BROOKLYN, NY – Backed by a late goal from Islanders forward Casey Cizikas with 2:12 remaining in regulation, the 6-5-1 New Jersey Devils fell to the currently John Tavares-less New York Islanders by a score of 2-1 to begin the second month of the regular season.
Tuesday’s game was the third consecutive game in which Tavares did not play due to flu-like symptoms. He is currently out day-to-day with no expected timetable to return.
Tuesday night’s game was also the second half of a home-and-home series between these teams, with the latter taking place at Prudential Center on Saturday afternoon.
Travis Zajac scored on the power play at 4:03 in the 3rd period to tie Tuesday’s game, while the Islanders maintained a 1-0 lead throughout the first and second periods of regulation from an early goal by Brock Nelson at 7:23 of the 1st period.
Zajac’s goal was his fifth of the season and was scored on his lone shot of the evening. He has also been streaky on the power play as of late, with four of his five goals this season coming on the man advantage.
“We changed the breakout and we knew we had to work for a goal,” Zajac said. “A couple shots softened [them] up and the rebound found [me].”
Jaroslav Halak and Cory Schneider each stood tall for their teams on Tuesday as Halak maintained a .948 save percentage and stopped 23 of 24 shots while Schneider maintained a .941 save percentage and stopped 32 of 34 shots.
Since the second game of the Islanders regular season against Chicago, the Islanders played an extremely physical game on Tuesday recording 63 hits. They had 54 hits against the Blackhawks on October 10th.
The Devils will return home on Friday night as they will drop the puck against the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, at 7:00 PM. Friday’s game will mark the beginning of a 3-game homestand against the Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, and St. Louis Blues.
Tickets for Friday’s game against Chicago can be found by clicking here.
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Credits to NHL.com, the New York Islanders website, hockey-reference.com, and the New Jersey Devils public relations department for all quotes and statistics.
Nick Papadimas is a New Jersey native, New Jersey Devils season ticket holder, and avid hockey fan. He is an aspiring sports journalist who has covered high school sports and local events for TAPinto.net since 2012. Nick can be reached on Twitter (@ngpaps) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.