Record: 24-27-8 (13th in the East)
I mention Rick DiPietro in the headline, but truth be told I'm not entirely sure who the Islanders plan on starting in net right now. Our friends over at Left Wing Lock currently have DP listed as the potential starter, so given their solid track record over there I'd say he's a go. Of course you can keep checking back with them throughout the day to see if anything changes.
The Islanders snapped a seven game losing streak last night with a 4-3 shootout win over the Predators thanks to none other than...Marty Biron? Seriously? Ahem. I mean. Yeah. Seriously. Marty Biron picked up the win for the Islanders in what will likely only stand as something for goalie hunters to consider at the trade deadline. Maybe. It was only his 18th appearance this year and first since December. I suppose process of elimination would mean the Pens are left facing either Dwayne Roloson or Rick DiPietro.
For a team currently ranked 13th in the East, the Islanders are not out of the playoff picture at all. While losing seven straight definitely doesn't do much to help a team's case, the Isles' 56 points is only five off from the eighth seeded Flyers. Sure, recent evidence would suggest the team is not playoff bound, but there's still plenty of time left for them to gain ground in the standings.
John Tavares is doing well for a rookie but seems to have hit a bit of a wall as of late. He's still chipping in with an assist or two here and there, but since the new year kicked off he's recorded only a single goal. He has only two since December 12. In three games against the Penguins this year Tavares has two goals and one assist.
The Pens have three games remaining on the schedule before the Olympic break. Seeing as how those teams are the Islanders, Rangers and Predators, I'm almost tempted to say they can head into the break with a clean sweep. The Pens have an edge on the season series with the Isles, up 2-1, and are up 4-0 against the Rangers. But I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. As Sunday's game against the Capitals proved, no lead is safe enough. A full 60-minute effort is required against any team at this point so hopefully the Pens are ready for that. Otherwise I fear we'll all be crying into our beers/wines/shots/GreenEyeLilo mixed drinks before the night is over.