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About the Islanders - 02-05-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Islanders.

When and where: 7 p.m. EST. Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

TV: Root Sports MSG Plus.

Record: 4-3-1, 9 points. The Islanders are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and third place in the Atlantic Division.

Leading Scorer: John Tavares (right), 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists).

Last Game: 3-0 home loss to the Devils, Sunday. Evgeni Nabokov made 24 saves for the Islanders.

Last Game against the Penguins: 4-1 road win, Jan. 29. Marc-Andre Fleury made 13 saves for the Penguins.

Islanders Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Frans Nielsen. He has points in three consecutive games against the Penguins.

Ex-Penguins on the Islanders: Eric Cairns, player development; Matt Carkner, D (Carkner is a former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin but never played for the NHL club); Colin McDonald, RW; Matt Moulson, LW (Moulson is a former Penguins draft pick but never actually played for the orgnaization); Garth Snow, general manager; Brian Strait, D.

Ex-Islanders on the Penguins: Dan Bylsma, head coach (Bylsma served as an assistant coach with the Islanders); Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to the general manager; Bill Guerin, player development coach.

Useless Islanders Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: The only player to lead the Islanders in points and penalty minutes in the same season was former Penguins center Mike Comrie. He had 49 points and 87 penalty minutes..

Best Islanders Video We Could Find: Former Islanders defenseman Darius Kasparaitis tormenting Penguins captain Mario Lemieux during Game 6 of the 1993 Patrick Division final:

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (3-2-0, 2.53 GAA, .897 SV%) for the Penguins. Evgeni Nabokov (4-2-1, 2.99 GAA, .908 SV%) for the Islanders.

Injuries: For the Penguins, defenseman Matt Niskanen (ankle) is out. For the Islanders, defenseman Radek Martinenk (abdominal) is on injured reserve.  Center Josh Bailey (knee) and left winger Jesse Joensuu (sports hernia) are suspended for suffering injuries during the lockout. Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is suspended for not reporting to the team.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins did not hold full practices the past two days. Their primary lines and defensive pairings against the Capitals Sunday were:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 9 Pascal Dupuis
17 Zach Boychuk - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 18 James Neal
24 Matt Cooke - 16 Brandon Sutter - 48 Tyler Kennedy
10 Tanner Glass - 46 Joe Vitale - 27 Craig Adams

47 Simon Despres - 58 Kris Letang
44 Brooks Orpik - 7 Paul Martin
41 Robert Bortuzzo - 5 Deryk Engelland

-The Islanders held an optional skate yesterday. Their lines and pairings at yesterday's practice were:

26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 24 Brad Boyes
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 21 Kyle Okposo
41 David Ullstrom - 10 Keith Aucoin - 13 Colin McDonald
17 Matt Martin - 16 Marty Reasoner - 53 Casey Cizikas


2 Mark Streit - 37 Brian Strait
47 Andrew MacDonald - 3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey - 7 Matt Carkner

Notes:

-The last time the Penguins played the Islanders, this happened:

-The Penguins are 0-3-0 against the Islanders since erecting the Rich Pilon/Jeff Norton Mario Lemieux statue.

-Fleury has 22 career shutouts. He needs one more to surpass Tom Barrasso for most in franchise history.

-Goaltender Tomas Vokoun has 49 career shutouts.

-McDonald is playing his first game since being suspended for a boarding major against defenseman Ben Lovejoy Jan. 29:

-Nabokov has a 10-2-0 record all-time against the Penguins with a 1.70 goals against average, a .942 save percentage and two shutouts.

-Moulson has played in 254 consecutive games.

-Our live blog, direct from our couch, begins at 6:55 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Tavares-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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