Game 1 Preview: PIT @ NYI
The New York Islanders open up the postseason at Nassau Coliseum tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Here’s the pre-game report.
HEAD TO HEAD
New York has lost their last two regular season games against the Penguins but have won three of the last five meetings overall, going back to March 2018. Pittsburgh went 16-8-6 in their last 30 regular season games this year while the Islanders had a very similar streak, going 18-11-1. Obviously, the scary part about the Penguins is their playoff success in the last decade, including two Stanley Cups in the last three seasons. Pittsburgh has only failed to make it out of the first round in three of the last 11 seasons and only once in the last six seasons. Sidney Crosby has also been unbelievable against the Islanders throughout his career, with 36 goals and 113 points in 66 games. That’s a minimum of 14 more points than he has against any other NHL team.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ryan Pulock had four points and was a plus-three in his final eight games, while Jordan Eberle had five goals and six points in his last seven games. Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson both had six points in their last eight games as well, while Robin Lehner accumulated an unbelievable .956 save percentage in his last seven games of the season.
Phil Kessel had nine points in his last seven games of the year, while Sidney Crosby had six points in his last three games. Jake Guentzel had 11 goals and 20 points in his last 18 regular season games and Matt Murray held a .935 save percentage through his final 10 games of the season.
GOALIE MATCHUP (Projected)
NYI: Robin Lehner was 25-13-5 with a .930 save percentage this season.
PIT: Matt Murray was 29-14-6 this season with a .919 save percentage.
PERFORMANCE VS OPPONENT
Below, we look at key players who have overperformed or underperformed against the opponent.
NYI Individual Career Stats vs PIT
Overperformer: Josh Bailey has 33 points in 49 games.
Overperformer: Ryan Pulock has six points and is a plus-three in nine games.
Underperformer: Johnny Boychuk has five points and is a minus-six in 30 games.
Underperformer: Robin Lehner is 2-3-3 with an .899 save percentage.
PIT Individual Career Stats vs NYI
Overperformer: Sidney Crosby has 113 points in 66 games.
Overperformer: Phil Kessel has 49 points in 48 games.
Underperformer: Jake Guentzel has no goals and five points in nine games.
Underperformer: Matt Murray is 2-3-1 with an .899 save percentage.
Underperformer: Bryan Rust has no goals, two points and is a minus-five in 13 games.
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.
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