Saturday evening pucks and a pair of teams from the Metro Division will square off as the New York Islanders pay a visit to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey to grapple with the New Jersey Devils. The Islanders are off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs on the road, while the Devils are off a 4-2 home loss to the Wild. Goalie Probables: The Islanders will be sending out Jaroslav Halak and the Devils will counter with Keith Kinkaid.
The Islanders Are Hanging In The Race
The New York Islanders enter this game off a 4-3 shootout loss at Toronto and they have now gone just 6-11 over their last 17 games, but despite that, the Islanders are still very much in the race for a playoff spot. Right now they are tied with the Hurricanes for the 9th spot, but Carolina would get in as they own the tie-breaker over the Isles at the moment. The offense has been very solid for them all year and they have averaged 3.30 gpg in their last 10 games, but the problem for them comes on the other end of the ice where they have been the worst in the league and have allowed 3.30 gpg in their last 10 games. They have to straighten things out on the defensive end of the ice if they hope to remain in the playoff hunt. Scoring in the loss to the Leafs was Ryan Pulock, which was his 6th of the year, Mathew Barzal, which was his 17th and Jordan Eberle, which was his 21st. The Islanders have gone 13-18 on the road and they have averaged 3.06 gpg and have allowed 3.55 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Maple Leafs was Jaroslav Halak, who allowed three goals on 31 shot attempts to fall to 18-24 with a 3.20 GAA and a .911 save percentage on the year, including 7-12 with a 3.11 GAA and a .905 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 95-106 with a 2.65 GAA on the road and 48-29 with a 2.41 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Devils he has gone 12-7 with a 2.07 GAA.
The Islanders enter this contest ranked 4th in the league in scoring at 3.27 gpg, while also ranking 21st in shots taken (31.1 spg) and 9th in power play conversions, converting on 21.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been poor as they enter this contest ranked 31st in goals allowed, giving up 3.56 gpg, while also ranking 31st in shots allowed (36.0 spg) and 30th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 25.6% of their chances.
Devils Are Riding The Roller Coaster
It has been a roller coaster ride for the Devils of late as they had a four-game losing streak, which was followed by a three-game winning streak and that was followed by a four-game losing streak, which was followed by a four-game winning streak and now they have lost their last two games in a row after falling at home to the Minnesota Wild by a score of 4-2. The Devils had a 2-0 lead in the game, but Minnesota scored the final four goals to walk away with the win. New Jersey would be in the playoffs if they started today, but they really need to become more consistent on the winning side if they hope to hold onto their 7th slot in the East. Scoring in the loss to the Wild was Taylor Hall, which was his team-leading 26th of the year and Stefan Noesen, which was his 8th of the year. The Devils have gone 16-15 here at home for the year and they have averaged 2.84 gpg and have allowed 2.84 gpg in those games.
Absorbing the loss to the Wild was Eddie Lack, who allowed three goals on 24 shot attempts to fall to 2-4 with a 4.02 GAA and a .870 save percentage on the year. Keith Kinkaid will be back in the crease for this one and he has gone 13-10 with a 3.12 GAA and a .897 save percentage on the year, including 5-2 with a 2.61 GAA and a .891 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 17-17 with a 2.50 GAA in his home games and 17-17 with a 2.94 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Islanders he has gone 1-5 with a 2.86 GAA.
New Jersey enters this contest ranked 13th in the league in scoring at 2.93 gpg, while also ranking 20th in shots taken (31.4 spg) and 20th in power play conversions, converting on 19.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been a bit below average so far as they come in ranked 22nd in goals allowed, giving up 3.00 gpg, while also ranking 15th in shots allowed (31.8 spg) and 10th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 17.9% of their chances.
New York is:
- The Over is 20-7-3 in their last 30 vs. a team with a winning record
- The Over is 20-8 in their last 28 when their opponent scores two goals or less in their previous game
New Jersey is:
- The Over is 11-5 in their last 16 vs. the Metropolitan
- The Over is 6-2 in their last eight vs. the Eastern Conference
This is an important game for both teams and that should bring out the best for both, which happens to be on the offensive end of the ice. The Isles have been one of the best offensive teams in the league this year, but at the other end of it they the have allowed the most goals in the league and have allowed 3.55 gpg on the road. The Devils have averaged just 2.84 gpg at home, but they should be able to score plenty on the Isles in this one. New York has averaged 3.30 gpg in their last 10 games and 3.06 gpg and while the Devils have allowed just 2.84 gpg at home, they have allowed 3.60 gpg over their last 10 games overall. Both offenses should have a field day in this one as we see eight of nine goals being scored.