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New York Islanders

3 IS A MAGIC NUMBER! Islanders Lineup, Matchups and Game Notes vs. Pitt



Islanders Penguins faceoff

It was so much fun that the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins will do it again.

The Islander and Pittsburgh will square off for the second time in five days on Long Island tonight at Nassau Coliseum. The two East Division foes enter the game in different positions than they had come into their previous matchup last Saturday.

The Islanders have won two straight games, including that previous matchup with Pittsburgh, while the visitors from the Key Stone State have dropped their last two. The Isles are a point in front of Pittsburgh in the East Division.

A win tonight would be the Islanders’ third straight and would go a long way for their confidence.

“We went through a stretch there,” Mathew Barzal said in reference to the Islanders’ five-game losing streak they recently snapped. “It’s just nice to be back in the win column and string together a little point streak here. Anytime you can get that going you feel good. It’s fun being at the rink again, so it’s always fun to win. Everyone is in a better mood.”

How the Islanders lineup will look tonight remains up in the air. Head coach Barry Trotz wouldn’t say much other than that Semyon Varlamov will start in goal. The Islanders have used the same lineup in back-to-back games, with Jean Gabriel Pageau being joined by Leo Komarov and Oliver Wahlstrom on the third line.

The Islanders were also given a huge boost by their fourth line, which score twice in the win over the New York Rangers on Monday and had the tying goal on Saturday in the first meeting with Pittsburgh.

“Any time we have scoring up and down our lineup, it gives us a great chance in any game,” Anders Lee said. “The way that these guys have stepped up the last few, scored some huge goals for us. Not only won the game against the Rangers, but put us in a position to take the last Pittsburgh game. It’s always great when we get their help.”

Pittsburgh’s lineup will have at least one change for tonight’s game. They will start Casey DeSmith in net instead of Tristian Jarry, who was in net on Saturday against the Islanders.

Mike Sullivan told Pittsburgh media that the rest of his lineup was a game-time decision. Pittsburgh winger Zach Aston-Reese was activated off of IR on Thursday.

what won’t be a surprise to the Islanders will be the need to contain Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin tonight. Malkin had a goal in Saturday’s game Crosby had a point that night as well.

Crosby has 114 career points against the Islanders and Malkin has 79.

“We just have to try and stay on the right side of them,” Trotz said. “When they get above you and you’re reaching from behind they’re going to make you pay. You have to make them go through you. You have to frustrate them with time and space. They’re still going to make plays. … We just try and make it as difficult as we can.”

Tonight’s matchup will coincidentally take place on the 10 year anniversary of the brawl filled battle between the Islanders and Pittsburgh on Feb. 11, 2011.

New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)

Anders Lee¬†—¬†Mathew Barzal¬†—¬†Josh Bailey

Michael Dal Colle¬†—¬†Brock Nelson¬†—¬†Jordan Eberle

Leo Komarov¬†—¬†Jean-Gabriel Pageau¬†—¬†Oliver Wahlstrom

Matt Martin¬†—¬†Casey Cizikas¬†—¬†Cal Clutterbuck

Adam Pelech¬†—¬†Ryan Pulock

Nick Leddy¬†—¬†Scott Mayfield

Andy Greene¬†—¬†Noah Dobson

Semyon Varlamov

Ilya Sorokin

Pittsburgh Penguins Lineup (Projected)

