Game 26 Preview: Islanders Vs. Penguins
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will put their four-game winning streak on the line when the play host to the New York Islanders Sunday night.
Evgeni Malkin will also not be playing in this game. Malkin was injured in the third period against the Maple Leafs after taking a hit from James van Riemsdyk last night.
The Penguins said in a tweet Saturday afternoon: “MALKIN UPDATE: Will not play tonight vs. NY Islanders, per coach Bylsma.”
Via Twitter, the team also said that Malkin has an upper body injury and that Coach Dan Bylsma isn’t concerned it’s a concussion.
Last night, the Penguins earned a 5-4 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The pace of the game picked up in the second period and didn’t quit until the end of overtime.
The Penguins saw a couple of two-goal leads evaporate as Toronto continued to battle back from a 3-1 deficit after one period of play.
Sidney Crosby scored a goal in regulation and netted the game-winner in the shootout to extend the Penguins’ lead in the Atlantic Division to seven points over the New Jersey Devils.
The Islanders (11-11-3-25 points) enter tonight’s game in fourth place in the Atlantic Division, but are just two points behind the Devils and one point behind the Rangers.
The Islanders also played on Saturday and earned a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals. John Tavares scored two goals in 30 seconds to break a 2-2 tie in the third period to lead his team to victory.
New York also outshot the Capitals 45-24.
The Islanders are 3-0-2 in their last five games overall and won 4-1 against the Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center back on Jan. 29. This will be the third meeting between the two teams and the road team has won both.
Tavares’ two goals yesterday give him 16 for the season, which leads the club. He also leads the team with 29 points. Matt Moulson isn’t far behind with 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists).
Evgeni Nabokov (11-7-3, 2.87 GAA, .905 save percentage) played against the Capitals on Saturday and it remains to be seen if he’ll start back-to-back games.
Against the Penguins, Nabokov is 10-3 with a 1.80 GAA and .938 save percentage.
If he doesn’t play, Kevin Poulin (0-1, 3.03 GAA, .889 save percentage) would get the nod. Against the Penguins, he is 0-1 with a 1.01 GAA and .969 save percentage.
For Pittsburgh, Crosby is racking up points at an alarming rate. With 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists), he is starting to pull away from the rest of the league in the scoring race. He had been locked in a tight battle with Steven Stamkos, but has since opened up a three-point lead on him.
In 38 games against the Islanders, Crosby has 20 goals and 48 assists, with five goals and 23 assists coming on the power play.
It would seem likely that Tomas Vokoun (5-3-0, 3.32 GAA, .890 save percentage) will get the start tonight after Fleury played against Toronto on Saturday.
Against the Islanders, Vokoun is 14-7-1 with a 2.08 GAA and .933 save percentage. He also has four shutouts against New York.
The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and you can watch it on Root Sports.