Penguins vs. Islanders
PPG Paints Arena – Pittsburgh, PA
7:00PM Eastern – AT&TSN | MSG+
The Penguins welcome the Islanders to town for an in-division matchup tonight. The Penguins look to get their first win in the third of four meetings on the season, having lost a 6-3 tilt on Devil’s Night and a 3-2 shootout decision on All Saints’ Day. This is a holiday-themed preview, consider it your present.
For the fourth night of Hannukah, the Penguins will likely look to avoid another crazy night and continue burning that oil for a second consecutive win in their barn. After sprinting out to a 3-0 lead early, the Penguins saw the Avalanche explode for an exodus of their own goals only for Patric Hornqvist to go Leeroy Jenkins af and tell Semyon Varlamov that he was going in, parting the seas on the way to as hat trick so fast they almost erected a pyramid in his honor.
Colorado’s tying goal came on the Penguins’ third SHG allowed in the past 4 games, and their 7th of the season. Moderately Good Boy G-off breaks that down in a piece with words and moving pictures.
They probably should erect a pyramid, because Patric and the Penguins went to visit Children’s the other day, and these videos are just awesome.
Very Good Boy Dominik Simon was injured in the contest and is listed as day-to-day, so Electric Boogaloo 2 is currently in protest. The chair recognizes Bryan Rust as his replacement, and this could be just the kind of thing that the struggling winger needs to kickstart his scoring. If you’re lost in analogy, Rust skated with Crosby and other Very Good Boy Jake Guentzel.
It’s Superhero Night at PPG, no word on whether or not there will be a Chris Kunitz sighting. He sure as shit ain’t busy in Chicago.
The Penguins aren’t trading Phil Kessel. Full stop.
Guentzel – Crosby – Rust
Pearson – Malkin – Hornqvist
Aston-Reese – Brassard – Kessel
Sheahan – Grant – Wilson
Dumoulin – Letang
Maatta – Oleksiak
Pettersson – Johnson
The Islanders have employed Barry Trotz’ system in slowing teams down effectively, especially the Penguins, given the results they’ve seen early in the season series. They’ve also gotten timely scoring throughout the lineup on their way to their first two victories against Pittsburgh this year. Former Penguin Tom Kuhnhackl suits up again for the Isles after having scored against them in the first tilt.
The Isles sit just two points ahead of the Penguins and currently occupy the third place spot in the Metropolitan Division Standings, a staggering difference considering that the Penguins currently sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Isles boast 3 different 20-point scorers, led by Josh Bailey’s 22 points (7G+15A) and complemented nicely by Matthew Barzal (3G+18A) and Anders Lee’s (10G+11A) 21 points a piece.
Though Robin Lehner came to town on a starter-like deal, he’s been banged up for much of the year and has gotten about 40% of the starts, while former Penguin Thomas Greiss has gone 9-5-1 in 17GP with a .925SV% and a 2.39GAA.
Lee – Nelson – Eberle
Beauvillier – Barzal – Kuhnhackl
Komarov – Filppula – Bailey
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Leddy – Boychuk
Hickey – Pulock
Pelech – Mayfield
Maroon the Islanders.