Keys To Islanders-Penguins Tilt

BY: DAVID KOLB

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (10-4-2) @ NEW YORK ISLANDERS (5-8-3)

SEASON SERIES
The Penguins took the first game of the season series with the Islanders on Oct. 27, when they won 4-2 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Tonight’s game is the first of two trips the Stanley Cup champs will make to Barclays Center this month, as they skate again Nov. 30.

MOVING ON
The Islanders begin the night desperate to get back in the win-column, having lost three straight (0-2-1) and six of their last seven (1-3-3). The Pens meanwhile have begun the season, 10-4-2 however, enter play tonight after suffering their worst loss in almost six years, losing 7-1 to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

HELP ON THE WING
Phil Kessel will have to produce tonight, as two of his fellow Penguins’ wingers could be out of the lineup for tonight’s tilt. Patric Hornqvist and Chris Kunitz are both dinged-up and remain day-to-day, with Hornqvist suffering from a concussion, while Kunitz is recovering from lower-body injury. Kessel meanwhile scored the lone goal for the Penguins on Wednesday, giving him four goals and ten assists for 14 points this season.

SHOT AT THE TOP
Ryan Strome, who has struggled, posting only two goals and three assists for five points this season, will move to the top-line tonight, in a move Jack Capuano will make to attempt to create more offense. Coach Jack Capuano moved Strome on to a line with John Tavares and Josh Bailey, and the trio have practiced skating together for the past two days.

Islanders Strome Road Stock

PLENTY OF WEAPONS
Despite injuries, the Penguins are super-potent offensively, led by the Evgeni Malkin-Sidney Crosby combo. Malkin leads the Pens in scoring with 15 points (eight goals, seven assists), while Crosby has 13 (ten goals, three assists) after missing the first six games of the season.