NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 12th (All times eastern)
New York Islanders (27-32-10) at New Jersey Devils (31-32-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Devils continue to win games as they try to move into the playoff picture. The Islanders are on a nice little run themselves.
Aiming for its 16th victory in 19 games, New Jersey plays host to a New York club tonight at Prudential Center that is coming off an excellent homestand of its own.
The Devils netted three power-play goals in last night's 3-2 victory over the Thrashers, including Travis Zajac's game-winner in the final minute of overtime. It was Zajac's second goal of the game, while former Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk also scored on the man advantage.
Martin Brodeur made 24 saves for New Jersey, which has won five of six and is 15-2-1 in its last 18 games. The Devils are also an outstanding 21-3-2 in their past 26 outings and are eight points back of a playoff spot.
"We're pretty far out still, but I think we've come a long way," Brodeur said. "We just take it game by game right now. Take it step by step, and hopefully we get to that point or game where it's doable."
The Islanders are also still mathematically in the mix as they are 10 points behind a postseason spot. However, they have just 13 games left to play, while the Devils have 15 remaining.
New York wrapped up a 4-0-1 homestand Friday night with a 4-2 victory over Northeast Division-leading Boston. The Islanders are 4-1-3 in their last eight.
Jack Hillen had one of three New York goals in the third period in the rally, while Matt Moulson and P.A. Parenteau had a goal and an assist each. Parenteau's tally capped the scoring as he was awarded a goal when hauled down on a breakaway while charging towards an empty net.
"We don't get down on ourselves and just stick together like we've been doing for a while now," said Hillen. "I just think it shows that as a team we're growing and doing good things."
Al Montoya stopped 26-of-28 shots for the Islanders, who begin a five-game road trip tonight but are just 11-17-5 as the guest this season.
New York's lone loss of its recent homestand was a 3-2 shootout setback to New Jersey last Sunday. The teams have now split four meetings so far this year, with the Devils winning the last two on Long Island.
The Islanders were 5-1 winners when the teams last met in New Jersey on Dec. 23, with Josh Bailey notching two goals and an assist to help New York snap a six-game skid in the Garden State.
The contest marked the return of Jacques Lemaire to the bench after the Devils fired John MacLean as head coach earlier that morning due to a 9-22-2 start.
03/12 10:30:48 ET