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Islanders at Penguins preview

New York tries to extend point streak to 15 games; Pittsburgh 7-3-1 at home

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

ISLANDERS (14-3-1) at PENGUINS (11-7-2)



The Game

The New York Islanders will try to tie a team record 15-game point streak when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.

The Islanders, who have won three in a row, are 13-0-1 in their past 14 games and have outscored their opponents 47-30 in that span. They've had three 15-game point streaks previously: Nov. 4-Dec. 9, 1978 (12-0, three ties), Nov. 4-Dec. 2, 1980 (13-0, two ties) and Jan. 21-Feb. 20, 1982 (15-0-0).

The Penguins, who defeated the Islanders 4-3 in overtime at Barclays Center on Nov. 7, are 5-2-2 in their past nine games. They are 7-3-1 on home ice. The Islanders are 5-1-0 on the road.

Pittsburgh is 1-1-1 without center Sidney Crosby, who is recovering from core muscle surgery. 


Players to watch

Islanders forward Derick Brassard will return to Pittsburgh for the first time since the Penguins traded him to the Florida Panthers on Feb. 1. He has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past three games.

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past six games. He had a goal and an assist in a 6-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. 


They said it

"[The Penguins will] be a real structured, hard-working group. They'll find ways. They've got an organizational pride." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz

"You've got to respect [the Islanders' point streak]. They're obviously a good team. They've showed it." -- Penguins forward Jared McCann


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Derick Brassard

Josh Bailey -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Michael Dal Colle -- Otto Koivula -- Leo Komarov

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Semyon Varlamov

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Noah Dobson, Ross Johnston

Injured: Tom Kuhnhackl (lower body), Matt Martin (lower body)


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Dominik Kahun -- Jared McCann -- Brandon Tanev

Alex Galchenyuk -- Joseph Blandisi -- Dominik Simon

Zach Aston-Reese -- Teddy Blueger -- Sam Lafferty

Brian Dumoulin -- John Marino

Marcus Pettersson -- Justin Schultz

Jack Johnson -- Juuso Riikola

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Chad Ruhwedel

Injured: Sidney Crosby (core muscle surgery), Nick Bjugstad (lower body), Kris Letang (lower body), Patric Hornqvist (lower body)


Status report

Martin is still not ready to play, Trotz said, and will miss his ninth consecutive game. ... Hornqvist wore a regular contact jersey during morning skate but will miss his seventh straight game. ... Bjugstad continues to be evaluated for a lower-body injury sustained Nov. 15. He will be out longer term, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.


Stat pack

Cizikas will play his 500th NHL game. He has 163 points (67 goals, 96 assists) in his first 499 games. ... Beauvillier has scored four goals in his past two games. He did not score a goal in his previous 13 games. ... The Penguins have killed 20 straight penalties and have not allowed a power-play goal in their past nine games.

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