Cal Clutterbuck #15 of the Islanders plays the puck over the...

Cal Clutterbuck #15 of the Islanders plays the puck over the blue line against John Marino #6 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in Game Two of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh. Credit: Getty Images/Emilee Chinn

No one questioned that it would be loud in the old barn Thursday night when the Islanders returned home for Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins before an increased capacity crowd of roughly 6,250 at Nassau Coliseum.

The question for the Islanders was how they would use all that noise to their advantage.

"Well, it helps, definitely,’’ forward Cal Clutterbuck said Thursday, after the Islanders’ morning skate. "It adds energy when you're going out there and making contact and trying to create a buzz. When there's a buzz that follows, it obviously injects energy into ourselves, and the group. [But] it’s our job to go out there and bring that building alive.’’

Clutterbuck is part of the Islanders’ well-regarded fourth line — their identity line — a group known for setting the tone and for chipping in with some big plays and timely goals. But in the first two games of the series in Pittsburgh, the fourth line of Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin hadn’t made much of an impact. None of the three had scored a point, and only Martin, who mauled Pittsburgh forward Zach Aston-Reese in a second-period scrum and earned himself a roughing minor penalty, had done anything to stand out.

With the Islanders looking to get off to a better start in Game 3 than they had in the first two games, some positive energy from the fourth line certainly would help.

"I wouldn't put it on them,’’ coach Barry Trotz said when asked if the identity line needed to do more. "You know, they do what they do. They're gonna grind and wear on you, and as the series goes on, hopefully they'll have a little more impact as we keep going.’’

The line had a significant impact on the Islanders’ 2020 run to the Eastern Conference final. Martin played in all 22 postseason games and had five goals, all of them huge. Clutterbuck played in 21 games and had two goals and two assists, and Cizikas played in 18 games before a detached retina forced him to leave the Edmonton bubble early and ended his season prematurely. The Isles were not the same after he left.

The trio was not on ice for a goal for or against in the first two games. But their analytics early in the postseason measured up well against their numbers for the regular season. According to Natural Stat Trick, the trio was on for eight scoring chances for, versus six against, in the first two playoff games, and six high-danger scoring chances for, versus two against.

The line’s ability to be defensively responsible allows Trotz to be able to put them out against any other skilled forwards the opposing team might put on the ice. So, the coach would be comfortable matching them up against Sidney Crosby, for instance, or, potentially, Evgeni Malkin, who missed the first two games because of injury but who took part in the Penguins’ morning skate Thursday.

"They're not a line that you want to play against night in and night out,’’ Trotz said. "I do have a lot of trust in them. They are part of our identity. And they're good at it. I think as the series gets harder and harder, that's when they get these big smiles on their face. And it's not the fighting aspect, or anything like that. It is just that they have really big hearts, and they're committed to doing what you need to do to win. And that's going to all those hard areas — the inside ice, the net fronts — paying the price, blocking shots, all those things.’’

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