The NY Islanders, who have lost three of their last four games will meet the Metro division rival New Jersey Devils, who are one of the hottest teams in the league and second place overall. This is the first game of a back-to-back where they play the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow at home, all before embarking on a difficult five gam road trip.
The last game for the Islanders was a loss at home against the St. Louis Blues, where they went down 5-1 and attempted to make a third-period comeback, but eventually fell short losing 7-4. The Blues were coming off a four-game losing streak, similar to their first meeting with the Isles as they were coming off of a five-game losing streak. Unlike last time, however, the Blues were able to escape Long Island with a win after a furious effort by the Isles to come back. It was not the best night for star goaltender Ilya Sorokin, only making 21 saves on 26 shots, and almost every goal he allowed should have been a routine save for him, the most blatant being the game-winner scored by Colton Parayko. Zach Parise and Noah Dobson both came away with one goal and one assist, with Parise's tally kickstarting the third-period rally. Bridgeport call-up Hudson Fasching also scored his first NHL goal in just his third NHL game and has continued to look solid on the fourth line. Noel Acciari would register two goals in a win for St. Louis, and Thomas Griess made 36 saves on 40 shots in his return to Long Island. 14 players on the Blues came away with at least one point in their victory.
The Devil's last matchup came at home against the struggling Chicago Blackhawks, where they won 3-0 right after the Islanders also defeated them by a 3-0 score. Dougie Hamilton was certainly the first star of the game, registering seven shots on goal and contributing to every goal they scored with a goal and two assists, the goal stood as the game-winner. Captain Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt also scored for the Devils in the win, who are both having strong breakout seasons for New Jersey. Among the many breakout seasons for the Devils, goaltender Vitek Vanicek certainly has not gone unnoticed either, as he stopped all 24 shots that came his way on Tuesday night. Franchise center Jack Hughes had two assists of his own.
The Islanders currently hold the all-time record against their tri-state area rivals, boasting a 145-87-22-8 record. Last season, New Jersey was a team that the Islanders had a good time playing, which were few and far between, going 3-1 against them. The Isles lost their first meeting with them in a lopsided 4-0 loss, but exactly one month later they came out on top 4-2 in a game best remembered by Parise scoring his first as an Islander on a breakaway. Andy Greene also scored against his former club, along with JG Pageau and Oliver Wahlstrom having two-point nights. Parise would have two points in the next matchup, where the Isles took a 3-2 victory off a game-winning tally by Mat Barzal. Pageau netted a natural hat trick in the final matchup of the season between the clubs, and Kyle Palmieri scored one goal to go along with two helpers against his former team. The Devils scored 11 goals against the Islanders last season, and only Dawson Mercer and Tomas Tatar scored more than once in their season series.
Players to Watch
What a season it has been for Zach Parise. In his second season with the blue and orange, he's currently second on the team in goals with nine, to go along with five assists for 14 points. He shows so much heart on a nightly basis, showing that his speed and shot that has not depleted with age, which has been worthy of the first-line minutes he has had this season. Parise is currently riding a two-game goal streak, and he will certainly want to continue that against the team he began his career with.
After a breakout season in 2021-22 for Jack Hughes, he has continued his path to stardom in the NHL this season. The 2019 first-overall pick has 31 points in just 26 games off of 13 goals and 18 assists and has been the Devil's best player among many other great performances. Hughes is currently on a six-game point streak, registering ten points with six of them being goals. Number 86 is not hard to notice out on the ice, but will certainly need to be watched carefully if the Islanders want to escape New Jersey with two points.
Josh Bailey-Mathew Barzal-Oliver Wahlstrom
Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Anthony Beauvillier
Zach Parise-JG Pageau-Simon Holmstrom
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck*
Robin Salo-Ryan Pulock
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson
Alexander Romanov-Scott Mayfield
*Cal Clutterbuck is a game-time decision.
Injured: Kyle Palmieri (IR), Adam Pelech (day-to-day)
Tomas Tatar-Nico Hischier-Jesper Bratt
Eric Haula-Jack Hughes-Dawson Mercer
Miles Wood-Michael McLoed-Fabian Zetterlund
Yegor Sharangovich-Jesper Boqvist-Alexander Holtz
Jonas Siegenthaler-Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves-John Marino
Brendan Smith-Damon Severson
Injured: Ondrej Palat (IR), Mackenzie Blackwood (IR), Nathan Bastian (day-to-day).
Lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff.