New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30pm ET
Consol Energy Center — Pittsburgh, PA — MSG+, NBCSN, TSN
For the first time since 2007, the Islanders will take the ice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight in Pittsburgh. It’ll be an uphill battle against the Eastern Conference’s best team, although it’s still unknown if the Penguins biggest star, Sidney Crosby, will be in the lineup. Crosby met with a doctor yesterday but there was no update on his condition.
Pittsburgh comes into this series after finishing the season 8-4 in April, all of which was done without Crosby. They did lose two last week against non-playoff opponents in New Jersey and against Buffalo, but rebounded for an 8-3 victory over Carolina in their regular season finale on Saturday night. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has gotten each of the last three starts for the Penguins, but with a very capable backup in Tomas Vokoun, either goalie could get the nod tonight. Other players to watch include half a dozen offensive talents: Kris Letang (although he’s a defender), Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Jarome Iginla, James Neal and Evgeni Malkin.
For the Islanders, they come in riding a hot streak from April although they did lose their final three games, two of those in overtime. They finished the month 8-1-4 and secured a playoff spot last Tuesday in Carolina. Evgeni Nabokov will surely be in net, and we’ll have another post with the lineup when it is available.
For now, it’s time to get pumped Isles fans. It’s (playoff) game day. Enjoy it.