New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz knows just how capable the Washington Capitals are in coming back from an 0-2 series deficit.
They did it two years ago in the first round against Columbus when he was the Capitals’ coach and they were on their Stanley Cup championship run.
Now, with the Islanders holding a 2-0 lead over the Capitals heading into Game 3 on Sunday (noon EDT, USA), he’s going to make sure his players are aware of it but he won’t dwell on it too much.
“We’ve taken a one-game-at-a-time approach,” Trotz said. “I’ve talked to many of them about ‘you have to stay in the fight’ type of thing, so we’ll brush on it. (But) I’m going to focus on us, that’s what we came here to do, focus on how we play.”
Calgary and Vancouver can also move one win away from advancing to the conference semifinals. The Flames lead Dallas 2-1 heading into Game 4 (2 p.m., CNBC), and the Canucks are up 2-0 against defending champion St. Louis (10:30 p.m., NBCSN). Montreal and Philadelphia are tied 1-1 (8 p.m. NBC).
Vegas can become the first team to advance to the next round as it takes a 3-0 lead into Game 4 against Chicago (6:30 pm, NBCSN). The Golden Knights pushed the Blackhawks to the brink of elimination with a 2-1 win Saturday night.
Only four teams out of 190 times have won a seven-game series after losing the first three — the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs against Detroit in the Cup final, the 1975 Islanders against Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals, 2010 Flyers against Boston in the quarterfinals, and 2014 Los Angeles Kings against San Jose in the first round.
The Islanders have come back from early deficits in each of the first two games against the Capitals. T.J. Oshie scored twice to put Washington up 2-0 in Game 1 beore New York scored four unanswered goals in the final 21:03 to win 4-2. Alex Ovechin put the Capitals ahead 56 seconds into Game 2, then tied the score 2-2 with his second of the game in the second period. However, Brock Nelson put the Islanders back ahead for good 15 second later and they added two more in the third to pull away.
“We haven’t had the best of starts, and we’ve talked about that in the locker room,” Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy said..”Each team is going to have their moments of pressure and its just being able to weather that and start taking the game over.”
The Capitals know they haven’t played their best yet, and their championship run experience gives them the confidence they can turn things around.
“You need a full lineup of guys that are committed and convinced the style of play and their job on the team is important and needs to get done, and done well,” Oshie said. “We need everyone going out there tomorrow and really knowing what they have to do and get the job done.”
The Canucks took their 2-0 series lead with a 5-2 win in Game 1 and a 4-3 overtime win in Game 2 after St. Louis tied it in the closing seconds of regulation.
The Blues also don’t want to fall into that daunting 0-3 hole.
“We’re just looking at tomorrow as a must win,” St. Louis forward Zach Sanford said. “We’ve done a lot of good things, we just got to carry those over and clean up a few things and go one shift, one period, one game at a time.”
With Games 3 and 4 on consecutive nights, St. Louis coach Craig Berube wasn’t sure Saturday who would start in goal for Game 3 — Craig Binnington (0-4-0 with a 4.27 goals-against average this postseason) or Jake Allen (0-0-1, 0.92 GAA).
Vancouver has gone 5 for 9 on the power play while holding St. Louis to 2 for 9 on its chances.
“We’re giving up too much defensively,” Berube said. “The middle of the ice has to be tightened up (on the penalty-kill).
Calgary bounced back from a 5-4 loss in Game 2 on Thursday, getting a 35-save shutout by Cam Talbot in a 2-0 win the following night to take the series lead. It was Talbot’s fourth career postseason shutout — second this year. Dallas was 0 for 4 on the power play in Game 3 to fall to 0 for 10 in the series.
Carey Price has stopped 59 of 61 shots in the first two games for the surprising Canadiens, who beat Pittsburgh in the preliminary round. Pice had 30 saves in a 5-0 win on Friday that evened this series. Carter Hart was pulled in Game 2 after giving up four goals on 26 shots over 31:57 for the Flyers, who are the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Vegas won Game 3 behind a 26-save performance by veteran Marc-Andre Fleury, who got the start in place of Robin Lehner. While Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said his plan all along was to start both goalies in the back-to-back, he wouldn’t confirm Lehner will start Game 4.
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