UNIONDALE, N.Y. - News, notes and quotes as the Capitals and Islanders prepare to butt helmets in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference first-round series today at 3 p.m. in Nassau Coliseum:
What’s at stake: With a victory the Caps can close out the series and face the New York Rangers in Round 2 of the playoffs while also closing out the Coliseum, the home of the Islanders for the past 43 years. Asked how he felt about the opportunity to close out the Coliseum, Caps captain Alex Ovechkin smiled and said, “It’s our job, you know?”
Can you hear us?: The Coliseum crowd should be at its ear-splitting best as fans try to keep their team alive in the series and force a Game 7.
“At some point it was going to come to this, right?” Isles coach Jack Capuano said. “But the fans have been great. We’ve worked as a unit of one here. We build a lot of energy off them and we want to play our best in front of our crowd.”
Caps right wing Troy Brouwer said he’ll miss playing in the Coliseum, simply because it represents a dying breed of historic NHL arenas.
“I didn’t play a ton of games here but any building that’s this old and has this much history, the four Stanley Cups, the team being here 40-plus years ...,” Brouwer said. “These buildings are fun to play in.
“Walking down the hallway you see the plaques of all the great players that have played here. The Selke winners. The Stanley Cup winners, the Art Ross trophies. The Stanley Cup was raised here a couple times. It all makes this unique. The newer buildings are fun to play in, but for different reasons. They’re nice and new and shiny. But these old buildings, they have a lot of hockey history and it’s fun to be a part of.
“But we would have no problem being the last game here. We’re going to try to do what we can to close out his series and enjoy the process of it.”
Islanders lineup changes: The Islanders will be without defenseman Calvin deHaan, who was injured on a check by Troy Brouwer in the third period of Game 5. Matt Donovan, 24, will replace him in the lineup. Donovan, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder from Edmund, Oklahoma, has played in 12 games for the Islanders this season and 67 NHL games overall.
Isles coach Jack Capuano said rookie Calvin Griffin, who was a minus-2 in Game 5, will not play in Game 6 and will be replaced by either Scott Mayfield, 22, or Ryan Pulock, 20.
Mayfield is a 6-foot-4, 209-pounder taken in the second round of the 2011 draft but has not played in the NHL since last season when he logged five games for the Isles. Pulock, who is from Barry Trotz’s home town of Dauphin, is 6-foot-2, 212 pounds. If he plays he will be making his NHL debut.
What’s ahead: If the Caps win, they likely will be given the day off on Sunday. If they lose they likely will practice Sunday at Kettler in preparation for Game 7 Monday at Verizon Center.