Pittsburgh Penguins (4-2-1)
The Pittsburgh Penguins sure did see a spark in their offense in the team’s last game out against the Panthers. Although Pittsburgh only won by one, the game marked the debut of captain Sidney Crosby, who had missed time with a concussion. And against the Panthers, Crosby’s presence was clearly felt — he scored a single goal that turned out to be a difference-maker.
But Thursday, defenseman Kris Letang will be sidelined once again with an upper body injury, and head coach Mike Sullivan explained that there’s no definitive timetable for his return.
“I’m getting excited, obviously,” Letang said. “I just want to be healthy.”
Pittsburgh has been plagued by injuries, but it’s better to have these issues turn up at the start of the season rather than at the end. Goaltender Matt Murray, who has yet to play this season because of a hand injury, is also said to be dressing as Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup.
Fleury is entering the night starting his eighth game of the season, and he’s played in every game thus far.
New York Islanders (3-4-0)
One of New York’s better depth player, left winger Nikolay Kulemin will most likely not be playing Thursday. He sustained an upper-body injury against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, and Kulemin has already missed a game and is listed as day-to-day.
Rookie Mathew Barzal dressed in Wednesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens and centered the Islanders’ third line.
Jaroslav Halak is the expected netminder for the Islanders, and he comes in with a 2-2-0 record with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Thursday, October 29
Image credit: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports