Today’s black Friday matchup will see the Devils and Islanders meet for the first of six meetings this season, as well as the first game of a home-and-home series. The Devils won the season series last year, 4-2-0. Two of those four wins came in overtime.
Devils vs Blue Jackets Recap:
On Wednesday, the Devils hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets at Prudential Center and were able to secure their seventh win in 10 games.
Dainius Zubrus scored the only Devils goal in regulation, and Ilya Kovalchuk & Zach Parise scored in the shootout to give the Devils their 11th win of the season. Last year, the Devils didn’t get win number 11 until game 42 of the season.
Martin Brodeur also kept the Devils in the game by making 35 saves on the night.
The Devils, now 11-8-1 on the season, are now tied for third place in the Atlantic Division with cross-Hudson rivals, the New York Rangers.
Palmieri sent to Albany (AHL):
Yesterday was not a Happy Thanksgiving for Nick Palmieri who was informed that he was being sent to the Albany Devils of the AHL.
Palmieri’s play this season has not been up to par with his play last season. Last season, Palmieri had nine goals, eight assists and a plus-9 in 43 games.
So far this season, Palmieri only has three goals, three assists and is a minus-5 in 19 games played.
Palmieri didn’t play Monday against the Panthers and played just over eight minutes on the fourth line in the Devils win over Columbus Wednesday.
Palmieri’s demotion comes when Eric Boulton is also in Albany on a conditioning stint. It also means that Mattias Tedenby can expect some more ice-time as he still looks for his first goal of the season.
Against the Islanders:
All-time the Devils are 74-80-20-1 when playing the Islanders and 29-47-12-0 when playing at the Nassau Coliseum.
Patrik Elias is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils against the Islanders with 74 points (30 goals, 44 assists) in 71 games played.
Zach Parise has 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists) in 36 career games against the Islanders.
Johan Hedberg is 6-6-2 in his career against the Islanders with a 3.02 GAA
Projected Devils Lineup:
Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora - Elias - Zubrus
Tedenby - Carter – Clarkson
Pelley - Sestito – Janssen
Greene – Larsson
Tallinder - Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador
Islanders’ Bad Luck Continues:
The New York Islanders found themselves down 1-0 early to the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night, but were able to score three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead.
However, a subpar performance from goaltender Rick DiPietro saw the Flyers tie the game and win it in overtime.
The Islanders find themselves on a three game losing streak, and have dropped the last 13 of 16.
Random Islanders Stats:
The Islanders have given up a goal on their opponent’s first shot of the game in each of their last two games and a total of five times this season. They are 0-3-2 when this happens this season.
The Islanders are 4-1-2 when scoring first and 1-9-2 when allowing the game’s first goal.
To coincide with the Devils’ third period problems, the Isles have been outscored 15-1 in the final frame over their last seven games, including three empty net goals. So far this season, the Islanders have been outscored 26-8 in the third period.
Projected Islanders Lineup:
Moulson – Tavares – Parenteau
Grabner – Nielsen – Okposo
Martin – Bailey – Niederreiter
Haley – Reasoner – Ullstrom
Streit – Staios
Macdonald – Hamonic
Mottau – Jurcina
Game Preview – Game 6: Your New Jersey Devils @ Pittsburgh Birds That Can’t Fly (7PM, MSG+, WFAN 660 AM)
So, last night was heart-breaking.
The energy Prudential Center had after David Clarkson scored the go-ahead goal with minutes left in the third period was unbelievable, but you can’t expect to win a game when you get outshot 41-19. The Sharks kept firing hard and seemed to want that win a little more than we did. I hope last night’s performance doesn’t affect tonight’s game.
Tonight, the New Jersey Devils (3-1-1) will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins(5-2-2) for the first of six meetings between the Atlantic Division rivals this season.
After stopping 38 of 41 last night, Johan Hedberg is expected to make the start between the pipes again for the Devils tonight. This worries me a little bit as I bet Hedberg is exhausted after last night’s game, but with the way he kept us in the game last night, I’m more than excited to have him play. Hedberg has been the reason the Devils are where they are so far this season. Losing Martin Brodeur to a shoulder injury was a blow, but the Moose stepped up and showed he has what it takes to be a number one goaltender in the NHL.
Speaking of injuries, the already thin Center depth chart got even thinner, as Jacob Josefson is expected to miss three-to-four months after having surgery to repair his broken clavicle. This is not the first time Josefson has missed time due to injury. Just last season, Josefson missed 30 games due to repairing a torn ligament in his right thumb. General Manager Lou Lamiorello told the media this morning that he would look into acquiring a veteran center, but as of now, Adam Henrique has been recalled from Albany.
Injury news from the Penguins could make any Devils fan happy. There will be no Evegeni Malkin (knee) and Sidney Crosby (concussion) playing in tonight’s game. While this is viewed as an advantage for the Devils, the Penguins have been on fire without their top superstars. Think of it this way, former coach Jacques Lemaire said that the defense likes when Brodeur doesn’t play because they know they have to up their game. The same goes for the Penguins offense without their top two point scorers, Malkin and Crosby.
Here are the projected lineups for tonight’s game:
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we’ve put together a few Devils facts focusing on the big number 5!
• The Devils played their first game on October 5th, 1982
• In 1982, we were 5th in what was then the Patrick Division (now the Atlantic Division)
• We had 5th overall pick in the 1989 draft
• The most points by a rookie in one game was 5 pts (Viacheslav Fetisov, 1989-1995)
• On May 5th, 1993, the Devils announced their relationship with the Albany River Rats
• We won our first Stanley Cup in 1995
• Zach Parise played his first game on October 5th, 2005
• Jamie Langenbrunner became captain on December 5th of 2007
• 2011 will be the start of the Devils 5th season in Newark after their first 25 seasons in East Rutherford
• There are 5 levels of seating at the Prudential Center
• Colin White currently wears the number 5
• The Devils shut out the Caps 5-0 in November of 2010
• Patrick Elias had 5 game winning goals in 2010-2011 season
Any big 5′s you can think of? Post them here!