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Penguins vs. Islanders Scouting Report

Friday, 12.9.2011 / 6:00 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
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Penguins vs. Islanders Scouting Report
Pittsburgh Penguins
Home: 8-2-2-18
Road: 8-7-2-18

WHEN: Dec. 10, 2011 - 7:00 pm   |   WHERE: Nassau Coliseum
ROOT SPORTS  |  LISTEN: Penguins 24/7 Radio, 105.9 FM
New York Islanders
Home: 6-6-3-15

  Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders 






Al Montoya
G  -  #35
  5-3-3 record
  .930 svpt
  2.14 GAA
• The confident netminder with strong puckhandling skills has not surrendered more than three goals in his 19 appearances at Nassau Coliseum.

• The sixth-overall pick by the NY Rangers in the 2004 NHL Draft was traded from the Coyotes to the Islanders for a sixth-round choice in the 2011 NHL Draft on Feb. 9, 2011.

• The Glenview, Illinois native spent three seasons at the University of Michigan from 2002-05, where he finished his college career tied for all-time best career save percentage (.908), third in GAA (2.36), third in shutouts (13) and fourth in wins (86).
Matt Moulson
LW -  #26
  14 Goals
  8 Assists
  22 Points
• While his career-high goal-scoring streak was halted at six games on Thursday against Chicago, he did record an assist in the game to extend his point streak to six games (8G-3A-11P).

• Named the NHL’s ‘First Star’ for the week ending Dec. 5 after he recorded seven points in three games and became the first NHL player to record a four-goal game this season in 5-4 win over Dallas on Dec. 3.

• A main reason for the recent surge of Pittsburgh's ninth-round pick (263rd overall) in 2002 has been his effectiveness down low, especially in and around the blue paint to knock home dirty goals.
Michael Grabner
RW  -  #40
  8 Goals
  4 Assists
  12 Points
• Returned to the lineup Thursday after missing one game with a groin injury and scored his eighth goal of the season – which forced overtime and got the Isles a point.

• Led the Islanders and all NHL rookies with 34 goals in 2010-11, finishing one tally shy of teammate Frans Nielsen for the league lead in shorthanded goals (6).

The former first-round draft pick (the 14th-overall selection of Vancouver in 2006) was placed on waivers by Florida, claimed by New York and later signed to a five-year contract extension by the Islanders on May 13.
The New York Islanders dug a hole for themselves early this season by earning just five wins through their first 15 games.

But now they’re starting to grow and develop as a team, as they’ve since collected at least one point in each of their last six games – going 4-0-2 over that span. And while they’ve still got a lot of ground to make up if they want to make the playoffs, they are certainly making steps in the right direction with their recent play.

Their top line of Matt Moulson, John Tavares and PA Parenteau has been a huge reason for the Islanders’ recent surge as they continue to shoulder the offense. That trio has accounted for 27 of the team's 59 goals this season (46 percent).They've been together for quite some time – dating back to last season – and their styles of play just seem to complement each other.

Moulson has been especially outstanding, as he’s got eight goals and 11 points in his last six games and paces the Isles with 14 tallies. The winger, who’s been thriving in the dirty areas, credits his linemates with setting him up for his chances as Tavares, who leads the Isles with 23 points, has earned helpers on 12 of Moulson's goals while Parenteau’s 18 assists rank 12th (tied) in the league.

But when opposing teams limit that line’s chances, the good news is that the Islanders have been starting to get the secondary scoring they drastically needed – especially from their defensemen. The Isles blueliners scored just two even-strength goals through the first 25 games, but have since been stepping up with some big tallies.

They’re also getting consistency in goal with Al Montoya, who has stepped up as the Islanders’ No. 1 goalie with injuries to Evgeni Nabokov and Rick DiPietro. Montoya has appeared in seven-straight games since returning from a lower-body injury on Nov. 25, with six of those being starts. Getting into a groove has done wonders for Montoya, who’s gone 3-1-2 (with a 1.87 goals-against average and .935 save percentage) in that stretch and is playing with confidence.
  • Following Saturday’s contest the Penguins and the Islanders won’t play again until concluding the season series with a set of back-to-back games March 27 (in Pittsburgh) and March 29 (in Long Island) – Pittsburgh’s 76th and 77th games of the season.
  • Pittsburgh has won all three meetings this season against the Islanders. With a win Saturday the Penguins will clinch a winning record against New York for the fifth straight season and the sixth time in the last seven years. The only time Pittsburgh didn’t post a winning record during this stretch was 2006-07 when it went 4-4 against New York.
  • The last time the Penguins finished with a losing record against the Islanders was 2003-04 (1-3-2). Dating back to last season the Penguins have shut out the Islanders in four of the previous seven meetings between the teams.
  • Perhaps the biggest problem for New York against the Penguins has been an inability to kill penalties. Pittsburgh has gone 15 for 64 (23.4 percent) on the power play during its last 13 games in the series.
  • Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury enters Saturday’s game riding a 13-game unbeaten streak against the New York Islanders since his last regulation loss, which was Nov. 3, 2007 (3-2) at Nassau Coliseum. Fleury has gone 11-0-2 during his unbeaten streak, including a current five-game winning streak over the Islanders
  • The Islanders are 7-1-3 when scoring first and 2-10-2 when allowing the game's first goal. The Isles are also 7-0-4
    when leading after the first period and 7-0-3 when leading after the second.
  • The Islanders are 0-0-6 in games that have gone beyond 60 minutes, losing four times in overtime and twice in a shootout.




2010-11 STAT CHART

C Sidney Crosby, undisclosed
D Deryk Engelland, lower-body
F Dustin Jeffrey, knee
D Kris Letang, broken nose and concussion
D Ben Lovejoy, broken wrist
D Zbynek Michalek, concussion
F Richard Park, undisclosed
D Brian Strait, hyper-extended elbow
Neal (15) Moulson (14)
Malkin/Letang (16) Parenteau (18)
Malkin/Neal (26)
Tavares (23)
Asham (33) Martin (38)
Dupuis (10) Moulson (4)
Neal (8) Tavares/Moulson (4)
Four with (1)
Grabner (1)
Fleury (14-6-0)
Montoya (5-3-3)
Fleury (2.20) Montoya (2.14)
Fleury (.920) Montoya (.930)

G Rick DiPietro, groin
D Mark Eaton, knee
D Mark Katic, shoulder
G Evgeni Nabokov, groin
F Nino Niederreiter, concussion
D Andrew MacDonald, right leg
F Jay Pandolfo, foot





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Author: Michelle Crechiolo
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