New York Islanders
7:00 p.m., Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
The Last Penguins Game:
February 3, 2013 - Pittsburgh 6, Washington 3 [Recap]
The Penguins are riding fairly high after a pair of really dominating games against the Devils and Islanders but now the Penguins are going to have to match up with a team that most had written off but in my opinion are going to make a really strong push for the playoffs, the New York Islanders. They played earlier this season in the second home game for the Penguins and this really wasn't much of a game at all. The Islanders raced out to a 4-0 lead and if it wasn't for a last second goal then the Islanders would have walked out of the CONSOL Energy Center with a shutout.
To say this was a horrible game for the Penguins would be a pretty vast understatement but after that loss the Penguins have won the last three games and now they go to the island to try and even the season series. It isn't going to be easy because as we saw earlier the Islanders have some ridiculous team speed and while that speed doesn't mean that you are going to win or score goals they guys that can really skate for them are also some of the most talented guys. John Tavares and Michael Grabner are more than solid young talent and while I think that the Isladers are going to make a push for the playoffs they are doing so becuase they finally have a solid netminder in Evgeni Nabokov.
The Penguins should come out a little sharper this time becuase, lets face it, the play can't be much worse than it was. The secondary scoring has showed up in a big way over the weekend led by Chris Kunitz who tallied five goals in two games and the Penguins also got offensive contributions from Matt Cooke, Kris Letang, and Robert Bortuzzo. Sidney Crosby is starting to take over games and if the secondary scoring can contribute in any way then this is going to be a hard team to beat.
Granted, this is a pretty small sample size overall, with only nine games being played in the season and only on a three game winning streak, but it is good to see the Penguins make the adjustments and score some goals while they are still playing some really good defense. The power play showed that it had some life with a pair of power play goals in three chances against Washington and will go against an Islanders power play that is pretty good. They rank third in the leauge in penalty kill, only giving up a pair of power play goals in 28 attempts while scoring a shorthanded goal (that came against the Penguins).
Marc Andre Fleury in goal.
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Zach Boychuk - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Simon Despres - Kris Letang
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Robert Bortuzzo - Deryk Engelland
Marc Andre Fleury
Islanders (4-3-1) (vis Islanders website)
Matt Moulson - John Tavares - Brad Boyes
Michael Grabner - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
David Ullstrom - Keith Aucoin - Colin McDonald
Matt Martin - Marty Reasoner - Casey Cizikas
Mark Streit - Brian Strait
Andrew MacDonald – Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey - Matt Carkner
The Season Series (New York lead 1-0)
January 29, 2013 - New York 4, Pittsburgh 1