NHL Pre-Game Notes: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders

Charles LeClaire – USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins (3-2-0) and the New York Islanders (2-2-1) will be broadcast on ROOT Sports – Pittsburgh and nationally on TSN and NBC Sports Network. Face off is set for 7:30 pm (est).

Matt Niskanen suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s game against the Ottawa Senators and did not return to play in the second or third periods.  He was to be re-evaluated yesterday in Pittsburgh.  It’s been reported that he will be out of tonight’s lineup against the Islanders, but that the injury isn’t serious (UPDATE: he will be out 2-4 weeks).  Simon Despres will most likely replace him.

The line combinations at this morning’s skate were as follows:

FORWARDS: Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis, Tyler Kennedy-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal, Matt Cooke-Brandon Sutter-Tanner Glass, Eric Tangradi-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams (Dustin Jeffrey);

DEFENSEMEN: Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin; Simon Despres-Kris Letang; Deryk Engelland, Ben Lovejoy, and Robert Bortuzzo were rotated; and the projected starting goalie in net for the Penguins tonight is Tomas Vokoun Marc-Andre Fleury.

NEW YORK INJURY / LINE INFO
The Islanders will be without four players in their lineup against the Penguins.  Defenseman Travis Hamonic is out with an ankle injury, forward Josh Bailey is out two to four weeks with a knee injury and forward Jesse Joensuu is out indefinitely with a groin injury while the team has suspended defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.

Evgeni Nabokov is the projected starting net minder for the Islanders tonight.

Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins columnist for RantSports.com. If you enjoy her articles / posts, you can follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her personal Facebook page (via Networked Blogs), visit her personal Tumblr page, or stop by her Pinterest page.

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