Preview: Penguins at Islanders
The New York Islanders' winning ways will be put to the test on Thursday when they face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first of three contests in a six-game stretch. Should the Islanders skate away with their 11th straight victory on Thursday, they could both tie and break the franchise record for consecutive wins versus the Penguins on Nov. 19 and 21, respectively.
"After games, we're not having a big party, we know we have a big test versus Pittsburgh coming up," New York coach Barry Trotz said of facing the Penguins, who they swept in the first round of the playoffs last spring. Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas each scored their first goal of the season and set up the other on Tuesday as the Islanders opened a four-game homestand with a 4-1 victory over Ottawa. While New York has won its last five at home, Pittsburgh dropped its second in a row overall and third in four games on the road with a 6-4 setback at Boston. Superstar captain Sidney Crosby, who was saddled with a minus-4 rating against the Bruins, had that same mark and was limited to just one assist during the Penguins' four-game series against the Islanders in April.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet-Pittsburgh, MSG-Plus (New York)
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (8-6-1): The injury bug has been a persistent nuisance in Pittsburgh, with star defenseman Kris Letang exiting Monday's setback loss to the Bruins with a lower-body ailment. "Obviously, he's one of the best defensemen in the league," rookie blue-liner John Marino told reporters. "We're missing a key element there, but we're just going to need everyone to step up their game, have some people fill in and do their job." The 22-year-old Marino enjoyed a milestone moment versus his home-state team on Monday as the Massachusetts native exited the penalty box and stepped into a clean breakaway before backing the puck past Jaroslav Halak.
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (11-3-0): Josh Bailey, who scored his team co-leading sixth goal of the season on Tuesday, joined Brock Nelson in tallying three times in New York's four-game playoff sweep of Pittsburgh. Mathew Barzal also has six goals this season, however, he set up eight tallies in eight games -- playoffs included -- versus the Penguins in 2018-19. Thomas Greiss watched as Robin Lehner handled the bulk of the work in the postseason, but the former sports a 4-0-0 mark with a 1.55 goals-against average and .946 save percentage at home this season.
1. No current player on the Islanders was born the last time they were victorious in 10 in a row, which was part of a franchise-record 15-game winning streak from Jan. 21-Feb. 20, 1982.
2. Pittsburgh G Matt Murray owns a 2-3-1 record with one shutout in six career starts against New York.
3. Nine different players have been credited with the game-winning goal during the Islanders' 10-game streak.
PREDICTION: Penguins 3, Islanders 2