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Playoff Gameday: Islanders Game 4 Lines, Matchups and Game Notes vs Pens

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New York Islanders lose

It’s basically a must-win game for the New York Islanders.

Game 4 gets underway between the Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins in a mere few hours with the Islanders trailing 2-1 in the series. New York dropped back-to-back games, including an emotionally charged comeback loss in Game 3 on Long Island.

[Click here for complete Stanley Cup Playoff coverage of the New York Islanders]

The New York Islanders will need to find a way to replicate the way they played in the third period without allowing Pittsburgh to answer back and stifle any momentum they had picked up from goals tying the game twice on Thursday. Part of the Islanders’ problems has stemmed from their slow starts in the first period, which found them forced to play from behind after early goals against in the first period.

“We’ve been chasing the series the whole time,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said on Friday. “So, when you do that, you leave yourself exposed because you’re pushing a little harder in some areas. But, at the same time, we can tighten up some stuff.”

The Islanders allowed a goal 3:22 into the game on Tuesday in a 2-1 loss in Game 2 and Semyon Varlamov allowed another one early, this time 2:01 into the first, on Thursday in Game 3. Both were soft goals to allow by the veteran goaltender.

Varlamov’s Lackluster Play Should Force Islanders Goaltending Change

Varlamov’s play has led to calls from some, including NYI Hockey Now’s own Stefen Rosner, to put Ilya Sorokin in net for Game 4. Trotz didn’t reveal who he was going to play today, but he didn’t appear too overwhelmed by Varlamov.

“Well, I wish we could’ve gotten another save or two,” Trotz said. “Or maybe it was just one short again. They’re tough, lot of traffic, those type of things, but it just wasn’t his night.”

Trotz is expected to go with the same lineup for Game 4 this afternoon. Mike Sullivan is expected to field the same lineup with Tristan Jarry back in goal.

New York Islanders Lines (Projected)

Leo Komarov — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey

Kyle Palmieri — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Oliver Wahlstrom

Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck

Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock

Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield

Andy Greene — Noah Dobson

Ilya Sorokin

Semyon Varlamov

Pittsburgh Penguins Lines (Projected)

Jake Guentzel — Sidney Crosby — Bryan Rust

Jason Zucker — Evgeni Malkin — Kasperi Kapanen

Jared McCann — Jeff Carter — Frederick Gaudreau

Zach Aston-Reese — Teddy Blueger — Brandon Tanev

Brian Dumoulin — Kris Letang

Mike Matheson — Cody Ceci

Marcus Pettersson — John Marino

Tristan Jarry

Maxime Lagace

Game Notes

The Islanders had 46 hits in Game 3, giving them 165 hits through three games of the series. Their 165 hits are the most through three games in the NHL this postseason. … Cal Clutterbuck scored two goals in Game 3 for the first multi-goal playoff game of his career. He joined Anthony Beauvillier (Aug. 7 vs. FLA) as the only Islanders to record two or more goals in a period of a playoff game since 2016 (Shane Price vs. TBL). … Matt Martin is the only player to have appeared in every Islanders playoff game since 2013. He has the most playoff hits (328) in Islanders franchise history. … Pittsburg has an all-time series record of 18-7 in best-of-seven playoff series when entering Game 4 with a 2-1 series lead. In those series where Pittsburgh has home-ice advantage, they are 13-5. … Pittsburgh’s penalty kill is 23-for-24 (95.8%) over its last nine playoff games dating back to the 2019 postseason. … Jeff Carter has 12 goals, three assists, 15 points and is plus-8 in the 17 games he’s played (regular season and playoffs) since being acquired by Pittsburgh.

How to Watch

Today’s game will air on NBC. 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.

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