NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 8th
(All times eastern)
New York Islanders (26-21-7) at New Jersey Devils (33-15-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils try to remain perfect on their
current homestand when the Atlantic Division leaders take on the New York
Islanders tonight at Continental Airlines Arena.
The Devils began this six-game home stretch with a pair of close victories and
have won three in a row overall. The club is coming off a hard-earned triumph
over the rival New York Rangers on Tuesday, with Brian Gionta scoring the only
goal during the shootout to give New Jersey a 3-2 decision.
Martin Brodeur stopped 28 shots in regulation and turned back all three
Rangers he faced in the shootout to pick up his league-leading 33rd win of the
season for the Devils, who received earlier goals from Paul Martin and Zach
New Jersey improved to 19-4-4 at the Meadowlands this season, the best home
mark among Eastern Conference teams.
After going just 4-6-3 in January, the Islanders have gotten February off to a
good start. New York has won three of its four outings for the month and comes
in off a shutout of the basement-dwelling Philadelphia.
Rick DiPietro thwarted all 27 shots he faced as the Isles blanked the Flyers,
2-0, Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum. Viktor Kozlov netted the game's first goal
midway through the opening period and Miroslav Satan added an insurance marker
in the second.
The Islanders have now registered a point in eight straight games, posting a
5-0-3 record over that span.
Tonight's contest kicks off a three-game road trip for New York, which will
also face Boston and Toronto on the swing. The Isles currently stand two
points behind Carolina for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
New York took six of the eight meetings between these Atlantic Division foes
last season, but the Devils have won three straight in the series since
dropping a 5-2 decision at home to the Islanders in November.
The Isles have emerged victorious in three of their last four visits to the
02/08 10:28:08 ET