NHL Hockey

2
Final 1 2 3 Tot
NY Islanders 1 0 1 2
Pittsburgh 2 3 1 6
6
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, December 6, 2018
PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 18,440

Penguins hope to ride momentum against Islanders

New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins

  1. The Islanders fell to the Jets, 3-1, at home on Tuesday, and have now lost three of their last four. In their last eight games, they're 0-for-17 on the power play, and since November 1, they're 4-for-46 with the man advantage, a league-worst 8.7 percent.
  2. Anders Lee scored New York's only goal in the loss to Winnipeg. He has 134 goals in his career. Only Mike Bossy (573), Denis Potvin (310), and Bob Nystrom (235) have more among players to play their entire career with New York.
  3. The Islanders have won both meetings this season, and three in a row against Pittsburgh. Another win would tie their longest winning streak against the Pens since 1986. The Pens have only gone winless against New York in a season twice -- 1978-79 and 1986-87.
  4. The Penguins beat the Avalanche, 6-3, after blowing a 3-0 lead. It was just their second game since the 1995-96 season that they've blown a three-goal lead and won by at least four (1/15/12 at TB -- led 3-0, won 6-3; 2/7/01 at Phi -- led 3-0, won 9-4).
  5. Sidney Crosby has 110 points in 64 career games against the Islanders, good for 1.72 per game, by far the most among any active player (minimum 10 games). The only player with more against the Isles since 1989-90 is Mario Lemieux at 1.93 (77 in 40 games).
  6. The Penguins have a +10 goal differential in the first period, behind only San Jose (+14) in the league. The Isles' +6 is tied for sixth best. However, both teams have identical 6-2-3 records when leading after one, tied for 23rd in the league.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are hoping to hang on tight to what happened early in the third period in their game Tuesday. The New York Islanders are hoping to forget the early part of their most recent third period.

The two teams clash Thursday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh

Patric Hornqvist proclaimed that the Penguins (11-10-5) reached a turning point for the better Tuesday after he scored a natural hat trick in a span of 2:47 -- a club record for a hat trick -- in the third period of a 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Pittsburgh had taken a 3-0 lead in the first period but gave up three goals in the second. The win broke a two-game losing streak.

"I think our response (Tuesday) night is something that we need to (replicate) moving forward. I don't think we've done it in the past," Penguins winger Zach Aston-Reese said Wednesday. "(It) was a great response from us. I think as a group we'll be able to bottle that up."

Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017 but has had trouble even remaining in a playoff spot this season. The team is not satisfied with its lack of consistency.

The Penguins are hoping Hornqvist provided the spark and the accurate prediction they needed.

"You have to be able to roll with the punches when you're not having success and find ways to work yourself out of it, and when you do have success you have to keep it in perspective in order to sustain it," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "I think we have a mature group. They've been on both sides of those circumstances. I think the most important thing -- and this is what we talked to the players about -- is just staying in the moment."

The Islanders (13-10-3) are looking down at the Penguins in the standings, but they, too, have been inconsistent. Since a five-game winning streak that ended in early November, they are 5-6-1.

That includes a 2-1 loss Tuesday against Winnipeg when New York took a 1-0 lead, then lost 3-1 when the Jets scored goals 22 seconds apart early in the third period.

The Islanders have been held to a single goal in three of their past five games.

"One goal doesn't do it in this league," center Mathew Barzal said. "We've got to find a way to get on the board, whether that's the power play or five-on-five. (The Jets are) the best team in the league, I'd say. For us to hang in there and push the pace, I thought, for most of it, it stinks not getting any points."

New York coach Barry Trotz agreed, to a point.

"You don't get paid to hang in," Trotz said. "You get paid to win."

It's unclear whether goaltender Robin Lehner will be available for the game Thursday. The Islanders recalled Christopher Gibson to back up Thomas Greiss against the Jets.

"He just tweaked a little something," Trotz said of Lehner. "We didn't put him on IR, there's no need for that. We hope he's good to go in the next day or so."

The Penguins, meanwhile, could be without top-line winger Dominik Simon. He left in the first period of the Colorado game. Sullivan said Simon has a lower-body injury and is day-to-day.

Updated December 6, 2018

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