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First Game in 12 Days, No. 29: Islanders vs. Devils, Lines & Notes

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After 12 days since a 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers, the New York Islanders (10-12-6) are back in action as they face the New Jersey Devils (14-17-5) at UBS Arena on Thursday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:30 pm.

“Everyone’s excited and we just have to get to our game early,” Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield said following morning skate. “You got to expect that there might be a little rust, but the biggest thing is just fighting through it.”

The Islanders enter Thursday’s contest on a four-game points streak (3-0-1). They also have points in five straight home contests (4-0-1).

“From watching on T.V… the fans were into it and that motivates us, gives us energy and gives us a boost,” Islanders forward Brock Nelson said. “We want to get it done behind us early in games, we kind of feed off that.”

“I think it definitely gives us an advantage here at home. ”

Besides the New York Islanders as a team streaking, a few players are as well.

Top-line center Mat Barzal enters Thursday’s game with an eight-game point streak with two goals and 11 assists. Forward Kieffer Bellows has points in three straight contests, with two goals and two assists, while defenseman Noah Dobson also has a three-game point streak with two goals and three assists.

Anders Lee has three goals and two assists in his last five games.

Forwards Brock Nelson and Oliver Wahlstrom, who entered COVID-19 protocol ahead of the Dec. 19 contest against the Vegas Golden Knights, will return to the lineup after missing the Islanders’ last three games.

Forwards Kyle Palmieri, Matt Martin, and Austin Czarnik skated as extras Monday and Tuesday of this week. Kieffer Bellows and Ross Johnston skated with the regulars.

Palmieri and Martin remained on the rink after morning skate to get some work in, as it is likely they will not be in the lineup Thursday.

The Islanders have two personnel in COVID-19 protocol in head coach Barry Trotz and defenseman Ryan Pulock (LTIR). Associate coach Lane Lambert will coach the contest.

While Trotz was away from the team for personal reasons, Lambert filled his role for the Islanders in their last win over Edmonton as well as the following practices until Trotz’s return on Jan. 8.

He will do the same while Trotz is in protocol.

“They’ve been practicing and practicing hard,” Associate coach Lane Lambert said following morning skate. “We are just ready to play some hockey.”

Lambert will also serve as head coach in Saturday’s contest against the Washington Capitals as Trotz is not allowed to return to the Islanders until Sunday, Jan. 16, a five-day stay in protocol if asymptomatic. Same with Pulock who has been skating on his own as he rehabs a lower-body injury.

The Devils have been dealing with COVID-19 and will be without seven players for the contest: Damon Severson, Jesper Bratt, Nathan Bastian, Dougie Hamilton, Mason Geertsen, Mackenzie Blackwood, Akira Schmid

With both goaltenders in protocol, the Devils will turn to Jon Gillies (0-1-1, 2.97 GAA, .902 SV%) in goal. There has not been an announcement from the New York Islanders on who will be between the pipes for them on Thursday.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS LINES (PROJECTED)

Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Josh Bailey

Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson— Oliver Wahlstrom

Kieffer Bellows— Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Zach Parise

Ross Johnston — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck

Adam Pelech — Scott Mayfield

Zdeno Chara— Noah Dobson

Robin Salo — Andy Greene

Ilya Sorokin

Semyon Varlamov

New Jersey Devils LINES (PROJECTED)

Tomas Tatar — Jack Hughes — Yegor Sharangovich

Pavel Zacha— Nico Hischier— Jesper Boqvist

Andreas Johnsson — Dawson Mercer — Janne Kuokkanen

Jimmy Vesey— Michael McLeod — Marian Studenic

Jonas Siegenthaler— Ryan Graves

Ty Smith — P.K. Subban

Colton White — Christian Jaros

Jon Gillies

Kyle Shapiro

GAME NOTES

This is third of four matchups between these Metropolitan Division rivals this season. They last met on December 11, 2021, when Mathew Barzal, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Oliver Wahlstrom each recorded multi-point games. It was the Islanders’ first win on home ice at UBS Arena, and it was also the last time the Islanders faced a division opponent.

HOW TO WATCH

The game will air on MSG+ (Islanders broadcast), MSG (Devils broadcast), MSG+2 locally, and on MSG GO.  On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 1050 AM ESPN, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.

Who do you think will win the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals? Check out Fanduel.com’s Stanley Cup betting odds and place a future bet today!

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