Islanders vs. Penguins preview: Division rivals meet for 1st time this season

Joel Auerbach

The New York Islanders (2-2-1) will be challenging the Pittsburgh Penguins (3-2-0) at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday night.

It will be the first meeting between the Atlantic Division rivals this season.

New York will be entering the contest off a 5-4 overtime defeat at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night. The Islanders are currently in the midst of a five-game road trip, which has seen them defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs and lose to the Boston Bruins.

In four of the team's five games this season, they have allowed four or more goals and are tied for allowing the third most goals this season (18 goals against).

Evgeni Nabokov is expected to get the start on Tuesday night (2-1-1, .894 save percentage, 3.49 GAA).

Pittsburgh will be entering the contest off a 2-1 shootout victory over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. Playing in the second game of a two-game road trip, the team also fell victim to Winnipeg when they lost 4-2 on Friday night.

The Penguins and head coach Dan Bylsma will have to decide how to handle their defense pairings as it was announced on Tuesday that Matt Niskanen will miss two-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury. This will force Bylsma to decide how he wishes to use players like Ben Lovejoy and Simon Despres (Despres has been a healthy scratch the last two games).

Marc-Andre Fleury has been confirmed as the starter (2-1-0, .916 save percentage, 2.28 GAA).

Tuesday night's game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be the NBC Sports Network's nationally televised game of the night. It will also be carried on TSN and ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

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