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Game Preview: Islanders vs. Penguins

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

PENGUINS (13-3-2) at ISLANDERS (13-6-0)

TV: CITY; ROOT, MSG+

Season series: The New York Islanders won 5-4 in a shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Friday in the front-end of a home-and-home series. The Penguins beat the Islanders 3-1 in Pittsburgh on Oct. 18.

Penguins team scope: Despite the shootout loss to the Islanders, Pittsburgh has won 10 of its past 12 games and is the only team with fewer than four regulation losses. The Penguins lead New York by two points in the Metropolitan Division standings and own the League's top-ranked offense (3.67 goals per game) and power play (33.8 percent). Pittsburgh was unable to take advantage of its proficiency with the extra man Friday because they failed to earn a single power play. Its offense proved to be formidable on 5-on-5 with four goals scored across three different lines, but some early defensive lapses let the Islanders score three times in 95 seconds during the first period after holding an early 1-0 lead.

Islanders team scope: New York continued its hot November by winning in the tiebreaker on Friday. The Islanders are 7-1-0 in their past eight games and trail the first-place Penguins by two points. Despite the win, coach Jack Capuano said he wasn't satisfied with the Islanders' performance, particularly in the second period when they were outshot 17-6. "We're going to have to play better tomorrow night if we're going to have a chance to win the game," Capuano said. "I thought that the second period, we made way too many mistakes. We didn't manage the puck real well, especially against a team like that. But we were resilient, had some good chances. We stayed at it, but collectively as a group, we have to be better."

New York Islanders
13-6-0 (26 points – 2nd in Metropolitan Division, 3rd in Eastern Conference)
5-2-0 home
Pittsburgh Penguins
13-3-2 (27 points - 1st in Metropolitan Division, 2nd in Eastern Conference)
8-4-0 road
7:00  p.m.
Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY

Television:
MSG
Play-by-play: Howie Rose
; Color: Butch Goring
Channel Finder

Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, LI News Radio 103.9 FM
Play-by-play: Chris King
Islanders News:
- Islanders 5, Penguins 4 (SO) (Nov. 21)
- MSG: Post-Game Video (Nov. 21)
- State of the Sound Tigers (Nov. 21)

What's Happening at the Coliseum:

- 1-2:15pm Try Hockey for Free Day
- Doors 5:45pm
- Lower Lobby 5:00pm
- Billy Smith Mini-Locker Night

Islanders player to watch
Ryan Strome - Forward

Ryan Strome has caught fire since scoring his first goal of the season on Nov. 11, finding twine in four of his last five games. The second-year forward scored a game-high three points (one goal, two assists) Friday night in Pittsburgh and has 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 19 games this season.  Strome is currently fourth in Islanders team scoring and is centering a line with Anders Lee and Josh Bailey.
Penguins player to watch
Patric Hornqvist - Forward

Patric Hornqvist has fit in seamlessly in his first season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, netting 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in his first 18 games. The Sollentuna, Swe. native is thriving on Evgeni Malkin’s wing, playing at a point-per-game pace for the first time in his seven-year career. Hornqvist leads the Penguins with 10 goals and has five points (three goals, two assists) in two games against the Isles this season.
New York Islanders previous game lines
Forwards
29 Brock Nelson 91 John Tavares 86 Nikolay Kulemin
84 Mikhail Grabovski51 Frans Nielsen21 Kyle Okposo
27 Anders Lee
18 Ryan Strome
12 Josh Bailey
17 Matt Martin – 53 Casey Cizikas 15 Cal Clutterbuck

Defensemen

2 Nick Leddy 55 Johnny Boychuk
44 Calvin de Haan
3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey – 11 Lubomir Visnovsky

Goaltenders
41 Jaroslav Halak
30 Chad Johnson
Pittsburgh Penguins previous game lines
Forwards
14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 17 Blake Comeau
13 Nick Spaling - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 72 Patric Hornqvist
19 Beau Bennett - 16 Brandon Sutter - 23 Steve Downie
38 Zach Sill -
57 Marcel Goc - 27 Craig Adams

Defensemen
7 Paul Martin
- 58 Kris Letang
10 Christian Ehrhoff - 3 Olli Maatta
4 Rob Scuderi - 47 Simon Despres

Goaltenders
29 Marc-Andre Fleury
1 Thomas Greiss


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