Ur­gency sets in for Is­lan­ders, down 2-0

The News-Times - - SPORTS -

Barry Trotz has given his Is­lan­ders a clear-cut agenda as their sec­on­dround play­off se­ries shifts to North Carolina with the Hur­ri­canes half­way to a sweep af­ter win­ning the first two games at Bar­clays Cen­ter.

“We’re go­ing through some ad­ver­sity, I don’t think we went through any in that first se­ries,” the coach said on Mon­day af­ter giv­ing his play­ers the day off from prac­tice. “It’s how you re­spond. I said to them, ‘Hey, we’re go­ing to Carolina to win two games. Plain and sim­ple.’ You can’t win two un­less you fo­cus on the first.”

Game 3 is Wed­nes­day night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.

The in­jury-de­pleted Hur­ri­canes lost de­fense­man Trevor van Riems­dyk, No. 1 goalie Petr Mrazek and right wing Saku Mae­nala­nen yet scored twice within 48 sec­onds early in the third pe­riod for a 2-1 win on Sun­day af­ter­noon in Brook­lyn. The Is­lan­ders lost Game 1, 1-0, in over­time.

Van Riems­dyk and Mae­nala­nen are out for the se­ries while Hur­ri­canes coach Rod Brind’Amour listed Mrazek as day to day.

Trotz said right wing Cal Clut­ter­buck’s sta­tus is un­clear af­ter he ex­ited late in Game 2 with an undis­closed in­jury.

“You’ve got to trust the process,” Trotz said. “I didn’t think af­ter the game there was any panic. We know we’ve dug our­selves a lit­tle hole and there’s some ur­gency — ur­gency to get back in the se­ries. You fall down 3-0, it’s go­ing to have to be a real epic type thing be­cause you don’t want to dig your­self too far. But it’s a race to four and they’re up two.”

The Is­lan­ders, with home-ice ad­van­tage in the play­offs for the first time since 1988, swept their first-round se­ries against the Pen­guins. The Hur­ri­canes ousted the de­fend­ing Stan­ley Cup-cham­pion Cap­i­tals with a 4-3 dou­ble over­time win in Game 7 and won all three home games in that se­ries.

Over their two se­ries, the Hur­ri­canes have won four straight and six of their last seven games.

There’s ob­vi­ously a big jump to the post­sea­son, but the Is­lan­ders fared well on the road in the reg­u­lar sea­son also. Their 24-14-3 mark tied them for the third most road vic­to­ries in the NHL.

Trotz has men­tioned sev­eral times this sea­son that the Is­lan­ders tend to sim­plify their game on the road since they are not try­ing to im­press the home crowd. And Trotz called some of the Is­lan­ders’ play in the first two games “too cute,” par­tic­u­larly Clut­ter­buck’s in­ter­cepted back pass in over­time in Game 1 that led to Jor­dan Staal’s win­ner.

So, when it was sug­gested to Trotz on Mon­day that the road could again be a bit of a “haven” for the Is­lan­ders, he quickly re­sponded, “It has to be.”

“They’re go­ing to come out with a lot of en­ergy and we’ve just got to re­spond, it was no dif­fer­ent in the first se­ries,” Trotz said. “We have an­other level. There are some play­ers on our team that have an­other level of fo­cus, an­other level of com­mit­ment. All those things that are nec­es­sary to win. You can’t have any pas­sen­gers. We’re go­ing to have to go in there fully com­mit­ted and, if we do that, it gives us a chance to have suc­cess. You don’t think about the big pic­ture.”

Trotz em­pha­sized the Is­lan­ders need to get more goal pro­duc­tion while con­tin­u­ing to outchance the Hur­ri­canes.

Brind’Amour told the me­dia in Raleigh on Mon­day the Hur­ri­canes have to forecheck bet­ter.

“Even though we’ve lost two games, we’ve got some con­fi­dence,” Trotz said. “That’s un­de­ni­able. I don’t want to take any­thing away from Carolina. They’re a re­silient bunch. So are we.”

Bruce Ben­nett / Getty Im­ages

Is­lan­ders cap­tain An­ders Lee leaves the ice fol­low­ing a 2-1 loss to the Hur­ri­canes in Game 2 of the Eastern Con­fer­ence play­offs at the Bar­clays Cen­ter on Sun­day in Brook­lyn.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.