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Last Chance? Penguins Game 53 vs. Islanders: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins game, New York Islanders

Blowing up their personnel combinations could be the next step in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ seemingly endless quest to right the ship and make a desperate push to get into a playoff spot. The changes could be in play Tuesday when the New York Islanders visit for a Metropolitan Division clash.

The Penguins (24-21-7) sit three points behind the Islanders (22-18-4), who also are going to have to be upwardly mobile to make the postseason.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 7 p.m.

Penguins Preview

The Pittsburgh Penguins, who have lost four of five, are a whopping nine points out of the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference, with three teams – including the Islanders – in line ahead of them also trying to get in.

The one to four games in hand the Penguins have on the others in the wildcard race just aren’t enough to make up the difference. They need to start winning at a rapid clip.

The Penguins are coming off a come-from-ahead 2-1 loss Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings. To make things worse, their struggling power play gave up a shorthanded goal late in the third for the winner. Not to mention it put a damper on an otherwise stellar weekend celebrating Jaromir Jagr and raising his jersey to the rafters.

This is the Penguins’ first game against a fellow Metro team since a 3-2 overtime loss Jan. 13 at Carolina. They are 4-6-1 in the interim.

Coach Mike Sullivan said Alex Nedeljkovic will start in net for the Penguins.

Read more:

Kingerski: Penguins Players Feel the Heat; Sullivan Unhappy and Blunt

Molinari: Penguins’ Offensive Numbers Adding Up to Sour Season

The Islanders also are coming off a loss in a big-event game and also blew a lead. They fell 6-5 in overtime Sunday against the New York Rangers in an outdoor Stadium Series game.

The Islanders, in contrast to the Penguins, have been plagued by a leaky penalty kill, one that ranks last in the NHL, something that could work in the Penguins’ favor.

Like the Penguins, the Islanders have not played divisional games much lately. Their game against the Rangers was their first within the Metro since they lost 3-1 on the road against the Penguins on New Year’s Eve. They were 5-9-4 between those two games.

The Islanders are 3-3-3 since Patrick Roy took over from Lane Lambert as coach.

Penguins Expected Lines

Rickard Rakell-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust

Drew O’Connor-Evgeni Malkin-Matthew Phillips

Reilly Smith-Lars Eller-Valtteri Puustinen

Jansen Harkins-Jeff Carter-Colin White


P.O Joseph-Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson-Erik Karlson

John Ludvig/Ryan Graves-Chad Ruhwedel


Alex Nedeljkovic

Tristan Jarry

Expected Islanders Lines

Anders Lee-Bo Horvat-Matthew Barzal

Pierre Engvall-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri

Simon Holmstrom-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Oliver Wahlstrom

Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck


Alexander Romanov-Noah Dobson

Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock

Mike Reilly-Scott Mayfield


Ilya Sorokin

Semyon Varlamov

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 13.7%, 30th

Penguins penalty kill: 81.8%, 9th

Islanders power play: 23.8%, 7th

Islanders penalty kill: 70.7%, 32nd

Penguins Game Notes

The Penguins have won the first two meetings between the clubs this season and are 6-3-2 in their past 11 games against the Islanders.

Sidney Crosby has 132 points (41 goals, 91 assists) in 84 career games against the Islanders, with the Penguins  51-22-11 in those games.

Jeff Carter has 50 points (23 goals, 27 assists) in 60 career games against the Islanders.

Kris Letang leads all active defensemen in goals (13), assists (35) and points (48) in his career against the Islanders.

Tristan Jarry is 11-3-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and three shutouts in 15 career games against the Islanders.

The Penguins have allowed 137 goals, tied for third-fewest in the NHL.

Erik Karlsson is one point shy of 800 for his career and is two points shy of reaching 40 for the 11th time.

How to Watch

TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh

Radio: 105.9 FM The X

Also visit sister site Islanders Hockey Now