The last game in New York, but the second-to last game against the Islanders, the Devils look to beat the Islanders in their third meeting of the season. Here’s the preview.
The Matchup: The New York Islanders (35-29-13 SBN; Lighthouse Hockey) vs. the New Jersey Devils (27-35-14)
The Time: 7:30 PM EST
The Game Broadcast: TV – MSG+2; Digital Audio – The One Jersey Network
The Last Devils Game: The Devils fell to the Jets 4-3 in a shootout. John seemed very disappointed in his recap. The Devils goals were scored by Beau Bennett, for his 6th of the year, Taylor Hall, for his 19th, and Stefan Noesen for his 7th. The Winnipeg goals were scored by Ehlers, Wheeler and Armia. The Devils failed to score in the shootout, while Patrick Laine scored the lone shootout goal. Anyway, the Devils remain the 3rd-worst team in the NHL. What a year.
The Last Islanders Game: The Islanders lost to the Flyers 6-3, in what may be the final blow in their playoff aspirations. Now losers of three in a row, they really have shot themselves in the foot. The Flyers goals were scored by Dale Weise, Sean Couturier, Radko Gudas, Jordan Weal, Wayne Simmonds and Valtteri Filppula. The Islanders goals were scored by Cal Clutterbuck, Jason Chimera and Andrew Ladd. If the Islanders fall to the Devils, they can all but kiss their playoff chances goodbye.
The Last Devils-Islanders Game: On the 19th of February, the Islanders won 6-4 against the Devils. Ryan Strome had two goals, with Casey Cizikas, Andrew Ladd, John Tavares and Jason Chimera scoring the other goals. The Devils goals were scored by Miles Wood, Kyle Palmieri, Joseph Blandisi and Taylor Hall. Back then, the Devils still had a winning record. Oh how the times have changed.
NHL Transactions: Blake Pietila was sent down to the AHL yesterday.
The Goal: Who knows at this point. The season is lost, so I’ll just rinse and repeat and say that I want to see the young guys do well, and see a change in play-style. Also, please stop starting Dalton Prout.
Devils Coming In: It looks like Mike Cammalleri’s back, for better or worse. He’s struggled this season, although his 30 points in 55 games wouldn’t really suggest this.
In more exciting news, UDFA Michael Kafka will be making his debut with the team. The University of Massachusetts-Lowell defenseman and two-year captain doesn’t appear to score goals, but recently recorded 30 points in 40 games for his team. While not the flashiest of signings, hopefully he develops into a quality top-6 defender for the Devils.
Notable Islanders: John Tavares is the best player on this Islanders teams, and he leads his team in points with 65. He’s tied for the lead in goals with Anders Lee, with 28, and is second to Josh Bailey in assists with 37. On defense, Nick Leddy seems to be the main offensive threat, with 11 goals and 41 points on the year. No other defenseman really strikes fear, with Travis Hamonic in the midst of a terrible year (Update, he got injured, nevermind)
Goalie Matchup: Kinkaid is up for the Devils, as reported by Andrew Gross. Maybe Jean-Francois Berube finally gets a start for the Islanders, with Halak and Greiss having played yesterday? The Islanders need this game way more than the Devils, so look for them to play hard.
Your Thoughts? Who do you see winning this game? What do you want to see? Let me know in the comments below, and take care.