There could be history made, or an all too familiar story repeated, when the final buzzer sounds in Game 7 of the Isles Stanley Cup Playoff matchup with the Washington Capitals. The Islanders haven't won a playoff series in 23 years. They have made it to the postseason since then, but making it out of the first round has not happened since 1993.
"This is the biggest game that I've been in since I've been here," Kyle Okposo said. "Biggest game for the Islanders in a long time. We're excited and we don't really think about the history of it. You just think about the moment and the opportunity that you have in front of you."
Like the last six games in the series, the Islanders and Capitals will likely put on a hitting clinic. Both teams have played physical styles of hockey throughout the first round matchup.
"It's obviously going to be an intense battle," Matt Martin said. "It's been a great series so far and probably one of the more intense series in the playoffs. We've worked hard to get here, so obviously we haven't dealt with the pain that we've dealt with throughout this series to come this far and lose. We need to poor everything we have into tonight."
The Islanders lineup, like the previous games, is undetermined heading into the seventh game, but Islanders coach Jack Capuano did confirm that Jaroslav Halak will once again be in net. The last time Halak started in Washington D.C. he allowed five goals and was pulled in the third period of Game 5.
He rebounded in Game 6 with a strong performance in the Islanders 3-1 win. Halak also has a strong track record in elimination games against the Capitals. He is 4-0 dating back to 2010 and has a .977 save percentage.
"Usually you don't like to put the pressure on one guy," said. "It's a team game and you need all 20 guys going, but the guy in the net usually has a lot to do with how your team does. And the results of the wins and losses over the course of the year. He's played in big games before."