Pen’s face the Islander’s tonight really short handed. To add to the fact that Letang, Michalek, Crosby, Park , and Bortuzzo are all out, the Pen’s now have to go with out their best Penalty Killer Jordan Staal. Staal is listed to have a lower body injury per the Penguin’s Official Website.
The loss of Staal is a big special teams blow to this team, not to mention the fact that Jordan is having one of his best offensive season’s to date. The Penguin’s have called up Jason Williams from Wilkes Barre where he has recorded 17 points this season though Williams is 31 with lots of prior NHL experience. These developments to go along with a team that has struggled defensively spotting teams big early leads, could spell disaster if they do not start getting healthy soon.
As for the Islanders, they are just starting to play well this season with a 4-0-2 record in their last 6 games. Leading the surge is Matt Moulson, who has scored 7 goals in the last 5 games including a game where he scored 4 goals which included the game winner against Dallas. Montoya will be in goal tonight for the Islanders. Being the best goalie the Islander’s have with a 2.14 goals per game average, he will be helped by playing against a depleted Pen’s team tonight.
Tavares and Parenteau are also having pretty good seasons and starting to play even better as of late. Defensively the Isle’s have struggled a bit this year, but that will also be helped by the fact that the Pen’s are going into tonight with limited fire power.
As far as forward lines tonight, the Pen’s report is listing these combinations. The first line will be Sullivan-Malkin-Neal, followed by a second line of Kunitz-Engelland-Kennedy, a third line of Cooke-Vitale-Dupuis and a the 4th line will consist of Asham-Adams-MacIntyre. The defensive pairings have not yet been announced. That will more than likely be a game time decision with so many defenseman missing the game tonight.
If any more changes to the lineup occur, I will post it before the game tonight.