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Morning Updates, Potential Line Combos Ahead of Devils Game

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New York Islanders, Kieffer Bellows

The New York Islanders did not hold a morning skate on Tuesday, so there was no way to tell what the roster will be against the New Jersey Devils. However, we know that no one who played in the 4-1 to the New York Rangers on Monday night will be in the lineup, so we can infer on certain players.

Rapid Recap: Islanders Drop Preseason Opener, Lose 4-1 to Rival Rangers

“It’s gonna be fun,” New York Islanders forward Casey Cizikas said Tuesday morning. “It’s time to get back into game shape, and that’s what these games are for, to kind of get your bearings straight again and get ready for the season.”

“Yeah, it’s always exciting. You always want to get your feet wet again,” veteran Josh Bailey said. “I think for us yesterday, we’re able to have a little scrimmage and kind of get going a little bit, and then you always look forward to that first game.”

Per Lane Lambert, Otto Koivula and Collin Adams skated, a first step in returning to team activities. 2022 fourth-round pick Isaiah George is still not skating after getting hurt during development camp. There is no update on Samuel Bolduc, who did not skate at all on Monday.

READ MORE: Simon Holmstrom Solid Against Rangers

Here are a few lines that we have seen on display, including players that did not play Monday night:

Forwards: 

Beauvillier-Nelson-Bellows
Bailey-Räty-Palmieri
Martin-Cizikas-Dufour

Defense:

Pelech-Pulock
Cholowski-Ladue

As for the goaltenders, Ilya Sorokin will start per head coach Lane Lambert. It is expected that former New Jersey Devils Cory Schneider will back him up.

EXPECTED NEW JERSEY DEVILS LINES:

Also, per Amanda Stein, Vitek Vanecek will start for the Devils against the Islanders with Akira Schmid backing up.

WHO TO WATCH:

If those lines come to fruition, Aatu Räty is a player to watch, centering two veterans.

Räty has played just eight games on North American ice, all coming with the Bridgeport Islanders in 2021-22. Six of those eight games came in the Calder Cup Playoffs, where he showed off his shot, as his overtime goal in Game 2 against the Providence Bruins sent Bridgeport to the second round.

The 19-year-old Finnish product plays a mature game and what stands out is his hockey IQ. Look for him to get off his shot when he can, as we saw last season and during the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships as the top-line center for Team Finland.

Another player to watch is 20-year-old William Dufour, who is fresh off a 56-goal season for the St. John Sea Dogs, winning MVP of the QMJHL, the Calder Cup, the MVP of the Calder Cup, as well as winning gold at the 2022 IIHF World Championships.

During camp, William Dufour has skated in more of a bottom-six role as the young forward needs to work on his skating, but has a shot that is for sure NHL caliber. At 6’3, and 194 lbs, Dufour has the physical size to play against other NHLers, but he needs to learn how to use his body effectively.

“You know, Martin and I, we’re gonna help him out there,” Cizikas said. “Were gonna tell him, you know, play your game. Do the things that you’re capable of, and you know, we got your back no matter what.”

If in Tuesday’s lineup, Dufour will be playing his first game action as a member of the New York Islanders.

“He’s played with Casey and Marty during camp here, and so it’s been a good opportunity for him to read and see what veteran players do,” Lane Lambert said Tuesday. “He’s a hard guy, needs to get into those areas to score goals because that’s his MO.”

We saw during the World Championships, Dufour has a defensive element to his game, which is another reason as to why he is playing with Cizikas and Martin. He also skated with Ross Johnston, but Johnston played Monday night.

One more to watch is Kieffer Bellows, who came into Islanders training camp rather confident after inking a one-year extension. Bellows finished off the 2021-22 campaign rather strong and should get adequate minutes tonight skating with Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier.

The 24-year-old is entering his fourth NHL season and is vying for a starting role. Given his ability to play the body and his strong shooting, look for him to showcase both skills tonight against the Devils.

“It’s a big year for me. I’m on a one-year deal, and I’m excited to go out there and have a big year,” Kieffer Bellows said. “And you know, show them I’m capable of playing all 82 games.”

HOW TO WATCH:

You can watch the game tonight on MSG, MSG+, and MSGSN.

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