The Pittsburgh Penguins’ game against the New York Islanders tonight at 7:38 at UBS Arena will be unlike any of the other 81 they will play during this regular season.
That’s because they’ve been off the ice for the past four days, which will be their longest stretch between games without a conventional practice in 2022-23.
The NHL’s annual three-day holiday break ended Monday, but clubs were prohibited from practicing — or even traveling to the site of their next game — during that time, and the Penguins had an extra day away from the ice because they’ve been off since their 4-0 overtime loss to Carolina last Thursday.
The group was scheduled to fly to New York this morning, although Mike Sullivan gave players who left the area during the break the option of meeting the team there rather than making them return to Pittsburgh to travel with the team.
The Islanders, for what it’s worth, were off for three days, having defeated Florida, 5-1, Friday. They will be trying to win back-to-back games for this first time this month.
Just how much, if at all, either team or any of its units will be affected by the time away from the rink remains to be seen. The Penguins’ power play, for example, has scored at least once in 10 consecutive games, but four days off enough to throw the group out of the productive rhythm it had developed?
That power play has played a significant role in the Penguins’ current 15-3-3 surge, during which only one of their six defeats has been by more than one goal.
The Islanders, meanwhile, have lurched through much of this month, going 2-3-2 in their past seven games and 4-6-2 in the past dozen.
They are sixth in the Metropolitan Division, but trail the Penguins and New York Rangers, who are tied for third, by just three points.
Update: Ryan Poehling participated in the morning skate. PHN will provide an update as available.
Update 2: Coach Mike Sullivan said Poehling will not play.
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines
Expected New York Islanders Lines, per PuckPedia.com
Penguins power play: 26 of 112, 23.2%, 13th
Penguins penalty-kill: 16 of 105, 84.8%, 1st (tie)
Islanders power play: 20 of 106, 18.9%, 25th
Islanders penalty-kill: 20 of 109, 81.7%, 6th
Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes
Tristan Jarry, who is 10-1 in 11 career regular-season starts against New York, is 11-0-3 in his past 14 decisions. That leaves him one game shy of Tom Barrasso’s Pittsburgh Penguins record for consecutive games earning at least one point.
The Penguins’ run of 10 games in a row with a power-play goal is tied for the longest in the NHL this season and is their longest since they got at least one in 12 consecutive games Feb. 3-26, 2013.
Sidney Crosby’s next goal will be his 20th, marking the 15th time in his career he’s reached that level. He has 128 career points against the Islanders, his most against any opponent.
The Penguins have allowed just three goals in their past 52 shorthanded situations.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are just 1-8-1 when trailing at the second intermission, while New York is 4-10-1 in that situation.
New York is 9-8-2 on home ice.
Islanders winger Zach Parise has 22 goals and 23 assists in 57 career games against the Penguins.
New York has scored only one goal, by Mathew Barzal, in six attempts in its two shootouts this season. However, its all-time record in shootouts against the Penguins in 10-7.
The Islanders are 3-0 in games decided during overtime.
How to Watch
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: 105.9 the X