The NY Islanders look to end their four-game home stand on a high note as they host the New Jersey Devils at UBS Arena.
After a big offensive performance last weekend against the Anaheim Ducks, the Islanders picked up where they left off, especially offensively, in a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. Oliver Wahlstrom led the way with two goals on the night. After missing the first game of the season, the 22-year-old now has scored four goals in just two games played. Captain Anders Lee also joined the scoring party in the win, tipping home his first goal of the 2022-23 season. Fellow linemate, Brock Nelson, notched two more assists, giving him a total of four now on the year. In his first start of the year, goaltender Semyon Varlamov did not disappoint, keeping 26 of the Sharks’ 28 shots out of the net.
The Devils entered the win column for the first time in this new campaign with a 4-2 victory over the Ducks on Tuesday. Trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Devils were staring at a 0-3-0 start right in the face. Two second-period goals, followed by two more in the third, guided the Devils to the win. Ondrej Palat buried his first goal as a Devil, while Nico Hischier and Dawson Mercer also each got their first red lights of the season. Mackenzie Blackwood didn’t have much traffic to deal with in his crease but still made 18 saves in the win.
Last season, the Islanders and Devils met four times, with each team hosting twice. New Jersey picked up the first win of the season series, 4-0 at the Prudential Center. Following that defeat, the Islanders won each of the next three meetings, beating the Devils 4-2 on December 11th, 3-2 on January 13th, and 4-3 on April 3rd.
All time, the Isles are 145-86-22-8 against the Devils in 261 meetings. That includes a 2-0-0 record against New Jersey at UBS Arena.
Players to watch
Mathew Barzal had a quiet night on Tuesday. After notching three assists in the first two games, Barzal was held pointless in the win against the Sharks. It isn’t often that Barzal has no offensive impact in consecutive games, especially when his Islanders face the New Jersey Devils. In 22 career games against this Metro Division foe, Barzal has scored 17 points (5 goals, 12 assists).
Jack Hughes is one of the most electrifying players in the NHL. The former #1 overall pick in 2019 has been held in check for the most part through the first week of the season. I do not expect that to last very long. In just 49 games last year, Hughes notched 56 points. The Islanders' defense is going to have their hands full whenever #86 in white steps on the ice.