Posted January 31, 2013 on
AP on Fox
The New Jersey Devils opened this lockout-shortened season by continuing their success against the New York Islanders.
The Islanders have a chance to change that with two meetings in the next four days and their impressive play on special teams could be key.
The Devils seek their 11th win in 13 home meetings against their Atlantic Division rivals on Thursday night.
These teams faced off in the season opener at Nassau Coliseum on Jan. 19, and New Jersey (3-0-2) won 2-1 for its fourth straight victory in the series and ninth in 11 attempts.
The Devils are 10-2-0 in the last 12 home matchups against New York (3-2-1), taking the most recent game there 3-1 on April 3.
New Jersey, which visits Pittsburgh on Saturday and Long Island the next day, opened this stretch of four of five on the road Sunday with a 4-3 overtime loss to Montreal before falling 2-1 in a shootout to Boston on Tuesday.
"Our game in Montreal was a little inconsistent," coach Peter DeBoer said. "(Tuesday) we were solid for 65 minutes."
Star left wing Ilya Kovalchuk failed to record a point for the first time this season at Boston but did have the Devils' lone shootout tally. He had five points over the previous four games, including an assist against the Islanders.
He tends to be on the scoresheet with regularity against them, totaling 17 points in his last 15 meetings. He has five goals and three assists in his last four home games versus New York.
David Clarkson, who scored his team-leading fourth goal Tuesday, has found the net in each of the last three games against the Islanders.
Martin Brodeur will likely be in net after he was rested Tuesday in favor of backup Johan Hedberg.
Brodeur needed only 18 saves to beat the Islanders earlier this month for his 50th career win in the series - his most against any opponent. His 10 shutouts against New York are tied with Philadelphia for his most.
The Islanders, however, are proving to be a very potent offensive team, ranking among the league leaders with 22 goals. Six of those have come on the power play in 20 chances - two in Tuesday's 4-1 victory at Pittsburgh.
They're also outstanding on the penalty kill, yielding one goal on 20 attempts.
"It takes everybody on the ice to work together as a group," goaltender Evgeni Nabokov told the team's official website. "If one guy gets lazy or one guy doesn't read as well as the other three guys the whole thing is going to fall out. Now we are making the right reads. The guys are clearing the rebounds really well and we're working well as a unit."
John Tavares leads the team with eight points, scoring four in the past two games with two coming on the power play. The center, though, hasn't been effective in nine visits to Newark, totaling four points with a minus-8 rating. He failed to even register a shot there in the April loss.
Linemate Matt Moulson has four goals and two assists in the first four games of this five-game trip. However, he's been held to two goals in his past 13 contests versus New Jersey.
Nabokov has lost his last four starts against the Devils, posting a 4.31 goals-against average.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Johan Hedberg kept the Devils in the game as long as he could, but New Jersey fell to the Boston Bruins by a score of 2-1 after an extended shootout. The Devils looked better than they did on Sunday in Montreal, but the offense just was not enough to slip by Boston tonight.
New Jersey and Boston played in a scoreless first period that saw nine shots on goal for both teams. Despite...
Vote for the Coverage Play of the Week and enter to win a $100 gift certificate to the Pro Shop at TD Garden. First read the official rules, then completely fill out the entry form for your chance to win.
New York Islanders winger Colin McDonald delivered a dirty hit on Tuesday night, which he received a penalty for. It’s likely that he’s got even more punishment on the way.
The NHL announced Wednesday that McDonald has earned himself a hearing with the league for his hit on Pittsburgh defenseman Ben Lovejoy in the second period of the Islanders’ win over the Penguins. The hit...
The New Jersey Devils picked up at least a point in their sixth consecutive game, though they didn't get the result they were looking for as they suffered their first home loss of the season.
The Devils came out and played a pretty mediocre first period. Both the Devils and Islanders exchanged a couple good chances in the first 20 minutes but it was New York that got on the...
Match-up - New York Islanders (3-2-1) @ New Jersey Devils (3-0-2)
Road/Home records - 2-1-1 -------------- 2-0-0
TV - MSG Plus, MSG Plus 2
Puck drop - 7:00 PM ET
Season series - Devils lead 1-0
Last 10: Islanders 3-2-1 / Devils 3-0-2
Projected starting goalies - Evgeni Nabokov (NYI) vs. Martin Brodeur (NJ)
Battle of the stats
Goals for/against per game
New York (I...
New York Islanders forward Colin McDonald received a two-game suspension from the NHL for boarding Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy during Tuesday night's game. The NHL's Department of Player Safety announced the suspension after a Wednesday hearing. Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, McDonald will forfeit $7,567.56, based on his annual salary...
It's not often when the team that is supposedly the Stanley Cup contender is getting booed at home loudly and with a lot of frequency in only the second home game of the season.
But that's exactly what happened at the Consol Mausoleum last night, as the "inferior" New York Islanders skated circles around the lackadaisical Penguins, 4-1.
That makes 3 losses out...
The NHL on Wednesday suspended New York Islanders forward Colin McDonald for two games after a boarding incident involving Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy on Tuesday.
In the Islanders' 4-1 win at the Consol Energy Center, McDonald was issued a boarding penalty and a game misconduct for his hit on Lovejoy at the 18:54 mark of the second period. The penalty was served...
Ryan Strome (OHL Images)
Really starting to feel bad for Ryan Strome (NYI 2011 1st) as the New York Islander prospect doesn't belong in the OHL but yet there he is being the best player on a one line team. I get it the Islanders didn't want to burn a year of his entry level contract during this shortened NHL season.
And Strome is trying his best to help his Niagara IceDogs...
Matt Moulson scored a goal and assisted on another, Evgeni Nabokov stopped 37 shots and the New York Islanders dominated the listless Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Tuesday night.
John Tavares scored for the second straight game for New York while Michael Grabner collected his fourth goal of the season and Casey Cizikas found the net for the first time in his career.
It was more than...
PITTSBURGH -- Jack Capuano knew what his New York Islanders were up against. The coach watched his team blow two-goal leads in each of their previous two games. Furthermore, they were playing in a city where their visits have been almost always fruitless in recent years. Yet the Islanders got a rare win in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, and there was no doubt about the identity...
NEWARK, N.J. -- Maybe the moribund New York Islanders have discovered some new life and are ready to turn the corner as a legitimate NHL contender. "We found a way to win on the road, and good teams are the ones to do that," said Islanders center John Tavares, who had two goals and an assist in the Islanders' 5-4 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday...