National Hockey League
Preview
NY Islanders at Pittsburgh
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, March 24, 2017
Where: PPG PAINTS Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The New York Islanders look to build off a huge road victory when they visit the Metropolitan Division-rival Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. The Islanders rallied to edge the New York Rangers 3-2 on Wednesday to remain in the hunt for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference as they sit two points behind Boston for the second wild card.

“Guys were focused and guys were dialed in,” Islanders left wing Anders Lee told reporters. “Sometimes games fall that way and it takes two periods to get to a team. We have to control our game and our destiny. (Wednesday) was a good example of sticking together and playing.” Pittsburgh, which has gone 8-1-2 in its last 11 contests despite numerous injuries, is two points behind Washington for the Metropolitan lead after losing 2-1 in a shootout at Ottawa on Thursday. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was kept off the scoresheet by the Senators after scoring six goals in his previous three games to push his league-leading total to 40. Pittsburgh already is down four key defensemen and second-leading scorer Evgeni Malkin (shoulder) due to injuries and now will be without promising young forward Jake Guentzel, who suffered a concussion against Buffalo on Tuesday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA, MSG Plus (New York), ROOT (Pittsburgh)

ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (34-26-12): Goaltender Jaroslav Halak was recalled on Thursday from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, where he posted a 17-7-3 record and .925 save percentage. The veteran Halak will attempt to provide support to Thomas Greiss, who had shown signs of fatigue before stopping 69-of-74 shots to help earn the team three points over its last two contests. Captain John Tavares shares the team lead with 27 goals and tops the Islanders with 62 points, including four in his last four contests, while Lee has netted two of his career-best 27 tallies in the last three games.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (46-17-10): Pittsburgh has been winning despite not having defensemen Olli Maatta, Ron Hainsey, Trevor Daley and Kris Letang in the lineup as it has come up with timely scoring and solid goaltending. Matt Murray (28 victories) stopped 29 shots in Thursday's loss and and could be rested in favor of Marc-Andre Fleury, who is 3-0-1 in his last four appearances. Phil Kessel has been kept off the scoresheet over the last two games and ranks third on the team in scoring behind Crosby (81) and Malkin (72) with 63 points while Conor Sheary has notched six in his last four games.

OVERTIME

1. Pittsburgh C Nick Bonino scored the team's lone goal Thursday and has netted three in the last four games to push his season total to 16.

2. New York RW Ryan Strome suffered a wrist injury in Wednesday’s contest and is not expected to play against Pittsburgh.

3. The Penguins had won four straight meetings – two this season – before the Islanders triumphed 5-3 on Nov. 30.

PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Islanders 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
NY Islanders 34-26-8-4 W1 20-10-5-2 14-16-3-2 1-4-1-0 33-22-7-4 11-9-4-1
Pittsburgh 46-17-6-4 L1 29-4-2-1 17-13-4-3 4-2-0-0 42-15-6-4 16-6-1-0
Last Meeting
NY Islanders Pittsburgh
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
11/30/16 PIT 3 NYI 5 30 31 0-4 34 25 0-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
NY Islanders J. Boychuk 2
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 2
Goals Player  
NY Islanders J. Boychuk 1
Pittsburgh E. Malkin 1
Assists Player  
NY Islanders S. Mayfield 2
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 2
Saves Player  
NY Islanders T. Greiss 31
Pittsburgh M. Murray 25
Season
Total Points Player  
NY Islanders J. Tavares 62
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 81
Goals Player  
NY Islanders A. Lee 28
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 41
Assists Player  
NY Islanders J. Bailey 38
Pittsburgh P. Kessel 41
Saves Player  
NY Islanders T. Greiss 1290
Pittsburgh M. Murray 1177
Quickchart Matchup
NY Islanders Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
2.94 GF
2.7 GA
30.4 Shots
32.3 Shots
32 PP
47 PK
Pittsburgh Off vs  NY Islanders Def
3.42 GF
3 GA
34.1 Shots
32.1 Shots
54 PP
38 PK