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Devils, Isles battle in Jersey
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders shoot for a second victory in a row on Friday night when they visit the New Jersey Devils.
The Islanders halted a three-game skid with Thursday night's 2-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Evgeni Nabokov needed to make just 19 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson potted second- period goals on the power play.
Nabokov then made five saves in the third period to secure the 59th shutout of his career.
"If you look at successful teams, they don't do much in the defensive zone. It's get it in, get it out and simple plays," Nabokov said. "That's exactly what we did today."
New York forward Johan Sundstrom left the game at 10:52 of the second period after being checked into the boards by Canadiens defenseman Douglas Murray, who was playing his first game after serving a three-game suspension. Murray was given a major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct.
Sundstrom could join an injured group that includes Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner, Cal Clutterbuck and Calvin de Haan. With the Islanders having nothing to play for over the final two games, none of those injured skaters are expected back.
New York did win the opener of a three-game swing, improving to 19-18-2 as the guest this season. The Isles end their season at Buffalo on Sunday.
The Devils will be looking to put this season behind them, especially their struggles in the shootout. New Jersey's 2-1 shootout setback last night to the Ottawa Senators was their 16th straight in the tiebreaker, extending an NHL record.
New Jersey is 0-12 in shootouts this season, a big factor in the club being eliminated from the playoff race on Wednesday.
"It's frustrating, no question about it," said New Jersey forward Jaromir Jagr. "(The shootout) probably cost us the playoffs, but you've got no other choice but to work on it."
Cory Schneider finished with 31 saves for the Devils, but yielded the lone shootout tally. He has allowed two goals or fewer in seven straight starts.
Michael Ryder lit the lamp on a delayed penalty with 2:34 remaining in the second for New Jersey.
The Devils will conclude their season at home on Sunday versus Boston and have lost four of their past six versus the Islanders. New York has won three straight in New Jersey.
04/11 10:51:20 ET