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Islanders Face Surging Devils: ‘We Know What New Jersey Is Going to Do’

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The New York Islanders (16-11-0) are in New Jersey Friday night for a rematch with the Devils (21-4-1). Puck drop is slated for 7 PM at the Prudential Center. The Islanders will be wearing blue as the Devils are wearing their white Reverse Retros.

The last time the New York Islanders danced with the New Jersey Devils was game four of the 2022-23 season, and the result was a 4-1 defeat.

Once the puck was dropped at UBS Arena, the Devils showed off speed and determination we had not seen from New Jersey in quite some time.

And the Devils did not look back, as they had the Islanders on their heels for the entirety of the contest. The Islanders were outshot 43-17, and what stood out was a lack of effort, which head coach Lane Lambert spoke about following the loss.

“It was extremely, extremely disappointing,” Lambert said. “We had been trending up. We’ve done a lot of good things in the last couple of games. But tonight was a tough night for everyone.”

The Islanders had won their previous two contests, taking down the Anaheim Ducks 7-1 before a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. But that Devils loss exposed the Islanders for their lack of speed and forced them to take a good, hard look in the mirror.

“Obviously, they came at us hard. We failed to make poise plays,” Lambert said. “To a man, we all know we’re better than that. We’ll look at it, we’ll learn from it, and we’ll move on.”

Since that loss, the Islanders have gone 14-8-0 and hold the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Devils have gone 19-2-1 and are starting to run away with the Metropolitan Division, holding a nine-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes. They sit tied with the Boston Bruins for the most points in the league with 43.

They are a problem for any team that comes across them, primarily due to their speed in transition and players like Jack Hughes, who can turn nothing into something on a nightly basis.

The Islanders know that, and they are preparing accordingly.

“We certainly know they have speed. We know they’re competent. You know, we’ve all watched them,” Lambert said following Thursday’s morning skate. “So they’re playing very well. But you know, we have to make sure that we maintain our gaps, stay above them and play our game, and that’s really the focus for us as we know what New Jersey is going to do.”

With Adam Pelech out (upper-body, day-to-day), the Islanders will look to Robin Salo to help fill the massive void and help shut down the fourth-best offense in the NHL.

The Islanders may get Cal Clutterbuck back in the lineup, as after missing the last three contests, he was a full participant at Thursday’s practice. Lambert will be without former Devils forward Kyle Palmieri, as he will miss his eighth-straight game with an upper-body injury (IR).

Ilya Sorokin was the first netminder off the ice at Islanders practice on Thursday, as he is expected to make his 19th start of the season. He was in goal for the first meeting of the season between these two, as he stopped 39 of 42 in the loss.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS LINES (PROJECTED)

Josh Bailey-Mat Barzal-Oliver Wahlstrom
Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Anthony Beauvillier
Zach Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Simon Holmstrom
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck

Robin Salo-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Scott Mayfield
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov

NEW JERSEY DEVILS LINES (PROJECTED)

ISLANDERS NOTES

Tonight, the New York Islanders visit the New Jersey Devils in the second of three matchups between the two clubs this season.

These teams last met on October 20 at UBS Arena.

Tonight’s game is the Islanders’ first visit to Prudential Center since April 3 of last
season, when Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a hat trick in a 4-3 Islander win.

The Islanders enter tonight’s contest with a 6-2-0 record against Metropolitan Division opponents this season and have a 9-4-0 record on the road against the Devils since the 2020-
21 season.

DRAFTKINGS BETTING CORNER

Do you think the New York Islanders will beat the New Jersey Devils? You can get the Islanders at -165 & -165 on the reverse puck line. The New Jersey Devils come in at -195, +140 on the puck line.

The over for the contest is 6 at +100, with the under at -120.

Head over to DraftKings to place your bets now!

HOW TO WATCH

Thursday’s contest will be available on MSGSN 2. On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 1050 AM ESPN, 88.7 FM WRHU, and 103.9 FM LI News Radio

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