There was passion, and patience, and skill. And now there is a 2-0 series lead.
The Islanders continued playing their style of hockey and managed themselves a 3-1 win over the Penguins in Game 2 of their first round playoff series Friday night at the rollicking Coliseum.
The gift of two-game edge in the best-of-seven contest as they leave the friendly confines on Hempstead's Turnpike for Game 3 in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon.
2-0 lead in a playoff series since the Stanley Cup final of 1983, as are trying to win just the second playoff series since 1993.
The Islanders were coming off a dramatic Game 1 win Wednesday night, when Josh Bailey's goal 4:39 into overtime sealed the deal. It was some way for the club to open its first playoff series with home-ice advantage since 1
But the Islanders knew the Penguins were going to come back for this one with some renewed spirit, as they have that championship pedigree from winning three Stanley Cups in the past decade. And they brought more physical game right from the beginning, with both teams trading haymakers, with stars right in the middle of it all – including Mathew Barzal.
"I think they're just enjoying it," coach Barry Trotz had said Friday morning. "I think Barzy, in particular, really enjoyed the moment."