Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (19-9-5, 43 points, 3rd place Metropolitan Division) @ New York Islanders (19-14-2, 40 points, 6th place Metropolitan Division)
When: 7:30 p.m. Eastern
How to Watch: AT&T Sports Network Pittsburgh (ATTSN-PT) for the Western PA market, MSG Sports Network for the New Yorkers, Sling TV, ESPN+
Opponent Track: In a Metropolitan Division full of teams simultaneously surging (in their last ten, the Hurricanes and Capitals have nine wins, and the Penguins and Rangers have eight) the Islanders have put up a middling 4-4-2 record and slipped out of a playoff spot. In the last outing before the break, however, the Isles put up five goals in a 5-1 beating of the struggling Florida Panthers.
Pens Path Ahead: The Penguins are back in action tomorrow at PPG Paints against the Detroit Red Wings before finishing out 2022 with a Friday home game against the Devils. These are two slumping opponents looking to finish out the calendar year with victories after each winning just three of their last ten games.
Season Series: This is the Penguins’ first matchup this season against the Islanders, who they will see again twice in four days in February and once more in March.
Hidden stat: The Islanders have only won one game in which they scored five or fewer goals throughout the month of December.
Getting to know the Islanders
SB Nation counterpart: Lighthouse Hockey
Josh Bailey - Mathew Barzal - Oliver Wahlstrom
Anders Lee - Brock Nelson(?) - Anthony Beauvillier
Zach Parise - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Simon Holmstrom(?)
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas(?) - Ross Johnston
Alexander Romanov / Noah Dobson
Sebastian Aho / Scott Mayfield
Robin Salo / Ryan Pulock
Goalies: Ilya Sorokin (Cory Schneider)
IR: Kyle Palmieri, Cal Clutterbuck, Adam Pelech, Semyon Varlamov
- There are a few question marks in this lineup. Although they ended up winning 5-1, the Islanders had a brutal final outing before the holiday break— both Brock Nelson (puck to the head) and Simon Holmstrom (knee on knee hit) left in the middle of the game. Both are considered day-to-day. The Islanders sent a few AHL players back to the minors yesterday, which could mean Nelson or Holmstrom will return. The Islanders will especially hope to see Nelson, who leads the team with 15 goals.
- Those AHL call-downs could also mean the return of Casey Cizikas, who missed the Islanders’ last game with an upper-body injury, or any of the players on IR, all of whom are eligible to return for this game. Pelech has not skated since a head injury on December 6, but general manager Lou Lamoriello described Clutterbuck, Palmieri and Varlamov as “day-to-day” last week.
- The Islanders lost 1-0 in a shootout to the Colorado Avalanche last week, but goaltender Ilya Sorokin still made history with the 13th shutout of his young career. He’s started every Islanders game since Semyon Varlamov went to the IR, so expect to see him face the Penguins Tuesday.
With his shutout versus the Avalanche Monday, Ilya Sorokin now has 13 career shutouts in 94 career starts.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 20, 2022
A whopping 13.8% of his career starts have ended in a shutout.
That is the highest rate of anyone to debut in the NHL's modern era (1943-44) - min. 90 starts. pic.twitter.com/0YkMgbsnAl
And now for the Pens...
Potential Game Lines
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn - Jeff Carter - Kasperi Kapanen
Drew O’Connor - Teddy Blueger - Danton Heinen
Marcus Pettersson / Kris Letang
Brian Dumoulin / Jan Rutta
P.O. Joseph / Chad Ruhwedel
Goalies: Tristan Jarry, Casey DeSmith
Scratches: Josh Archibald (injury), Ryan Poehling (injury)
IR: Jeff Petry (upper body, LTIR, out until at least January 8th)
- Mark Friedman, who still has yet to play this season, returned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday.
- The Penguins haven’t practiced over the holiday break, so we’ll get updates on Archibald and Poehling today before the game.
- If he is called to start, Tristan Jarry will be in search of Penguins history today: