NEW YORK ISLANDERS (6-2-2) VS. NEW JERSEY DEVILS (5-4-1)
1 P.M. PRUDENTIAL CENTER, MSG+, CHANNEL FINDER, WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM
1. Frans Nielsen: With five points (3G, 2A) in his last three games, Frans Nielsen is red-hot for the Islanders. Nielsen has three goals in his last two games, including a spectacular end-to-end rush against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. The Danish forward has eight points (4G, 4A) in 10 games this season. Nielsen has also been a catalyst for the Islanders’ streaking power play, which has scored in four straight games.
2. Halak/Strome Status: Jaroslav Halak and Ryan Strome both missed Thursday’s game with an illness. Halak practiced Friday with the Islanders, while Strome did not. Jack Capuano suggested Halak is ready to return for the Islanders’ back-to-back games over the weekend, while Strome’s status is still day-to-day. If Strome is out, Steve Bernier will face off against his former team Saturday.
3. Special Teams: The Islanders’ power play has scored in four consecutive games, while the penalty kill has been perfect over the team’s last seven games, killing 23 straight penalties.
4. Vs. the Devils: The Islanders swept the Devils 4-0-0 last season. John Tavares scored the game-tying and game-winning goals (the famous Yes! Yes! Yes! goal) in the Islanders’ first visit to Prudential Center last season. The Islanders shut out the Devils 3-0 in their most recent meeting last February.
5. Cory Schneider: The Devils call Prudential Center “The Rock” but that nickname should be reserved for their goaltender, Cory Schneider. Schneider has been a monster in goal for the Devils and is off to another strong start this season. He’s 5-2-1 with a 2.22 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Schneider has a 2.15 GAA and .923 SV% in three seasons with New Jersey.