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Penguins Take On Islanders

Sports Network | October 15, 2010


(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will try once again to post their first-ever victory at CONSOL Energy Center when they host the New York Islanders in tonight's Atlantic Division battle.

The Penguins are 1-3-0 on the young season and the club's lone victory came Monday in New Jersey. Pittsburgh, which moved across the street from Mellon Arena, had a 25-12-4 record at home last year in the final season at the Igloo.

However, Pittsburgh has been close to getting a win in each of its three games at the new building, losing by just one goal in regulation in all three outings.

The most recent setback came Wednesday night against Toronto, as the surprising Maple Leafs remained unbeaten with a 4-3 victory. Clarke MacArthur scored twice to lead Toronto to the win.

Chris Kunitz, Maxime Talbot and Sidney Crosby each had a goal for the Penguins, who have dropped all three games at their new home. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped just 10 shots in the loss.

"I think in order to win hockey games and be a good team there has to be a certain level of execution," said Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma. "If you don't have it you can't expect to be a good team and you can't expect to win. We have not done that with any consistency to this point."

Fleury, Pittsburgh's No. 1 goaltender, has been dreadful so far this season, going 0-3-0 with a 3.41 goals-against average and .853 save percentage. Backup Brent Johnson, who stopped 30-of-31 shots in the win over the Devils, is penciled in to get his second start of the season tonight.

On the injury front, Pittsburgh has learned that defenseman Zbynek Michalek will miss the next two-to-four weeks with a right shoulder injury suffered in Monday's win over the Devils. Also, defenseman Brooks Orpik is questionable tonight with a groin injury. Orpik has missed the last two games due to the muscle strain.

Pittsburgh won five of six meetings with the Islanders last year and has taken seven of eight and 11 of the last 13 encounters overall. New York also dropped its last eight games at the Igloo and the Isles have lost 11 out of 12 in the Steel City.

The Islanders are coming off Wednesday's loss in Washington and are 1-1-1 on the season. Nicklas Backstrom's power-play goal with 3:39 left in the game lifted the Capitals to the 2-1 come-from-behind victory at the Verizon Center.

Nino Niederreiter scored his first NHL goal and Dwayne Roloson stopped 24 shots in defeat for the Islanders.

"I thought he played awesome," Islanders forward Blake Comeau said about Roloson's first appearance of the season. "He held us in there the whole game, especially in the second period when we were back on our heels a bit. That's one of the benefits of having two good goalies on the team."

It's unclear if Roloson or Rick DiPietro will get the start in net tonight.

Isles centerman John Tavares did not accompany the team to Washington on Wednesday and sat out his second straight game with a mild concussion. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft is questionable for tonight's contest.

New York defenseman James Wisniewski, meanwhile, will complete a two-game suspension tonight and be eligible to return in tomorrow's home test against Colorado. Wisniewski received the suspension for making an inappropriate gesture to Rangers forward Sean Avery on Monday.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.