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UPDATE: Rust & Rodrigues IN, Penguins Gm 76: Lines, Notes & Preview vs. Islanders

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, New York Islanders

Let’s try this again, shall we? On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins (42-22-11) reduced their magic number to three points with a shootout loss to the New York Islanders at UBS Arena. The Penguins could have clinched a playoff berth with a regulation win but had to rally to force extra time. A win of any sort gets the job done on Thursday at PPG Paints Arena.

The puck drops just after 7 p.m.

UPDATE: Penguins wingers Bryan Rust and Evan Rodrigues are IN the lineup.

It is also Game No. 2 of Evgeni Malkin’s four-game suspension.

The Penguins played a different game in each period during their SO loss on Tuesday. They were loose and not very good in the first period. They were extraordinary in the second and trading chances in the third.

The Penguins defensemen are also faltering.

However, the Penguins’ top-three seeding is no longer a sure thing. They lead the Washington Capitals by only three points in the Metro, and Washington has two games in hand. Further complicating scenarios, the Boston Bruins are the top wild card. They and the Penguins have 95 points, but Boston also has two games in hand.

The Penguins could fall to the second wild card and play the Florida Panthers in Round One…assuming they make the playoffs.

Tristan Jarry will likely return to the Penguins net after a little breather. The Islanders are most likely to return to Ilya Sorokin, who was solid despite facing 45 Penguins shots on Tuesday.

The Penguins are still dealing with illness. Bryan Rust and Evan Rodrigues did not participate in the morning skate.

Head coach Mike Sullivan said both Rust and Rodrigues feel better but are game-time decisions. If necessary, he did not rule out using a defenseman at forward (probably Mark Friedman), though he seemed to indicate that if one or both Rust and Rodrigues cannot go, the Penguins will be shorthanded.

“If they can’t (play), that answers your question (if they’ll play shorthanded),” Sullivan deadpanned.

Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:

LWCRW
Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyRickard Rakell
Jason ZuckerEvgeni MalkinBryan Rust
Radim ZohornaTeddy BluegerBrock McGinn
Drew O'ConnorRyan PoehlingDrake Caggiula
LDRD
Brian DumoulinKris Letang
Marcus PetterssonJeff Petry
Ty SmithJan Rutta
Goalie
Tristan Jarry
Casey DeSmith

Expected Islanders Lines, per NYIHockeyNow.com:

Lee-Nelson-Beauvillier

Bailey–Pageau–Palmieri

Parise-Barzal-Wahlstrom

Martin–Cizikas–Johnston

Defense:

Pelech–Pulock

Chara–Dobson

Greene–Hutton

Goalie:

Sorokin

Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes:

*The Penguins have points in 14 of its last 16 games against New York (10-2-4) and are 13-4-4 over its last 21 games versus the Islanders

*Brian Boyle has points (4-4-8) in eight of his last nine home games.

*Jeff Carter has 49 points (23-26-49) in 53 career games versus the Islanders.

*Sidney Crosby is up to a team-high 77 points (28-49-77) and is three shy of hitting the 80-point plateau for the 11th time in his career, which would be most among all active players. Alex Ovechkin also has 10 seasons with 80 points.

*Rickard Rakell has factored in on five of the last seven Penguins goals (5A) and has 10 points (3-7-10) in 12 games.

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Kris
Kris
5 months ago

I’m not sure I understand your comment about sending zOhorna and Angello back down. Are you stating they should have kept at least one of them on the big roster? You do understand they both had to go to be cap compliant right? The big issue here is Geno is costing us $9.5-million dollars and we get no cap relief for him being a selfish idiot. So we don’t have the cap space to call anyone up. Should be interesting tonight, especially if anyone else gets sick between now and during the game.

GBG
GBG
5 months ago
Reply to  Kris

Agreed — and I enjoy watching Friedman play forward, so I’m not at all upset by this turn of events (except the Malkin thing — should have traded him this season)

HarkeyPuck
HarkeyPuck
5 months ago
Reply to  GBG

*in 2018

Dave Heyl
Dave Heyl
5 months ago

Why do they have to play short handed? Can’t they bring up players.

Chase Cranson
Chase Cranson
5 months ago

Not sure they can beat Them tonight not sure they can beat anyone right now nobody wants Geno he will be back next year so will Letang they also miss playoffs next year the window is shut Sadly