Penguins at Islanders
The Pittsburgh Penguins are rounding into form, outscoring their opponents 14-4 on a three-game winning streak since losing 4-1 to the New York Islanders. The Penguins will try to make it four in a row when they visit the Islanders on Tuesday. Pittsburgh’s last victory was a 6-3 win in Washington on Sunday to improve to 5-1-0 on the road. Captain Sidney Crosby has six points in the last two games, while goaltender Tomas Vokoun earned two of the three consecutive wins. Vokoun replaced starter Marc-Andre Fleury in the loss to the Islanders and has been the stronger of the two netminders, allowing nine goals on 124 shots while Fleury has allowed 12 on 116.
New York was shut out for the first time this season, 3-0 by New Jersey on Sunday. The Islanders were 0-for-7 on the power play in that game, snapping a three-game streak of scoring with the man advantage. During that span, which includes the victory in Pittsburgh, the Islanders were 6-for-8 and earned five of a possible six points. John Tavares had seven points, four on the power play, and Frans Nielsen added five assists in those three games. Tavares leads the Islanders with 11 points and 28 shots.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ROOT Sports, MSG Plus
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (6-3-0): Crosby, who leads the team with 13 points and 37 shots, has 67 points in 37 games against the Islanders. Twenty-two of those points are power-play assists. Since allowing two goals in two short-handed situations against the Islanders, the Penguins have killed nine of their last 10 penalties. Chris Kunitz was named one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week on Monday after recording five goals and eight points in the last four games. Evgeni Malkin has a team-leading 10 assists, James Neal leads with five goals and Kris Letang paces defensemen with eight points. Defenseman Brooks Orpik has blocked a team-high 24 shots.
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (4-3-1): Evgeni Nabokov has started seven of eight games for New York, going 4-2-1. Rick Dipietro, under contract with the Islanders until 2021, allowed four goals on 27 shots in a loss to Boston in his only start. Matt Moulson, who had a goal and an assist in the victory over Pittsburgh, has four goals and eight points on the season. Michael Grabner and Keith Aucoin also have four goals, while Mark Streit leads Islanders defensemen with five points. New York has successfully killed 26 of the 28 penalties it has taken this season.
1. The last time the Penguins visited the Islanders, they lost 5-3 on March 29, 2012. Pittsburgh is 5-3-1 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the last three seasons.
2. Islanders F Colin McDonald, who was suspended two games for his hit on the Penguins’ Ben Lovejoy last week, is eligible to return against Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
3. Pittsburgh D Matt Niskanen remains out with a lower-body injury. He is expected back next week at the earliest.
PREDICTION: Penguins 5, Islanders 2