The New York Islanders will look to win their fourth consecutive game tonight when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Steel City, but they’ll have to do so with a slight change to their lineup.
A day after Barry Trotz spoke about the confidence he had in his current lineup, he had to announce that Michael Dal Colle will miss tonight and Monday with a lower-body injury. That opens the door for Ross Johnston, Kieffer Bellows or Austin Czarnik to get back into the Islanders’ lineup.
Bellows would make the most sense since Trotz indicated that he would like to keep the lineup as intact as possible to start. Dal Colle had been playing on the second line and Bellows could play in that spot or switch places with Anthony Beauvillier and play on the third line.
📹 Trotz Pregame Availability 📹 pic.twitter.com/8bnpCfPQ4o
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 27, 2021
“It’s probably to start with minimal change and then if it’s not going the way you want then you start moving things around,” Trotz said. “I think you try and keep it as seamless as you can to start and then you react off of how the game is going or how the lines are going.”
The Islanders are facing a Pittsburgh team that is banged up as well, but that is also coming off a pair of wins over the Buffalo Sabres. Pittsburgh has also had the Islanders number in their previous six games.
The New York Islanders are 2-2-2 against Pittsburgh in that span.
“They’ve given us some fits,” Cal Clutterbuck said this morning. “Their top-end talent seems to be reinvigorated and really producing. (Sidney) Crosby is always dangerous. He’s been the best player in the game for a long time now. You have to keep that in check and you have to keep them off the power play. You have to make sure you limit their rush opportunities.”
Pittsburgh’s power play has been strong, but it hasn’t found much success against the Islanders this season. They are 2-for-13 on the man-advantage in six games against New York.
Clutterbuck said that part of shutting down the Pittsburgh power play is just anticipating what they’re going to do.
📹 Clutterbuck Pregame Availability 📹 pic.twitter.com/bAikv0ofG3
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 27, 2021
“It’s up to you as a group of penalty killers, four guys, to be able to make a read with what they’re going to try to do,” Clutterbuck added. “Then you try to make a read on where the other three guys that you’re playing with on the ice are. So that you can anticipate and try and get there before the puck gets there.”
Trotz did not say who would be in net tonight when the puck drops, but it will likely be Semyon Varlamov back in goal. Tristan Jarry will be between the pipes for Pittsburgh.
New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)
Leo Komarov — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Kieffer Bellows — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey
Anthony Beauvillier — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Oliver Wahlstrom
Cal Clutterbuck — Casey Cizikas — Matt Martin
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Andy Greene
Thomas Hickey — Scott Mayfield
Pittsburgh Penguins Lineup (Projected)
Jake Guentzel — Sidney Crosby — Bryan Rust
Zach Aston-Reese — Jared McCann — Evan Rodrigues
Radim Zohorna — Mark Jankowski — Sam Lafferty
Colton Sceviour — Frederick Gaudreau — Anthony Angello
Brian Dumoulin — Kris Letang
Mike Matheson — Cody Ceci
Marcus Pettersson — John Marino
Jake Guentzel leads Pittsburgh in goals this season with 14 and is riding a five-game point streak (three goals, three assists). Guentzel also has points in nine of his last 10 games (seven goals, four assists). … Frederick Gaudreau ranks second among Pittsburgh forwards in shorthanded ice-time over the last three games. He has been averaging 2:49 on the penalty kill and Pittsburgh has gone a perfect 13-for-13 on the PK during that span. … Pittsburgh is in the middle of a five-game homestand. … Josh Bailey will play in his 900th career game tonight. He will tie Bobby Nystrom for third on the Islanders all-time list. … Oliver Wahlstrom has a five-game point streak (four goals, two assists). He ranks third among all NHL rookies in goals this season with nine. … Nick Leddy leads all Islanders in assists with 22 and that ranks him second among defensemen in the East, and sixth among all NHL defensemen.
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 Radio, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.
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