On Saturday, the Capitals will take to the ice on Long Island with a chance to closeout the series and move on to the next round. Game 6 will have even more meaning for the New York Islanders, however, because it could very well be the last game ever played at Nassau Coliseum.
The stakes could not be higher.
"It shouldn't be [hard to get motivated], and if you can't, you're in the wrong profession and wearing the wrong sweater," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We have great fans, been a great building all year."
The Islanders will make the move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn next season meaning the place the team has called home since 1972 will be closing its doors after the postseason. With the Islanders in the playoffs, each playoff round could be the Coliseum's last.
If New York hopes to host any more games at Nassau after this Saturday, they will need to win Game 6.
"We're going back home to a rocking building with the fans that have supported us all year," Islanders forward Anders Lee said, "and we know they'll be there strong for us, and we're going to need them."
The Islanders fans made headlines for all the wrong reasons during Games 3 and 4, but following their Game 5 win there was a measure of enthusiasm among the Caps for their return to Nassau.
"I can't wait to get back to the Island," Tom Wilson said. "It’s going to be great. It’s going to be a great game. As much hatred as I’ve gotten from those fans, you know what? It’s passion and I like to think it’s all for the good of the game."
While the stakes may be high for the Islanders and their fans, the Caps made clear that closing the doors on Nassau was the last thing on their minds.
"You've just got to treat it like a normal game," Nicklas Backstrom said. Braden Holtby echoed those sentiments.
"If we're focused, we're not worrying about the other team, the fans, the refs, anything like that," he said.
While the Caps may not be taking notice of the historical implications of Saturday's game or thinking about Nassau Coliseum's swan song, make no mistake, the team is focused on making sure there's no return trip to Washington for Game 7.
Said Wilson, "It’ll be good to get in there again and get to business and hopefully close the series out."
MORE CAPITALS: Game 5 physicality: 'They were obviously getting frustrated'