Pregame 11/22: Islanders vs. Penguins

The New York Islanders face off against the first place team in the Metropolitan Division in the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Isles won their first meeting this year with a gutty victory that was also in Pittsburgh as this one is.

The Islanders have Thomas Vanek returning to the ice tonight after missing the last 5 games. Brock Nelson will be the healthy scratch. The Isles could really use his offensive boost. They haven’t been able to play a consistent game from al four lines. Look for the first line to set the tone early. John Tavares and Kyle Okposo will surely be excited to have Vanek back on the line with them.

The Pittsburgh may be giving the Islanders a bit of a gift. They are starting their backup goalie for the second straight time against them. The Islanders should use this disrespect as some more motivation.

This weekend is going to be an excellent test for these struggling Isles. If the weekend goes badly, there could really be a shakeup in either the roster or on the coaching staff.

Things need to turn around quickly. The Isles can’t give these Penguins very many chances on the power-play. With stars like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, they are extremely dangerous on the man advantage.

Kevin Poulin has the start for the Isles and will surely have his hands full. The starting job Is there for him if he wants it. Poulin must take the opportunity and run with it.  He has a chance to make a huge statement against the 1st place Penguins.

William Tranfaglia (@BillyTran51) (@TCLIsles)