Game 39: Penguins Vs. Islanders Preview
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (KDKA) – With a 6-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins opened up a three-point lead in the Atlantic Division standings.
They’ll look to extend that to five points when they take on the New York Islanders Wednesday night on the road.
Pittsburgh (25-11-2-52 points) has played two more games than the second place Philadelphia Flyers (22-9-5-49 points). Philadelphia lost 6-2 to the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night.
Once again, the Penguins were led by Sidney Crosby, who extended his point streak to 25 games with two goals and two assists.
Craig Adams netted a shorthanded goal that proved to be the turning point as the Pens went on to win 6-3.
According to the Penguins’ official website, the team has won five straight games against the New York Islanders. In addition, they are 23-8-5 against the Islanders since the lockout.
This will be the seventh back-to-back set of games the Pens have played this season. So far, the Pens are 5-1 in the second game of a back-to-back.
The Islanders (9-19-6-24 points) are fourth in the Atlantic Division and have struggled since starting the season with a 4-1-2 record. They followed that by going 0-11-3 over their next 14 games.
Prior to a 7-2 loss to the Rangers on Monday, the Islanders were on a 4-0-1 streak that got them out of the basement in the division.
They are now four points better than the New Jersey Devils (9-24-2-20 points) with one game in hand.
The team has been plagued by injuries this season. Heading into tonight’s game the injury report for the Islanders includes: Trent Hunter, Radek Martinek, Mike Mottau, Kyle Okposo, Mark Streit and Doug Weight.
On Tuesday, the team shipped rugged defenseman James Wisniewski to the Montreal Canadiens for a compensatory second-round pick in 2011 and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2012.
PA Parenteau, Blake Comeau and John Tavares are tied for the team lead in points with 21. Matt Moulson leads the team with 11 goals.
In goal, Dwayne Roloson has been one of the lone bright spots for the Islanders. Despite a 5-13-1 record, Roloson has a 2.63 GAA and .915 save percentage.
Against the Penguins, Roloson is 3-4-2 with a 3.23 GAA and .892 save percentage.
According to the New York Islanders official Twitter account, Roloson was on the ice for the team’s optional skate Wednesday morning.
That could mean that Rick DiPietro (4-6-4, 3.68 GAA, .880 save percentage) will be in goal against the Pens.
Against the Penguins, he is 9-8-2 with a 3.39 GAA and .889 save percentage.
For Pittsburgh, if ever there was a team for Crosby to extend his point streak against, it would be the Islanders. In 32 career games, Crosby has 18 goals and 44 assists.
Evgeni Malkin has also performed well against the Islanders in his career. In 29 games, Malkin has 17 goals and 23 assists.
It remains to be seen who will be in net for the Penguins tonight.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots last night, but Brent Johnson did not dress. Instead, John Curry served as Fleury’s backup.
If Fleury were to play again tonight, he holds an 11-4-1-2 record with a 2.62 GAA and .916 save percentage against the Islanders.
If head coach Dan Bylsma elects to go with John Curry, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s seen the Islanders in his short career.
Curry has played against the Islanders twice and holds a 2-0 record to go along with a 1.33 GAA and .946 save percentage.
The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and can be seen on FSN Pittsburgh.