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Pittsburgh Penguins

Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) reacts with right wing Josh Bailey (12) after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) reacts with right wing Josh Bailey (12) after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

The New York Islanders found a recipe for success and executed it to perfection as they completed a first-round series sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday evening with a 3-1 victory.

"A lot of people wrote us off and they are a bit shocked," Jordan Eberle said on MSG Network. "We are confident in the way that we play. This is one of the tighter knit teams that I have played on. We love battling and playing for each other. You do that every night on a consistent basis you can go places." 

Tags: Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins, Robin Lehner
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Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Tom Kuhnhackl (14) and and Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Garrett Wilson (10) fight for the puck during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Tom Kuhnhackl (14) and and Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Garrett Wilson (10) fight for the puck during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Each time the Penguins take a small step forward and attempt to grab momentum, the Islanders respond with force.

The Islanders have pushed the Penguins to the brink of elimination with a 4-1 victory in Game 3, extending their advantage in the series to 3-0.

The Penguins got the quick start they were looking for in their first home game when Garrett Wilson redirected the puck past Robin Lehner to open up the scoring at 12:54 of the first period. The crowd was on their feet, and everything was trending in Pittsburgh's direction.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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Apr 12, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) during the third period of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 12, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) during the third period of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The 2-0 series lead the Islanders are taking into Sunday's Game 3 matinee in Pittsburgh is well-earned. They were the better team throughout two games at the raucous Coliseum. And in Game 2 they clearly had the Penguins rattled, despite the fact that the Pens' core has been through it all over the years in the postseason.

But in the NHL playoffs, no lead is safe, and Barry Trotz knows that as well as anybody. Just last year, when he was with Washington, the division-winning Captials fell behind 2-0 in the first tround against Columbus after dropping the first two games in overtime. They needed double-overtime to take Game 3 and eventually winning four straight to take the series before winning the Stanley Cup.

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins, Robin Lehner, Ryan Pulock
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Islanders take 2-0 series lead 00:00:40
New York Islanders have taken a 2-0 series lead and are ready to bring all of the momentum from the Nassau Coliseum to Pittsburgh.

The Islanders had every reason to crack after allowing the opening goal following five missed power-play opportunities.

However, it was New York that kept its composure and erased a one-goal deficit en route to a 3-1 victory and commanding 2-0 series lead against Pittsburgh.

The Islanders are supposed to be the inexperienced team after missing the previous two postseasons, but never flinched while facing adversity.

Tags: Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Apr 12, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 12, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

This is everything the Islanders could have hoped for.

They made a charge at the end of the season to secure home-ice advantage in the first round of the NHL playoffs, and they've made it count. They used two third-period goals to take Game 2 from the Penguins Friday night, 3-1, in front of a raucous Coliseum crowd and take a 2-0 series lead into Sunday's Game 3 in Pittsburgh.

The Islanders have their first 2-0 lead in a series since 1983, when they won their fourth straight Stanley Cup. 

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins, Robin Lehner
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Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) celebrates after the game with right wing Josh Bailey (12) and center Valtteri Filppula (51) in the gam against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game one of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) celebrates after the game with right wing Josh Bailey (12) and center Valtteri Filppula (51) in the gam against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game one of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The opening game of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins had it all.

It went to overtime, featured three ties, nine penalties -- including a boarding call on the Islanders' Anders Lee that resulted in a potential injury for Penguins defenseman Erik Gudbranson -- and a whole bunch of after-the-whistle pushing and shoving. Meanwhile, the teams traded seven goals, the last of which might remain a viral sensation until the Stanley Cup is hoisted in June.

Anyone ready for a few more of these?

Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) controls the puck in front of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Erik Gudbranson (44) during the second period in game one of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) controls the puck in front of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Erik Gudbranson (44) during the second period in game one of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The Islanders wiped the slate clean on their power play entering the playoffs.

It was one of the big concerns entering their first-round series against the Penguins, the fact that they had the third-worst power play in the NHL at 14.5 percent and finished the regular season having converted just three of their previous 50 power-play attempts. 

But in the Islanders' Game 1 overtime win against the Penguins on Wednesday, it took all of 25 seconds for the Islanders to score on their first power-play chance of the playoffs, Brock Nelson burying a Jordan Eberle feed in front to put the Isles up 2-1 late in the first period.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Islanders ready for Game 2 00:01:27
New York Islanders are taking the momentum from their Game 1 victory over the Penguins and using it to keep focused on Game 2.

