NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, November 6th
(All times eastern)
New York Islanders (5-5-5) at New Jersey Devils (9-4-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils will try to continue their excellent
play of the past few weeks when they welcome the New York Islanders for an
Atlantic Division battle at Prudential Center.
The Devils are 9-4-0 on the season and have won three straight, six of seven
and nine of their last 11 games. Despite the surge, New Jersey is still third
in the Atlantic Division and three points in back of the second-place New York
Jersey is coming off Wednesday's home victory against the Alex Ovechkin-less
Washington Capitals. Nicklas Bergfors scored two power-play goals in the third
period, as the Devils defeated the Caps, 3-2, at the Rock.
Brian Rolston also tallied, while Travis Zajac collected two assists for the
"We came through with two power-play goals," said Rolston. "Special teams are
so important in this day and age in hockey. There are so many things called
these days. If you can capitalize on your power play, you're going to win a
lot of hockey games. That was the difference for us tonight."
Martin Brodeur made 26 saves in the win, but will get a rare rest tonight as
Yann Danis is expected to get the start against the Islanders. Danis beat
Boston on October 29 in his only other start this season.
The Devils could have forward Patrik Elias on the ice for the first time this
season after recovering from offseason groin surgery. Elias, who is expected
to be activated from IR in time for tonight's game, was the Devils second-
leading scorer last year with 78 points (31 goals, 47 assists).
In other injury news, the Devils could be without forward Rob Niedermayer
(upper body) and defenseman Johnny Oduya (lower body) as both players are
questionable for tonight. Oduya has already missed the last two games, while
Niedermayer sustained his injury in Wednesday's tilt.
New Jersey is just 2-4-0 as the host this year, but it has won two of its last
three in Newark.
The Islanders will try to get back on track tonight after having a season-high
four-game winning streak halted Wednesday in Buffalo. Ryan Miller posted his
second shutout of the season with 24 saves, and Thomas Vanek picked up a goal
and an assist to lead the Sabres to a 3-0 victory at HSBC Arena.
New York had won four in a row to match a season-high win streak from last
year and was aiming for its longest winning stretch since a six-game tear from
February 12-21, 2008. The Islanders had just one win on the season prior to
putting together the streak.
Former Sabre Martin Biron, who made 38 saves for his 200th career win on
Saturday, was back in net for New York and was beaten three times on 39 shots.
"We had some pretty good chances that we didn't bury that he (Miller) made
some good saves on. It's not so much the 24 shots, it's more that our power
play didn't generate anything," said Islanders head coach Scott Gordon.
New York has just one win in seven road games (1-3-3) and is just 10-32-6 as
the guest dating back to the start of last season.
New Jersey took four of six from the Islanders in the 2008-09 season series,
but New York won the last two meetings, including a 7-3 home victory in the
last encounter on March 7. The Isles have dropped six of their last 10 road
games in the series.
11/06 10:48:50 ET