Penguins' chase for Cup begins against Islanders
Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 10:58 AM
Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing EditorISLANDERS (24-17-7) at PENGUINS (36-12-0)
TV: NBCSN, TSN, MSG PLUS, ROOT
New York 6-1-3; Pittsburgh 8-2-0
The Pittsburgh Penguins won four of five matchups against the New York Islanders during the regular season.
After adding Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray and Jarome Iginla before the NHL Trade Deadline, the Penguins begin their quest for what would be the franchise’s fourth Stanley Cup championship. The New York Islanders are returning to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007.
New York dropped the final three of its season-ending, five-game road trip and finished eighth in the Eastern Conference. But the Islanders did collect points in four of those contests (2-1-2) and have lost only one game in regulation this month.
“We had some good prep work for Pittsburgh yesterday and today,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said Tuesday. ”Not a whole lot is going to change in our structure or how we play. But it’s good to get the guys, after that 10-day road trip, away from the rink a little bit to recharge and get focused. We worked on a few things, but at this point they know what they need to do.”
The last game captain Sidney Crosby played was against these Islanders on March 30, when he suffered a broken jaw by taking a puck to the mouth. Crosby, who still led the Penguins in scoring with 56 points (15 goals, 41 assists) in 36 games, visited the doctor again Tuesday and is still hoping he will make his return in Game 1 at Consol Energy Center.
"I've felt pretty good the last little while," Crosby said after his appointment. "At the end of the day, I have to make sure everything is healed. [The doctor] knows the best, not me. It's going to be up to him."
Islanders center John Tavares led the club with 47 points (28 goals, 19 assists) in 48 games this season. He had four goals and an assist over the final five games of the regular season. … Morrow had 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 15 games for Pittsburgh after being acquired from the Dallas Stars. He had a goal and four assists over the final four contests.
Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik missed the final two regular-season games with a lower-body injury. He skated prior to practice on his own Tuesday and will be a game-time decision, according to coach Dan Bylsma.