Barry Trotz has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt after winning the Stanley Cup last year with Washington and leading the Islanders to an improbable playoff berth. Even so, there were a few eyebrows raised regarding his decision to play Tom Kuhnhackl in a top-six spot over Michael Dal Colle in Game 1 Wednesday night against the Penguins.

There won't be anybody doubting Kuhnhackl's presence in the Game 2 lineup after the forward, who won two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh, had an effective 17:42 in the Islanders' Game 1 overtime victory.

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Michael dal Colle, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tom Kuhnhackl
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Dec 10, 2018; Uniondale, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) exchanges words with New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 10, 2018; Uniondale, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) exchanges words with New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As expected, Robin Lehner is likely the Islanders' starting goalie for Game 1 of their first-round series against the Penguins Wednesday night at the Coliseum. Per reports, Thomas Greiss was the only goalie participating in the Isles' optional morning skate, an indication that Lehner will start.

Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin didn't partake in Pittsburgh's optional skate. He's considered a game-time decision along with Zach Aston-Reese, meaning Pittsburgh's lineup is subject to change.

However, based on practice reports from Tuesday, here are the projected lineups for Game 1.

Islanders

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins, Robin Lehner
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Islanders talk ahead of playoffs 00:01:12
New York Islanders clinched home ice against the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Anders Lee knows fans will rock the Nassau Coliseum

The Penguins have their longtime stars and the championship pedigree, but the Islanders have been up for every challenge this season, and what they may lack in individual talent is made up for in commitment and chemistry.

With that in mind, here's a look at how the Islanders and Penguins match up heading into the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

FORWARDS

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Pittsburgh Penguins, Robin Lehner, Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield, Thomas Greiss, Tom Kuhnhackl, Valtteri Filppula
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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

In Game 1 of the Opening Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Islanders picked up an exhilirating overtime win over the Penguins to kick off the series.

With the Coliseum packed to the ceiling, the Islanders looked to get on the board first in the opening minute. However, the goal was called back as an Isles player was deemed offside. But less than a minute later, Jordan Eberle potted the first goal of the night. 

Phil Kessel would tie the game up for the Penguins later in the period, but the Isles skated into the locker room with the lead after one thanks to a power play goal by Brock Nelson.  >> Box Score

Tags: Adam Pelech, Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, Pittsburgh Penguins, Scott Thompson
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The Rangers capped their season with an overtime win over the Penguins, 4-3, on the road. >> Box score


First Period:

  • 6:36 PIT Sidney Crosby: Assists: Jake Guentzel, Jared McCann
  • 12:48 NYR Brendan Smith
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev makes a save in front of Pittsburgh Penguins center Jared McCann and Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev makes a save in front of Pittsburgh Penguins center Jared McCann and Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Rangers are out of the playoffs and relegated to setting a foundation for next season and playing a spoiler role.

Friday, New York lost its third straight but nearly prevented the Columbus Blue Jackets from clinching a playoff spot. The Rangers scored with seven seconds left in regulation before losing 3-2 in a shootout.

It seems likely that veteran Henrik Lundqvist will start in goal for the Rangers after Alexandar Georgiev started against the Blue Jackets.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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Apr 1, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrates the goal by New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Apr 1, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrates the goal by New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

By losing to the Maple Leafs on Monday and failing to close in on the Capitals, the Islanders left themselves open to losing control of their destiny as they hope to open the playoffs next week at Nassau Coliseum.

But the idle Isles caught two breaks on Tuesday when the Penguins, who are two points behind the Isles in third place in the Metropolitan Division, lost 4-1 to a lottery-bound Red Wings team, and the Blue Jackets fell 6-2 to the Bruins. Carolina defeated Toronto 4-1 to jump Columbus in the standings.

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals
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Feb 14, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; The New York Islanders celebrate after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Feb 14, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; The New York Islanders celebrate after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The most important piece of business for the Islanders was taken care of Saturday night when they punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Now they look ahead to which seed they might get and who they might face when the first round starts next week.

But even though there are just three games remaining in the NHL regular season entering their Monday night matchup against John Tavares and the Maple Leafs, the Isles can finish anywhere from first in the Metropolitan Division to the last wild-card spot.

