The New York Islanders will look to extend their point streak to nine games when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at PPG Paints Arena. It kicks off a two-game set between Pittsburgh and New York and is the third game of six that the two play against one another this month.
It was a win over Pittsburgh earlier this month that kicked off the Islanders’ run of winning five of their last six games. The Islanders are coming off a sweep of the Buffalo Sabres earlier in the week.
Semyon Varlamov will be back in net for the Isles tonight after having Tuesday off. The Islanders were finally able to get Ilya Sorokin his first career win in the NHL in a 20 save, shutout win over Buffalo.
It was Sorokin’s best start of his young career, but it didn’t impact who Islanders head coach was starting tonight.
🎥 Barry Trotz Pregame Availability 🎥 pic.twitter.com/3TsXSEdyM8
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 18, 2021
“Varly was getting this game all along,” Trotz said earlier today. “There’s no reason not to. I think Varly has played exceptionally well as well. I think going forward it may as we go along. Varly has had a couple of days here off, so he’s fresh. We’ll start to plot it as the season changes.”
Trotz noted that the Islanders had several schedule changes for next month.
The rest of the Islanders’ lineup will remain relatively unchanged, Trotz also said this morning. Anthony Beauvillier returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a lower-body injury and Leo Komarov was placed on the taxi squad to make room for Beauvillier.
The Islanders coach mentioned on Tuesday that he felt Beauvillier had started to fade a bit in the third period.
“I talked to him,” Trotz said. “I think that he’ll settle in. It’s a four-point game. This should be a playoff sort of game for both teams. They’re very motivated. They lost the last game against the Caps. We’re motivated they beat us last time and we have to continue to try to collect points.”
Tristian Jarry will be back in net for Pittsburgh. He was in goal when the Islanders defeated them 4-3 on Feb. 6.
New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)
Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Josh Bailey
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Jordan Eberle
Michael Dal Colle— Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene — Noah Dobson
Pittsburgh Penguins Lineup (Projected)
Jake Guentzel — Sidney Crosby — Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker — Evgeni Malkin — Kasperi Kapanen
Zach Aston-Reese — Teddy Blueger — Brandon Tanev
Colton Sceviour — Mark Jankowski — Sam Lafferty
Pierre-Olivier Joseph — Kris Letang
Mike Matheson — John Marino
Marcus Pettersson — Cody Ceci
Bryan Rust is the team leader in points with 13 and assists with eight through 14 games this season. He is also tied for the team lead in goals with five. Rust also enters tonight’s game on a five-game point streak against the Islanders. … Sidney Crosby’s 115 points against the Islanders are the most that any active player has against one single team. … Brian Dumoulin, Jared McCann and Evan Rodrigues skated on their own this morning for Pittsburgh. All three have been suffering from injuries. … The Islanders’ eight-game point streak is their longest since they went on a 17 game point streak last season. … Jean-Gabriel Pageau enters tonight’s game with a four-game goal streak. He has five goals over that span. … Mathew Barzal will appear in his 250th NHL game tonight in Pittsburgh.
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 1050 AM ESPN, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.