February 3, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky (2) controls the puck against New York Islanders right wing Brad Boyes (24) during the third period of an NHL game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Devils - Islanders: What To Watch For

Following an ugly yet effective win, the Eastern Conference-leading New Jersey Devils (9-2-3) will look to win its third back-end game of a back-to-back series tonight, when they travel to take on the New York Islanders (5-7-1). The Devils have wins in this type of situation over the Pittsburgh Penguins and Islanders the last two weekends. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. at Nassau Coliseum. Here are the game notes and the preview:

Back On a Roll: New Jersey is coming off last night’s thrilling 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, which helped them get over Tuesday’s loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s been a season of streaks for the Devils — mostly on the winning side — and they will look to start to string together a few more victories again.

Hedberg Hoping to Continue Success: Devils’ goalie Johan Hedberg — as he has grown accustomed to — will start the second game of a back-to-back set tonight in place of Martin Brodeur. Simply put, Moose has been lights-out this season, allowing just two goals in three starts. In his last start against the Islanders two weeks ago, he blanked them for a shutout in a 3-0 New Jersey win and will be looking to build off that for tonight’s game in Long Island.

Tallinder In; Fayne Out: After missing the last seven games as a healthy scratch, Devils’ defensemen Henrik Tallinder will rejoin New Jersey’s lineup today in favor of Mark Fayne, who will be a healthy scratch. Fayne had been one of the most consistent blue-liners for the Devils, but had a bad turnover that led to the Flyers’ third goal in the first period last night.

Islanders Of Old: It was a promising start for the upbeat Islanders, but since the first week-and-a-half of the season, New York has fallen under .500 and dropped to the bottom of the Atlantic Division. After an overtime win over the Devils on Jan. 31, the Islanders lost five straight games before rallying to beat the New York Rangers in a shootout on Thursday.

In all, the Devils are 2-0-1 over the Islanders this season, and after tonight, the only meeting left between the two divisional rivals will take place on April 1 in New Jersey.

 

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