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Game Preview #12: New Jersey Devils at New York Islanders

The New Jersey Devils will get to take on the New York Islanders again, only this time in Brooklyn and after the Islanders lost another game on Sunday. This game preview doesn't repeat much from Saturday's, but it does highlight some roster changes.

I've used the Mike Cammalleri scoring on Jaroslav Halak in a shootout photo twice already.  Here's Jacob Josefson doing it.
I've used the Mike Cammalleri scoring on Jaroslav Halak in a shootout photo twice already. Here's Jacob Josefson doing it.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

This time, the Devils are going to Brooklyn instead of Long Island.

The Time: 7:00 PM EST

The Broadcast: TV - MSG+2; Radio - 660 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (6-4-1) at the New York Islanders (6-3-3; SBN Blog: Lighthouse Hockey)

The Last Devils Game: See the Last Devils-Islanders Game.

The Last Islanders Game: After Halloween, the Islanders kicked off November with a home game against Buffalo. The first period was decent enough and the second period did yield a goal from Calvin de Haan.  Yet, the third period reared its ugly head.  Linus Ullmark was only beaten that one time.  The Sabres started getting more offense.  And with it came the response.  Ex-Islander Matt Moulson scored on a jam play resulting from a feed by Zemgus Girgesons.  Later on, Marek Zidlicky missed on a pinch - shocker - and David Legwand took full advantage to lead a 2-on-1.  He passed it to Sam Reinhart, who finished it for the score.  The Isles had no answer for either and so they lost 1-2.  Dominik has this recap of the loss at Lighthouse Hockey.

The Last Devils-Islanders Game: On Halloween, the Devils hosted the Islanders for an afternoon contest. The first five minutes were great for the Devils. Plenty of control, plenty of shots (six), and a goal resulting from Bobby Farnham taking a sharp angled shot, Lee Stempniak forcing one rebound save, and John Moore finishing the second.   Then the Devils proceeded to only generate one shot for the remaining fifteen minutes in the first period. Yeah, the Isles woke up.  Fortunately, that one shot was a goal.  Stephen Gionta missed on a slapshot, but the carom off the endboards went right to Farnham, and he blasted a high, shortside shot past Jaroslav Halak.  The 2-0 lead did not last in the second period.  Anders Lee put in his own rebound to convert a power play to make it 2-1. During a Devils power play - which was mostly useless for the day - a stray puck came out to the center point and Frans Nielsen took it. He came down the wing and beat Cory Schneider with a high, short-side shot of his own to make it 2-2.  The Isles kept up the pressure in the third as the Devils needed over eighteen minutes to register their first shot on net.  Fortunately, Schneider and Lady Luck were on New Jersey's side to force overtime. The Devils had a few chances, but the Isles had the puck more and so the Devils were also fortunate to escape to a shootout.  There, the Devils would prevail thanks to Schneider, the post, Jacob Josefson, and Mike Cammalleri finishing it out. The Devils won the day 3-2 despite the run of play, as I explained in my recap. For the other side, Dominik had this recap at Lighthouse Hockey.

The Goal: Keep this game at even strength.  The Islanders have gone winless in their last three games and they've only scored two even strength goals.  They were able to tie the Devils in special teams situations on Saturday. The Devils' own power play is a mess; for all of the scoring they have had, they have too many situations where they do absolutely nothing.  Per my (really long) game preview of Saturday's game, the Isles have been great when up a man or down a man all season.  Less so when it's 5-on-5.  With the news that John Tavares is likely to be out again according to this article in Newsday by Arthur Staple, then it's even more reason for the Devils to not give the rest of the Islanders opportunities to play with more space.

No Repeating: I wrote all about the Islanders and how they were taking care of business in October in my preview on Saturday. So if you don't know about who to look for and what they have been good/bad at, then I suggest reading all of that first.  No need to repeat it, not even the bit about how the Devils should challenge Marek Zidlicky because he's Marek Zidlicky.  Anyway, the big difference between then and now is that the Islanders have not won in their last three games. We already have a tasty quote from head coach Jack Capuano about it.  It's like catnip for bloggers, journalists, and fans looking to point a finger for with recent losses to Carolina, New Jersey, and Buffalo.   Here's the quote, from Staples' article about Tavares likely being out again:

"We have too many veteran guys working too hard," he said, "and some other guys just not holding their weight."

Scandalous!  OK, maybe that's a bit much.  Candid maybe a more appropriate descriptor.  Regardless, Dominik has more on just that very quote, asking LHH who they think isn't holding weight. I think this quote persist if the Islanders don't get back to winning and fast.  Look out, Devils.

Changes in Lines: One important roster bit from Staples' article is that the Capuano has switched up the left wings.  Anders Lee was skating with Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen.  Josh Bailey was moved to play with Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome.  Nielsen has been quite good and Okposo carries a lot of weight too; Lee should fit in well with them.  Strome, Nelson, and Bailey could help spark each other a bit.

As for the Devils, Jiri Tlusty returned to practice. According to Tom Gulitti's report at Fire & Ice yesterday, Tlusty was re-united with Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri.  I, for one, hope he's active tonight. I really don't want to see Jordin Tootoo or Sergey Kalinin with those two. They are akin to square pegs going through round holes.  Tlusty and his speed and hands are a better fit with them.  Speaking of Kalinin and Tootoo, they were skating with Jacob Josefson as the fourth line consisted of Stephen Gionta, Brian O'Neill, and Bobby Farnham.  Farnham did have the best first period of his short NHL career, so I understand that he's getting another game. Sorry, Stefan Matteau.

Sticking with the Devils, it appears they'll go back to the traditional formate of twelve forwards, and six defensemen. They skated with four full lines and Eric Gelinas was listed as an extra.  Further, Gulitti noted that Adam Larsson was practicing with the second power play unit in place of Gelinas at times.   Gelinas didn't play much and didn't do much on Saturday, so I can see why he would end up as the odd man out. That said, it's not a guarantee.  Tlusty said he was fine for Saturday's game, the team practiced with this set-up, and then held Tlusty out and went with eleven forwards and seven defensemen.  So we'll see whether or not that happens again.  At least we know Cory Schneider will start his ninth straight game tonight per this post by Gulitti.

Adam Henrique Is Growing a Mustache: Gulitti reported that Henrique is taking part in Movember and has a picture showing off his attempts to grow a mustache.  In time, there will be one. The post has a link to his donation page - which is here - as those who take part in the effort do so to raise money for men's health issues.

One Last Thought: According to the end of Dominik's recap of the Islanders' loss to Buffalo, the Islanders will be wearing their all black third jerseys tonight.  I've been to Barclay's Center once and the arena is very committed to the black and white colors of the Brooklyn Nets.  From the seats to the walls to the foundations and to the floor. I get it, but it's only makes me appreciate things like light and color.  So when he calls them the None More Black jerseys, he's not kidding.  It'll fit in almost too well.  Maybe even depressingly well - for the fans that can see it. The Islanders are all about the royal blue and orange, so I can't say I'm a fan of this third jersey color scheme.  But, hey, it's not my team.

Your Take: The Devils will take on the Islanders and again may not have to deal with Tavares. Will the Devils put up a better effort in this game?  Can they keep it to even strength as much as possible?  Who do you want to see have a big game tonight?  Will the Devils make it four winless for the Isles, or will the Islanders get back to winning ways? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about this game in the comments. Thank you for reading.