NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, April 1st
(All times Eastern)
New York Islanders (16-16-3) at New Jersey Devils (15-11-9), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils have been scraping by lately with
one-point results in each of their last three games.
The New York Islanders will try to stop the Devils from gaining a point on
Monday, as the Atlantic Division rivals fight for playoff positioning at New
Jersey's Prudential Center.
The Devils have lost three straight outings but have managed to record a point
in five consecutive games, going 2-0-3 over that stretch.
New Jersey currently sits seventh in the East's playoff standings and is four
points ahead of the Islanders and New York Rangers, who are tied for the
conference's eighth and final playoff berth. The Rangers also are in action
Monday, as they host the Winnipeg Jets.
While the Devils are staying afloat with their recent point streak, the
Islanders had won a season-high three straight games before getting dealt a
2-0 setback Saturday in Pittsburgh. The Islanders fired 35 shots on net but
Tomas Vokoun stopped every one to help lead the mighty Penguins to their 15th
Evgeni Nabokov came up with 25 saves for the Islanders, who went 0-for-4 on
the power play in Saturday's loss.
"That hurt us big time today," Islanders center John Tavares said of the
power play. "We had a lot of shots on net, but we didn't have too many great
scoring chances. When you get your chances, you've got to find a way to
Despite the regulation loss, the Islanders still own a solid 10-5-1 record as
the guest this season. New York is capping a three-game road trip tonight and
will host the Jets on Tuesday.
Islanders forward Josh Bailey left Saturday's game after falling awkwardly
into the end boards and is questionable for Monday. Bailey was pushed from
behind by Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz, who was handed a five-minute major and a
game misconduct for the hit.
The Devils, meanwhile, have lost three straight games without sniper Ilya
Kovalchuk in the lineup. Kovalchuk suffered a shoulder injury in a home game
against Florida on March 23 and New Jersey followed with an 0-0-3 road trip
that ended with Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Panthers.
After losing a pair of shootout losses without Kovalchuk, who is expected to
be sidelined for 2-to-4 weeks, the Devils were done in by Dmitry Kulikov's
game-winner 1:43 into overtime on Saturday.
In the extra session, Kulikov had the puck poke-checked away from him by
Martin Brodeur on a short break, but the puck came over to the left circle.
From there, Brian Campbell fired it over to the right and Kulikov sent the
disc into the far side for the win.
Steve Bernier scored both goals for the Devils and Brodeur made 27 saves in
"You know we keep getting points and that's a positive thing," said Brodeur.
"The teams around us have been struggling a little so it's been a little
easier to take. But at the same time we're going to have to start winning
Saturday's loss dropped the Devils to 5-6-7 on the road this season, but the
club will try to bounce back at Prudential, where New Jersey has built a solid
10-5-2 mark in 2013.
Monday's contest is the fifth and final scheduled meeting between the Devils
and Isles this season. The clubs split the first four encounters of 2013, but
New Jersey has claimed five of seven overall.
New Jersey has won four of the last six meetings in the Garden State.
04/01 10:48:50 ET