Pittsburgh Penguins Gameday 32 – New York Islanders

Pittsburgh Penguins (23-8-0) @ New York Islanders (13-14-3)

ROOT, NHLN-US, MSG PLUS, RDS2 – 7:00 pm/et

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum – Uniondale, New York

There's something about the Islanders that we really dislike. For a team that has been pretty awful for many years, they always seem to give the Penguins trouble. This is especially true for games in Long Island. For example:

On this Day in Pittsburgh Penguins History:

March 22, 2007 – Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Islanders: Islanders win 3-1. [Pensblog Recap]

Can't Jay-Z just buy the team already so there will be something to enjoy about them?

Season Series: 2-1-0

Last meeting that counted: March 10, 2013. Penguins won 6-1.

What we said in our recap:

Crosby is hitting his stride. He has an 8-game points streak. He has 20 points in those 24 periods of hockey. He now has 45 points on the season. Claude Giroux and Alex Ovechkin: 45 points combined. His linemates, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis, are reaping the benefits. Kunitz netted his second hat trick of the season, and Dupuis added two others.

Know Your Enemy: Lighthouse Hockey

What they're saying:

The Pittsburgh Penguins haven't lost in forever. The New York islanders really need a win tonight. Can this turn out well?

The Pens are a ridiculous +29 in goal differential (helped, of course, by a 6-1 drubbing of the Isles in these teams' last meeting). The Islanders — minus-13 with half being empty net goals — are hanging around the East's playoff bubble, but operating a few steps behind, and suffering from a very narrow margin for error where own goals will kill you.

The coach is quite focused on "battle level" though, suggesting third-period failings and mistakes last night were a matter of lost battles at critical times. It's a common theme, just as "we're a team that needs all 20 guys going" is a theme.

Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:

Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Bennett – Jeffrey – Neal
Cooke – Sutter – Kennedy
Glass- Vitale – Adams

Orpik – Martin
Eaton – Niskanen
Despres – Engelland


New York Islanders Lines:

Moulson – Tavares – Boyes
Bailey – Nielsen – Okposo
Cizikas – Aucoin – McDonald
Martin –  Reasoner – Grabner

MacDonald – Harmonic
Streit – Carkner
Finley – Visnovsky

Lines via Daily Faceoff.

"I'd like to visit that Long Island place … if only it were real."

Do It.

Go Pens.