The Islanders trail their best-of-seven playoff series with the Washington Capitals three games to two after being badly outplayed in a 5-1 loss in Game 5 Thursday night. Now the series shifts back to Long Island for what could be the last time the Islanders skate on Nassau Coliseum ice.
The team understands the significance of the situation and Thomas Hickey said they won't have a similar performance to the one in Game 5.
"The effort is going to be there, we know that," he said. "We know what it means to our fans. That can't be the last game there, it just can't be the last game for them. We're going to come with our heads on and be ready to play. And make sure it's not the last game there. We have to find a way."
A performance like the one that occurred Thursday would be an unfitting way to send the Nassau Coliseum off. The Islanders were outplayed by a physical Capitals team that exploited the absences of Travis Hamonic and Lubomir Visnovsky.
Jaroslav Halak, who made 30 saves, stood on his head at times to keep Washington at bay, but eventually allowed five goals before Islanders Coach Jack Capuano pulled him from the game in the third period.
The Islanders will have to dig deep for Saturday's 3 p.m. clash to try and extend the series one more game. Calvin de Haan left Thursday's game after a shoulder to shoulder hit in the third period and there was no update on him afterwards.
Despite another potential blow to the team's defensive unit, Capuano doesn't think the Islanders will have any issue getting motivated for Saturday's game.
"If you can't [get motivated] then you're in the wrong profession," Capuano said. "You're wearing the wrong sweater, so we have great fans. It's been a great building all year. We've worked together as one, one common goal, and we need them. As banged up as we are...we have to find a way to get it done and go out and play our game."