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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 29th (All times eastern)

New Jersey Devils (21-13-3) at New York Islanders (18-16-2), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The first-place New Jersey Devils will head to New York tonight to battle the Islanders in an Atlantic Division bout at the Nassau Coliseum.

The Devils lead the division with 45 points and picked up another two on Friday with a 2-1 home shootout win against Buffalo. Zach Parise scored the only goal of the shootout in the win for New Jersey.

After Martin Brodeur used a poke check to stop the Sabres' Ales Kotalik on the first attempt, Parise skated in on Ryan Miller and snapped a shot over the goaltender's right pad.

Brodeur then made a right pad save on a Tim Connolly backhander and used the glove to stop Thomas Vanek to hang on for the win.

Mike Mottau scored the lone regulation goal for the Devils, who have won four of their last five games. Brodeur stopped 26 shots for the win.

New Jersey will look to improve on its 11-8-3 road mark this season before returning home for two straight in the new year.

New York enters this game tied with Philadelphia for last in the Atlantic Division, though both clubs are just seven points back of New Jersey.

The Islanders were without starting goaltender Rick DiPietro on Thursday, and were handed a 5-2 setback in Ottawa. Backup Wade Dubielewicz, playing in just his sixth game of the season, made 32 saves in the loss.

DiPietro suffered a knee sprain in Wednesday's overtime win against Toronto and is questionable for this game. New York recalled Joey MacDonald from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League to serve as Dubielewicz's backup.

Bill Guerin scored twice, giving him a goal in three straight contests, as the Islanders had a three-game winning streak halted. Mike Comrie added an assist to give him seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in his last seven games.

New York is 12-7-1 on the road this season and will be in Carolina on Monday.

The Islanders have won four in a row against the Devils -- including all three matchups so far this season -- after dropping six in a row to New Jersey. New York has also won nine of the last 15 matchups in the series and have split the last eight meetings at the Nassau Coliseum.

12/29 10:34:03 ET


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