February 5, 2013
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Season series: New York has won three straight games against Pittsburgh dating back to last season. Tuesday marks the second of five meetings between the teams this year. The clubs last met on Jan. 29, with the Islanders scoring three second-period goals and Evgeni Nabokov stopping 37 of 38 shots in a 4-1 win over the Penguins at Consol Energy Center.
Big story: New York and Pittsburgh collide for the second time in seven days, as the Penguins hope to avenge last Tuesday's disappointing home loss at the hands of the Islanders. Pittsburgh has won five of its first six road games this season, while New York has dropped two of its three home games -- both to the New Jersey Devils.
Penguins: After falling to the Islanders last Tuesday, Pittsburgh has responded in a big way. The Penguins blanked the New York Rangers on Thursday before disposing of the Devils and Washington Capitals on back-to-back days. All in all, Pittsburgh outscored its three opponents, 14-4.
In Sunday's triumph in Washington, Pittsburgh goalie Tomas Vokoun allowed a bizarre goal by John Carlson on a bounce off the glass to tie the game early in the second period. But the Penguins didn't let it bog them down, as Kris Letang notched a goal just under three minutes later and Chris Kunitz added two more to close out the second frame. Kunitz added another in the third and had the scoring from the team's opening goal reversed in his favor to finish with four goals in a statement win for the Penguins on national television.
"I really like our team responding to that bad bounce that happened on the wall," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma told NHL.com. "Now it's 2-2 -- and our team responded well with the penalty kill and getting some goals."
Islanders: Last Thursday, New York thrived with the man advantage, converting on three of four power-play opportunities en route to a 5-4 road win over the Devils to close out a 3-1-1 road swing. But Sunday afternoon's home meeting against New Jersey didn't go nearly as well.
New York, treated to seven power-play opportunities on the day, was held off the scoreboard by Devils' backup Johan Hedberg. Once push came to shove in the third period of a scoreless game, New Jersey found the back of the net three times in the final four minutes to defeat the Islanders for the second time in three meetings.
"I think it was us. We still had a lot of chances, plenty of good looks. That's on us," Brad Boyes told Newsday after Sunday's loss. "We should have scored four goals with the power play. We didn't, and then it bites us at the end."
Who's hot: Kunitz has five goals and two assists with a plus-5 rating over his last two games for Pittsburgh. … John Tavares, like the rest of his teammates, was held pointless in the Isles' 3-0 loss to New Jersey, but had previously posted four goals and three assists in a three-game span.
Injury report: New York is expected to be without Jesse Joensuu (sports hernia). Isles forward Josh Bailey (knee) is skating again and could return as early as this week. Radek Martinek (groin/abdomen) was placed on injured reserve. … Pittsburgh will be without Matt Niskanen (lower body).
Expected In Goal:
This point has been edited by Erik C.: 05 February 2013 - 09:39 PM