NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Friday, December 26th
(All times eastern)
New York Islanders (15-15-2-1) at New Jersey Devils (18-6-8-0), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Islanders seek their third consecutive
victory tonight when they visit the New Jersey Devils at the Meadowlands.
New York is 6-2-0-1 in its nine tries since a seven-game losing streak. On
Tuesday the Islanders posted a 4-2 win over visiting Philadelphia in a match
that will be remembered for two things. One is the fight that ensued between
periods when two men participating in a parade of Santas removed their
costumes to reveal the jersey of the hated Rangers. The other is the lacerated
right wrist suffered by center Alexei Yashin when he was accidentally stepped
on by the Flyers' Michal Handzus following a New York goal in the second
Yashin sustained partially torn tendons in the wrist and is expected to miss
between 10-12 weeks of action. The Russian star is currently tied for the team
lead with 12 goals and 24 points.
Jason Blake scored with five minutes remaining in the third period to help
lift the Isles to the win. Arron Asham tallied twice for the Islanders, who
posted a three spot in the final frame. Dave Scatchard lit the lamp as well,
while goaltender Garth Snow finished with 34 saves.
The Isles, who have lost six of their last seven on the road, will host
Toronto on Saturday.
New Jersey, meanwhile, is 2-0-1 in its last three, and 6-1-2 in the last nine.
On Sunday the defending champs skated to a 2-2 tie in Chicago to close out a
five-game road trip. Chicago's Ville Nieminen scored the tying goal late in
the third period to salvage the point for the Blackhawks.
Scott Gomez and Scott Stevens each notched a goal and an assist for the
Devils, who had a two-game win streak stopped. New Jersey wrapped up its five-
game swing at 3-1-1.
Martin Brodeur made 32 saves for New Jersey, which has 44 points and is three
behind Philadelphia for first place in the Atlantic Division.
The Devils, 9-1-2 in their last 12 home matches, head back to the road and
visit Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Jersey is 2-1 against the Isles this season, but New York snapped a seven-game
series winless streak (0-6-1) with a 5-4 home win on December 16. New York
has, however, lost in its last five trips to East Rutherford.
12/26 10:10:40 ET