Isles Host Devils After Successful Road Trip

 

 

The Islanders will play their third home game of the season later today against the New Jersey Devils. After a 5-game road trip, the Isles secured 7 out of 10 possible points, leaving them tied with the Devils for 2nd place in the Atlantic. 

These two teams last met on Thursday, where the Islanders put on a spectacular special teams showcase. The Isles killed all five New Jersey power-plays and went 3 for 4 on their own man advantage, winning the game 5-4 thanks to a Brad Boyes overtime goal. (Photo Credit: Thomas Weber/The Checking Line) 

The Islanders (4-2-1) are currently at 37.5% on the power play this season, as well as 24 for 25 on the penalty kill. The team will be looking to continue this special team success today against the New Jersey Devils. 

One part of New York's game that hasn't been impressive thus far is their ability to hold a lead. After giving up a 2 goal advantage and losing in Winnipeg, the Isles let the Devil's tie the game 3 times during Thursday's matchup. 

While the Isles have had a few days to rest and work on the weak spots in their game, the Devils are right back at it following their 5-1 loss in Pittsburgh last night.  After winning their first three games of the season, the Devils (3-1-3) have dropped their last four and have surrendered 15 goals during that period. 

Although New Jersey's goaltender Martin Brodeur has more wins against the Islanders than any other NHL goalie with 50, the Devils will most likely rely on their backup, Johan Hedberg, for his second start this season. Isles net minder, Evgeni Nabakov, has earned a point in 5 straight starts and will most likely get the nod today, after making 28 saves against the Devils on Thursday. 

John Tavares, who just played his 250th career game with the Islanders, leads the team with 11 points and will be looking to do more damage today. Tavares netted a goal and assisted twice in Thursday's back-and-forth battle. 

After the loss to the Penguins last night, the Devils have relinquished the top Atlantic Division spot to Pittsburgh, who have 10 points. Today's matchup will give the Islanders a chance to temporarily take that spot away, as New York and New Jersey are both tied at 9 points. 

 

-T.J. Weber 

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