The New York Islanders will face the Pittsburgh Penguins six times during February. New York and Pittsburgh have a storied history. They bring out the best in both of each other and often provide very entertaining games.
The Islanders and Penguins have already played each other twice. Islanders took the first one four to three, and Pittsburgh took the second, four to three (in overtime). With four games left in this month against Pittsburgh, these are the Islanders’ keys to success.
New York Islanders three keys to success
1. Keep The Offense Hot Streak Alive
New York has been on a roll as of late. Winning five of their last six games, and their past three straight, the offense has helped to keep that going. Multiple players stand out on their offense and show to be an integral and valuable part of their team.
Firstly, Mathew Barzal is always going to be mentioned. Up until the last game, he had a nine-game point streak going. He also provided two goals in their last four games. Another player to keep in mind is Jean-Gabriel Pageau. He has scored five goals in their past four games and continues to provide for the team.
2. Success From Goalies is Crucial
The goalies have been playing great lately. Semyon Varlamov sat last game but before that started in the previous five. He won four of those five games and recorded one shutout against the Rangers during it. He became the first Islanders goalie in history to do that twice in a season.
Ilya Sorokin has also played well. He started the last game against the Buffalo Sabres. He picked up his first career shutout and recorded 20 saves. He has shown that although he’s young, he will be a very valuable asset to the organization.
3. Which Fourth Line Will We See?
The New York Islanders fourth line has been making headlines all season long. Not always for the best reasons either. They started very lackluster and only got their first goal of the season on January 28th off of Casey Cizikas. Since then Casey scored twice and got one assist.
Cizikas fellow linemen, Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck have also been playing well lately. Martin scored once and got one assist over the past five games. Clutterbuck has gotten two assists as well over the past five games. The fourth line is crucial and if they want to win, the right line has to show up.
The Islanders play next on Thursday against the Penguins at 7:00 PM at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. This will mark their third of six times playing them this month.