The New York Islanders who were considered by many pundits as a potential sleeper this season are reeling, with just 5 wins and 13 points in their first 17 games.
Coming off a 6-0 loss to the Defending Cup Champions Saturday night, the Islanders get a nice consolation prize of facing the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in Sidney Crosby’s season debut.
It what could be another long night for New York asÂ Islanders head coach Jack Capuano will go with 21 year old goaltender Anders Nilsson in goal, who will make his first NHL start.
Nilsson was recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League on Saturday, stopped 14 of 17 shots in relief of Rick DiPietro against the Bruins.
Nilssonâs first NHL call-up came after goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury suffered on Nov. 17 against the Montreal Canadiens.
Nilsson, 21, lead all Sound Tigers goalies with five wins and a 2.86 goals-against average this season. The rookie from Lulea, Sweden, has posted a .908 save percentage in seven appearances.
The Islanders selected Nilsson in the third round, 62nd overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. TheÂ big 6â6, 220-pound net-minder posted a 1.92 GAA with a .918 sv% last year during his second professional season with Lulea of the Swedish Elite League.
New York comes into tonight’s game with a 5-9-3 record and have struggled in all facets. They are giving up 3.24 goals per game, while scoring just 2.06 goals per game.