(Sports Network) - The New York Islanders end their five-game road trip
looking for a rare victory in New Jersey on Thursday evening as they try and
deal the Devils their first regulation loss of the season.
The Islanders have posted a solid 2-1-1 mark so far on their swing, which
began after they split a pair of home games in regulation to begin the
campaign. New York opened the season with a 2-1 loss to visiting New Jersey.
The Isles, though, are coming off just their second victory in the past 15
trips to Pittsburgh, notching a 4-1 win over the Penguins on Tuesday. Evgeni
Nabokov made 37 saves in a near shutout and Casey Cizikas scored his first
Matt Moulson, who had an assist, and John Tavares scored power-play goals less
than two minutes apart in a three-goal second period, which also saw Michael
Grabner light the lamp.
"In the last few games, we've really developed an understanding of what we
need to do to be successful," Tavares said of the team's power play, which
converted both of its opportunities.
New York forward Colin McDonald will begin serving a two-game suspension on
Thursday for boarding Pittsburgh's Ben Lovejoy, an incident that occurred in
the second period.
The Islanders have scored 17 goals on their swing and hope to cap the trek
with another offensive outburst. That could lead to the club notching just its
fourth victory in its last 15 trips to New Jersey.
The Devils, though, have yet to lose in regulation, winning their first three
contests of the season before back-to-back losses past regulation. New Jersey
dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.
In his first start of the season, Johan Hedberg made 27 saves, but was beaten
twice in the six-round shootout. David Clarkson scored New Jersey's regulation
tally, a power-play marker in the second period.
"The points are important, but I'm more pleased with how we played tonight.
Our game in Montreal was a little inconsistent," said Devils head coach Peter
DeBoer, referring to Sunday's overtime loss at the Canadiens. "I thought
tonight we were real solid for 65 minutes in all areas of the ice against a
really good team."
DeBoer is likely to go back to starter Martin Brodeur, who made 18 saves in
the 2-1 win over the Islanders on Jan. 19. Clarkson had the go-ahead goal in
the victory, which was New Jersey's fourth straight and ninth in the last 11
meetings with New York.
The Sports Network