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Devils-Islanders Preview @NHLdotcom
Devils-Islanders Preview

GAME: New Jersey Devils (15-13-5) at New York Islanders (16-14-2).

TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.

New Jersey general manager Lou Lamiorello may want to hang on to that interim coach tag a little longer.

Lamoriello will try to lead the Devils to their second straight win since the sudden retirement of Larry Robinson when they visit the New York Islanders.

Robinson relinquished his position in a tearful news conference Monday in which he cited illness and the desire to spend more time with his family as the reasons for stepping down.

With Robinson gone, Lamoriello took command and watched as the Devils rallied for a 3-1 win Tuesday over the New York Rangers. U.S. Olympian Brian Gionta and Alexander Mogilny scored 16 seconds apart and John Madden added an empty-net tally.

Lamoriello, a former Providence coach whose only other NHL experience behind the bench came during the 1988 playoffs when he filled in one game for the suspended Jim Schoenfeld and suffered a 7-1 loss to Boston, took his first career NHL coaching win in stride.

"I really wasn't thinking about it, to tell you the truth," the 63-year-old Lamoriello said.

The Devils, though, continue to struggle on the power play, going scoreless in 11 opportunities Tuesday. New Jersey has scored just once in 34 power-play chances over the last four games and have converted just three of their last 81 opportunities.

The Islanders will try to recover from their worst defensive effort of the season after a 9-6 loss Monday to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Rick DiPietro - also chosen Monday as one of three goaltenders for the U.S. Olympic hockey team - was replaced after allowing six goals on 17 shots. Backup Garth Snow didn't fare much better, allowing two of Toronto's four goals in the second period on just six shots.

"You don't want to get pulled in a game whether you make the Olympic team or not," DiPietro said.

DiPietro earned his first win in five tries against the Devils this season, stopping 25 shots in a 4-1 win on Nov. 8. He is 0-2 with a 3.36 goals against average and an .883 save percentage against New Jersey at the Nassau Coliseum.

STANDINGS: Devils - 35 points, 3rd place, 9 PB, Atlantic Division. Islanders - 34 points, 4th place, 10 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Gionta, 19 goals and 34 points; Gionta and Scott Gomez, 15 assists; Colin White, 35 PIM. Islanders - Miroslav Satan, 15 goals; Alexei Yashin and Alexei Zhitnik, 20 assists; Yashin, 33 points; Arron Asham, 68 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Devils - Power play: 15.9 percent (31 for 204), 25th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.1 percent (138 for 166), 16th. Islanders - Power play: 18.8 percent (38 for 202), 9th (tied). Penalty killing: 81.6 percent (178 for 218), 20th.

GOALTENDERS: Devils - Brodeur (13-10-3, 0 SO, 3.01 GAA); Scott Clemmensen (2-3-2, 0, 3.54). Islanders - DiPietro (12-10-2, 0, 3.36); Snow (4-4-0, 0, 3.56).

SEASON SERIES: Islanders, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 8; Islanders, 4-1. At East Rutherford, N.J., Shawn Bates had a goal and an assist as the Islanders bounced back after surrendering 11 goals in their previous two games. Vladimir Malakhov, a former Islander, scored for New Jersey.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 5-8-2 on the road; Islanders - 7-6-1 at home.

Associated Press
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