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Penguins Report: Game Day at NY Islanders

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Staal out tonight vs. NYI; Engelland in (12:21 PM).
  • Pens lines (11:35 AM).
  • Montoya in net; no lineup changes for Isles (10:45 AM).

2:31 PM:
Steve Mears and I wrap up today's events and break down tonight's game. Watch it here:

12:56 PM:
Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On changing the lines:
I think in this case, we’re pretty happy we saw Pascal Dupuis at center for more than half a game a while ago. So he will be getting some time at center tonight and playing there. Jason Williams is a guy who’s played NHL games. He will come up and we’ll see him immediately on our power play as well as playing on the wing.

On Sidney Crosby:
There was not ice available today for our rehabbing guys back in Pittsburgh. They are working out, but I don’t have anticipation about anything other than getting past this game and going home and evaluating where they’re at.

On slow starts for both the Penguins and the Islanders:
You always have a sluggish start when you get down 3-0. But we actually started the game for 5-6 minutes not bad. I guess that’s no way to describe a start to the game, ‘not bad.’ But we started in the offensive zone. We had 2-3 shifts there. But we didn’t have our game there, probably right from the start, in terms of details and how we needed to execute to play our way – to play Pittsburgh Penguins ice hockey. They got a goal off an ankle and then they clearly had momentum for the rest of the period and took it to us. I think they almost doubled us in scoring chances in the first period. That carried over to the second. We responded with a good third period, but that’s not any way to talk about a game.

On if he sees a different Islanders team than the one they faced last time:
We’ve had some success this year (against them), but we still see a young, talented team – a dangerous team, a hardworking team. They’ve got speed to their game that they bring as well as a dangerous power-play group. They’ve got some good players. That’s what we’ve felt about them even if you win a hockey game against them. They’ve shown that recently. They’ve played well. They’ve gone on the road and won some games there on the West Coast trip. They lose in a shootout to the Blackhawks. They’re playing that way. They’re playing fast and with some skill. They’ve got some young players that can be dangerous. That’s what we expect from them tonight and they’ve been showing that lately.

I love you like a love song baby: Michelle Crechiolo

12:55 PM:
Sounds heard around the visitors locker room…

Deryk Engelland

On how he feels:
It’s getting better. I’m not quite all the way there, but it’s close.

On what’s keeping him from being 100 percent:
Just re-hurting it, I think. Don’t want to be a day or two away and re-injure it and whatnot. But we’ll see how it feels tonight.

On how frustrated he is:
Oh, yeah. You always want to play no matter what, even if you’re injured. It sucks being out. The guys are doing a great job of filling in for everyone, but yeah, you definitely want to get out there.

On the injuries to the defensemen:
It’s all in one clump. It’s strange, but it’s showing the depth of the organization.

Joe Vitale

On having better starts:
That’s something we talked about and that we need to get better at as a team – not putting ourselves behind the eight ball like we’ve been doing. Credit to the team, we’ve been battling pretty hard in the third period to come back but we can’t be putting ourselves in that kind of a hole. We’ve got to give ourselves a better chance heading into the third, especially on the road, playing good teams like the Flyers and the Islanders, who’s a great team as well. We need to get off to a good start and hopefully carry the momentum into the third.

On the Islanders flying under the radar:
Oh, for sure. It’s a completely different team. You look at their whole lineup and from the first line to the fourth line they have talent, they have toughness. They’re a good team and nobody can take them for granted. We’re going to go out here tonight and we’re going to have to bring our best game if we’re even going to want to have a chance. We have our work cut out for us, for sure.

Waiting here in Allentown: Michelle Crechiolo

12:21 PM:
Head coach Dan Bylsma just announced that Jordan Staal is out tonight vs. the Islanders. He is day to day with a lower-body injury. Jason Williams will be called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Bylsma also said that Deryk Engelland is back in the lineup tonight after missing the last two games with a lower-body injury. Richard Park is still out. There is nothing new regarding Sidney Crosby.

"Deryk Engelland will be in our lineup tonight. We do not need to recall a defenseman.

"Jordan Staal will not be in the lineup tonight. He recieved a lower-body injury and is day-to-day at this point in time. We will be calling up Jason Williams to play in his stead.

"Richard Park is not playing tonight. He's day-to-day."

12:00 PM:
Pens pics...

A few Pens take a seat while others wait in the runway while the zamboni cleans the ice. I kept thinking of Tom Petty's "The waaaaaiting is the hardest part..."

Gather round ye nobles (left); Engelland may return to the lineup tonight (right)

Pens working on specialty teams (left); Dupuis puts a black jersey over his white jersey NWO style (right)

Fleury tries to see the puck through a cluster of peeps (left); Fleury alertly makes the save (right)

With the Pens lack of bodies, Bill Guerin was forced to help out as a PKer during special teams drills. So it was basically a 5-on-3 (left); Vitale hydrates (right)

11:35 AM:
Engelland is on the ice for the Pens. Here is a look at their forward combos:


The 6 D rotated 3 in each end.

11:00 AM:
The Islanders held an optional morning skate. Here are pics of the guys who took the option...

10:45 AM:
Islanders coach Jack Capuano said that the Islanders won't make any lineup changes and that Al Montoya will be in net. Here is the rest of what the coach had to say...

On lineup changes:
No, we’ll go with the same lineup.

On who will be in goal:
Al (Montoya). Al will be in net tonight.

On who the backup goalie will be:
Kevin (Poulin). (Nabokov) skated yesterday and took a day off today. We’ll know more in the next day or two, but there’s a possibility he’ll be ready to go next week.

On the team’s recent success:
Focusing on the on the process of what we’re trying to accomplish with business-like routines. The attitude of the guys, early on in the season if we got down a goal emotionally things weren’t going the way we wanted. Right now I think our team is in a good frame of mind when it comes to attitude and determination and how we have to play. There’s a certain way that we have to play. I think in the next couple weeks we showed that we can play with some good hockey teams when we execute the structure that we want to play.

On Montoya:
He’s been good. Over the last week he’s been strong. We played Chicago twice in the last week. They have a lot of skill. He’s been our best PK guy for us. He’s played real well. Hopefully, that can continue for us. We’re a team that needs solid special teams and our goaltending has to be good.

10:20 AM:
Michelle scouted out the Islanders so that you don't have to. Click below for the cheater version.

10:10 AM:
Before we turn our attention to the Islanders, let's take one final behind-the-scenes look at Thursday's contest in Philly.

10:00 AM:
Good morning from Nassau Coliseum! Tonight the Pens will battle the Islanders in an Atlantic Division showdown.


We'll open the day with a little tune by Hicksville, Nassau County native Billy Joel..."Allentown."

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