ISLANDERS (34-26-12) at PENGUINS (46-17-10)
7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports, SN, ROOT, MSG+, NHL.TV
Islanders team scope
The New York Islanders can move into the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with a victory. They are two points behind the Boston Bruins, but have two games in hand. The Islanders host the Bruins on Saturday. Goalie Jaroslav Halak will start one day after being recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. It will be Halak's first NHL start since Dec. 29, when he allowed four goals on 24 shots in a 6-4 loss at the Minnesota Wild. Halak is 6-8-5 with a 3.23 goals-against average and .904 save percentage in the NHL this season. "We still covet him. We still need him," coach Doug Weight said. "He's got his game back. He's played really, really well [in the AHL]." The Islanders will be without forward Ryan Strome for 3-6 weeks. Strome, who has 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 69 games this season, left a 3-2 win at the New York Rangers on Wednesday with an upper-body injury, which Newsday reported is a broken right wrist. "It's a little better than it looked at first, but it'll be an extended time, whether that's three weeks or six weeks, we'll have to wait and see," Weight said. "It looks as though he'll avoid surgery which is nice, so just hit the wrong way and it's a tough time." Forward Alan Quine will play in Strome's place. The Islanders are 17-9-4 since Weight replaced Jack Capuano as coach Jan. 17. "It's probably a simple answer, but you have to win," Weight said. "You have to win big games."
Penguins team scope
The Pittsburgh Penguins would pull even in points with the Washington Capitals atop the Metropolitan Division with a win but would remain in second place based on having played one more game than the Capitals. The Penguins also are one point ahead of the third-place Columbus Blue Jackets. The status of Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin is uncertain after he didn't play in 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, the fourth consecutive game he has missed because of an upper-body injury. "He's an elite player. He's a hard guy to replace," coach Mike Sullivan said Thursday. "We have capable people." Center Sidney Crosby has performed well in Malkin's absence with seven points (six goals, one assist) in his past four games. He leads the NHL with 41 goals, and his 81 points are six behind Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid for the League lead. The Penguins likely will start goalie Marc-Andre Fleury after Matt Murray made 29 saves Thursday. Fleury is 12-3-3 in his past 20 games. He made 21 saves in his first shutout of the season in his last start, a 4-0 win against the Florida Panthers on Sunday.
Islanders projected lineup
Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Josh Bailey
Andrew Ladd -- Anthony Beauvillier -- Joshua Ho-Sang
Brock Nelson -- Alan Quine -- Jason Chimera
Nikolay Kulemin -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy -- Adam Pelech
Calvin de Haan -- Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey -- Scott Mayfield
Scratched: Jean-Francois Berube, Dennis Seidenberg, Stephen Gionta
Injured: Johnny Boychuk (lower body), Shane Prince (lower body), Ryan Strome (upper body)
Penguins projected lineup
Scott Wilson -- Sidney Crosby -- Conor Sheary
Phil Kessel -- Matt Cullen -- Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz -- Nick Bonino -- Carter Rowney
Tom Kuhnhackl -- Oskar Sundqvist -- Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin -- Justin Schultz
Ian Cole -- Chad Ruhwedel
Mark Streit -- Frank Corrado
Scratched: Cameron Gaunce
Injured : Evgeni Malkin (upper body), Bryan Rust (upper body), Olli Maatta (hand), Trevor Daley (knee), Kris Letang (upper body), Carl Hagelin (lower body), Ron Hainsey (upper body), Tom Sestito (upper body), Jake Guentzel (concussion)
Boychuk will miss his 10th consecutive game. Weight did not update his status.
Tavares has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past nine games. … Bonino scored for the Penguins on Thursday. He has seven goals in his past nine games. Sheary has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in his past 10 games.