The Islanders will remain home for a variety of reasons, from the dormant power play to drawing the powerhouse Penguins in the opening round of the playoffs.

At the top of the list was the inconsistent play of Evgeni Nabokov in net.

A strength became a weakness for the Islanders in this thrilling series against the prolific Penguins, who advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with last night’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 6 at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders had the lead three times and Nabokov was unable to hold it on each occasion. In the third period, less than six minutes remained between the Islanders and a Game 7 in Pittsburgh, but he was beaten by a Paul Martin shot that seemed to change direction after bouncing off Frans Nielsen. In overtime, Brooks Oprik beat him with a long slap shot on which he was screened.

“I never want to use an excuse — no, I didn’t see it,” Nabokov said. “I didn’t get a great look at it.”

Nabokov allowed a whopping 24 goals in the series. He posted a gruesome 4.44 goals-against average and a .842 save percentage. Compare that to his solid regular season, when his 2.50 GAA and .910 save percentage helped the Isles snap a six-year postseason drought.

He was a rock and a workhorse, consistent between the pipes and durable. At the start of an abbreviated training camp, Rick DiPietro was expected by some to challenge for the starting spot. But when the season began, that notion quickly vanished.