Less than 24 hours after a 3-2 come from behind win, the New York Islanders are back on the ice in Newark to face the New Jersey Devils. This will be the Islanders second back-to-back of three this month. Thankfully, the Isles are exceptional in B2B situations with Barry Trotz at the helm.
Since Trotz took over behind the bench, the Isles are 20-2-3 in the second leg of back-to-back games. A record that bodes very well for the Islanders eleven game point streak. Getting at least a point tonight would help increase that two-point cushion over Washington who isn’t in action today.
Day two of Kieffer Bellows on the top line for the New York Islanders, I bet.
This is the last time the Islanders will see the New Jersey Devils this month. After the three-game series, the two rivals will go their separate ways until May 6th and 7th.
Tale of the Tape
The Islanders come into today as the favorites, courtesy of the Action network. At the time of writing the line is set at -180 for an Islanders win and +164 for a Devils win.
Just looking at the tale of the tape should tell you why the Islanders are the heavy favorite here. Not to mention their record in the second leg of a back-to-back. Betters are confident the Isles will win and it’s hard to doubt them. But, then again, hockey is an unpredictable sport.
Yesterday, contributor Kieran wrote the pre-game piece and actually had Bellows on the top line. I changed that. I had no faith Barry Trotz would put Bellows in the lineup let alone the top line. Well, Kieran was right. (Sorry Kieran).
Trotz will certainly keep that going with the way Bellows played last night. Again, he isn’t likely to spend the entire game attached to Barzal’s wing, but he’ll end the game with ~15 minutes of ice-time again.
With Varly in action yesterday there’s no reason to think Sorokin won’t step in the lineup for a game.
Also, with the little ice time Dal Colle saw last night, I’d be surprised to see him in the lineup today. I imagine Barry goes with Leo Komarov on that third line.
The only change I’d expect from the Devils is a goalie swap. Mackenzie Blackwood played a good enough game yesterday, but it’s unlikely he gets back-to-back starts considering the stat time.
The Devils are expected to lineup like this:
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Where to Catch the Game
TV: MSG, MSG+
Radio: 88.7FM 103.9FM
*All Stats Provided by the NHL*