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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, December 3rd (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (18-9-1) at New York Islanders (8-15-4), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders would like to put their poor November showing behind them.

A win in Tuesday's home clash against the streaking Pittsburgh Penguins could get the Islanders off to a quick start in December, as a pair of Metropolitan Division rivals do battle at Nassau Coliseum.

The Isles turned in a brutal 4-10-1 record in November, ending the rough month on a six-game losing streak. That current 0-5-1 slide is the longest losing streak for New York since it suffered through an 0-4-2 stretch from Oct. 20- Nov. 3, 2011.

New York did manage to earn a point in its most recent outing, but the overtime loss to Washington was still a tough one to swallow.

Thomas Vanek put the Islanders on top on his goal with 1:51 remaining, but Nicklas Backstrom tied things up with 49 seconds to go to force the extra session. Alex Ovechkin then scored the game-winner 2:07 into overtime to lift the Capitals to a thrilling 3-2 win on Long Island.

Ovechkin skated along the right side and cut back to the middle of the ice before putting a shot on goal that was turned away. Moments later Ovechkin corralled a loose disc and successfully deposited it into the back of the net.

"We finally get the lead and instead of keep playing hard, we sat back for no reason," Vanek said. "We should have took it to them for 60 minutes, and not 59."

Cal Clutterbuck added a goal for the Islanders, while Anders Nilsson allowed all three goals on 30 shots.

New York aims to salvage the finale of a four-game homestand on Tuesday, but will have to do so against a Pittsburgh team that has taken five of the last six regular-season meetings in this series. Of course, the Pens also ousted the Isles from the opening round of last spring's playoffs, beating New York in six games.

The clubs have split two encounters since that postseason encounter. The Isles beat Pittsburgh, 4-3, on Oct. 25 in the Steel City before the Pens won another home test on Nov. 22 by the same score. Sidney Crosby scored with 1:16 remaining in the third period to lift Pittsburgh to victory in the most recent encounter.

The division-leading Pens, who also have won five of their last six regular- season tilts at the Coliseum, enter Tuesday riding a three-game winning streak. Pittsburgh is 6-1-1 in its last eight trips to the ice and last played on Saturday when it dismantled the Florida Panthers in a 5-1 rout.

Evgeni Malkin had one goal and three assists to lead the Pens to the road win, continuing his recent offensive surge.

The Russian star has four goals and 13 assists during an eight-game point streak for the Penguins, tying him with Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf for the longest current run in the NHL.

Malkin was named the NHL's First Star of the Week on Monday and is second in the league with 35 points (7 goals, 28 assists). Only his teammate Crosby has more with 36 points on 13 goals and 23 helpers.

"I'm not at the top (of my game)," Malkin said after his recent four-point night. "Sometimes I have the puck and I need to shoot. Instead I pass. It's a mistake for me. Sometimes I'm in a great position to shoot. I just need to shoot myself."

James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Joe Vitale and Jussi Jokinen also lit the lamp in Saturday's win, while Jeff Zatkoff stopped 39-of-40 shots in the victory.

Marc-Andre Fleury could get the start for Pittsburgh tonight. The veteran backstop is 18-7-3 with a tie and a 2.54 goals against average in 31 career games against the Isles.

Malkin has victimized the Islanders for 51 points (20G, 31A) in 41 career games against them. Crosby has amassed a remarkable 78 points in 43 outings in this series, notching 22 goals and 56 assists along the way.

12/03 11:00:33 ET

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Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
2nd
DUKE 71
FUR 32
 
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PHO
DEN
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LAL
MEM
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
 
2nd
WCU 62
CHIST 54
 
2nd
DUKE 71
FUR 32
 
2nd
BYU 39
PURD 43
 
1st
EVAN 21
USF 17
 
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