New York Islanders look to keep rolling against the Devils
Mar 26, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck (15) celebrates his third period goal with forward Matt Martin (17) defensemen Johnny Boychuk (55) forward Casey Cizikas (53) forward John Tavares (91) and defensemen Calvin De Hann (44) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in the overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders are looking to continue their playoff chase against the New Jersey Devils in the first game of a home-and-home series.

  • New York Islanders (26-20-10, 62 points)
  • New Jersey Devils (24-23-10, 58 points)
  • 7 p.m., MSG+
  • Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

Berth within sight

If the Toronto Maple Leafs lose in any way tonight, the Islanders can slot into a playoff seed with any win.

Unfortunately, the same can be said for the Florida Panthers, who are tied with the Islanders in points.

For the Islanders to move into a spot, the Panthers will have to lose in regulation to the LA Kings. For Doug Weight and his team, they are well aware of the circumstances surrounding tonight’s match-up.

Unsurprisingly, Thomas Griess will start in net yet again for the Islanders.

The decision makes sense for a team chasing one playoff spot while there are about four other teams well in the mix. On the front-end of a home-and-home it makes sense to start your starting goaltender in a hostile arena. But having JF Berube continue to see limited playing time is also as disappointing.

The young goaltender was signed after seeing only seven starts last season and it doesn’t appear that number will rise much in the coming season.

Cal Clutterbuck took his first steps in returning to the lineup today, having participated in an optional skate with the Islanders.

Weight said earlier this week that Clutterbuck could slot in this weekend, so look for him to return to the lineup tomorrow.

Travis Hamonic is taking the proper steps but is still weeks away.

For the Devils, Mike Cammalleri is a healthy scratch tonight and Cory Schneider will start in net.

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.