The New Jersey Devils are now on a six-game losing streak that needs to be snapped if they are going to stay in the playoff race.
- New Jersey Devils (22-12-8)
- New York Islanders (23-18-4)
- Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, 7 p.m. ET, MSG+2
- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Tuesday night is as close to a must-win game that the Devils have had in a long time. They are currently sitting on a six-game losing streak and what was once the top team in the Metro is sitting in third now, just a point clear of a wild card spot. We can keep talking about how the Devils have multiple games in hand on most of these teams, but that is all for naught if they can’t start winning games again.
The last time these two teams faced off was just over a week ago, and the Devils blew a two-goal third period lead and went on to lose in the shootout. Since then the Devils have played and lost one game against the Flyers and the Islanders have played and won two in a row. These are two teams trending in different directions, and the Devils need to figure out how to play stoppers tonight.
The Islanders are coming off an emotional five to four overtime win last night against the Montreal in Montreal. They won on a John Tavares overtime goal and then had to travel home right after the game. This should give the Devils a significant advantage tonight considering they have had a couple of days off and don’t have to travel.
Another storyline in this game is the 2015 NHL draft. The Devils selected Pavel Zacha at number six overall while the Islanders took Mathew Barzal at 16 overall, and Barzal is clearly the better player. Barzal has 16 goals and 31 assists in 45 games while Zacha has three goals and eight assists. The Devils really missed out on one there.
The Devils made a few changes to the lineup tonight. Check out Amanda Stein’s tweet below for tonight’s lineup.
— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) January 16, 2018
Blake Coleman is out tonight, and Steven Santini will also be on the bench once again. Coach John Hynes says Coleman will be on the bench tonight because his penalty killing hasn’t been great the past few games.
Cory Schneider will remain in goal for the Devils tonight.
The Islanders did not have a morning skate, and the lineup isn’t out just yet.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 16, 2018
The Devils are 4-3-3 in their last ten games while the Isles are 5-5.