Winners of 10-straight games, the New York Islanders face their biggest challenge against a Pittsburgh Penguins team seeking revenge.
- New York Islanders (11-3-0, 22 points)
- Pittsburgh Penguins (8-6-1, 17 points)
- MSG+, 88.7 FM, 1050 AM
- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
It’s been just under seven months since the Islanders and Penguins last met.
The Islanders swept Pittsburgh in the opening round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, putting a firm end to their dynasty.
Now, winners of 10-straight games, the Islanders are taking it one period at a time.
The Penguins have all the motivation in the world coming into Brooklyn. After dropping their last game to the Boston Bruins 6-4 (after leading 4-3 heading into the third period) and a 2-1 overtime loss to Edmonton at home, the Pens yearn for their first win of the month.
Thursday, they will have to manage without their top defenseman in Kris Letang per Pens Inside Scoop.
Injuries along the blue line and up front forced rookies into action during the stretch and reinforcements arrived from Bridgeport once again.
#Isles again recall D Seth Helgeson and F Otto Koivula from Bridgeport (AHL). Probably same deal as Tuesday when both were healthy scratches and immediately returned to Sound Tigers.
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) November 7, 2019
It’s hard to tell if Otto Koivula will draw into the lineup Thursday or Saturday, as the move currently hints at insurance.
Semyon Varlamov was the first goaltender off ice at this morning’s practice, staying true to Barry Trotz’s continuation of the goalie carousel.
Since last season, the Islanders goalies have found success through splitting all regular-season starts nearly down the middle.
Varlamov is coming off his first shutout of the season in a 1-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Puck drop tonight is scheduled for 7:10 for the second of a three-game homestand in Brooklyn on MSG+.
Lou Lamoriello provided an update to reporters after this morning’s practice, with some optimistic news on the injured Leo Komarov and Matt Martin.
Both forwards have resumed skating, with Komarov joining the team as soon as this week. Tom Kuhnhackl has not yet resumed skating and Nick Leddy has been listed as day-to-day, all per Cory Wright of the Islanders’ official website.
Initially slated to miss around six weeks, Martin could be back around a week sooner than expected. Andrew Ladd is in the end of his conditioning stint with Bridgeport and could join the Islanders as soon as Saturday. Ladd’s last game came on March 24 against the Arizona Coyotes.
Per Cory Wright, Lamoriello told reporters Ladd hit LTIR so he could get his conditioning stint in the AHL. Look for Oliver Wahlstrom to make his way back to Bridgeport’s top line.
The Islanders are hoping to see the late-2017 Ladd who managed to claw his way to 20 goals in the tail-end of the year.