The New York Islanders haven’t seen the New Jersey Devils since January 24th. Now, normally that wouldn’t be worth mentioning, but in 2021 when the season is 56 games long and you only play seven other teams, not seeing one for 16 games is kind of weird.
The last time these two teams played, the Devils beat the Isles 2-0. Since that game, the Islanders have gone 8-4-4 while the Devils are 4-7-1. The two teams (as expected) are headed in two different directions. Ideally, that continues with a win tonight for the Islanders.
Tale of the Tape
Even though the Isles are the road team, they are the heavy favorite for tonight’s game according to The Action Network.
At the time of writing the Islanders sit at a -155 to the Devils +140. The tale of the tap above should tell you everything you need to know about why the Islanders are favored to win this matchup. Just look at the power play efficiency for the Isles compared to the Devils PK efficiency.
Cal Clutterbuck will be another game-time decision tonight. He’ll take warmups with the team but Trotz wasn’t going to state if Clutterbuck would play tonight. With a 2-0 win over the Penguins the last time out, perhaps Trotz rests him another game and just keeps the same lineup.
If Cal does in fact start I’d expect Leo Komarov to make way for Clutter. Leo played well on the fourth line, but not well enough to force Michael Dal Colle off the roster.
Even though Sorokin picked up yet another shutout he won’t play tonight. Don’t worry, he will get ice time in this packed month of March.
The Islanders are projected to lineup like this:
Michael Dal Colle-Pageau-Wahlstrom
Martin-Cizikas-Komarov (Clutterbuck if healthy)
Nico Hischier is out. The first overall pick from 2017 is absent from the lineup and is being evaluated by doctors. There is no timetable for his return just yet. That leaves a big gap down the middle for the Devils who are already weak on talent.
Aaron Dell will get the start for the Devils. The former San Jose Sharks goalie has played once this season with a 0.902SV% and 4.19GAA. Yet another indication as to why the betting line is in the Isles favor.
The Devils are projected to lineup like this:
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
Where to Catch the Game
TV: MSG+, MSG+2
Radio: 88.7FM 103.9FM 1050AM
*All Stats Provided by the NHL*