A final regular season meeting between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders will get under way later this evening with both sides looking to further solidify their playoff position. Right now, the Islanders hold a one point advantage over the Penguins for the first wild card spot but the Penguins retain three games in hand over their division rival. Either way, there is a lot riding on tonight’s contest and the result will have a major impact on the playoff chase.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast on AT&T Sports Network.
Aside from Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Jason Zucker has arguably been the Penguins most important player this season and that was on display last night. Time and time again he has come through, and last night was no exception. [Pensburgh]
Zucker has been a big deal for the Penguins all season and Tuesday night just served as a microcosm of what he means to the team. Also on display last night was the Penguins debut of Alex Nylander. [Pensburgh]
Evgeni Malkin and Kevin Stevens share the Penguins penalty minutes record (for the time being) but they have more in common than that. Both Malkin and Stevens play wit han edge that endears them their respective teammates. [Trib Live]
Dmitry Kulikov made his Penguins debut on Tuesday night and showed why Ron Hextall brought the veteran to Pittsburgh at the deadline. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Four Make-A-Wish kids signed one day contracts with the Penguins on Wednesday, becoming members of the club for the day. All four kids were given a tour of the UPMC Lemieux facility, met some players, and took in practice. [Trib Live]
News and notes from around the NHL...
It was a quiet trade deadline for the Philadelphia Flyers who failed to sail off what little assets they had in the first place. It may be a different approach this offseason since it looks like they may go into complete fire sale mode. [Broad Street Hockey]
Load management is a big topic of discussion in the NBA, but not something you regularly see in the NHL. While it’s unlikely to happen, for a team like the New York Rangers, resting now could pay huge dividends come spring. [Bluehsirt Banter]
A long wait looks like it will be getting a little longer for the Buffalo Sabres as their playoff hopes are quickly fading. Although it will be another quiet spring in Western New York, times seem to be changing for the beloved Sabres. [Die by the Blade]