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New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins [Game 66]

The Islanders chance in this one is about as good as their chance at making the playoffs - not great, Jim.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
5:00 PM EST
Radio Network Arena Network Radio
88.7 FM WRHU MSG+ Consol Energy Center ATT-P 105.9 FM WXDX
League Value Metric Value League
22nd 50.0% Points Percentage 58.5% 14th
20th 16.42% Net Power Play Percentage 25.48% 1st
30th 77.42% Net Penalty Kill Percentage 84.19% 13th
26th 93.84% Combined Special Teams Percentage 109.67% 1st
8th 3.25 Goals for per Game (All Situations) 3.26 7th
31st 3.60 Goals against per Game (All Situations) 3.05 22nd
9th .23 Penalty +/- per Game (All Situations) -.11 19th
26th 47.29% Shot Attempt Percentage (5V5 Score Adjusted) 51.83% 9th
30th 45.43% Scoring Chance Percentage (5V5 Score Adjusted) 51.36% 11th
8th 100.74% P.D.O. (5V5) 97.89% 30th
4th 9.12% Shooting Percentage (5V5) 7.15% 23rd
28th 91.62% Save Percentage (5V5) 90.73% 31st
Data from and Natural Stat Trick
The Enemies' Lair

The New York Islanders travel out to western Pennsylvania as they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins to start off a road trip where they'll need to be next to flawless if they wish to stand a modicum of a chance at making the playoffs. That's not great when the first game of said road trip is a schedule loss against the defending Stanley Cup champions with an AHL goalie in net. That's only the beginning of the problems facing the Islanders in this game.

Remember when the Islanders had the top ranked offense in the league? Over the course of the past month, that's regressed to eighth. They are doing a considerably better job at limiting shot attempts, but it's taken a toll on their scoring chances as they're now 30th in the league in scoring chance ratio. The Penguins come into this one with the higher ranked offense.

Pittsburgh has the advantage in every possession category coming into this one, though the Islanders have an advantage in P.D.O. Pittsburgh also has the top-ranked special teams which includes the top-ranked power play and it they have to be salivating at the chance to go to work against the Islanders who are ranked 30th in penalty killing. Did we mention that they're also the rested team going up against a tired, traveling opponent? This one looks rather bleak.

Casey Cizikas and Jordan Eberle will come back in after missing a game each while Sebastian Aho and Ross Johnston return to the press box. Aho is particularly questionable as he leads the Islanders in shot attempt suppression, shot suppression, and scoring chance suppression and has been a net positive in each category. As for Ross Johnston, his Corsi for percentage fell to 38.16% last night while his relative Corsi for percentage fell to -8.96% - some might consider him a fun story, but the only reason for him to play any further would be if the team fully embraces a tank.

Christopher Gibson will get his first start of the year tonight. Gibson's AHL numbers are hardly astounding - the AHL to NHL projections have him with a save percentage of below .900. He's up against Tristan Jarry as Matt Murray is out with a concussion.

Game time is at 5:05 P.M. E.S.T. and will be aired on MSG+.

New York Islanders Projected Lineup

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Anders Lee John Tavares Tanner Fritz
Anthony Beauvillier Mathew Barzal Jordan Eberle
Andrew Ladd Brock Nelson Josh Bailey
Chris Wagner Casey Cizikas Cal Clutterbuck
Left Defence Right Defense
Nick Leddy Johnny Boychuk
Thomas Hickey Ryan Pulock
Adam Pelech Brandon Davidson
Christopher Gibson
Jaroslav Halak

Pittsburgh Penguins Projected Lineup

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Jake Guentzel Sidney Crosby Bryan Rust
Carl Hagelin Evgeni Malkin Patric Hornqvist
Conor Sheary Derick Brassard Phil Kessel
Tom Kuhnhackl Riley Sheahan Carter Rowney
Left Defence Right Defense
Brian Dumoulin Kris Letang
Olli Maatta Justin Schultz
Matt Hunwick Jamie Oleksiak
Tristan Jarry
Casey DeSmith