Penguins (5-5-1) @ Islanders (5-4-2)
Nassau Coliseum | Uniondale, NY
Thursday, February 11 | 7:00PM Eastern
ESPN+ | MSG+ | AT&T-PGH
The Penguins return to play for the first time in 5 days, same time, same place as their last tilt. Disappointingly, the Penguins took a 3-2 lead early in the third period, but wilted and ceded a goal in the final 3 minutes, falling in regulation, 4-3.
They’ll be looking for revenge at the Nassau Coliseum as they take on Barry Trotz’ resurgent Islanders squad.
Though the sweaters will look the same, the Penguins are suddenly a very different team, at least in concept – as they added Ron Hextall (GM) and Brian Burke (President of Old Boys’ Hockey Club) to their front office. It figures to be a harbinger of change to come for the Penguins.
Sidney Crosby on Hextall/Burke: "We've crossed paths over the years. I don't know them particularly well. But I've heard great things. I think everyone is excited to meet them and move forward." Said he's talked briefly with both of them.
— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) February 10, 2021
In terms of micro-level change, the Penguins will welcome back Mike Matheson and Kris Letang to the lineup on the back end. Zach Aston-Reese will make his season debut on Teddy Blueger’s wing. Jared McCann is week-to-week with an injury, availing the spot for ZAR. Marcus Pettersson continues to skate and get closer, but he wasn’t part of the Pens workflow yesterday, which looked like this:
Guentzel – Crosby – Rust
Zucker – Malkin – Kapanen
Aston-Reese – Blueger – Tanev
O’Connor – Jankowski – Sceviour
Joseph – Letang
Matheson – Marino
Ruhwedel – Ceci
The Islanders have been up and down to start the season. They jumped out to a 3-1-0 start, then dropped 5 decisions in a row. Including Saturday’s besting of the Penguins, the Isles have now won two straight, with an interstitial shutout of the Rangers on Monday night being the latter.
Offense hasn’t been a forte thus far, unsurprisingly, for the Islanders and their Trotzian style. They’ve scored 4 goals just 3 times in 11 games, with Jordan Eberle leading them in goals (5) and Matthew Barzal leading the team with 12 points.
Although, perhaps, to give some perspective, the Penguins are paced by Crosby in both categories – with 4 and 9, respectively. Yeesh.
Lee – Barzal – Bailey
Dal Colle – Nelson – Eberle
Komarov – Pageau – Wahlstrom
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Pelech – Pulock
Leddy – Mayfield
Greene – Dobson
ICE Cold Fact: If you speak real talk…. It will REALLY get under Fake MFs skin…. Men and Women.
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) February 8, 2021