If the New York Islanders are going to dig themselves out of oblivion and make a run at the playoffs they’ll need to fell giants like the New Jersey Devils tonight. The Islanders seem to be on their way after defeating rivals the New York Rangers at the Garden Thursday. With the win the team ended an agonizing five-game losing streak.
And for this game tonight it seems the stars have aligned for the Islanders. It seems that way on the surface, anyway. New Jersey is coming off little rest, having just won a hard-found battle against the Flyers last night. Meanwhile, backup goalie Johan Hedberg is expected to get the start between the pipes. Cakewalk, you say? Not so fast!
The last time these two teams met on Feb. 3, Hedberg and the Devils shut the Islanders out at home 3-0. And note: the Devils do just happen to be leading the Eastern Conference at the moment.
So, not only is this a statement game for the Islanders. If they can pull off a win, it’s the type of game that can turn a season around.
The Islanders will then face another Atlantic division foe Monday in the Flyers at the Coliseum.
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