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Islanders Game 82 Preview vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: Lines, Notes & How To Watch

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The New York Islanders (38-27-16) will put a stamp on the 2023-24 season as they welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins (38-31-12) to UBS Arena tonight. Here’s what you need to know before puck drop.

Key Starters Resting:

Having already locked up a spot in the playoffs, the Islanders aren’t taking any risks tonight against the Penguins, giving several key starters the night off.

Islanders Resting Key Starters In Regular Season Finale

Iskhakov Scheduled To Make NHL Debut:

With several roster mainstays getting out of the lineup tonight, the Islanders have called up forward Ruslan Iskhakov from AHL Bridgeport. Iskhakov has registered 50 points with 18 goals in Bridgeport this season and will make his NHL debut this evening on Long Island.

Islanders Recall Ruslan Iskhakov From AHL Bridgeport

 

Projected Lineup:

Cizikas-Horvat-Wahlstrom

Holmstrom-Nelson-Palmieri

Lee-Pageau-Clutterbuck

Martin-MacLean

Pelech-Pulock

Romanov-Aho

Reilly-Bortuzzo

Bolduc

Sorokin

Varlamov

Last Time Out:

Last season, it took the Islanders a full 82 games to clinch the playoffs. This year, they made things a little easier on themselves by stamping their postseason tickets in the penultimate game of the year with a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Monday at Prudential Center.

Islanders Clinch Playoffs In Win Over Devils

The Opponent:

The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t have much to play for tonight other than pride, as they’ll miss the playoffs for the second straight season.

The Penguins made things interesting down the stretch, with a record of 7-1-2 over their last 10 games, but were officially eliminated from postseason contention after the Washington Capitals claimed the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference last night.

The disappointment of another year without playoff hockey in Pittsburgh is compounded by the fact that the Penguins spoiled what has been a renaissance season for Sidney Crosby. At age 36, Crosby leads the Penguins with 92 points and 42 goals.

If there’s one reason why the Penguins are missing the playoffs, it’s due to their dreadful power play, which ranks 31st in the NHL this season, operating at 14.6%. Pittsburgh’s penalty kill ranks 9th.

Alex Nedeljkovic is the projected starter in goal tonight for the Penguins. During his first year in Pittsburgh this season, Nedeljkovic has compiled a record of 18-6-7 with a 2.91 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.

For more Penguins coverage, follow Dan Kingerski and Dave Molinari at Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

How To Watch:

Puck drop between the Islanders and Penguins from UBS Arena is scheduled for just past 7 p.m. EST. The game is available to watch on MSGSN or streamed MSG Plus on ESPN Plus for out-of-market viewers. 88.7 FM WRHU will produce the radio feed of the game, which can also be heard on 98.7 FM ESPN or 103.9 FM WRCN.

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