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.
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 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
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
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.
GET NYIHN IN YOUR INBOX!
NYI Team & Cap Info
Robin Salo Already Making Impact in AHL Bridgeport
3 Takeaways from the New York Islanders Much-Needed Win Over Coyotes
In Need of A Win: Islanders Lines, Matchups and Game Notes vs. Yotes
Semyon Varlamov Will Not Play This Weekend; Cory Schneider Possibly Starts vs. Vegas
NYHN Daily: Changes Coming to the Islanders Second Line, Zdeno Chara & More
One New York Islanders Fan’s Quest to Honor Father & Former Equipment Manager
Chara’s Early Struggles Should Lead to Blue Line Change This Weekend
Making Sense of the New York Islanders 23-Man Roster
Without Martin, Islanders Fourth Line Lacked Identity
New York Islanders: 5 Looming Questions Heading into Season Opener
- Chara’s Early Struggles Should Lead to Blue Line Change This Weekend on
- Rapid Reaction: Islanders Mauled by Panthers in Second Consecutive Loss on
- UBS Arena Puts Islanders Hockey, Fans First on
- Islanders Loan Bode Wilde to Swedish Club Following Refusal to Vaccinate on
- Islanders Should Roll with a Tandem in Goal Yet Again This Season on