The New York Islanders will look to complete the sweep of the New Jersey Devils this evening as they wrap up a two-game set with the Devils tonight at Prudential Center.
The Islanders handily dispatched New Jersey on Thursday night with a 4-1 win at Nassau Coliseum. The two meetings are the first of eight that will occur between divisional rivals this season.
Head coach Barry Trotz was keeping his cards close to the vest this afternoon, but the Islanders lineup is expected to be the same as it was on Thursday. Where the head coach hinted things could change was during the upcoming week as the Islanders begin a five-game road trip.
“I’m trying to get a little rhythm with the group that we have,” Trotz said. “At some point, either injury will hit or we’ll make sort of subtle changes and try to keep everyone involved. The taxi squad, they sometimes feel like outliers. We’re monitoring them and evaluating them every day. Making it a little bit of a competition. We have a busy week and I’m sure you’ll see different lineups as we go along during the week.”
New Jersey will try to contain the Islanders offense, which scored a season-high four goals on backup Scott Wedgewood. He was in net on Thursday with MacKenzie Blackwood on the COVID protocol list.
Wedgewood is expected to start again on Sunday night with Blackwood still on the COVID protocol list.
The one player the Devils will be focused on stopping will be Mathew Barzal, who helped lead the Islanders’ offense during the first matchup. The Islanders star had a three-point night against New Jersey on Thursday.
“We have to be a lot more aware of when he comes on the ice; the angles we take on him,” Lindy Ruff said, according to Mike Morreale. “There were a couple angles we took that just allowed him to go right thru us. He’s got the capability, once he’s wound up, to probably beat any defenseman in this League.”
New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)
Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey
Ross Johnston — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene — Noah Dobson
New Jersey Devils Lineup (Projected)
Yegor Sharangovich — Jack Hughes — Kyle Palmieri
Miles Wood — Travis Zajac — Janne Kuokkanen
Nicholas Merkley — Pavel Zacha — Nikita Gusev
Andreas Johnsson — Michael McLeod — Nathan Bastian
Ryan Murray — P.K. Subban
Dmitry Kulikov — Damon Severson
Ty Smith — Matt Tennyson
The Islanders have allowed the fewest goals in their first four games since the 1981-82 season, giving up just five so far. … The Islanders have been strong in the faceoff circle early this season. They are ranked second in the league with a 57.2 faceoff percentage. … Among the team’s best faceoff men has been Brock Nelson, who has is 30-for-50 in faceoffs this season. … New Jersey has a five-game point streak against the Islanders at home. They are 2-0-3 in that span against New York. … Nico Hischier (2-1-3) and Kyle Palmieri (1-2-3) led New Jersey in points against the Islanders last season. … The last three games between New York and New Jersey at Prudential have to overtime.
How to Watch
Today’s game will air locally on MSG+2 or it is streamable on MSG Go or on NHL.tv outside of the New York market. On the radio dial, the game can be heard on AM 970, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.