Game Preview: NY Islanders vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

MSGSN | MSGGO | ESPN+. 02/20/2023. 27-19-9. 92. 7:00 PM. 28-24-7. 106. Islanders +120 | Penguins -140

The NY Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins are set to meet for the second time in four nights, this time at PPG Paints Arena. 

Last Game

After getting a huge come-from-behind win over the Penguins on Friday, Saturday wasn’t so kind to the Isles. New York traveled to Boston to play the Bruins less than 24 hours later and got dominated from start to finish. In his first game in over a month, Bruins winger, Jake DeBrusk, opened the scoring, beating Semyon Varlamov just 2:19 into the game. The B’s opened up a 3-0 first-period lead and never looked back in route to a 6-2 victory. Kyle Palmieri and Matt Martin were the only two goal-scorers for the Islanders in the loss. 

Similarly to New York, the Penguins failed to finish the job on Saturday. After dropping a heartbreaker on Friday night, Pittsburgh hosted the New Jersey Devils looking for a bounce-back win but to no avail. The Pens jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on an Evgeni Malkin power play goal, but Dawson Mercer got the Devils even less than a minute and a half later. New Jersey’s offense would not stop there and they scored four unanswered in an eventual 5-2 victory. Devils goalie, Vitek Vanecek stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced in the win. 

Historical Matchup

This will be the third of four meetings this season between the Islanders and Penguins. The first two were both at UBS Arena where the Isles offense came alive. It was a 5-1 win on December 27th followed by a 5-4 win this past Friday. 

All-time, the Isles are 116-110-22-20 against the Penguins. 

Players to Watch

It seems as though Anders Lee has figured things out offensively. The Isles captain has had four points in his last two games, including a three-point night against the Pens on Friday. It will be necessary for Lee to stay hot, especially if the Isles are without Mathew Barzal, who left Saturday’s game in the first period due to an injury. 

On Friday, I said Evgeni Malkin was a player that the Isles defense will need to keep an eye on and they did just that. However, they struggled to keep an eye on Pittsburgh’s leading scorer, Sidney Crosby, who had two points (one goal and one assist). Crosby has 130 points in 80 career games against New York. 

Projected Lines


Anders Lee-Bo Horvat-Mathew Barzal
Zach Parise-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Josh Bailey-Casey Cizikas-Simon Holmstrom
Matt Martin-Andy Andreoff-Hudson Fasching

Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Scott Mayfield
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov


Jake Guenztel-Sidney Crosby-Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker-Evgeni Malkin-Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn-Jeff Carter-Kaspari Kapanen
Ryan Poehling-Teddy Blueger-Josh Archibald

Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson-Jeff Petry
Pierre-Oliver Joseph-Mark Friedman

Casey DeSmith
Dustin Tokarski

Lineups via DailyFaceoff