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Preview: Penguins at Islanders

Patric Hornqvist expected to play for Pittsburgh; Ryan Strome back in New York lineup

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PENGUINS (13-6-3) at ISLANDERS (7-10-4)

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV

 

Penguins team scope

Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist, who has missed the past six games because of a concussion, participated in the morning skate and is expected to play. Hornqvist has 13 points in 16 games. "We will see if Coach puts me in or not," Hornqvist told the Penguins website. "I feel good. It's nice to be back on the ice with the guys and have some energy around them. I feel ready to go. If I have any hesitation out there, I would not play the game I want to play. I have to get back to normal, don't think too much, create those scrums in front of the net and get hit, or give a hit, get into the game right away." Goalie Matt Murray will start for the third time in the past four games. Marc-Andre Fleury is 6-5-3 with a 3.38 goals-against average and .901 save percentage. "I don't think his record, the way it is, it all falls on his shoulders," coach Mike Sullivan said of Fleury. "It's a collective effort on both sides, both when we win and when we lose. Marc has fallen victim of some tough bounces. He's just got to continue to work through it and keep working on his game."

 

Islanders team scope

Forward Ryan Strome, a healthy scratch the past two games, will get back into the lineup for the New York Islanders. Strome, the No. 5 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, has two goals and four assists in 19 games this season. "I'm excited to play. I've worked hard the last couple of days," Strome said. "It certainly beats a bag skate and watching the game. A good opportunity and I'm looking forward to a fun game. It's always fun playing Pittsburgh and it's always fun being part of these games. It's tough watching and definitely a good game to get back into it, for sure." Coach Jack Capuano said he's pleased with the way Strome has responded despite being scratched. "We've had good talks about the last few days, and he's been real good," Capuano said. "He knows where his game needs to be. He's one of those guys that for me, he cares so much and he wants to play better, and he knows that he can. I just want to continue to have communication with him … what can we do better to continue to try to help him too?" 

 

Penguins projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Sidney Crosby -- Patric Hornqvist

Jake Guentzel -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Carl Hagelin -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Matt Cullen -- Scott Wilson

Olli Maatta -- Kris Letang

Brian Dumoulin -- Trevor Daley

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Matt Murray 

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Steve Oleksy, Tom Sestito

Injured: Chris Kunitz (lower body)

 

Islanders projected lineup

Josh Bailey -- John Tavares -- Anthony Beauvillier

Nikolay Kulemin -- Brock Nelson -- Shane Prince

Andrew Ladd -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Anders Lee -- Ryan Strome -- Jason Chimera

Nick Leddy -- Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey -- Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan -- Scott Mayfield

Thomas Greiss

Jean-Francois Berube

Scratched: Jaroslav Halak, Alan Quine

Injured: Adam Pelech (upper body), Dennis Seidenberg (upper body)

 

Status report

Dumoulin, a healthy scratch for Pittsburgh's 4-3 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, will get back in the lineup. … Kunitz ruled himself out Tuesday. He has not played since Nov. 19, a span of four games. … Greiss will make his third straight start. … Mayfield will play his second game with the Islanders this season after Pelech sustained an upper-body injury during a 2-1 overtime win against the Calgary Flames on Monday. "He could probably miss a game or two here," Capuano said of Pelech. "I don't think it's anything serious, but he's just going to need a little bit of rest." Capuano said he should know more about Seidenberg's availability for the game against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday in the next day or two. Seidenberg, who leads Islanders defensemen with eight points (four goals, four assists), skated again Wednesday. He has been out since Nov. 12 and is not expected to play at the Washington Capitals on Thursday.

 
Who's hot

Crosby has three goals and an assist in his past three games. … Guentzel, who made his NHL debut on Nov. 21, has three goals in his first four games. … Malkin has six assists in his past five. … Tavares had a goal and an assist Monday. He has a point in four of his past five games. … Bailey has a point in three of his past four.

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