DEVILS (31-28-14) at ISLANDERS (28-35-10)
TV: MSG, MSG PLUS
Last 10: New Jersey 4-5-1; New York 5-3-2
Season series: This is the fourth of five games between the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders. New York won at Prudential Center on Oct. 4 before New Jersey countered with wins on Dec. 28 and March 1 at Nassau Coliseum. The teams play one more time, April 11 in Newark.
Big story: Four teams have 80 points prior to games Friday in the race for two Eastern Conference wild-card spots into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Devils are four points behind that pack of teams but can inch closer by beating the Islanders, who have the fewest home wins in the NHL this season (11).
Devils: One goal in 28 attempts and no victories in nine shootout games. That's New Jersey's track record in the tiebreaker this season.
Considering how valuable points are this time of year as the Devils pursue a spot in the playoffs, it's no wonder they saw their 3-2 shootout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes at Prudential Center as a missed opportunity. The Devils allow the fewest shots on goal per game (25.6) and have the best penalty kill (86.8 percent) in the League yet remain on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
New Jersey rallied from 2-0 down to force overtime by way of a buzzer-beating goal to end the second period by Ryane Clowe and a game-tying goal by Adam Henrique midway through the third period. The Devils went 0-for-4 on the power play but took the game the distance only to lose in familiar fashion.
The Devils have nine games remaining.
"We're not giving up in here," forward Michael Ryder told NJ.com. "We've got to fight every night and make sure we take it one game at a time and make sure we win every game."
Islanders: New York was without forward Kyle Okposo, who leads the team with 69 points in 71 games, because of a lower-body injury Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Still, the Islanders managed to give an Eastern Conference contender all it could handle.
The Islanders, set to miss the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons, lost in a 13-round shootout at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Defenseman Matt Donovan, who had his first career multipoint game, scored a goal to help a young, injury-depleted team take a 2-1 lead in the second period. but the Islanders ultimately came out on the short end of the longest shootout in franchise history.
"All I'm looking for right now is work ethic," coach Jack Capuano told Newsday. "It's not about the result, it's about how you play, how you work."
Who's hot: Henrique has 15 points over his past 14 games. … Islanders forward Ryan Strome, who scored a goal Thursday, has three points and a plus-5 rating in his past two games.
Injury report: Devils forward Tim Sestito (upper body) is traveling with the team to Long Island but is not likely to play. Defenseman Anton Volchenkov (lower body) is questionable. … Okposo's status for New York remains up in the air. Forward Michael Grabner and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky are out with concussions. Forward John Tavares (knee) and defenseman Brian Strait (broken hand) are out for the season.
Follow Pete Jensen on Twitter: @NHLJensen
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