No longer are they the doormat of the Atlantic Division, the New York Islanders are playing like contenders and have won three straight games against the Penguins dating back to last season. Just one week ago, the Isles had their way with the Penguins in a 4-1 win at CONSOL Energy Center. Since that game, the Penguins have seemingly put it all together and the hope to avenge last weeks disappointment.
Sidney Crosby has turned up the scoring lately and Chris Kunitz‘s game has directly benefited. Kunitz was names the NHL’s Second Star of the Week with 7 points in his last two games.
John Tavares, Matt Moulson, Michael Grabner and Keith Aucoin are all tied as the leading goal scorers of the Islanders with 4 goals a piece.
The Isles Penalty Kill is 92.9% which is third best in the league. Their Power Play is also 3rd in the league at 29%.
Kunitz has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his last two contests.
Aucoin leads the NHL in the faceoff circle with a 64.0% winning percentage going 57-for-89.
Evgeni Nabokov will be playing for the eighth game in the Isles last nine games. Nabokov completely frustrated the Pens last Tuesday and is 10-2-0 with a 1.70 GAA and two shutouts against the Penguins. He’s allowed two or fewer goals in nine straight matchups against the Pens.
Crosby is riding a four-game point streak accruing eight points (1G-7A) in that span.
Zach Boychuk is averaging 12:29 minutes per game with the Penguins… Far more than Dustin Jeffrey (10:50) or Eric Tangradi (8:32). His speed and style are making big differences for the Penguins as well, as he’s a much better fit on the second line than either Jeffrey or Tangradi and since his arrival, the lines have been better balanced.
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