Josh Bailey scored 4:39 into overtime to give the New York Islanders a 4-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday night.
The Penguins are hoping for a different outcome tonight as they will face the Islanders for the second game of the series. However, some fans are worried that some key players are using another strategy to get ready for the contest.
As reported by team insider Jason MacKay of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the skate on Friday was aggressively optional this morning. There was no Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust, Phil Kessel, Patric Hornqvist, Brian Dumoulin, Kris Letang or Justin Schultz.
However, captain Crosby is said to have found the right words and attitude to motivate his teammates ahead of tonight's crucial Game 2.
"These games are going to be close. They're going to be tight the entire series," Crosby said, per NHL.com. "We did some good things. We didn't find a way when it was a tie game to build and get a lead. It ended up costing us.
"You have to learn from it regardless of the outcome. You have to learn from every game and get better with every game. We'll learn from this one and make sure we're better in Game 2."
The game did go into overtime. The result could have gone either way.
It remains to be seen if changes will be made to the lineup. For Game 1, Dumoulin and Zach Aston-Reese came back from injuries to take part in the first contests. Jack Johnson, who remains ready and available, was made a healthy scratch.
There has been talks that Olli Maatta could be scratched, however, it remains to be seen what head coach Mike Sullivan will do. If the lineup is the same as the one used in Game 1, here is what it's projected to be:
Guentzel - Crosby - Rust
McCann - Malkin - Hornqvist
Simon - Bjugstad - Kessel
Aston-Reese - Cullen - Wilson
Dumoulin - Letang
Maatta - Schultz
Pettersson - Gudbranson