Jake Guentzel¬†—¬†Sidney Crosby¬†—¬†Bryan Rust

Jason Zucker¬†—¬†Evgeni Malkin¬†—¬†Kasperi Kapanen

Zach Aston-Reese¬†—¬†Teddy Blueger¬†—¬†Brandon Tanev

Drew O’Connor¬†—¬†Mark Jankowski¬†—¬†Colton Sceviour

Pierre-Olivier Joseph¬†—¬†Kris Letang

Mike Matheson¬†—¬†John Marino

Chad Ruhwedel¬†—¬†Cody Ceci

Casey DeSmith

Tristan Jarry

Game Notes

The Islanders are 3-0-0 at home this season. A win tonight would mark the first time since the 1984-85 season that they won their first four home games of the year. … The Islanders are 4-0-2 in theri last six meetings with Pittsburgh. … Brock Nelson is one point shy of reaching 300 points. Only 21 other Islanders, including Anders Lee, have reached that milestone. … Pittsburgh named Ron Hextall general manager on Tuesday and Brian Burke was appointed as president of hockey operations … Bryan Rust enters tonight’s game with eight points (two goals, six assists) through Pittsburgh’s first 11 games of the season. … P.O Joseph scored his first career NHL goal on Saturday night against the Islanders.

How to Watch

Tonight’s game will air on MSG+ and stream on MSG Go or on NHL.TV outside of the New York market. On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 98.7 FM ESPN New York, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.

Welcome to your new home for New York Islanders breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to NYHN+ for all of our members-only content from Christian Arnold and the National Hockey Now network.

New York Islanders

BARZILLION REASONS TO BE EXCITED: Mathew Barzal Goal Leads to Isles Offensive Explosion



Mathew Barzal

UNIONDALE, N.Y. —¬†Mathew Barzal still hadn’t seen a clip of the eye-popping goal he scored on Saturday when MSG Network’s Shannon Hogan had asked him to rank it after the game. The Islanders star took a deep breath before saying he’d likely put it at the top, but that he’d need to go back and watch it.

“Don’t worry you will see it all over social media,” the beloved Islanders TV reporter answered back.

There’s no doubt Mathew Barzal will have little trouble trying to find a clip of the play to watch. The goal 3:51 into the second period helped spur the Islanders to a 5-2 win over Buffalo and extend their control of the East Division.

Mathew Barzal masterfully got by defenseman Rasmus Ristolaomem to reach the front of the net and then maneuvered the puck on his stick in a way that only a wizard might be able. All of that occurred before he put the puck through his legs and then past Carter Hutton.

“There’s a lot of instincts and just kind of being in the moment and just reacting,” Barzal said about the play.

While the flash and style of the goal was something to behold, more importantly, what it did was help jumpstart the Islanders after a slower start to the game than they would have liked. The team pushed back on the idea that they had a sluggish start, but regardless the goal from Barzal kicked off an offensive firestorm.

WATCH: Mathew Barzal Posterizes the Buffalo Sabres During Tying Goal

It was less than two minutes later that Nelson gave the Islanders the lead.

“These are hard games. These are playoff games every night,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “It does muster a lot for players, but events can help. But it comes internally with players. We have a real good locker room and obviously when a guy like Barzy scores a big goal. I thought Scotty Mayfield scored a real big goal for us tonight off a hard work goal.”

The Islanders did successfully have contributions from up and down the lineup, but what helped get them to that point was the play of Barzal at that moment.

“Pretty nice goal I have to say,” Cal Clutterbuck said. “He’s got special ability that’s for sure. Just an all-encompassing goal. A lot of speed, great edgework, great awareness in tight on the goalie. Just a great goal and it gives us a goal and draws us even. Allows us to play our game.”

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New York Islanders

BUFFALO GRILLED: Four Goal Second Leads Islanders to Win Over Sabres



New York Islanders Win over Buffalo

UNIONDALE, N.Y. —¬†The New York Islanders erased a 1-0 deficit with a four-goal second period on Saturday to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2.

Mathew Barzal’s highlight reel worthy goal kicked the offensive output in the middle frame, which saw Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck and Scott Mayfield also find the back of the net during the second period. The Islanders’ four goals in that period came on just nine shots against Buffalo, which was limited to only five in the second.

“Barzy scoring that goal and the way he did it that lit a little bit of fire in us,” Anders Lee said. “We knew we played a solid first. I think they just jumped on us in that first shift and we kind of stuck to our game. Nelly followed that up, great play from Beau, and Casey and Clutter’s line. I think we just had a flurry after that and kind of stuck with it the rest of the night.”

