Saturday, January 13, 2007
Game: Devils @ Islanders, 4 of 8
GAMETIME: 7 PM, EST
Local TV: MSG
Local Radio: 1560 AM, WQEW Radio Disney
Devils Record Vs. Islanders: 2-1-0
The Devils came back late with two quick power play goals to defeat the Atlanta Thrashers 2-1 last night. Colin Stephenson's article in today's Star Ledger provides a good recap of the game with an apt title. Worth noting was Mike Rupp's definitive knockout of Braydon Coburn, as it was the focus of Tom Guilitti's article in today's Bergen Record and Rich Chere's article in today's Star Ledger. Rich Chere's article at the end notes that the Devils are 6-3-1 on the second half of back-to-back games this season. The Devils will be looking to do tonight, if only to extend their lead in the Atlantic Division.
The Islanders are coming off the end of a four game road trip, winning their last two games against the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins. Against the Bruins, they won by a shootout, but they got to such a point thanks to two power play goals. The NHL.com Preview notes that the Islanders' power play has been poor as of late. However, the Islanders have given the Devils trouble in the past. The Devils escaped with a win in their last game earlier this month. Alexei Yashin, Miroslav Satan, and Jason Blake are guys not to take lightly - especially when they have the puck. Yashin in particular finally broke his 7 game pointless streak on Thursday. So the Devils defense will need to keep an eye on him. Hopefully, none of the Devils defensemen will get injured in the very beginning of the game like the last Devils-Islanders game.
In any case, the Devils need to do to the Islanders what they did against Atlanta last night in the third period. They need to hustle, they need to keep putting shots on the goaltender (Rick DiPietro in this case), and they can not get discouraged. If shots are blocked by the defense, or they go wide or they are robbed by DiPietro, the Devils need to keep it up. Even if the Islanders score first, the Devils must not show signs of disappointment; otherwise the game may become a lost cause for NJ. One thing I forgot to mention about the Devils game last night was to note that the Devils came back to win that game. They were on the wrong end of the scoreboard for a majority of the game, but they did not give up, get discouraged, and play with no confidence. No. They kept pressing on and gaining confidence with each semi-successful scoring chance and tried to make the most of their chances. Once they did, the Devils not only tied it up but took the lead. This will be necessary if the Islanders score first or if the Islanders come from behind during the game. As far as projected lines go, look at the ones I predicted in yesterday's game preview and swap White with Lukowich.
In other news, happy birthday to forwards Mike Rupp and Sergei Brylin. Rupp is now 27 years old and Brylin is now 33 years old. GO DEVILS.
Labels: Devils Game