NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, February 3rd
(All times Eastern)
New Jersey Devils (3-1-3) at New York Islanders (4-2-1), 3 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Islanders try to extend their solid start to
the season on Sunday afternoon with a second victory over the New Jersey
Devils in four days.
The Islanders have recorded a 4-2-1 record through their first seven games and
have picked up two straight victories over divisional opponents. They are in
the midst of playing five straight games against Atlantic Division residents
as they will host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday before visiting the New
York Rangers two days later.
The Isles followed up an overtime loss with Tuesday's 4-1 victory at
Pittsburgh and then recorded a 5-4 overtime triumph at New Jersey on Thursday.
Brad Boyes had the winner 2:01 into the extra frame, converting on a power
play that was awarded after the Devils' Henrik Tallinder took a cross-checking
New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur tried to play the puck behind the right
side of his net, but flubbed the clear and John Tavares grabbed it along the
boards. He brought it out front and got a shot on net that was stopped. A mad
scramble ensued with Brodeur out of position and a Devil defender guarding the
net, but Boyes was able to jam it in for the win.
"We talked about just finding a way going into the third period and learn how
to win, find a way to win," said Boyes. "Our penalty kill has been great of
late and so has our power play."
Tavares scored two goals and had an assist, giving him four goals and seven
helpers through the first seven games. Mark Streit and Keith Aucoin also
scored for the Islanders, while Evgeni Nabokov allowed four goals on 32 shots
in the win.
The win concluded a five-game swing for New York, which now plays six of its
next eight at home.
The Islanders also snapped a four-game slide to the Devils, a skid that
included a 2-1 home loss on Jan. 19. New Jersey, though, has still won nine of
the last 12 meetings overall and six of the past nine as the guest.
Tallinder, Adam Henrique, Steve Bernier and Ryan Carter all scored for the
Devils, who dropped their third straight beyond regulation after opening up
the season with three victories in a row. Brodeur gave up all five goals on 35
shots in the loss.
New Jersey's six-game point streak to begin the season then came to an end on
Saturday with a 5-1 loss at Pittsburgh. Andy Greene scored shorthanded as the
Devils' winless streak reached four games.
"They played well defensively and held the puck most of the game," said
Brodeur. "It was hard to get shots on net and generate any offense. When a
team like that plays they way they did, you're not going to win any games."
Brodeur yielded all five goals on 30 shots. He is expected to get the day off
Sunday, with Johan Hedberg slated to make his second start of the campaign.
Hedberg stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced on Tuesday in a 2-1 shootout loss
to the Boston Bruins.
02/03 10:30:55 ET