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Game 6 Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Islanders

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The Penguins face a win or exit situation tonight on Long Island in what will be their final game at the old Nassau Coliseum one way or another

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders - Game Four Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (2-3) @ New York Islanders (3-2)

When: 6:30 p.m. eastern (half hour earlier than normal start!)

How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh, MSG+ in the New York area, NBCSN nationally

Opponent Track: The Islanders have won two straight and are looking to close out the Penguins tonight. The Nassau Coliseum is also officially on death watch, with this potentially being the last NHL game scheduled for the old barn, pending the results..

Pens path ahead: A Game 7, if the Pens win tonight, will be Friday back in Pittsburgh.

SBN Team Counterpart: Check out Lighthouse Hockey for the latest news to know about the Islanders.

Possible Game 6 Lines

FORWARDS

Leo Komarov - Mathew Barzal - Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey

Kyle Palmieri - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Oliver Wahlstrom/Travis Zajac*

Cal Clutterbuck - Casey Cizikas - Matt Martin

DEFENSEMEN

Adam Pelech / Ryan Pulock

Nick Leddy / Scott Mayfield

Andy Greene / Noah Dobson

Starting goalie: Ilya Sorokin

Scratches: Ross Johnston, Anatoly Golyshev, Simon Holmstrom, Kieffer Bellows, Otto Koivula, Austin Czarnik, Michael Del Colle, Cole Bardeau, Dmytro Timashev, Braydon Coburn, Samuel Bolduc, Bode Wilde, Grant Hutton, Sebastian Aho, Ken Appleby, Cory Schneider

IR: Anders Lee, Johnny Boychuk

—There was no official update on Wahlstrom, who left Monday night’s game after a nasty collision and impact. The way his head and neck whipped around, I can’t imagine he would be cleared to play, but never say never this time of year. Reports from New York say Travis Zajac (a healthy scratch to date this playoff) would be the most likely replacement for Wahlstrom, if he is unavailable, though the exact line configurations remain currently unknown or at least unannounced.

—Attendance at the Coliseum for Game 4 was 6,800, that has now changed and about 9,000 fans are expected to be at the rink tonight to make for a more raucous crowd.

And now for the Pens..

Game 5 lines

Forwards

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Jason Zucker- Evgeni Malkin - Kasperi Kapanen

Jared McCann - Jeff Carter - Frederick Gaudreau

Zach Aston-Reese - Teddy Blueger - Brandon Tanev

Defense

Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang

Mike Matheson / Cody Ceci

Marcus Pettersson / John Marino

Starting goalie: Tristan Jarry

Scratches: Evan Rodrigues, Colton Sceviour, Sam Lafferty, Radim Zohorna, Mark Jankowski, Juuso Riikola, Chad Ruhwedel, Mark Friedman, Yannick Weber, Casey DeSmith

—New dad Bryan Rust was excused from practice yesterday to spend more time with his baby and wife before the team leaves for NY, which Rust will rejoin the Pens. Evan Rodrigues took Rust’s spot on the first line for the day, also an indication Rodrigues won’t be playing today in Game 6 since he was just holding Rust’s spot in practice.

—Jason Zucker didn’t skate and was termed “maintenance”. Colton Sceviour was the placeholder on the Malkin line, with all other lines remaining in tact. That’s an indication the team expects Zucker to play tonight and there will likely be no lineup changes, unless something unforeseen with Zucker lingers. The same lines are what they are, but for Zucker to be something less than 100% is not an encouraging sign for a player in a key spot..

—Casey DeSmith did not practice with the team and has been ruled out for traveling to NY for Game 6. Just in case there was any question there about a possible return. Maxime Lagace took extra work after practice and Tristan Jarry left the ice, a sign the Pens aren’t planning on a goalie switch, just in case there was any question..

Jarry and team ready to move on

Tristan Jarry seemed pretty outwardly measured and is ready to move onto Game 6. We’ll see if he can.

Backs to the wall

Some notes from the Penguins PR department:

  • Pittsburgh is 4-3 all-time under head coach Mike Sullivan when facing elimination in a playoff series.
  • The Penguins have an all-time series record of 7-8 in best-of-seven playoff series when entering Game 6 down, 3-2, in the series. In those series where Pittsburgh has home-ice advantage, they are 3-3.
  • The Penguins are 19-10 all-time under head coach Mike Sullivan in the playoffs following a loss (7-1 in 2016; 7-2 in 2017; 3-2 in 2018; 0-3 in 2019; 1-1 in 2020; 1-1 in 2021).