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Islanders @ Penguins - game preview

by Katrina Doell / New York Islanders
Team Record: 31-33-11

Last Game: 3-2 SOW @ FLA
Season Series: 1-3-0 of 6
Team Record: 47-22-6
Last Game: 5-2 W vs. NJD
Season Series: 4-0-0 of 6
Josh Bailey
With an assist on Kyle Okposo's third period goal in Sunday's 3-2 shootout win over the Florida Panthers, Bailey extended his point streak to four games (1g/3a). The natural center is playing on the wing for the second time this season, and skating with Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo has helped to ignite his current streak.
Evgeni Malkin
What a year it's been for the Russian star. He has a fairly commanding lead of the league's point leaderboard with 97 points. The next closest player, Steven Stamkos, has 87 points. Malkin also is second in the NHL with 46 goals and is fifth in assists with 51. Certainly, he is a force to be reckoned with and stopping him and Sidney Crosby, who is skating on the third line with Pascal Dupuis and Tyler Kennedy, will be key.
Top of the standings: The Penguins have already wrapped up their playoff spot, but they are a mere point behind the Rangers to clinch the Atlantic Division.

Sharp in the shootout: All of Islanders country is aware of the shooutout prowess possessed by Frans Nielsen, aka the Danish Backhand of Judgement. While he's putting pucks in the net, Evgeni Nabokov is keeping them out. After Sunday's shootout win over the Florida Panthers, Nabby is 5-1 in shootouts this season. Not too Shabby, Nabby.

JT always making history:
Tavares is the first Islander since Alexei Yashin (75 in 2001-02) to record 75 points in a season. On Monday, he was eighth in the league in scoring.

Isles leaderboards: Matt Martin leads the league in hits with 349 hits...PA Parenteau is sixth in the leauge with 49 assists...Andrew MacDonald is ninth in the league with 169 blocked shots...The Isles are first in the league with 1,256 blocked shots.
The Pittsburgh Penguins broke open a close game in the second half, defeating the Islanders 6-3 on Dec. 10 at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders were ahead 3-2 until a momentum-shifting elbowing misconduct turned the tide for the Penguins. David Ullstrom, Milan Jurcina and Kyle Okposo scored for the Islanders, while six Penguins had multi-point games. Pascal Dupuis scored the eventual winner at 15:58 of the second period.

Click the photo for gallery from the last time the Islanders played the Penguins.
Date of
DiPietro 1/3 Sports hernia/knee swelling 39  10 weeks
Power play: 19.1%
Penalty kill: 81.4%
Home record: 15-16-6
Road record: 16-17-5
Goals For: 180
Goals Against: 224
Power play: 18.9%
Penalty kill: 88.5%
Home record: 27-8-2
Road record: 20-14-4
Goals For: 244
Goals Against: 195

Answer from Tuesday's question: What team have the Islanders faced exclusively on weekends this season? The answer is: Florida Panthers. The Islanders played their only game against several Western foes on weekends this season, but all four games against the Panthers have fallen on either Saturday or Sunday.
Evgeni Nabokov starts tonight. Jack Capuano will go with the same lineup as Sunday. Nino Niederreiter and Mark Eaton are scratched. Click here for lines. Follow @NYIslanders for any updates.

Penguins Expected Lineups

Engelland- Despres


Fleury; Thiessen

Frans Nielsen on the resilience the team had against Florida and Matt Moulson's power play goal in the second: "It was a big goal for us. We had a lot of zone time and we kept shooting and shooting and couldn’t get it in, so it was a relief when he scored."

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