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Islanders vs. Devils - game preview

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders
Team Record: 27-29-9

Last Game: 3-2 W @ BOS
Season Series: 1-1-0 of 6
Team Record: 36-23-5
Last Game: 5-0 W @ WSH
Season Series: 1-1-0 of 6
John Tavares
Tavares scored the game-winner Saturday afternoon against Boston as part of a two-point game. Tavares assisted on Moulson’s goal in the second period and now has 26 goals and 37 assists this season, more points than any player on the Devils roster.
Zach Parise
Parise only played 9:36 on Friday night against Washington, but scored three goals en route to a 5-0 win. Parise’s hat-trick gives the 27-year-old winger four goals in his last two games and he leads the Devils with 27 goals and is third in assists with 29. New Jersey’s captain has appeared in all 64 games this season.
Three Game Set: The Isles and Devils get set to play three games against each other this week. For the Isles it’s three in a row against their tri-state rivals and for the Devils it’s three of four. The Isles need to take five or six points to stay in the hunt. The teams play two of the three games at Nassau Coliseum and so far, the road team has won each meeting this season.

Second Line Scoring: The recently assembled line of David Ullstrom, Frans Nielsen, and Josh Bailey have been the Isles most potent secondary line during the last three games. Bailey has four goals and Nielsen has four assists while Ullstrom picked up a helper Saturday against Boston. The recent success of the trio has taken some of the pressure off of John Tavares, Matt Moulson and PA Parenteau.

Notable Numbers: John Tavares has assists on 19 of Matt Moulson’s 28 goals this season…Evgeni Nabokov is 10-4-1 in his last 15 starts…The Islanders are 14-1-6 when leading after two periods.
The Islanders picked up their first road win of the season, beating the Devils 3-2 at Prudential Center on Nov. 26. Michael Grabner broke a 2-2 deadlock at 5:51 of the third period, after he stripped Ilya Kovalchuk of the puck short-handed and buried the breakaway on Martin Brodeur. Matt Moulson and Josh Bailey both scored for the Islanders while Adam Larsson and Adam Henrique added tallies for New Jersey. Al Montoya stopped 24 of 26 for the win.

Click the photo for gallery from the last time the Islanders played the Devils.
Date of
DiPietro 1/3 Sports hernia/knee swelling 28  10 weeks
Montoya 2/29 Upper body 2 No timetable
Power play: 18.75%
Penalty kill: 81.68%
Home record: 14-14-5
Road record: 13-15-4
Goals For: 154
Goals Against: 195
Power play: 16.67%
Penalty kill: 88.63%
Home record: 16-12-3
Road record: 20-11-2
Goals For: 180
Goals Against: 174

Answer from Saturday's question: When was the last time the Islanders played a 0-0 tie? The answer is: 2004. The Islanders and Bruins skated to a 0-0 stalemate Feb. 24, 2004, before the shootout was introduced. Recently, the Isles and Flyers skated to a 0-0 score after 65 minutes, but the game was decided in the shootout and finished as a 1-0 final.

Evgeni Nabokov made 32 saves in yesterday's 3-2 win in Boston. Michael Grabner was sidelined with the flu and Nino Niederreiter was back in the lineup. Check back after media availability for Sunday's lineups. 

Devils Expected Lineups
Forwards: Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk; Ponikarovsky-Josefson-Clarkson; Elias-Zubrus-Sykora; Boulton-Carter-Bernier

Fayne-Greene; Salvador-Zidlicky; Volchenkov-Larsson

Brodeur; Hedberg

Jack Capuano on the recent line changes: "Whoever is in there has to do the job, I mean you have to have a win your shift mentality and elevate your battle levels. I thought today the guys did that. Whoever is in there tomorrow, or as we move forward, has got to do the same thing if you want to stay in."

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