Back in action post-holiday, the Penguins are on Long Island and looking to rebound.
Fresh from the reset of the holiday break the Penguins return to the ice against the Islanders on Tuesday. It's the first meeting of the year for the Metropolitan division teams. Pittsburgh comes into this game looking to rectify some nagging issues with their game performances that have become a trend: blowing leads and finishing games in overtime. Both problems have factored into their recent set of losses vs. Carolina.
They are two aspects of play that are losing them games, standings positions, and could lose them a series come spring if they continue to go unchecked. Coach Mike Sullivan isn't pleased with the developing patterns either:
Last game's overtime loss to Carolina stung especially as it also spelled the end of Tristan Jarry's seven-game win streak and Evgeni Malkin's nine-game point streak.
Still, Pittsburgh is in a comparatively enviable position in the league. The Pens have only one regulation loss in the month of December.
They will have a decent chance to continue that trend Tuesday vs. the Islanders, who sit several slots down in the standings from them and have a decided disadvantage on both special teams and goaltending.
Tristan Jarry has a 10-1-0 all-time record vs. New York with a solid 2.01 goals-against average. The Pens' 13th-ranked powerplay bests the Islander's 25th-ranked unit. The penalty kill also sits in Pittsburgh's favor. Their number one-ranked PK faces sixth-ranked Isles.
Finally, one logistical note to remember: there is a special holiday start time of 7:30 PM (ET) for the game tonight.
Pens Game #34: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders
Date: December 27, 2022
Time: 7:30 PM (ET)
Place: Elmont, NY
Venue: UBS Arena
Broadcasts: Local- ATTSN, National- ESPN+
Records- PIT: 19-9-5, NYI: 19-14-2
Last 10- PIT: 8-1-1, NYI: 4-4-2
Streaks- PIT: 1 Loss, NYI: 1 Win
Standings- PIT: 9th, NYI: 15th
Points- PIT: 43, NYI: 40
‘21/22 Season Series- 2-1
‘21/22 Series Goals For- PIT: 11, NYI: 8
Team Stats Comparison:
Projected starting goalies-
-TRISTAN JARRY- #35
Bio Info: 6' 2", 194 lbs. DOB: 4/29/1995 (27). From: Surrey, BC.
Drafted: 2013- Rd 2, Pk 44 (PIT). Experience: 7th Season.
Record: 15-3-3, 2.60 GAA, .922 SV%
Career vs. NYI: 10-1-0, 2.01 GAA, .931 SV%
-ILYA SOROKIN- #30
[New York Islanders]
Bio Info: 6' 3", 190 lbs. DOB: 8/4/1995 (27). From: Mezhdurechensk, Russia.
Drafted: 2014- Rd 3, Pk 78 (NYI). Experience: 3rd Season.
Record: 10-10-1, 2.36 GAA, .926 SV%
Career vs. PIT: 2-3-0, 2.91 GAA, .902 SV%
The Pens are 1-0-1 at the Islanders' new UBS arena, so they're still early in establishing a vibe to their gameplay there. Whether it's going to be an arena that's favorable to them is currently being written.
Tristan Jarry may have lost his win streak last game against the Hurricanes but a 10-game streak of no regulation losses remains intact as the Pens took that one to OT.
On team personnel: Forward Ryan Poehling won’t play tonight, although he participated in practice today. Josh Archibald (F) is also out and did not make the trip to New York. The Penguins also recalled Mark Friedman from the AHL for an additional reserve defenseman now that Chad Ruhwedel has been bumped up onto the game roster.
An interesting note on the Pens' shifting personnel management in the face of recent injuries: Pierre-Olivier Joseph has been added to the penalty kill units since mid-game last Thursday vs. Carolina. The Penguins are now using two full units and having Kris Letang and Joseph rotating in with those units regularly for a hybrid group kill system.
-Josh Archibald (F): lower body, day-to-day.
-Ryan Poehling (F): upper body, day-to-day.
-Jeff Petry (D): IR, upper body, out until January.
The projected Penguins lines for Tuesday, December 27, 2022 at the New York Islanders:
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn - Jeff Carter - Danton Heinen
Drew O’Connor - Teddy Blueger - Danton Heinen
Marcus Pettersson - Kris Letang
Brian Dumoulin - Jan Rutta
P. O. Joseph - Chad Ruhwedel
PP1: Malkin, Crosby, Guentzel, Rakell, Letang
PP2: Carter, Rust, Heinen, Kapanen, Joseph
PK1: Blueger, McGinn, Ruhwedel, Pettersson
PK2: Carter, Rust, Dumoulin, Rutta
PK+: 73, 58 rotating with units 1 & 2
Two of the Islanders' heaviest hitters Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas are both out day-to-day with injuries in a development that's very favorable for Pittsburgh.
In the category of things less favorable for the Pens, Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin just made a little history. In the Isles' game against the Avalanche before the holiday pause, Sorokin got the 13th shutout of his career. He's recorded those SOs in just 94 total NHL starts. That's a 13.8% shutout rate which is the highest of any debuting goalie in the NHL's modern era per ESPN Stats & Info.
Key players added: Defenseman- Alexander Romanov.
Key players lost: Defensemen- Zdeno Chara, Andy Greene.
New coach: Lane Lambert.
-Cal Clutterbuck (F): IR, upper body, day-to-day.
-Casey Cizikas (F): undisclosed, day-to-day.
-Kyle Palmieri (F): upper body, day-to-day.
-Adam Pelech (D): IR, upper body, day-to-day.
-Semyon Varlamov (G): undisclosed, day-to-day.
For The Penguins: Bryant Rust. "Big Game" Bryan Rust is back big time After tallying the goal that powered the Pens to victory over their arch-nemesis New York Rangers', Rust returned to wow fans with the tie-breaker goal in the third period vs. Carolina. Ruster is once again delivering in key moments. Overall he has points in five of the six last games too.
For The Islanders: Anders Lee. The Isles' Captain has five points in the last five games, including a two-assist outing his last time on ice. Lee has 16 career points and 10 goals in 31 games played against the Penguins all-time. He tends to show well against Pittsburgh, scoring about half of the time against them so keep an eye out for Anders tonight.