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PRE-GAME REPORT: Devils vs. Islanders

Devils look to get back on the winning track with a game against the Islanders on Retro Night

by Marc Ciampa /

The Devils face the New York Islanders tonight on Retro Night. 

Through this special link, this is your opportunity to not only go to the game, but also get a limited edition retro Devils fanny pack! Each ticket purchased through this offer will receive a fanny pack so get yours before this limited time offer is a thing of the past.

You can also watch the game on MSG or listen on the Devils Hockey Network. 

Video: DEVILS:60 |Another Date with the Islanders 

Read the game preview below for lineup updates, our Pre-Game Report, videos and more. 


At 12:30 PM ET today, host Chris Wescott took you through the storylines with interviews, analysis and more. 



Devils news and notes from the past few days, including Matt Tennyson assigned to AHL Binghamton after clearing waivers. 



NEWARK, NJ - The Devils get back in action tonight looking to build off last Thursday's win against the Islanders with the same opponent coming to Prudential Center.

The team is a little banged up as Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt won't play, meaning that the lines are expected to be: 

Simmonds - Hischier - Palmieri
Coleman - Zajac - Gusev
Boqvist - Zacha - Wood
Street - Rooney - Hayden

Greene - Subban
Severson - Vatanen
Butcher - Mueller



Wayne Simmonds will slot in on the top line with Nico Hichier and Kyle Palmieri. He was asked about the chance to play with the number one unit.

"I think the way I play the game, I cause some disruption. Give those guys some space to operate. Get the puck to the net and keep my stick on the ice because those guys are pretty good passers," he said. 

Palmieri added that he feels that Simmonds will also create some room in front of the net and help get some rebounds.  

"He makes his living around the net. Being able to generate second opportunities," Palmieri noted. "New York is a really good team defensively and try to limit those Grade A opportunities."

Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine was asked about his line of thinking when crafting that top line. 

"With Simmer, he's playing in that role before with Philly. He's got skills to play on that line and can buy them a bit more room. It's just a matter of moving his feet, he knows that."

Nasreddine added that he feels Pavel Zacha did well with Hischier and Palmieri but is more valuable to the team down the middle. 

"We feel like Pav has more to offer at center."


MacKenzie Blackwood only participated in half of practice on Monday, leading to concern that he might not play tonight but Nasreddine confirmed that he was good to go. 

"He's feeling great. Ready to go for tonight. He'll be our starting goalie."

It's great news for the Devils after Blackwood's 29-save performance on Long Island last Thursday was a big reason the team was able to skate out of Nassau County with a 2-1 win. 


Nasreddine had mostly good news on the injury front with Jesper Bratt and Jack Hughes, though neither will play tonight. 

"With Bratter it's truly day-to-day and could be a huge improvement from today to tomorrow," he said of Bratt's lower-body injury. 

"With Jack, it might take 5-6 days, might take 10 days. It's nothing where there's a concern he's going to be missing two, three, four weeks," Nasreddine noted. "He's on his way and making good progress."

-- Marc Ciampa,


DEVILS (15-20-6) vs. ISLANDERS (26-12-3)

TV: 7:00 p.m. ET; Televised on MSG


Tonight's game is the second of four meetings between the two teams this season. 

The two clubs met this past Thursday on Long Island with the Devils winning 2-1. P.K. Subban and Nico Hischier scored the goals for the Devils. 

Devils team scope:

The Devils had a three-game winning streak and five-game points streak snapped on Saturday with a 5-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The club has picked up points in seven of its last 10 (6-3-1) which is its best stretch of 10 games this season.  

Kyle Palmieri continues to lead the Devils with 15 goals and 28 points through 41 games. Nico Hischier has nine goals and 24 points in 36 games to rank second on the team. 

Islanders team scope:

The Islanders have faltered a little recently. They defeated the Colorado Avalanche at home last night by a score of 1-0 but prior to that, had only won 2 out of 7 games. Earlier this season, the Islanders went 17 games gaining at least a point (15-0-2).

After that stretch, the Isles were 16-3-1 and since then they've been 10-9-2. 

Mathew Barzal leads the Devils in scoring with 16 goals and 34 points in 41 games. He's also tied for third on the team in plus/minus at +7. 

Thomas Greiss is a likely starter in goal tonight with Varlamov having played last night against the Avalanche. Greiss is 11-7-0 this season with a 2.58 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.

By the Numbers:

The Devils are 4-2-2 at Prudential Center and 6-8-3 overall against the Islanders since the 2015-16 season. On Saturday against Colorado, Sami Vatanen played 30:40 which was most ice time by any Devils player in a regulation game since Brian Rafalski had 30:55 in a 3-2 win against St. Louis on January 10, 2007 (credit to MSG's Steve Cangialosi for digging that one up). 

Devils are 4-5-1 against the Metro Division and the Islanders are 7-4-1.

Injury Updates:

Devils - Jack Hughes (upper body) and Jesper Bratt (lower body) are both day-to-day.

Islanders - Cal Clutterbuck (wrist) is on IR

-- Marc Ciampa,

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