Let's take a look at all the playoff scenarios as the Islanders, who currently occupy the No. 2 spot in the Metro, prepare for the final week of the season:

Metropolitan Division champions

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals
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New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev makes a save in front of Pittsburgh Penguins center Jared McCann and Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev makes a save in front of Pittsburgh Penguins center Jared McCann and Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Rangers allowed five unanswered goals after taking an early two-goal lead as they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Monday at Madison Square Garden. >> Box score


First period:

  • 8:25 NYR Brendan Lemieux; Assists: Pavel Buchnevich, Mika Zibanejad
  • 15:15 NYR Vinni Lettieri (power play); Assists: Tony DeAngelo, Filip Chytil
  • 15:41 PIT Nick Bjugstad; Assists: Marcus Pettersson, Dominik Simon
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

The Rangers (28-32-13), who are out of playoff contention, are coming off a 3-2 home loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.

They have had three days to prepare for Toronto. The teams have split their first two meetings this season.

Defenseman John Gilmour and forward Vinni Lettieri were called up from Hartford of the American Hockey League for the game Tuesday. Lettieri played in his 19th game for the Rangers this season. Gilmour played in the Rangers' final 28 games last season but was playing his first NHL game this season.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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Feb 19, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid (1) makes a save against Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Bryan Rust (17) during the third period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports  (Ed Mulholland)
Feb 19, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid (1) makes a save against Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Bryan Rust (17) during the third period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The Devils couldn't mount a third-period comeback as the Penguins took them down, 4-3, at The Rock.


First period:

  • 2:14 NJD Jesper Bratt; Assists: Marcus Johansson, Mirco Mueller
  • 6:49 PIT Zach Aston-Reese; Assists: Sidney Crosby, Brian Dumoulin
  • 12:12 NJD Marcus Johansson; Assists: Mirco Mueller, Jesper Bratt
  • 18:24 PIT Nick Bjugstad; Assists: Marcus Pettersson, Dominik Simon
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac celebrates after scoring a goal with left wing Miles Wood against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac celebrates after scoring a goal with left wing Miles Wood against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

The Devils raced out to a 3-0 lead and blew out the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 on Monday at PPG Paints Arena. >> Box score


First period:

  • 13:08 NJD Travis Zajac; Assists: Miles Wood, Steven Santini
  • 14:53 NJD Damon Severson; Assists: Blake Coleman, Travis Zajac

Second period:

  • 3:30 NJD Brian Boyle (short handed); Assist: Pavel Zacha
  • 4:28 PIT Derick Brassard; Assists: Marcus Pettersson, Juuso Riikola
  • 12:57 NJD Blake Coleman; Assists: Travis Zajac, Will Butcher
Tags: Blake Coleman, Damon Severson, Kyle Palmieri, Pavel Zacha, Pittsburgh Penguins, Travis Zajac
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New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby fight for the puck during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby fight for the puck during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders blew a 1-0 lead in the third period and lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in a five-round shootout on Monday at Nassau Coliseum. >> Box score


Shootout:

  • NYI Mathew Barzal: MISS
  • PIT Phil Kessel: GOAL
  • NYI Leo Komarov: MISS
  • PIT Sidney Crosby: MISS
  • NYI Josh Bailey: GOAL
  • PIT Evgeni Malkin: MISS
  • NYI Anthony Beauvillier: MISS
  • PIT Kris Letang: MISS
  • NYI Valtteri Filppula: MISS
  • PIT Jake Guentzel: GOAL
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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Anders Lee (27) Sidney Crosby (87) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Anders Lee (27) Sidney Crosby (87) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel each had three points for the Penguins as they shut down the Islanders with a 6-2 victory Thursday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 8:34 PIT Kris Letang; Assists: Derick Brassard, Phil Kessel
  • 17:43 NYI Brock Nelson (Short handed); Assists: Tom Kuhnhackl, Scott Mayfield
  • 19:31 PIT Kris Letang; Assists: Bryan Rust, Brian Dumoulin

Second period:

  • 7:21 PIT Riley Sheahan; Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Jamie Oleksiak
  • 12:09 PIT Phil Kessel (Power play); Assists: Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel
  • 17:37 PIT Phil Kessel; Assists: Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel

Third period:

  • 4:23 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Ryan Pulock
  • 13:00 PIT Sidney Crosby; Assists: Phil Kessel, Jake Guentzel
Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Pittsburgh Penguins
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New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle moves the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle moves the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Boyle scored a hat trick as the Devils snapped a three-game losing skid with a 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday at PPG Paints Arena. >> Box score


