Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders - 11/22/13
New York Islanders (8-11-3) at Pittsburgh Penguins (14-8-0)
NHL Hockey: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Consol Energy Centre)
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -237 / New York Islanders +214 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Pittsburgh Penguins needed a big time effort on Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals. The Penguins have struggled of late and at the heart of it has been Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and their inability to find the back of the net. That hasn't been a problem very often for the Penguins so going through a rut like this was a very foreign concept for them. On Wednesday the Penguins came out flying and it paid dividends for them. Pittsburgh outshot the Capitals 17-6 in the opening period and 40-18 for the game. Maybe it was Alex Ovechkin and those Capitals jerseyse that the Penguins despise so much, but whatever it was it was exactly what this hockey club needed. Sidney Crosby scored a beautiful power play goal and Malkin added two assists as the Penguins crusied to a 4-0 victory over Washinton. Marc-Andre Fleury was good when he needed to be and recorded the shutout on 18 shots. This is the type of game we expect to see from the Penguins every night but that hasn't been the case this season. It seems this year more than ever the Penuins need Crosby and Malkin to really lead and they did that in this one. Whether or not that will be the case the rest of the season remains to be seen.
The New York Islanders come into this game having lost six of their last eight games, including Tuesday night's 5-2 loss at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Everyone loves to rip on Evgeni Nabokov but now that he's on injured reserve and Kevin Poulin has to take up the full time job that might change some people's opinions. Nabokov isn't the greatest goaltender at this point in his career but he is a solid veteran presence who can deal with the tons of defensive breakdowns that occur for the Islanders every night. Poulin will be sure to see a bunch of those on Friday night but the Islanders need him to really limit the Penguins in this one if New York is going to have any chance. The Islanders just aren't playing very good hockey right now and if the Penguins can string another game together like the one they played on Wednesday this one should be comfortable for them.
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