Devils close out season series with Islanders
Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 9:10 AM
ISLANDERS (33-35-11) at DEVILS (45-28-6)
MSG-PLUS (HD) RADIO:
WFAN 660 AM
New York 5-4-1; New Jersey 5-4-1
The Devils have won three of the five meetings this season, including the last two they played. They beat the Islanders at Prudential Center, 5-2, on March 8.
The Devils can clinch at least the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference with a win coupled with an Ottawa loss in Carolina.
They've won three in a row and have solved their offensive problems with a combined 11 goals in the last two. The Devils scored 11 goals total over their previous eight games.
scored his 30th goal of the season Saturday in the 5-0 win over Carolina. He didn't practice Monday, but is expected to play.
is expected to get the start against the Islanders while rookie defenseman Adam Larsson
will likely be a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game.
"It's day to day here," DeBoer said Monday according to The (Bergen) Record. "We've won three in a row. The lineup we've had has played very well and that's how hockey works. You wait for your opportunity to get back in."
Coach Jack Capuano was so fed up with his forwards after the first period Sunday that he chose to send out five defensemen for a shift in the second period. The Islanders lost the game, 5-1, and had only 11 shots on goal.
"There were lines that had one shot and lines that didn't even have a shot or an attempted shot (in the first period)," Capuano said. "There was no urgency in our game … sometimes some guys gotta look in the mirror and they gotta compete for one another."
The Islanders gave up a combined 11 goals in back-to-back losses to Boston and Ottawa over the weekend. They entered the weekend on a three-game winning streak, including consecutive 5-3 decisions over the Penguins.
Who's Hot: Ilya Kovalchuk
has 5 points over the last two games. He has 80 points in 74 games this season. … Zach Parise
has points in four of the last five games and goals in three of the last five. … Islanders center John Tavares has 3 points in the last two games. He is 2 points away from 80 and 3 assists away from 50. He has 31 goals.
The Devils are still without defenseman Henrik Tallinder
(blood clot). … Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov has missed the last two games with a lower-body injury.
With Clarkson reaching the 30-goal plateau Saturday, the Devils now have three 30-goal scorers (Kovalchuk and Parise as well) for the first time since Alexander Mogilny, Patrik Elias
and Petr Sykora
all did it in 2000-01. If Parise picks up 4 more points, the Devils will also have three 70-point guys for the first time since Mogilny, Elias and Sykora each had more than 80 in 2000-01.
Hedberg has played in only five games over the last two months. He's 4-0-1 with two shutouts, including one against the Islanders. He's 2-0 with an 0.50 goals-against average in two games against the Islanders this season.
"When you're the backup, you never know the chances you're going to get," he said. "It's going to be fun to play another game. It's kind of been the same intervals here the last few months, so I'm in kind of a rhythm."