First period:

  • 2:24 NJD Will Butcher; Assists: Joey Anderson, Jean-Sebastien Dea
  • 9:24 PIT Jamie Oleksiak; Assists: Olli Maatta, Jake Guentzel
  • 12:27 NJD Brian Boyle; Assists: Ben Lovejoy, Jean-Sebastien Dea

Second period:

  • 7:38 NJD Brian Boyle (power play); Assists: Kyle Palmieri, Will Butcher
  • 19:40 NJD Brian Boyle (power play); Assists: Taylor Hall, Will Butcher
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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Nov 6, 2018; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators defenseman Maxime Lajoie (58) is checked by New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri (21) in the third period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Nov 6, 2018; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators defenseman Maxime Lajoie (58) is checked by New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri (21) in the third period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

The Devils jumped out to an early lead but things began to unravel as the Senators exploded for seven goals in a 7-3 rout to hand New Jersy its fourth loss in its last five games. >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:14 NJD Taylor Hall; Assists: Nico Hischier, Andy Greene
  • 11:20 NJD Kyle Palmieri; Assists: Ben Lovejoy, Nico Hischier
  • 12:05 OTT Thomas Chabot; Assists: Bobby Ryan, Chris Tierney
  • 12:58 OTT Mark Stone; Assists: Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel 
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist scores a goal past New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist scores a goal past New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Rangers lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Sunday at PPG Paints Arena. >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:14 PIT Patric Hornqvist; Assists: Carl Hagelin, Kris Letang
  • 15:17 NYR Michael Grabner
  • 19:06 NYR Brendan Smith; Assists: Vinni Lettieri, Paul Carey

Second period:

  • 13:15 PIT Dominik Simon; Assists: Daniel Sprong, Brian Dumoulin
  • 14:30 PIT Phil Kessel; Assist: Conor Sheary

Third period:

  • 12:33 PIT Sidney Crosby; Assists: Kessel, Jamie Oleksiak
  • 18:01 PIT Carl Hagelin (ENG)
Tags: Brendan Smith, Michael Grabner, Pittsburgh Penguins
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New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi tangles up with Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi tangles up with Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Jimmy Vesey scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as the New York Rangers ended the regular season with a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more


First period:

  • 9:16 PIT Nick Bonino; Assists: Dominik Simon, Phil Kessel
  • 13:54 NYR Ryan McDonagh; Assist: Michael Grabner
  • 18:31 NYR Derek Stepan (power play); Assists: McDonagh, Mika Zibanejad

Second period:

  • 13:38 PIT Carter Rowney

Third period:

  • 7:23 NYR Jimmy Vesey; Assist: Zibanejad
Tags: Derek Stepan, Jimmy Vesey, Michael Grabner, Mika Zibanejad, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan McDonagh
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New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) skates with the puck during the third period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland)
New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) skates with the puck during the third period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland)

The Devils (13-14-7) welcome the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins (22-8-5) to Newark on Tuesday.

According to STATS:

  • The Penguins defeated the Devils, 4-1, on Friday night at PPG Paints Arena, improving to 9-1-2 (.833) in 12 games this month -- currently their best record in any December all-time. Pittsburgh has won 10+ games in December four times in franchise history (last time: 11-3-0 in December 2013).
  • Including Friday night's setback, the Devils have scored two or fewer goals in eight of their last nine tilts. New Jersey has -18 goal differential this month -- worst in the Eastern Conference and third worst in the league overall.
  • Pittsburgh has won both meetings with New Jersey in 2016-17, each win coming at PPG Paints Arena. The Devils are 7-1-1 in their last nine home games vs. the Pens.
  • Sidney Crosby lit the lamp Friday night, scoring a goal for the third straight game, and for an NHL-high 24th time in 2016-17. Crosby, who has a marker in each of his two skates against the Devils this season, is looking to pot a goal in three straight games vs. New Jersey for the first time in his NHL career.
  • Kyle Palmieri scored the Devils' lone goal Friday night, and has now lit the lamp in back-to-back skates for the first time of the season. Palmieri has four markers and a helper during his current four-game point streak vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Pittsburgh is the only team in the league to boast three 30+ point skaters in 2016-17 (Malkin -- 39, Crosby -- 38, Kessel -- 34).

