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Game Preview #24: Devils vs the New York Islanders

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The Devils will try to kick their game into gear a little earlier tonight and hopefully come out with a win, not another failed comeback.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at New York Islanders Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (8-12-3) at the New York Islanders (17-6-4). SBN Blog: Lighthouse Hockey.

The Time: 7:00 PM

The Broadcast: TV - MSG, MSG+

The Lines or at least my predictions based on Thursday’s game with a little splash of what I would like to see, just to keep it interesting:

For the Devils:

Johnsson - Hughes - Bratt
Maltsev - Zacha - Gusev/Palmieri*
Kuokkanen - Zajac - Sharangovitch
Wood - McLeod - Bastian

Smith - Severson
Kulikov-Subban
Butcher/Murray - Vatanen

Blackwood/Wedgewood

*Gusev deserves a shot to get back in the lineup, and of the wingers on this team, I’ve honestly not been impressed with Palmieri lately. Its tough for me to say as a huge Palmieri fan personally, but if we’re going to sit players like Johnsson multiple games in a row for not performing the way we expect or Murray for making defensive mistakes, we need to do the same with veterans like Palms who’s been guilty of both of those crimes lately. And Subban, but I’m trying to keep this focused on things that might actually happen. As far as the defense goes, I thought the Kulikov-Subban pairing was atrocious last game and would love to see them split in favor of perhaps a Butcher-Subban, Kulikov-Vatanen pairing, but that might be just a bit too adventurous.

For who should be in net? Blackwood’s been bad. Wedgewood has been good for Wedgewood, but that’s just about the same performance level as a bad Blackwood. He’s going to have to play out his woes if we want him to get back to normal Blackwood, and we need him to get back to his usual self. Will they play him twice in a row against the same team after a 5 goal hammering, I don’t know, but I honestly won’t be surprised or disappointed to see either goalie in net today.

For the Islanders:

The Islanders will be without their captain for the foreseeable future (hey, we know how that feels! And it sucks) so their lines might change from how they lined up Thursday, but here’s about how they changed it after Lee left the game, plus Komarov who will probably be their extra forward.

Beauvillier- Barzal - Eberle
Martin - Cizikas - Clutterbuck
Dal Colle - Nelson - Bailey
Komarov - JGP - Wahlstrom

Pelech - Pulock
Leddy - Mayfield
Greene - Dobson

Varlamov/Sorokin

Your Take

What changes would you make to the Devils lineup? Who would you start in net today? Leave your thoughts in the comments and as always, thanks for reading!