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Game 1 Preview: Islanders vs Penguins

The Isles and Pens meet open their first round series at the Coliseum (7:30 p.m., MSG+, NBCSN)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS VS PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

GAME 1: SERIES TIED 0-0

7:30 PM | NASSAU COLISEUM | BUY TICKETS

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO | NBCSN | CBC | TVA2 | NHLTV

LISTEN: 88.7FM WRHU | 103.9FM LI NEWS | RADIO.COM/ISLANDERS

MORNING SKATE UPDATE | GAME NOTES


REGULAR SEASON SERIES:

The Islanders and the Penguins each went (2-1-1) in the regular season. The Isles claimed a first pair of wins in a home-and-home set on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1. The Pens picked up the two meetings in December, including a 2-1 shootout win in the lone game at Nassau Coliseum.



ISLANDERS NOTES:

-   The Islanders are hosting game one of a series for the first time since 1988. Wednesday's game is also the first playoff game at Nassau Coliseum since game six against the Washington Capitals in April 2015.

-   The Isles allowed the fewest goals in the NHL this season (196 goals including shootout goals), one year after allowing most goals in the NHL (296 goals including shootout goals). 

-   Only once before in NHL history had a team allowed the most goals in one season and the fewest in the next; the Ottawa Senators did so in 1917-18 and 1918-19. The Isles lead the league in goals against per game with an average of 2.33. The league average is 2.98. 

-   Goalies Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss won the William M. Jennings Trophy this season, given annually to the goalies on the team who allowed the fewest goals. 

-   Lehner, 25-13-5, set career-highs in wins (25) and shutouts this season (six), while Greiss, 23-14-2, set a career-high with five shutouts. Both goalies finished in the top-five in the NHL in GAA and SV%.

-   Barry Trotz did not name a starter for game one at Tuesday's practice.  

-   The Islanders locked down the second seed in the Metropolitan Division with a 3-0 victory over Washington on April 6. 

-   Valtteri Filppula returned to the Islanders lineup in their regular-season finale after missing eight games after suffering hyperextended elbow on March 19. The 35-year-old Finn has 17 goals (31 points) in 72 games this season. 

-   Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Michael Dal Colle, Adam Pelech and Devon Toews have yet to make their playoff debuts.

-   The Islanders are holding a pre-game Fan Fest, presented by Northwell Health, starting at 4 p.m.  


Video: Islanders, Penguins clash in rematch of 2013 series


PENGUINS NOTES:

-   The Penguins secured third place in the Metropolitan after dropping a 4-3 overtime decision to the New York Rangers on Saturday. 

- Sidney Crosby leads the Penguins with 100 points (35G, 65A) this season. It was the sixth time in the Penguins captain's 14-year NHL career that he accomplished the feat and the first time since during the 2013-14 season when he had 104 points. 

-   Jake Guentzel scored his 40th goal of the season (76 points) after playing in all 82 games this season. Guentzel's 40 goals were both a team-high and a career-high.

-   Nick Bjugstad scored his ninth goal of the season in his 32nd game with the Penguins. The Penguins acquired Bjugstad and Jared McCann from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forwards Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan as well as a 2019 second-round draft pick and a pair of fourth-round selections on Feb. 1.

-   Matt Murray is the expected starter for the Penguins Murray has 29 wins in his 50 games played this season. He won 25 of his final 39 starts and started 20 of the Penguins final 21 games this season.

-   The Penguins (44-26-12) have won 11 of their final 18 games (11-4-3).

-   Defenseman Brian Dumoulin and forward Zach Aston-Reese participated in practice on Tuesday and are reported to be game-time decisions by Pens head coach Mike Sullivan. Dumoulin has been sidelined for the last three games of the regular season with a lower-body injury. Aston-Reese has missed 13 games from Jan. 11-Feb. 11 with a lower-body injury.  

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*Graphic courtesy of Islanders PR

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