Islanders hope to continue home success vs. Devils
Saturday, 01.23.2010 / 7:00 PMDEVILS (33-15-1) at ISLANDERS (23-20-8)
New Jersey 5-5-0; New York 7-2-1
This is the fourth of six meetings for the tri-state rivals and the second match-up in six days. New Jersey edged the Islanders, 2-1, on Nov. 6 and rolled to a 6-1 victory on Nov. 28, but the Islanders extracted revenge on Jan. 18 with a 4-0 shutout over the Devils. The home team has won all three games so far.
The Islanders are hot right now and sit in the final playoff spot of the Eastern Conference. They certainly hold an edge over the Devils, having shut them out on Monday. Rick DiPietro
, who hasn't started since that game, stopped all 20 shots and left wing Matt Moulson
had a pair of goals. Martin Brodeur
was chased after the second period and since the All-Star goaltender played the Habs Friday night, the possibility exists that former Islander Yann Danis could start between the pipes for New Jersey.
The Devils were defeated on Friday for the first time in six games against the Canadiens. While Zach Parise
opened the scoring with a beautiful goal on a breakaway, Montreal scored three straight for a 3-1 win. New Jersey has had just 12 goals in their last eight games. Brodeur made 21 saves in his 28th straight start.
"Obviously we have to start scoring more goals," captain Jamie Langenbrunner said. "We can't rely on shutouts and one-goal games every night, we realize that. I thought we did some better things tonight -- we created some chances but we didn't finish on them."
The Islanders have won their last six at home and are undefeated at the Nassau Coliseum in 2010. Their most recent win was a 2-1 shootout victory over the Panthers. Rob Schremp and Matt Moulson
scored in the shootout, while Dwayne Roloson stopped all three Florida attempts. Roloson made 33 saves through regulation and OT, while Blake Comeau
scored in regulation.
"Every point is huge, especially against these teams," said Moulson of the Panthers who sit just three points behind the Isles. "The teams that have been surrounding us in the playoff hunt, we haven't gotten as many points as we've wanted against them. Montreal and Florida beat us twice. It's even bigger when you can pick up points on teams around you."
Parise has had a point in his last two games for the Devils. … Moulson, in addition to his shootout goal on Thursday, had two goals against the Devils on Monday and leads the Islanders with 19 this season.
New Jersey defenseman Paul Martin (broken arm) and forwards David Clarkson
(leg), Dainius Zubrus
(kneecap surgery), Patrik Elias
(concussion) and Rod Pelley
(lower body) are on the injured reserve. … The Islanders are without defensemen Radek Martinek (torn right ACL) and Brendan Witt (calf) and right wing Tim Jackman (broken orbital bone). Defenseman Andy Sutton will be serving his second of a two-game suspension for his hit on Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis.
Brodeur is 1-4-0 in his last five starts on the Island with a goals-against average of 3.96.
"I think we've worked on a lot of things defensively and on our forecheck, and I think we have a lot more confidence and character than we did at that time of the season," Moulson said. "As of a late, we've had a game plan and we've stuck to that, and that's what's kind of made us successful."