Gameday #36: v. New York Islanders

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PITTSBURGH PENGUINS v. New York Islanders

Consol Energy Center, 1:00 PM, Root Sports

My first thought when I woke up and started writing was “The Penguins have added Jarome Iginla.” Oh and they’ve played much of this 14 game winning streak without Kris Letang, and Evengi Malkin. But the road isn’t really getting easier, today the streaking Islanders, who could be the Penguins’ first round matchup come playoff time.

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But the road is hard for more than just the opponent. Iginla has allegedly made it to Pittsburgh, but with a disturbed sleep schedule and zero practice time he is unlikely to play today. Paul Martin, who blocked a shot with his hand during the Pens’ extended 5-on-3 in Thursday’s game, is unlikely to play. For our money Paul-Mart has been the Pens’ best defender from game one this year so we don’t know what’s going to happen without him in the lineup.

On the good side, Jeff Zatkoff has been returned to WB/S and MAF will be dressed, if not starting, for the Pens today.

The Islanders don’t look like a team that’s selling at the deadline. They just came to terms with Lubomir Visnovsky on a 2 year extension and most people agree that their other veteran defenseman Mark Streit will soon follow. We said this in our last pregame, we kind of want the Isles to make it, especially if it’s at the expense of the Flyers and Rangers. For what it’s worth, the Penguins have never beaten the Islanders in the playoffs, they’ve dropped 3 series lifetime: 1975, 1982 (when the Islanders went on to win the Cup), and 1993, perhaps the single greatest Penguins team ever built, and a team that these 2013 Pens have been uncomfortably compared to. But that’s just getting ahead of ourselves.

The Pens are 3 games away from tying their own historic streak. For weeks people have wondered if the Pens could catch the Blackhawks, check the points today. This is the last game in March for the Penguins, will they go the whole month without a loss? Do you want them to? Let us know.

Just do it. Go Pens.

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