The New York Islanders have collected points in 15 straight games, with 14 of those games being wins. Here are three keys to help the Penguins end the streak.
For the New York Islanders, this 15-game point streak (14-0-1) ties the longest in franchise history. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who had a chance to end it on Tuesday night, get another shot at it on Thursday.
To ensure that Pittsburgh not only puts a stop to the Islanders’ hot streak, but also claims an important two points, here are three keys to the game for the Pens.
Play a full 60 minutes
If you have watched any of the two games these clubs have played this month, you would know that comebacks have been the headline.
In the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-3 overtime victory, they erased a 3-0 deficit in the third period to win. In the Islanders’ 5-4 overtime win, they came back from two goals down twice.
For both of these teams, though, the comeback story goes beyond just the games against one another. The Islanders completed a three goal comeback against the Philadelphia Flyers over the weekend, while Pittsburgh has overcome several deficits so far in November.
If the Penguins want to escape with a victory against New York, putting together a full game is, perhaps, the most important key.
Force their defensemen to stay at home
The Islanders have had production from many sources this season, including the defensemen. New York has four d-men in the top ten in team scoring this season, and they each have put up at least seven points.
For the Penguins to be successful, they need to find a way to make sure the blueliners for New York are forced to play defense first, thus making them less dangerous offensively.
Extended zone time, getting the puck deep in the Islanders’ end, and connecting on long stretch passes could all help Pittsburgh successfully limit the Isles’ offensive production from the back end.
Continue to win the special teams battle
In the contests earlier this month, the Penguins have dominated in the special teams department. Between the two games, Pittsburgh is 2/6 on the power play and 4/4 on the penalty kill.
With the number two PK unit in the NHL (89.8%), the Penguins need to continue that success in order to end the point streak for the Islanders.
At 9-0-1 in their last ten games, the Islanders are clearly the hottest team in the NHL. The Penguins have their work cut out for them, but these three keys can help Pittsburgh get the job done.
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