the lead late in the game. This was huge. The Hurricanes had just won their game and were about to get set to play the Islanders in the first round… until Alexandar Georgiev failed to cover the puck, allowing the Penguins to tie the game with just under three minutes to go. The game went to overtime and the Rangers won it with thanks to ex-Islander Ryan Strome’s goal.
The last time the Islanders and the Penguins met in the post-season was the 2012-2013 playoffs. The Penguins took that hard-fought series in six games. It was the first time since the 2006-07 season that the Islanders made the playoffs, where they lost in five games to the Buffalo Sabres.
Here is the schedule for round one:
Game 1: PIT @ NYI 4/10 7:30pm *NBCSN, MSG
Game 2: PIT @ NYI 4/12 7:30pm *NBCSN, MSG
Game 3: NYI @ PIT 4/14 12pm *NBC
Game 4: NYI @ PIT 4/16 7:30pm *NBCSN, MSG
Game 5: PIT @NYI 4/18 TBD
Game 6: NYI @ PIT 4/20 TBD
Game 7: PIT @ NYI 4/22 TBD
10/30/18 NYI 6 @ PIT 3
11/1/18 PIT 2 @ NYI 3 (SO)
12/6/18 NYI 2 @ PIT 6
12/10/18 PIT 2 @ NYI 1 (SO)