"We can't dwell on that right now," Anders Lee said. "We have two games moving forward and our most important game is [Friday] night. That's what we're focused on."
It is that attitude that may just get the Islanders through what has turned into a rough month for the team. In their last 11 games the Islanders have gone 3-6-2 and have watched themselves slip out of first place in the Metropolitan Division. However, despite that and the painful loss to the the Flyers the Isles has never wavered in their belief of one another.
"I think we've all been through it," John Tavares said. "You can feel the confidence and the composure in the group. There is no reason to panic. Certainly we understand the situation we're in and we need to go out and play some great hockey. Get back to the way we know we can play and understand how important each shift is every play."
That will be crucial when the Isles face off against a team even more desperate than themselves.
The Penguins have struggled even mightier in recent weeks and finds themselves clinging to the second spot in the wild card. Pittsburgh still hasn't secured a spot in the postseason, while the Islanders have thanks to Florida's win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
"They're a high-powered team," Isles Coach jack Capuano said about the Penguins. "They've got guys that are obviously very creative and very dynamic, so it's a defense-first mentality. Obviously it's a must win for both teams. We're getting guys in the lineup that are getting an opportunity to play, but we know what their skill is and we have to make sure every time you play these guys you manage the puck."
"If you don't manage the puck and you turn pucks over, and you make it a short track, you're not going to win the hockey game," Capuano continued. "You have to make it a 200 foot hockey game, you have to make them come and you have to make them defend."
The Penguins and Islanders face off in Pittsburgh at 7 p.m.