Gameday #26: v. New York Islanders




Consol Energy Center, 7:00PM, Root Sports

Well yesterday’s game could have been better. The Pens jumped out to a commanding 3-1 lead just to see it evaporate before ultimately needing a shootout to vanquish the Leafs. Overall the Pens seemed to play okay, but they were crushed when they took penalties, definitely an alarming trend over the last 4 or 5 games.

But the good news is that the Pens get right back  at it today against the New York Islanders. Although they’ve been too inconsistent to be a true threat this year the Isles look to be taking leaps and bounds towards relevancy, right now they’re ahead of the Flyers in the standings and hovering just outside of the playoff race. They’ve gotten good goaltending from Evgeni Nabokov and John Tavares has emerged as a truly elite player.

That being said the Pens should control this game, they are back home after a nice 2-0-0 road trip and are currently on a 4 game winning streak. The Pens are all of a sudden looking like an elite even strength team with 4 good lines that can all control play and a dynamite power play. That’s a lot for the Islanders to handle. On defense the Pens need to stop Tavares at all costs, the Isles are almost undefeated when he scores and nearly winless when he doesn’t, so there’s that.

We expect to see Vokoun in the cage tonight, but no other roster changes. Boston comes to town on Tuesday: the Pens need to not fall into a trap tonight so we can make a big stink about how the winner of Pittsburgh/Boston will be in command of the entire Eastern Conference. By definition then that makes tonight’s game a “trap game” so we can only imagine what the perception would be if Vokoun is left out to dry by the defense again…

Keep ’em coming. Go Pens.


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