Islanders, Pens consider playing 60 minutes

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Pittsburgh Penguins (7-4-2) at New York Islanders (4-8-1)

7 p.m. EST | Nassau Coliseum | MSG+

Penguins blog: Pensburgh (check the live game thread there)

Do not despair, fellow Islanders fans: Your team is not the only one struggling to become more than "40-minute men." As FrankD at Penguins blog Pensburgh notes, tonight's opponent has also had trouble putting in a full day's work. Most shockingly, this week they watched a 5-0 lead on the Oilers melt into a nail-biting 5-4 final.

Fear any dealings with Satan tonight not only because it's his initial return to Long Island (see Satan's thoughts here), but also because he's leading his new team in goals with eight. Fellow expat Ruslan Fedotenko is out with an injury also in the lineup.

Notables:

  • Though he's been nursing a [body] injury lately, Sidney Crosby is expected to play. Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have a ridiculous 30 assists between them.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury sits for backup Danny Sabourin. I suppose we can expect to see a lot of backups this season.
  • As noted earlier, with Nate Thompson's [groin?] injury, the Isles need a reliable defensive forward, so Towering Mitch Fitz goes down to Bridgeport while Tim Jackman comes up.

State of the Igloo

In addition to missing Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney to long-term injuries, the Penguins entered this season with several changes in their mid-level roles, leading some to question whether their 1-2 center punch can lead them back to the finals. They've started slow -- by conference champ' standards -- but they're showing me enough to make me believe they're a good bet to be a serious threat come spring, particularly once Gonchar and Whitney are back.

Because November is unofficial Wedding Month at Lighthouse Hockey, I'll be missing the live version of this. But if you're hankering for some live game thread/chat, hop on over to SBNation site Pensburgh, where etiquette dictates they thank us for Satan.

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