NHL Daily Fantasy Hockey News Penguins vs Islanders
Dominate your competition with our NHL Daily Fantasy Hockey News, create the winning lineup at Fanpicks.com. The Pittsburgh Penguins have won two of the first three match-up against the New York Islanders this season, including a 2-1 shootout win March 15. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang scored in the shootout after forward Chris Kunitz and Islanders forward Kyle Okposo both put one in the net in regulation.
Pittsburgh will attempt to solidify its hold on second place in the Metropolitan Division with a 10th victory versus a division opponent in its past 13 attempts (9-3-0). The Penguins enter Saturday one point ahead of the New York Rangers, who play the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, with five games to play. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who practiced Friday, could return after missing three games because of an upper-body injury. Trevor Daley, Dumoulin’s partner before the injury, has replaced Olli Maatta, who is week-to-week because of a lower-body injury, next to Kris Letang. That pair has impressed in Dumoulin’s absence and likely will stay intact until Maatta returns. Forward Bryan Rust is day-to-day because of a lower-body injury and did not practice on Friday. Sullivan said Maatta and Rust are slowly progressing but aren’t set to play yet. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was given a maintenance day Friday and could be replaced by goalie Matthew Murray against the Islanders or the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
A regulation victory could pull New York to within one point of second place in the division if the Rangers lose to the Sabres. Given that scenario, the Islanders would control their own fate moving forward with one game in hand on the Penguins and Rangers. The Islanders will play the remainder of the regular season without defenseman Travis Hamonic, who sustained a lower-body injury during the first period of a 4-3 win facing the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. Islanders coach Jack Capuano announced Friday the injury would force Hamonic to miss the rest of the regular season. Hamonic’s status will be re-evaluated after the regular season, when his availability for the playoffs will be determined. Defenseman Marek Zidlicky is expected to be inserted back into the lineup after last playing March 6 because of an upper-body injury. Rookie defenseman Ryan Pulock, who has played 10 games, gives New York another option, but Capuano said he would favor experience when evaluating defensive pairings.