The #26 Goes up into Rafters as Devils Take on Isles

The Devils will be raising #26 to the rafters before tonight’s contest. –Getty Images

Match Overview

Tonight’s game will feature your New Jersey Devils, who currently own a 31-22-8 record which positions them fourth in the Metropolitan Division, and the New York Islanders, who own a 29-26-7 record which puts them 6th in the Metropolitan Division.

The New Jersey Devils are coming off one of their most disappointing losses of the season. Blowing a two-goal lead against a talented Wild team should not have happened. Now they must break out of their two-game losing streak on a night which will be running high on emotions. With new winger Michael Grabner in the lineup, it’ll be interesting to see how the Devils respond after a well-deserved ceremony for #26.

The New York Islanders are coming into tonight’s game at The Rock with the same theme following them that have followed them all season: porous defense. The Islanders rank dead last in the league in terms of goals against per game (3.6) and penalty kill (74.4). However, the only reason this team is still battling for a wild card spot is their potent offense. Led by rookie sensation Matthew Barzal (65 pts) and star centerman John Tavares (30 goals) the Islanders can strike at any time. Keith Kinkaid will certainly have his work cut out for him on this special night.

Regarding personnel for tonight’s game, goaltender Keith Kinkaid will be back in net. The Devils will also go with the typical 12 forwards and 6 defenseman lineups after the acquisition of speedy winger Michael Grabner. Expect the healthy scratches to be forward Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Mirco Mueller as forward Drew Stafford checks back into the lineup after missing a game due to injury.

Tonight’s game will be at Prudential Center. The Devils encourage fans to be in their seats at 6:00pm, as Elias’ retirement ceremony starts at 6:15pm. Warm-ups will start at 7:30pm and the puck will drop at 8:08pm.

Projected Devils Lines

Hall-Hischier-Bratt

Palmieri-Zacha-Grabner

Coleman-Zajac-Noesen

Wood-Boyle-Stafford

Greene-Vatanen

Moore-Severson

Butcher-Lovejoy

Kinkaid

Projected Islanders Lines

Lee-Taveras-Bailey

Beauviller-Barzal-Eberle

Ladd-Nelson-Fritz

Johnston-Cizikas-Clutterbuck

Leddy-Boychuk

Pelech-Aho

Hickey-Pulock

Halak (18-19-5, .911 Sv%, 3.20 GAA) 

Michael Grabner will wear #40 in his Devils debut. –Getty Images

What/Who to Watch

  • The Devils power play has continued its horrific stretch. Only 2 for its last 24, the Devils get a great opportunity to fix it. As mentioned above the Islanders penalty kill comes in ranked 2nd to last in the league. If the Devils want to get their power play back on track, tonight is the night to do so.

 

  • New winger Michael Grabner will make his Devils debut alongside Pavel Zacha and Kyle Palmieri. It’ll be very interesting to see how his speed complements two of the Devils best possession forwards. Also, the acquisition resulted in the reunion of the Hall-Hischier-Bratt line which will also be interesting to watch.

 

  • Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak comes into tonight’s game after struggling mightily in his past two starts. Halak gave up a combined nine-goals on 63-shots, which equates to a .857 save percentage. If Devils continue to get shots to the net like they have in recent games, they should be in pretty good shape.

 

Tonight’s game is expected to begin at 8:10 PM and can be seen on MSG+.

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