Game 68 Preview: New Jersey Devils vs New York Islanders

The Time: 7:00 PM EDT

The Broadcast: TV - MSG; Radio - 660 AM WFAN

The Game: The New Jersey Devils (38-24-5) vs. the New York Islanders (28-30-9)

The Last Devils-Islanders Game: Well, since the two teams did face off against each other on Thursday, I might as well compress the "Last Game" segment into one big segment. The Devils, powered by Ilya Kovalchuk hammered the Islanders 5-1 at home. While the Devils didn't pile up shots on goal, the Devils were able to beat Evgeni Nabokov. John has a recap of the action here, while Dominik has one up at Lighthouse Hockey.

The Goal: Attack as much as possible- which has been the cause of the Devils recent successes against the Rangers and Islanders. Against the Rangers, they went into the 3rd tied up and scored 3 in the 3rd. Against the Islanders, they were up 1 and scored 3 in the 3rd. They didn't stop attacking in the 3rd, got insurance goals and sealed the win. Might as well build on what's brought the team success recently.


Some other thoughts on the game after the jump. Head on over to Lighthouse Hockey if you want an Islanders POV.

The matchup in goal tonight will be Johan Hedberg vs Anders Nilsson. The Devils have a bit of a score to settle with Nilsson, as he shut them out nearly a week ago. Assuming the Islanders don't block a ton of shots like they did the last time Nilsson started (27 blocked shots)(!), the Devils might be able to exact their revenge on Nilsson. As for Hedberg, he's coming off a shutout the last time he started- up against the Capitals. Of course, the Caps are in a tailspin right now, while the Islanders are playing decent hockey right now. However, i'm expecting a solid performance for Moose tonight.

If there's one thing the Devils need to keep doing against the Islanders, it's shutting down John Tavares, Matt Moulson and P.A. Parenteau. Dominik pointed out in his preview that Tavares has yet to record a point against the Devils this season in 4 games. As for Moulson (1 G, 0A in 4 GP) and Parenteau (0G, 1A in 4 GP), they haven't been significant factors in games against the Devils this year. Credit is due to the Devils defense here- they're doing quite a job defending three very good hockey players. Hopefully the Devils are able to continue this.

There are some lineup changes for the Islanders- Lighthouse Hockey mentions that Milan Jurcina won't play tonight, and Dylan Reese will slot in for him. Katie Strang mentions that forward Matt Martin will not play tonight because of the flu and/or food poisoning. Michael Grabner will probably return to the lineup in place of Martin, which means the Isles should have a bit more offensive firepower at the cost of some sandpaper. As for the Devils, there won't be any lineup changes. David Clarkson did not practise this morning per Gulitti, but he will play tonight.

There's not really much else to say. Hopefully the Devils can continue their improved play of late and put out a full 60 minute effort.

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