Sunday, June 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

5 things to know about New York Islanders

1. Coach Jack Capuano got his coaching start in Florida. The former NHL defenseman began coaching in 1995 as an assistant for the now-defunct Tallahassee Tiger Sharks of the East Coast Hockey League. He eventually moved up to head coaching jobs, in the ECHL then the Islanders' AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He became New York's interim coach in November 2010 and became the full-time head coach the following spring.

2. New York knows how to win. Three of the Islanders' four playoff wins in their first-round series came in overtime, including Sunday's 2-1 double-overtime, series clincher. Center John Tavares tied the score with 54 seconds left, then won it in the second extra session to give New York back-to-back double-overtime wins. Speaking of Tavares …

3. Tavares has become one of the league's top players. The Islanders captain and former No. 1 overall pick's five playoff goals are tied for the postseason lead with the Lightning's Nikita Kucherov and San Jose's Joe Pavelski. His nine points rank tied for second, and he has 18 points in the past 10 games. The 25-year-old is a two-time All-Star and has scored more regular-season overtime goals than anyone in franchise history.

4. The Islanders are in rare territory (at least recently). New York's 4-2 series win over the Panthers marked the first time the franchise has advanced past the first round since 1993, snapping a streak of seven consecutive one-and-done postseasons. Dig deeper and the Islanders have a history of success, too. They made the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons from 1975-88 and won four consecutive Stanley Cups (1980-83; at right, Denis Potvin lifts the fourth Cup). This is New York's third playoff appearance in the past four seasons.

5. The team name seemed a little more fitting before this season. When the franchise was founded in 1971, it played its games in Uniondale, a suburban town on Long Island. Uniondale's Nassau Coliseum was the team's home until this season, when the club moved to Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Despite some Internet snark about renaming the team the Brooklyn Hipsters, the franchise kept its original name and logo "in support of the illustrious history of the team," as the club wrote when it announced the move.

Matt Baker, Times staff writer

 
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