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Penguins at Islanders preview

New York tries for 11th consecutive win; Pittsburgh without defenseman Letang

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

PENGUINS (8-6-1) at ISLANDERS (11-3-0)



The Game

The New York Islanders will try to win their 11th consecutive game when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Barclays Center on Thursday.

It's the second-longest winning streak in Islanders history. They won 15 in a row from Jan. 21-Feb. 20, 1982.

Pittsburgh, which hopes to avoid a three-game winless streak, will be without defenseman Kris Letang, who sustained a lower-body injury in the third period of a 6-4 loss at the Boston Bruins on Monday.

It's the first game between the teams since the Islanders swept the Penguins in the Eastern Conference First Round last season.


Players to watch

Penguins forward Dominik Kahun has scored in three straight games.

Islanders forward Josh Bailey has two goals and two assists in his past four games.


They said it

"I think you're always up for those games you play a team you faced prior. But that being said, it's a new team, a new situation. I think your approach is probably a little different, but I think it's good motivation." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby

"I don't think they're too worried about last year, holding high grudges. It's just another game. Both teams are in the same division, and obviously it's a big game anytime both of us play just because the points are so crucial right now and our division's so tight. It's a big game for both sides, but nothing extra I don't think is added." -- Islanders center Mathew Barzal


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Dominik Simon

Alex Galchenyuk -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Jared McCann -- Nick Bjugstad -- Dominik Kahun

Zach Aston-Reese -- Teddy Blueger -- Brandon Tanev

Brian Dumoulin -- John Marino

Marcus Pettersson -- Justin Schultz

Jack Johnson -- Juuso Riikola

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Sam Lafferty, Chad Ruhwedel

Injured: Kris Letang (lower body)


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Josh Bailey

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Derick Brassard

Michael Dal Colle -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Ross Johnston -- Cole Bardreau -- Oliver Wahlstrom

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Noah Dobson -- Johnny Boychuk

Semyon Varlamov

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Otto Koivula, Seth Helgeson

Injured: Jordan Eberle (lower body), Leo Komarov (illness), Tom Kuhnhackl (lower body), Matt Martin (lower body), Nick Leddy (lower body)


Status report

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said "it's probably not a probability" that Letang will play against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. … Malkin took a maintenance day Wednesday but will play. … Eberle and Leddy each participated in an optional morning skate. Leddy will miss his third straight game; Eberle hasn't played since Oct. 12. Each is day to day, per coach Barry Trotz. … The Islanders recalled Koivula and Helgeson from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League on Thursday and extended forward Andrew Ladd's conditioning stint in Bridgeport for two games.


Stat pack

Rust has a four-game point streak (two goals, two assists). … New York is 10-0-0 when it scores at least three goals. … The Islanders' penalty kill is 22-for-23 in the past seven games.

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