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Islanders-Penguins Preview @NHLdotcom
Islanders-Penguins Preview

GAME: New York Islanders (23-26-3) at Pittsburgh Penguins (12-32-10).

TIME: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have seen enough teams from New York metropolitan area.

Pittsburgh looks to put an end to a four-game losing streak when it hosts the Islanders at Mellon Arena.

The Penguins, mired in a 1-13-1 skid since Jan. 6, enter this game having played the Islanders and Rangers a combined four times in their last eight games, going 0-3-1.

Overall, they are 3-5-2 against those clubs this season.

Playing without rookie Sidney Crosby, who was out with the flu, the Penguins allowed seven goals for the second time in three games in a 7-2 loss Thursday to the Ottawa Senators.

Michel Ouellet and Ryan Malone gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead early in the second period, but backup goaltender Sebastien Caron allowed seven unanswered goals. Three of those tallies were short-handed, marking the first time the Penguins had given up that many short-handed goals in a game since Nov. 16, 1988, against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"We made some bad decisions and it cost us the game," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "We lost momentum. Even strength, we were pretty good against this team."

Crosby, the team's leading scorer with 60 points, has three goals and two assists in three games versus the Islanders this season, while second-leading scorer Mark Recchi has two goals and an assist.

In 84 games versus New York in his career, Recchi has 37 goals and 101 points.

Crosby practiced Friday and said he plans to play against the Islanders.

The Islanders' second three-game winning streak of the season come to an end Thursday with a 5-2 loss to the Rangers.

The Islanders last won three straight from Nov. 12-16, which included a 3-2 shootout win over Pittsburgh.

Mark Parrish scored twice against the Rangers in the third period to halve a 4-0 deficit, but Rick DiPietro gave up a goal to Jaromir Jagr with just over three minutes left.

"They were working hard to get in the shooting lanes," Parrish said. "That's the best I've seen a team block shots in a long time. We didn't match their work ethic. They're a good team from top to bottom."

DiPietro finished with 22 saves. He has allowed three goals or more in eight of his last 12 starts, going 4-6-1 over that span.

Parrish, who reached the 20-goal mark for the sixth time in seven seasons, has 10 goals and nine assists in 29 games against the Penguins in his career.

STANDINGS: Islanders - 49 points, 4th place, 21 PB, Atlantic Division. Penguins - 34 points, 5th place, 36 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Islanders - Parrish, 21 goals; Alexei Yashin and Mike York, 27 assists; Yashin, 44 points; Arron Asham, 90 PIM. Penguins - Crosby, 25 goals, 35 assists, 60 points and 78 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Islanders - Power play: 17.2 percent (52 for 302), 19th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.6 percent (254 for 323), 29th. Penguins - Power play: 17.8 percent (59 for 331), 13th. Penalty killing: 78.3 percent (285 for 364), 30th.

GOALTENDERS: Islanders - DiPietro (17-16-3, 3.46 GAA); Wade Dubielewicz (2-3-0, 2.90). Penguins - Marc-Andre Fleury (6-18-3, 3.23); Caron (5-4-4, 4.29).

SEASON SERIES: Islanders, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 26; Islanders, 4-3 (SO). At Uniondale, N.Y., Miroslav Satan tallied his 19th goal in regulation and was the only player to score in the shootout.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Islanders - 11-13-2 on the road; Penguins - 7-15-5 at home.

Associated Press
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