Pregame 12/3: Islanders vs. Penguins

The Islanders turn the calendar to December and host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Coliseum tonight for the first time since game 6 of the playoffs last spring. This concludes a 4 game home stand before heading on a West coast road trip. This is the 3rd of 4 meetings between the teams this season and the season series is a win each for both teams.

Last Time Out

Islanders (8-15-4; 20 points, last in Metropolitan): On Saturday they lost 3-2 in overtime to the Capitals which saw another 3rd period lead blown as they were up 2-1. Anders Nilsson started in goal and played well but finishing games has still been a problem for Jack Capuano and the Islanders.

Penguins (18-9-1); 28 points, 1st in Metropolitan): On Saturday they defeated the Panthers 5-1 in Florida to extend their winning streak to 3 games. The Penguins have also won 6 of their last 8 games recording points in all but one of those games.

Key Opposing Players

Forwards

Sidney Crosby

Evgeni Malkin

James Neal

Defensemen

Brooks Orpik

Kris Letang

Goaltender

Marc-Andre Fleury

Islanders Key to Victory

The Penguins always seem to bring out the best in the Islanders and that needs to continue tonight. If they don’t play a full 60 minutes of hockey they will not win so the 3rd period remains crucial. They showed signs of improvement on Saturday night but more needs to be done if the Islanders want to get back to the level of play we all saw last year when they made the playoffs. A matchup with the Penguins might be what this team needs to turn their season around.

Tonight’s game can be seen on MSG Plus and on the radio at 88.7 FM or 103.9 FM.

-John Santamaria

Follow me @JSantamariaNY and follow us @TCLIsles