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Facing rematch against Pitt, Isles say ball is in Penguins court

 Almost two months have passed since the now-infamous Friday Night Fightfest at Nassau Coliseum, a 9-3 Islanders drubbing of the Penguins that set a franchise record with 346 total penalty minutes, 11 game misconducts and 15 fighting majors.

And with the time that has elapsed, tempers seems to have cooled.

Facing the Penguins for the first time since that fateful beatdown, the Islanders say they are not planning on initiating anything. 

"They're in the playoffs. We're not," said Zenon Konopka, one of the team's most vocal players leading up to, during, and after the bloodbath. "We made out mark the last game. It's going to be up to them to see how this plays out."

The Penguins are playoff-bound and the Islanders are satisfied with having settled their score, which makes a game that mimics the last meeting unlikely.

"We're not in a position to start anything. We took care of what we needed to take care of last game. The ball is kind of in their court now," Matt Martin said. "They are still fighting for positioning and they're probably going to want to play some hockey."

Martin, who received a four-game ban for attacking Max Talbot from behind, said he felt the suspensions handed down by the league were "warranted." Martin received a four-game suspension, Trevor Gillies received nine and the Islanders were fined $100,00.

"I'm not going to go against the league and say we were a bunch of angels," Martin said. "Things definitely went a little overboard there. But there isn't a bad guy in this room." 

Trevor Gillies, who received the harshest punishment for his elbow of Eric Tangradi, acknowledged that some bad blood remains. The 32-year-old enforcer believed cooler heads will  prevail this time around, however. If not, they'll be ready.

"If the bell needs to be answered, we have guys to answer it," he said.

The rematch with the Penguins--a sellout--will be a good sendoff to the fans in the season's last home game.

"This organization hasn't had too many intense games in April recently, so we'll cherish that as a team and as a community."


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