New York Islanders (9-5-0, 18 pts) at Pittsburgh Penguins (7-10-1, 15 pts)
The Pens are just three points behind the Isles, but the Islanders have four games in hand over the Pens. It feels a bit like last year, when the Pens had games in hand against just about everyone for much of the year. This year it's a different story, and the Pens need to start to make hay, as they won't have the luxury of extra games this year.
The Isles, despite having lost to Philly on Monday, have won six of their past eight games. They're not quite the same on the road, however, having won only two games on the road all year.
The Islanders have also been staying light on the penalties. They've faced only 10 short handed situations in the last five games, killing off nine of those chances. The Pens will likely need to do some damage at even-strength.
The Pens, for their part, have been in a tailspin. They are just 2-8-1 in their last 11 games. They're struggling in just about every facet of the game. They really need someone other than Crosby and Malkin to step up and score. They need a big time performance from between the pipes, no matter whether it's Fleury or Sabourin. They need increased offense on the power play. They need Kris Letang to contribute. We're not going to get all of that in one game, so let's just ask for the win to start with.
Islanders Blog - The Islanders have this thing called the Blog Box. The blogs they highlight (I think they sit in a special box at the games to cover the team) don't seem to be on the ball - most of them don't update with any kind of frequency, or recap their games. For a blog that looks good from that list, check out Isles Blogger. Mike takes some nice photos and writes about the games he covers. Nice site.
Let's Go Pens!