New York Islanders @ Pittsburgh Penguins
The Islanders look to recover after shutout loss to Bruins
Monday, 11.21.2011 / 12:00 AM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
|Team Record: 5-9-3
Last Game: 6-0 L vs. BOS
Season Series: 0-1-1 of 6
|Team Record: 11-6-3
Last Game: 3-2 L vs. FLA
Season Series: 2-0-0 of 6
Made possible by placing goaltender Al Montoya on injured reserve, Ullstrom’s first-career call-up comes after the Isles 6-0 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday night. The 22-year-old’s call-up leaves the Islanders with 14 forwards, possibly leaving two of their current forwards scratched.
Ullstrom, who made his North American debut last season, was one of the only members of the Islanders American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who did not receive a call-up to the NHL which was largely due to his self described “inconsistent” offensive production as he went through 10-game periods without posting a point.
However, the Jonkoping, SWE native became more confident as time wore on and in the off season made an effort to improve his offensive accountability. Now six weeks into the AHL season (17 games), Ullstrom is tied for the AHL goal-scoring lead with 12 goals and leads all Sound Tigers with 14 points (2 assists). His 12 goals this season are just five fewer than he recorded in 67 games during his rookie campaign.
The Penguins announced early Sunday afternoon that Crosby would return to the lineup against the Islanders. He’s been sidelined since Jan. 5 with a concussion, after he sustained blows to his head in back-to-back games, the first coming when his head hit the ice during the NHL Winter Classic.
According to PittsburghPenguins.com, Head Coach Dan Bylsma held a conference call with the media on Sunday, where he disclosed that Crosby would not play the 20-plus minutes he’s used to playing, but that he’d be eased back in, starting with approximately 12 minutes of ice time. Bylsma also expects the impact on his team to be profound, that Crosby’s return will energize the players.
Despite missing the final three months of the 2010-11 regular season, Crosby was 32nd in league scoring with 32 goals and 34 assists. He finished second in the league in scoring during the 2009-10 season with 109 points; however his 51 goals were tied for the league lead.
Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano made his displeasure with his team known in a press conference following Saturday night’s loss to the Boston Bruins. Capuano was vocally disappointed, pointing to the team's effort and said he expects more from his players. He added that in order to succeed in the National Hockey League, every player on the team must show up every night and play with heart, determination and a will to win.
Capuano said he wanted the team to play with more intensity, but that they really needed to come and play for each other. As teammates, the players must be able to depend on one another.
Pointing to the success in the second half of the 2010-11 season, Capuano said the Islanders were physical and tough to play against. In order to get back to that point, the Islanders need to be passionate, physical and work hard every night. That means, when they’re playing against a physical team, they have to match it and win the 50/50 puck battles.
Season Series: Third of six meetings between these Atlantic Division rivals. The Penguins swept a home-and-home from the Islanders in October. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 33 shots in a 3-0 shutout win on Long Island on Oct. 25, then two nights later Evgeni Malkin had the decisive shootout goal for a 3-2 victory in Pittsburgh. (Continue Reading)
The Islanders completed the second half of a home-and-home with the Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Oct. 27. Frans Nielsen gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead with 1:01 remaining in the first period. The second would remain scoreless and Matt Martin would propel the Isles a 2-0 lead 45 seconds into the third. Chris Kunitz scored 44 seconds later to cut the goal differential in half and James Neal potted a power play goal at 4:15 to tie the score. Evgeni Nabokov played all of regulation and overtime, but goaltender Rick DiPietro went in for the shootout. Evgeni Malkin would be the only player to score in the shootout, notching the Penguins 3-2 win.
|- Mark Katic - Shoulder (9/24 vs. NJ) - 17 games missed (Out indefinitely)
- Evgeni Nabokov - Groin (11/17) - 1 games missed (Out indefinitely)
- Al Montoya - Hamstring (11/18) - 1 game missed (Day-to-day)
IslandersPower Play %: 16.7%
Penalty Kill %: 80.6%
Home Record: 5-5-1
Road Record: 0-4-2
Goals For: 35
Goals Against: 56
PenguinsPower Play %: 18.4%
Penalty Kill %: 88.7%
Home Record: 6-1-1
Road Record: 5-5-2
Goals For: 60
Goals Against: 50
(Answer from 11/19: Al Arbour. Arbour wouldn’t wear 18 as long as Westfall’s 18 seasons, but he did wear it for two years, 1954 and 1966.)
Check out the Islanders depth chart with potential line combos for tonight in Pittsburgh. Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said that Kyle Okposo is back in, David Ullstrom will make his NHL debut, goalie Anders Nilsson gets his first NHL start and Nino Niederreiter and Blake Comeau are the scratches.
Penguins (Expected) LineupsForwards: Sullivan-Malkin-Neal, Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis, Cooke-Staal-Kennedy, Adams-Park-Asham
Defensemen: Orpik-Letang, Martin-Engelland, Picard-Niskanen
Goaltenders: Fleury, Johnson
Expected Scratches: Vitale, Strait, Lovejoy, Michalek
Following Saturday night’s 6-0 loss to the Boston Bruins, Islanders Captain Mark Streit said: "They played a good game, but we let them. We gave them all the room at the time out there. They have good players. If you give them time and space, they’re going to hurt you. They’re a good team, we just didn’t play the game at all that we wanted too. It’s disappointing and inexcusable.”
He added, “It was a terrible effort.”
Cory Wright contributed to this report