This is the sixth and final time the New York Islanders will have the Pittsburgh Penguins in February. Over the five games, the Isles are 1-2-2, picking up four points from a possible ten. No matter the outcome the Isles will be happy to no longer see the Pens.
At least for another month anyway. The two teams wrap up their eight-game slate on March 27 and 29.
How do they get two points tonight? Who knows. Ideally, the Islanders play a disciplined game free from mistakes, but that just doesn’t seem possible against the Penguins. If they stay out of the box they’ll have a good chance tonight.
But they’ve had good chances to get a win before and squandered it. So *insert shrug emoji*.
Tale of the Tape
If you thought yesterday’s line was close this one is even closer. The Isles are the favorites according to The Action Network, but only just.
The Islanders hold a -108 line at the time of writing while the Penguins are just behind them with a -105. Betters and line makers clearly feel this game could go either way. As the home-team, the Islanders have an advantage, but that hasn’t seemed to matter when it comes to the Penguins.
There is just one projected change to the lineup. Ilya Sorokin should make his fifth start of the season. Which is perfect timing. Varlamov has carried much of the load in nets for the Islanders with 15 starts over 19 games, but last night the veteran shot-stopper looked gassed.
Three of the Penguins goals that were scored on him were avoidable or should have/would have been stopped normally. Varlamov needs this day off.
The Islanders are projected to lineup like this:
Michael Dal Colle-Pageau-Wahlstrom
It doesn’t seem like Mike Sulivan will need to make any changes to his team for tonight’s game. With the win, he’ll certainly ice the same team he did yesterday. Guys like Jason Zucker, Bryan Dumoulin, and Evan Rodrigues are still out for the Penguins.
Sorry, there should be a change in nets with Casey DeSmith stepping in for Tristan Jarry. The Penguins are already a banana-skin matchup for the Isles, now add a backup goalie to the mix? Great.
The Penguins are projected to lineup like this:
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Where to Catch the Game
TV: MSG+, NESN, SNE, SNO, SNP, SN360, MSG GO APP
Radio: 88.7FM 103.9FM 1050AM
*All Stats Provided by the NHL*