© 2016 by STATS.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) looks on during a time-out against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire)
New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) looks on during a time-out against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire)

The three-day Christmas holiday break in the past, the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils return to action Tuesday night at the Prudential Center to finish a home-and-home set that began with a 4-1 Penguins win in Pittsburgh last Friday.

That victory helped the Penguins (22-8-5) continue their impressive month of December. Pittsburgh has recorded at least one point in all but one of the 12 games it has played this month. The Penguins are 9-1-2 in December, a record that includes a season-high seven-game winning streak from Dec. 1-Dec. 14.

On the other side, Friday's result saw the Devils (13-14-7) continue their struggles this month. New Jersey, which had snapped a seven-game losing skid with a 4-0 home-ice win over the Philadelphia Flyers last Thursday, is just 3-7-2 in December.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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Nov 30, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins with New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) and New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (72) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 30, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins with New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) and New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (72) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

First Period 

Second Period

Tags: Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, Johnny Boychuk, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Nov 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) controls the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Eric Fehr (16) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) controls the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Eric Fehr (16) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders look for their second victory in a row as they take on the rival Penguins at Barclays Center on Wednesday night. 

According to STATS...

  • The Penguins haven't played since Saturday, when they beat the New Jersey Devils, 4-3 in a shootout, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has not had consecutive wins sin November 5 & 8 (at San Jose, vs. Edmonton). In their last three games, the Penguins are 0-for-11 on the power play and have allowed five power-play goals in just nine opponent power-play opportunities.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist defends his goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist defends his goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild/USA Today Sports Images)

Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after allowing four second-period goals in the New York Rangers' 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more


First period:

  • 4:22 NYR Rick Nash (power play); Assists: Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello

Second period:

  • 2:02 PIT Scott Wilson; Assists: Phil Kessel, Nick Bonino
  • 4:58 PIT Sidney Crosby; Assist: Ian Cole
  • 10:12 PIT Kessel; Assist: Bonino
  • 12:57 PIT Crosby; Assist: Kris Letang
  • 16:42 PIT Conor Sheary; Assists: Crosby, Carl Hagelin

Third period:

  • 13:05 PIT Matt Cullen; Assists: Justin Schultz, Eric Fehr
Tags: Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, Pittsburgh Penguins, Rick Nash
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Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) clears the defensive zone against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) clears the defensive zone against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

J.T. Miller scored a shorthanded goal with 59 seconds remaining in the second period as the New York Rangers overcame a 2-0 first-period deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Monday at PPG Paints Arena. >> Read more


First period:

  • 1:02 PIT Jake Guentzel; Assists: Phil Kessel, Trevor Daley
  • 13:12 PIT Guentzel; Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel

Second period:

  • 4:51 NYR Rick Nash
  • 14:23 NYR Michael Grabner; Assist: Ryan McDonagh
  • 19:11 NYR J.T. Miller (short handed); Assist: Kevin Hayes

Third period:

  • 12:46 NYR Hayes; Assist: McDonagh
  • 18:37 NYR Derek Stepan (empty net); Assists: Nash, Grabner
Tags: Derek Stepan, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner, Pittsburgh Penguins, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The Islanders just went through yet another tumultuous week where an expected coaching change never materialized and general manager Garth Snow broke his silence with the media, speaking to reporters after Friday's practice, in what was thought to be a forced move after Frank Seravalli of TSN revealed details of a discussion the two had in Toronto at the GM meetings.

With some sarcasm, snark and ill-advised humor, Snow offered a vote of confidence for his embattled head coach, Jack Capuano, whose system is either not working anymore with the current roster of players at his disposal, or the players have simply tired of the message being preached and have tuned it out. He also gave support to said roster, all while feverishly working the phones looking for offensive help.

Tags: Anders Lee, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Andy Graziano
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GEICO SportsNite: Islanders 00:00:52
Islanders coach Jack Capuano and forwards Shane Prince and Brock Nelson share their thoughts on the Isles' 3-2 OT loss to the Penguins.

First Period 

Second Period

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

The Islanders host the Penguins on Friday night. According to STATS...