The New York Islanders have defeated Buffalo in eight straight meetings, as well as eight consecutive games on home ice. Saturday was the second game in a row that the Isles defeated Buffalo by a score of 5-2.

New York has outscored Buffalo 19-7 through five games against one another this season.

“Sometimes you have periods that are like that, sometimes we have better periods and they don’t go in,” Clutterbuck said about the second. “Just have to stick with it and trust that once and a while you’re going to have those periods.”

The Islanders win helps extend their hold on first place in the East Division, pulling two points ahead of the Washington Capitals and three points ahead of the Boston Bruins. New York took possession of the division on Friday night after Washington fell to Boston 5-1.

Semyon Varlamov made 20 saves in his 11th win of the year.

Barzal’s SportsCenter Top 10 worthy goal came 3:51 into the second period. The New York Islanders star was able to beat Rasmus Ristolainen and then stickhandle the puck in front of the net before putting it past Carter Hutton, who made 24 saves in the loss for Buffalo.

The goal helped extend Barzal’spoint streak to three games.

“I mean it all happened pretty quick,” Barzal said about the goal. “I know he’s coming over to play me there and it’s kind of a rolling puck, so I just tried to put it to an area that he can’t get his stick on or something. Once I Knew I Kind of had body position I kind of felt him a little off balance. Took it to the net and I knew we were so far ahead of the play that I probably had a little bit of time.

“It’s kind of a move you do instinctually and kind of just mess around with it in practice.”

Less than two minutes later Nelson broke the short-lived tie with his seventh goal of the year. A wrist shot from the slot beat Hutton over his shoulder to put the Islanders ahead 2-1.

The onslaught continued at the 8:45 mark of the second when Clutterbuck scored from the slot to put the Islanders ahead by two. A cross-ice pass from Adam Pelech to Matt Martin hit off Martin’s skate and then went right to his stick, where he was able to quickly feed Clutterbuck down low.

The final goal of the second period came at 15:29 when Mayfield scored off a cross-ice pass from Casey Cizikas to make it 4-1.

Buffalo did cut the Islanders’ lead back down to two when Sam Reinhart scored 52 seconds into the third period, but Anders put the Islanders back ahead by three with his team-leading 11th goal of the year at 2:15 of the final period.

Saturday’s win was the fourth time this season that the Islanders have won after giving up the game’s first goal.

Buffalo was first to jump on the board on Saturday afternoon. Jacob Bryson flung the puck at the net from the half-wall and the shot got by Varlamov 33 seconds into the game.

The goal was Bryson’s first in the NHL.

Welcome to your new home for New York Islanders breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to NYHN+ for all of our members-only content from Christian Arnold and the National Hockey Now network.
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New York Islanders

WATCH: Mathew Barzal Posterizes the Buffalo Sabres During Tying Goal



Mathew Barzal

UNIONDALE, N.Y. —¬†Mathew Barzal showed why he is the New York Islanders star player on Saturday afternoon.

The 23-year-old had the goal of the year to tie the game at one at 3:51 of the second period. The Buffalo Sabres couldn’t hold the puck in the Isles end and Barzal was able to chase down the loose puck into the Buffalo Sabers end.

Mathew Barzal masterfully outmaneuvered Rasmus Ristolainen to get to the front of the net, where Barzal then showed off his puckhandling skills to beat Buffalo netminder Carter Hutton and tie the game. The goal was Barzal’s ninth of the season and he picked up his team-leading 21st point of the year.

The goal helped kick off a four-goal second period for the Islanders. They led Buffalo 4-1 when the second period had come to a close.

The Islanders forward has lived up to his end of the bargain this season after signing a three-year, $21 million contract extension in January. Barzal has become part of a youth movement on Long Island, with the success of rookie Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson.

Welcome to your new home for New York Islanders breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to NYHN+ for all of our members-only content from Christian Arnold and the National Hockey Now network.
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