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Preview: Islanders at Devils

New York needs win against New Jersey, help to reach wild-card berth

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

ISLANDERS (39-29-12) at DEVILS (28-38-14)

6 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV

Islanders team scope

The New York Islanders are three points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with two games remaining. The Islanders, who have won four straight and are 6-3-0 in their past nine games, must win their final two games to have a chance to pass the Maple Leafs. "Obviously, we're in a tough situation where we have to rely on other things to happen outside of our games," forward Anders Lee said after a 3-0 win at the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, "but we're a resilient group and we've fought out of a lot of stuff this year, and we're not going to go down easy. We're going to give it our all and make sure we win these last (few) games. We were in a situation where we had to win out with six left. So we're four wins into it." Goaltender Jaroslav Halak, the expected starter, is 5-1-0 in six games since being recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League on March 23. He has allowed four goals in four straight wins. Halak is 10-4-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in 16 games against the New Jersey Devils.


Devils team scope

Forward Patrik Elias, who announced his retirement on March 31, will participate in warmups as part of a final farewell to the fans. He will not play. "It isn't fair to the guys that have been working here the whole year, training, and it wouldn't be fair to the Islanders [if I played]," Elias said. "It would kind of take away from the game. Obviously the Islanders are still battling for that last [playoff] spot, so I didn't want to put myself in a position. I could get hurt, or the guys would feel bad, or somehow the game would be influenced because of that, and I didn't want to do that." Elias, 40, is the Devils' all-time leading scorer with 1,025 points (408 goals, 617 assists) in 1,240 games. He played his entire 20-season NHL career with New Jersey and won the Stanley Cup twice. His No. 26 will be retired by the Devils next season. Forward Kyle Palmieri needs one goal for 100 in his NHL career and one point for 200. He leads New Jersey with 27 goals and is tied with forward Taylor Hall for the lead in points (53) for the Devils, 1-5-2 in their past eight games.


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Anthony Beauvillier -- Joshua Ho-Sang

Andrew Ladd -- Alan Quine -- Jason Chimera

Thomas Hickey -- Brock Nelson -- Josh Bailey

Connor Jones -- Stephen Gionta -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan -- Dennis Seidenberg

Adam Pelech -- Scott Mayfield

Jaroslav Halak

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Jean-Francois Berube

Injured: Casey Cizikas (upper body), Travis Hamonic (upper body), Nikolay Kulemin (upper body), Shane Prince (lower body), Ryan Strome (upper body), John Tavares (lower body)


Devils projected lineup

Adam Henrique -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Taylor Hall -- Pavel Zacha -- Michael Cammalleri

Beau Bennett -- Jacob Josefson -- Stefan Noesen

Miles Wood -- Blake Coleman -- Ben Thomson

Andy Greene -- Ben Lovejoy

John Moore -- Damon Severson

Jon Merrill -- Michael Kapla

Keith Kinkaid 

Cory Schneider

Scratched: Joseph Blandisi, Dalton Prout

Injured: Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body)


Status report

Neither team planned to hold a morning skate. ... Devils forward Luke Gazdic and defenseman Steven Santini were assigned to Albany of the American Hockey League on Friday. ... Hall and Henrique did not practice Friday, but coach John Hynes said they would play, NJ Advance Media reported.


Who's hot

Lee has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past four games. ... Palmieri has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past two games. 

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