  • Pittsburgh was blown out, 7-1, by Washington at Verizon Center on Wednesday night, losing for the second time in its last three tilts overall. The last time the Pens lost by more than six goals was when they were shut out 7-0 by the Hurricanes on December 16, 2001.
  • New York was blanked, 4-0, by Tampa Bay at Barclays Center on Monday night, dropping its third straight game by a combined score of 11-3. The whitewash was the first for the Isles since losing 5-0 to the Penguins on April 2 last season.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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 (Eric Risberg)
(Eric Risberg)

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won the Stanley Cup, defeating the San Jose Sharks in six games.

Now that the season is over, here are some important dates for the Devils as the 2016-17 season nears…

  • June 22: NHL Awards from Las Vegas
  • June 24-25: NHL Entry Draft from Buffalo, New York
  • June 30: Last day to qualify restricted free agents
  • July 1: Free agency begins
  • Sept. 17-Oct. 1: World Cup of Hockey
  • Sept 26: First preseason game - Flyers at Devils, 7 p.m. from the Prudential Center

The full 2016-17 regular-season schedule will be released later in June. 

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks
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New York Islanders center Mikhail Grabovski (L) and defenseman Calvin de Haan (LC) and defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) and goalie Jean-Francois Berube (R) stand for the national anthem before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 2-1 in a shootout. (Charles LeClaire)
New York Islanders center Mikhail Grabovski (L) and defenseman Calvin de Haan (LC) and defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) and goalie Jean-Francois Berube (R) stand for the national anthem before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 2-1 in a shootout. (Charles LeClaire)

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won the Stanley Cup, defeating the San Jose Sharks in six games.

Now that the season is over, here are some important dates for the Islanders as the 2016-17 season nears…

  • June 22: NHL Awards from Las Vegas
  • June 24-25: NHL Entry Draft from Buffalo, New York
  • June 29: Blue & White Rookie Scrimmage and Skills Competition at Northwell Health Ice Center at Eisenhower Park
  • June 30: Last day to qualify restricted free agents
  • July 1: Free agency begins
  • Sept. 17-Oct. 1: World Cup of Hockey
  • Sept 26: First preseason game - Flyers at Islanders, 7 p.m. from Barclays Center

The team's full schedule will be released later in June

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks
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Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) celebrates his empty-net goal with Pittsburgh Penguins center Matt Cullen (7) in front of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) during the third period of game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 3-1 to take a two games to one lead in the best of seven series. (Brad Penner)
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) celebrates his empty-net goal with Pittsburgh Penguins center Matt Cullen (7) in front of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) during the third period of game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 3-1 to take a two games to one lead in the best of seven series. (Brad Penner)

Box score

The Pittsburgh Penguins ended their postseason hex against the New York Rangers emphatically Saturday, lighting up Henrik Lundqvist in a remarkably easy 6-3 rout in Game 5 to win the series 4-1 and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Rookie Bryan Rust scored twice during a four-goal burst in the second period and Matt Murray made 38 saves for the Penguins. Pittsburgh which outscored the Rangers 14-4 over the final three games to gain a measure of revenge after New York ended the Penguins' seasons each of the last two years.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins, Adam Rotter
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New York Rangers center Eric Staal (12) skates with the puck as Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Conor Sheary (43) pressures during the second period in game one of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. (Charles LeClaire)
New York Rangers center Eric Staal (12) skates with the puck as Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Conor Sheary (43) pressures during the second period in game one of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. (Charles LeClaire)

The Rangers and Penguins meet for Game 2 of their playoff series at 3 p.m. in Pittsburgh.

According to STATS...

  • The Penguins picked up a 5-2 victory in Game 1, after scoring exactly one goal in each of their previous four home playoff games against the Rangers.
  • The Penguins have gone 17-7 all-time in best-of-7 playoff series after winning Game 1, including victories in each of the last three such series.
  • The Rangers, 10-27 all-time in best-of-7 playoff series after losing Game 1, have lost seven of their last nine such series, but did pick up a victory against the Capitals in seven games in the conference semis against Washington last postseason.
  • The Penguins, coming off the 5-2 win in Game 1, have now scored at least four goals in 18 of their last 21 victories. Pittsburgh has also scored six shorthanded goals over their last seven victories.
  • Patric Hornqvist's hat trick in Game 1 was the seventh postseason hat trick by a Penguins skater since the 2009 playoffs (two by Sidney Crosby, two by Evgeni Malkin, one by James Neal and one by Jordan Staal).
  • Derek Stepan, who scored a career-high 22 goals this season, scored a pair of goals for the Rangers in Game 1, after going without a goal over his previous 11 road playoff games.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey celebrates with teammates after scoring the game winning goal against the Washington Capitals in overtime at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey celebrates with teammates after scoring the game winning goal against the Washington Capitals in overtime at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports Images)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The New York Islanders are one of only four teams who, as of Saturday morning, will have two games remaining on their 2015-16 schedule, as snow forced the postponement of games in Brooklyn and Washington back in January.

