[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Isles were the Penguins’ final regular season opponent at the Mellon Arena last season; they will be the Penguins’ 4th opponent in the NHL’s newest building, the Consol Energy Center on Friday.
It’s the first of six meetings on the season between the squads; the Penguins took last season’s series 5 games to 1, but the Isles did manage points in all three Coliseum games (1-0-2). It was a different story in Pittsburgh, where the Isles have lost eight straight and 11 of 12.
The Isles’ newly-retooled defense will have their hands full. Pittsburgh scored 27 goals against the Isles last season. Sidney Crosby recorded two games of at least five points – he’s the first player to do that against one opponent in 17 years, and finished with 17 points in the series (6 goals, 11 assists).John Tavares
had four goals and three assists against the Pens last season; he finished his rookie campaign with more points against the Penguins than any other opponent.