With the playoff field finally set, Pittsburgh will face the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, starting Wednesday, May 1 at Consol Energy Center.
2013 also marks the first playoff appearance of the John Tavares era, as the Islanders snap a six-year playoff drought to make their first postseason trip since 2006-07.
Pittsburgh (36-12-0, 72 points) finished with the top spot in the East for the first time since 1992-93. The Islanders (24-17-7, 55 points) were the club who would eventually knock the '93 Pens out of the postseason, posting a monumental second-round upset over Mario Lemieux and the Penguins.
The Islanders are 3-0 all-time in postseason matches with the Penguins, with each series going to its final possible game. In five meetings this season, the Pens outscored the Islanders 17-9 in earning a 4-1-0 record, winning four straight by a 16-5 margin after dropping their first meeting of the season by a 4-1 final.
The regular season series fell in the Penguins' favor in what was the last year of the Atlantic Division as currently constructed.
Jan. 29: Islanders 4, Penguins 1
Feb. 5: Penguins 4, Islanders 2
March 10: Penguins 6, Islanders 1
March 22: Penguins 4, Islanders 2
March 30: Penguins 2, Islanders 0
Of note, Tomas Vokoun started three of the five games against the Islanders, going 3-0-0 in those outings. Marc-Andre Fleury went 1-1-0 against New York this season, while Evgeni Nabokov started all five games against the Pens.
The first-round schedule is as follows:
Game 1: Wednesday, May 1 (7:30 PM)
Game 2: Friday, May 3 (7:00 PM)
Game 3: Sunday, May 5 (12:00 PM)
Game 4: Tuesday, May 7 (7:00 PM)
Game 5: Thursday, May 9 (7:00 PM, if necessary)
Game 6: Saturday, May 11 (TBD, if necessary)
Game 7: Sunday, May 12 (TBD, if necessary)
Games 1, 2, 5 and 7 will take place in Pittsburgh, with Games 3, 4 and 6 to take place in Nassau Coliseum.