The Pittsburgh Penguins inserted Tyler Kennedy and Joe Vitale into the lineup for the first time in this series in Game 5. Both players provided instant energy from their very first shift. The Pens would go onto a 4-0 victory and took back control of the series. Pittsburgh will look to close out the series tonight in Long Island in front of the Islander’s home crowd and avoid a possible Game Seven back in Pittsburgh.
It’s “win-or-go-home” for the New York Islanders. The Islanders put 31 shots on net Thursday night but they were unable to solve goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who hadn’t played a playoff game since 2007. They’ll look to solve Vokoun once more tonight. The Isles are the NHL’s most desperate team tonight, fighting for their playoff lives as they look to stave off elimination.
“We don’t have six periods, we just have three. The fourth game is the hardest game to win and we expect their very best from them tonight.”
NEWS AND NOTES
Tomas Vokoun’s victory in Game Five was his first playoff win since April 13, 2007 against San Jose –when he also defeated Evgeni Nabokov.
Vokoun enters tonight’s game having won eight straight road decisions dating back to January 31. Over his last five road games –all wins –Vokoun posted a 1.72 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage.
Tyler Kennedy’s goal on Thursday held up as his sixth career postseason game-winning goal, which is 6th-most in Pens playoff history.
The Penguins have scored three goals in a single period in four of the five games of the series.
Evgeni Malkin has points in all five games of the series thus far. Malkin leads the Pens with seven assists and nine points. Geno’s nine points this series marks the second-highest (tied) single-series totals of his career. He needs just one more point to match the 10 points (2G-8A) he had in the seven game series against the Washington Capitals in 2009.
Pascal Dupuis leads the Penguins with four goals and he has six points in five playoff games –including at least one point in all five contests.
Jarome Iginla can equal the longest point streak of his playoff career with a point tonight. Iginla’s longest playoff point streak is six games from April 27-May 11, 2004 (2G-4A-6PTS).
Kris Letang has points in 11 of his last 12 games (both regular season and playoffs). Letang has 16 points (4G-12A) during that stretch.
Andrew MacDonald will miss his second-straight game because of a broken left hand he injured in Game Four.
Casey Cizikas leads all NHL rookies with four playoff points.
Frans Nielsen is a game-time decision for the Isles. Nielsen was injured in Game Five. If he is unable to go tonight, the Isles will likely replace him with Brock Nelson. Nelson has yet to play an NHL game, but has played great in his first full season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (25 G, 27A in 66 games played).
PROJECTED ISLANDERS LINEUP
PROJECTED PENGUINS LINEUPS
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