New Jersey Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky (2) joins the group surrounding right wing Ilya Kovalchuk (17) celebrating after he scored against the Washington Capitals to win the game in the "sudden-death" overtime period of their NHL hockey game in Newark, New Jersey, January 25, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY))
The New York Islanders (4-2-1) will look to continue their hot start when they host the struggling New Jersey Devils (3-1-3).
The Islanders are playing their first home game since Jan. 21 and are coming off a successful road trip. The Islanders defeated Toronto 7-4 before losing two straight to Boston (4-2) and the Winnipeg Jets (5-4 OT). Last Tuesday New York stunned the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 before outlasting the Devils 5-4 in an overtime thriller. Superstar John Tavares has been strong for the Islanders and has scored seven points in his last three games, including four goals. The Islanders have the top power play in the league and the second best penalty kill through the first month of play.
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The Devils started the season with three wins, but have since lost four straight. The team endured its first regulation loss on Saturday afternoon in a poor performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The score was tied 0-0 after 20 minutes before the Penguins scored twice in the second. The Devils trailed 2-1 heading into the third but imploded for three goals against in the final 20 minutes to hand the Penguins a 5-1 win.
This is the third meeting between the two teams this season. The Devils won the Dec. 19 opener 2-1 but the Islanders won Thursday's meeting 5-4 in overtime.
Predictions: The Devils will look to avenge their performance against the Penguins on Saturday and will have a quick start against the Islanders. However, they could slow down in the latter half of the game. The Islanders have been confident and will be more excited to bring the play to their fans for the first time in weeks. Look for New York to pull out a 3-2 win.
Start Time: 3 PM EST
TV INFO: MSG Plus 2