Game Preview: Islanders at Devils

Although the game itself was played far better than the one prior in Edmonton, the Isles turned in their second consecutive disappointing loss in Vancouver on Tuesday night. With 2 days off since, the Islanders hope to right the ship tonight as they return to the east coast to battle the Devils in Newark.

Coach Jack Capuano has made some lineup adjustments and will give goaltender Jaroslav Halak the nod again tonight as they try to prevent this losing streak from getting to 3 games. 

Fortunately for the Islanders, the Devils are coming off of a game last night where they were shut out 3-0 at the hands of the Boston Bruins at TD Garden in Boston. Devils' starter Cory Schneider was credited with the loss which means the Islanders will face backup and Long Island native Keith Kinkaid for the second time this season.

Projected Lineups:

New York Islanders (26-13-1, 53 points; 2nd in Metropolitan Division, 3rd in Eastern Conference)

Mikhail Grabovski - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo
Anders Lee - Frans Nielsen - Ryan Strome
Michael Grabner - Brock Nelson - Nikolay Kulemin
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic
Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Thomas Hickey - Brian Strait

Jaroslav Halak
Chad Johnson

New Jersey Devils (15-21-7, 37 points; 7th in Metropolitan Division, 14th in Eastern Conference)

Adam Henrique - Scott Gomez - Jaromir Jagr
Patrik Elias - Travis Zajac - Mike Cammalleri
Martin Havlat - Dainius Zubrus - Michael Ryder
Tuomo Ruutu - Tim Sestito - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
Mark Fraser - Marek Zidlicky
Seth Helgeson - Jon Merrill

Keith Kinkaid
Cory Schneider

-The Isles must come out flying tonight and pounce on a team that is weaker and coming off of a game the day before. A fast start will allow the Isles to make sure they end up handing out 2 points to a division rival.

-In their last meeting, Farmingville native Keith Kinkaid got a loss but certainly played well enough to have gotten a win against his hometown team. Kinkaid is a good goaltender that has paid his dues the past few years in the AHL. He will definitely be looking for revenge tonight.

-With Lubomir Visnovsky on the IR, defensive liabiltiy Brian Strait finds his way back in the lineup tonight. Matt Donovan was given the opportunity to fill the vacant defensive position against Vancouver on Tuesday but didn't do much of anything to warrant another game. So as much as I don't want Strait in the lineup, Donovan didn't do much to help his own cause.

-Mikhail Grabovski will get a shot to play on the top line with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo tonight. Grabovski scored one of the Isles two goals in Vancouver on Tuesday but has been producing below expectations thus far this season. Hopefully this opportunity gets him the jump he needs to finally find a groove.

With a reported sell out at the Prudential Center this evening and a large contingent of Isles fans making the trek for the game, there will hopefully be enough energy from the crowd to get the Isles back in the win column.

Bryan Curran
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