Islanders fans cheer late in the third period against the...

Islanders fans cheer late in the third period against the Canadiens at UBS Arena on April 12. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Friday night’s Game 3 will be a milestone match for the Islanders beyond desperately needing a victory after losing the first two games of their first-round Stanley Cup series to the Hurricanes. It will be the first playoff game at UBS Arena, which opened last season.

Whether their new home turns into Fort Neverlose II and becomes a worthy postseason successor to Nassau Coliseum is still to be determined.

“We’re all excited,” defenseman Scott Mayfield said on Thursday at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow. “We get to play at UBS. I’m sure it’s going to be loud and we’re excited to get home. The Coli was loud. I don’t know if they can get it to the same level but that would be nice. It was a fun place to play, for sure.”

The Islanders, after rallying from a two-goal deficit, could not hold a third-period lead and lost, 4-3, in overtime in Wednesday night’s Game 2 in Raleigh.

So a home-ice advantage is a definite necessity. And coach Lane Lambert said christening UBS Arena as a playoff home is significant to the Islanders.

“I think it means a lot,” Lambert said. “It’s a pretty cool thing that’s going to happen. There’s been some amazing playoff games in the other building and this is the first of many [at UBS Arena]. I think it’s going to be fantastic. We know how our fans are. We know how they are in the playoffs.”

It will be the first home playoff game for the Islanders since Anthony Beauvillier scored in overtime in Game 6 of the 2021 Eastern Conference finals against the Lightning, forcing that series back to Tampa Bay. It was a fitting close to a building that housed the four-time Stanley Cup champions from 1980-83.

“It’ll be emotional,” said Kyle Palmieri of Smithtown. “It will be a lot of fun. It’s going to be loud. A lot of the guys are still here from the run from a couple of years ago and we’re looking forward to it. It will be different [than the Coliseum]. A lot of good memories at the Coliseum but it’s time to start some new ones at UBS.”

The Islanders also played playoff games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2016 and 2019.

“Barclays wasn’t our favorite rink, I think that’s safe to say,” Mayfield said. “But there were some special moments in the Coliseum. For me, my first playoff game was Game 6 against Washington [in the first round in 2015], which we thought was closing down that building at the time. But then we got to play some more there.”

 Mayfield had much less to say about the sequence that led to Jesper Fast’s overtime winner in Game 2. Mayfield was hit in the face with a high stick and went briefly to the ice, though no penalty was called on Jordan Martinook.

Mayfield reported he was fine after needing some medical attention after the game.

“I feel good, ready for [Friday],” Mayfield said. “I’m sure there’s video on it. It happens. It’s part of hockey”

Mayfield added he never received an explanation from the on-ice officials as to why no penalty was called, not that he really needed one.

“No,” Mayfield said. “It is what it is. It’s all about [Friday] now.”

Lambert hinted after Game 2 the Islanders might contact the NHL for an explanation but on Thursday said he was not aware of any communication with the league.

“I haven’t worried about that at all,” Lambert said. “It’s a fair question but we don’t dwell on that. We can’t.”

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