The Islanders, after facing the Buffalo Sabres and super-rookie Jack Eichel on Saturday night, will close things out with a grudge match against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, a game that could have huge playoff implications for the Flyers as they chase the final wild card spot in the Eastern conference. In the league's other final game, the Anaheim Ducks will travel to Washington to take on the Capitals.

Tags: Anders Lee, Cal Clutterbuck, Florida Panthers, Jaroslav Halak, Matt Martin, Mikhail Grabovski, Pittsburgh Penguins, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang battle for the puck during the second period at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang battle for the puck during the second period at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched a playoff berth Saturday behind Matt Murray's 23 saves for his first NHL shutout, 5-0 over the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Surging Pittsburgh improved to 45-25-8 with its fifth straight win and has outscored opponents 25-10 in that stretch.

The Penguins made the postseason for the 10th straight year and solidified their grip on second place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh led the New York Rangers by three points, with the Rangers hosting Buffalo on Saturday night.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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New York Islanders forward John Tavares takes a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period at PNC Arena. (James Guillory/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders forward John Tavares takes a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period at PNC Arena. (James Guillory/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at Barclays Center at 1 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • The Penguins have lost three consecutive road games against the Islanders in regulation, after losing just three of their previous 16 road games (11-3-2) against New York in regulation.
  • The Islanders, who have won three straight games, can match their season-long win streaks (three streaks of four games) with a win on Saturday.
  • Since the beginning of February, the Penguins have averaged more than five goals per game (5.06) over their 15 regulation victories. At the same time, Pittsburgh has gone an NHL-best 10-1-0 since March 11.
  • Sidney Crosby, who has now recorded at least one point in 16 of his last 17 games, has averaged 1.75 points per game (93/53) over his career against the Islanders -- the most by any active skater against one team (minimum 12 games).
  • Phil Kessel, who has recorded nine points (four goals, five assists) over his last four games, has now scored at least 25 goals in each of his last three seasons, and for the seventh time in his NHL career.
  • John Tavares, whose next goal will give him back-to-back 30-goal seasons for the first time in his NHL career, has recorded at least one point in each of his last six home games against the Penguins.
Tags: John Tavares, Pittsburgh Penguins
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New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

Sidney Crosby scored on a deflection at 4:30 of overtime and the surging Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Rangers 3-2 Sunday night in a potential first-round playoff preview.

Matt Cullen and Phil Kessel also scored for the Penguins, who have won eight of nine. Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves.

Eric Staal scored twice for New York, which had won three straight. Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast assisted on both of Staal's goals. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots.

Tags: Derick Brassard, Eric Staal, Henrik Lundqvist, Jesper Fast, Kevin Hayes, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath is upended by the Penguins' Tom Kuhnhackl. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath is upended by the Penguins' Tom Kuhnhackl. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Box score

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist each scored in the final 2:13 of the second period, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night.

Malkin added two assists and Phil Kessel scored into an empty net for the Penguins, who frustrated Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist midway through the second and chased him with a three-goal flurry at the end of the period.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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New Jersey Devils right wing Lee Stempniak (20) scores against the Winnipeg Jets, his former team during the first period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. (Bruce Fedyck)
New Jersey Devils right wing Lee Stempniak (20) scores against the Winnipeg Jets, his former team during the first period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. (Bruce Fedyck)

The All-Star break might not be coming at the best time for the New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The surprising Devils try for a season-high fifth straight win Tuesday night as they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins, who appear to be finding their footing of late as the teams close out their pre-All-Star schedules.

New Jersey (25-19-5) has put a 1-5-0 stretch in the past in impressive fashion and can win five in a row for the first time since Feb. 3-10, 2013. Lee Stempniak scored twice against his former team and Cory Schneider made 22 saves in Saturday's 3-1 victory over Winnipeg, which improved the club to 14-9-2 on the road.

Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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New York Islanders left wing Nikolay Kulemin skates for a loose puck during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USATSI)
New York Islanders left wing Nikolay Kulemin skates for a loose puck during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USATSI)

The Islanders travel to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins on Saturday at 7 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • The Islanders and Penguins meet for the first time this season. The Isles won the last four matchups between the teams in 2014-15. They are seeking their first five-game winning streak against the Penguins since 1986.
  • The Penguins tied a season high with five goals in their New Year's Eve win over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Through December 31 last season, the Penguins scored six goals or more in a game three times.
  • Thursday's win in Detroit was just Pittsburgh's second victory this season in the second game of a back-to-back. They were just 1-5-1 in those games entering their New Year's Eve contest.
  • Kris Letang scored two goals against the Red Wings on Thursday after recording just one in his previous 27 games played this season. It was his first multi-goal game since December 13, 2014 at Columbus.
  • Nikolay Kulemin extended his goal streak to three games with a third period goal that secured the Isles' 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. Brock Nelson has the longest goal streak by an Islander player this season with four games.
  • The Islanders have the most improved penalty kill percentage in the NHL from last season to this season -- going from 78.0 87.3 percent. They are currently ranked second in the NHL in penalty kill percentage, behind only Anaheim (88.0).
Tags: Brock Nelson, Nikolay Kulemin, Pittsburgh Penguins
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The Penguins and Islanders meet for the final time this season tonight at 7 p.m. at Consol Energy Center. The crucial matchup will air on MSG Plus, as well as WRHU 88.7 FM and LI News Radio 103.9 FM.

This will the be fifth and final contest between the division rivals. The Islanders (46-28-6) have taken three of the four previous games against the Penguins. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak -- the announced starter for tonight -- has started three times against Pittsburgh and is 2-1 in those games.

Cal Clutterbuck will return to the Islanders lineup after missing their previous game. The rest of the lineup will remain the same. The Penguins will be using five defenseman against the Islanders and Marc-Andre Fleury will likely get the start.

Tags: Islanders, new york islanders, pittsburgh penguins
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There were jokes, smiles and calm faces in the Islanders locker room after Thursday's practice at Nassau Coliseum. If you hadn't been following the Islanders, you never would have guessed that the team was gearing up for what is arguably the biggest game of the year.

The relaxed attitude is a good sign for a team that suffered a crushing loss on Tuesday in Philadelphia. If they lost any confidence in themselves, it hardly showed on Thursday.

"We can't dwell on that right now," Anders Lee said. "We have two games moving forward and our most important game is [Friday] night. That's what we're focused on."

Tags: anders lee, Islanders, john tavares, new york islanders, pittsburgh penguins
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Dare I say, the Islanders once again have a chance to clinch a playoff spot on Thursday.

They won't be in action, but they have two ways to finally lock up a spot in the postseason. One possibility requires the Ottawa Senators to lose at Madison Square Garden. If the Rangers come away with a win in any fashion against the Senators -- winners of four of their last five -- then the Isles would clinch.

The Islanders can also clinch if the Bruins lose in any manner to the Panthers. The Washington Capitals helped the Islanders Wednesday by beating the Bruins 3-0 at the Verizon Center.

Tags: Boston Bruins, Islanders, new york islanders, News, Ottawa Senators, pittsburgh penguins, Standings Watch
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The Islanders are in the drivers seat tonight in Philadelphia.

They can clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Flyers. A single point will also do the trick for the Islanders or if they lose then a regulation loss by the Ottawa Senators will also give the Isles a postseason birth.

The Washington Capitals have a one point lead in the standings on the Islanders, so a win tonight over Philly would also move the Isles back into second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals are off tonight, but they will play the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.

Tags: Islanders, new york islanders, News, Ottawa Senators, pittsburgh penguins
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The Pittsburgh Penguins were likely very happy to be done with having to play at Nassau Coliseum after Friday night.

Well, a trip back may be in the cards in the postseason, but for the rest of the regular season Marc-Andre Fleury and the Pens won't have to hear the taunts from Islander fans as they did during Friday's 6-3 New York win. It was the Islanders' third straight win over Pittsburgh, and their second win at Nassau Coliseum this season.

The Islanders-Penguins matchup was billed to be another entertaining battle between divisional opponents, who have played some memorable games in recent years, and it lived up to the hype.

Tags: Islanders, kyle okposo, new york islanders, pittsburgh penguins, travis hamonic
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