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Devils at Islanders preview

Hughes out for New Jersey; New York seeks third straight win

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

DEVILS (14-19-6) at ISLANDERS (25-10-3)

7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV


The Game

Jack Hughes has an upper-body injury and will not play for the New Jersey Devils when they visit the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday.

Hughes sustained the injury during a 3-2 shootout win against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. The 18-year-old center participated briefly in the morning skate Thursday before leaving the ice.

Hughes, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, has six goals and 10 assists in 36 games.

The Devils and Islanders are each seeking their third straight victory. New York, which won 4-3 at the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, has allowed 16 goals in its past three home games, all losses (0-2-1).

The Devils are 5-2-1 in their past eight games after going 0-6-1 in their previous seven.


Players to watch

Devils forward Nikita Gusev has two goals and four assists during a four-game point streak. He has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past seven games.

Islanders center Casey Cizikas has three goals in his past three games.


They said it

"It's an opportunity for someone to come in and make a difference, and that will be (Kevin) Rooney tonight. He hasn't played in a couple of games now and he'll be on that line with (John) Hayden and (Jesper) Boqvist, so it's an opportunity for him. Same thing with (Pavel Zacha); he'll get up there with [Miles Wood} and [Wayne Simmonds], and I really like the makeup of that line. If [Zacha] plays the way he has lately, that line could be very successful." -- Devils coach Alain Nasreddine

"We don't want to give back the couple of wins that we had on the road; we want to come out with a good effort tonight at home. We've lost a few now at home, so we want to come out with some good energy, feed off the crowd and kind of re-establish some home cooking." -- Islanders center Brock Nelson


Devils projected lineup

Jesper Bratt -- Nico Hischier -- Kyle Palmieri

Blake Coleman -- Travis Zajac -- Nikita Gusev

Miles Wood -- Pavel Zacha -- Wayne Simmonds

Jesper Boqvist -- Kevin Rooney -- John Hayden

Andy Greene -- P.K. Subban

Damon Severson -- Sami Vatanen

Will Butcher -- Mirco Mueller

Mackenzie Blackwood

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Connor Carrick

Injured: Jack Hughes (upper body), Matt Tennyson (lower body)


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Tom Kuhnhackl

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Derick Brassard

Ross Johnston -- Josh Bailey -- Jordan Eberle

Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Leo Komarov

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Semyon Varlamov

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Noah Dobson, Michael Dal Colle

Injured: Cal Clutterbuck (wrist)


Status report

Hughes is day to day. "It's not severe. He wanted to try it out; it's just not good enough to go tonight," Nasreddine said. … Varlamov will make his third consecutive start. … Dobson will be a healthy scratch for a fourth straight game; Dal Colle, also healthy, will be scratched for the third straight game.


Stat pack

The Islanders won all four games against the Devils last season. … Hischier has a three-game point streak (two goals, three assists), and Vantanen has a five-game point streak (seven assists). … Kuhnhackl has scored in back-to-back games.

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