GAME DAY — Penguins at Islanders, 7pm

Screen shot 2013-03-22 at 11.07.10 AMPittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders, 7:00pm ET
Uniondale, NY — Nassau Coliseum — MSG+

Kevin Schultz

Tonight the Penguins visit the Coliseum, the first matchup between these two teams since an ugly affair in Pittsburgh a week ago Sunday. The Pens won that matchup 6-1, chasing Evgeni Nabokov after two periods where he allowed five goals. Nabokov will be back in net for the Islanders tonight after Kevin Poulin played last night against Montreal.

Pittsburgh is on top of the Eastern Conference — one point ahead of Montreal — and running away with the Atlantic Division as they currently hold a 12 point lead over the second place Devils. Not only that but they haven’t lost in the month of March, posting a 10-0-0 record and outscoring their opponents 40-23. You have to go back to February 28th to find the last game that the Peguins lost. They’ve been doing it with defense too, as Pittsburgh has surrendered only six goals in their last six games.

The Islanders lineup will be the same as last night up front. On defense, Joe Finley comes in for Thomas Hickey which is kind of crazy if you consider that Finley has a -15 relative corsi (worst on the team) and Hickey is +13 (best on the team). You would usually want the guy who helps the team put more shots towards the opposing net on the ice rather than the one who allows more shots towards your own. Anyway. Toughness, I guess. The lines:

Moulson – Tavares – Boyes
Bailey – Nielsen – Okposo
Cizikas – Aucoin – McDonald
Grabner – Reasoner – Martin

Hamonic – MacDonald
Streit – Carkner
Finley – Visnovsky


Healthy scratches:
Martinek, Boulton, Hickey