New York Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils - 12/28/13
New Jersey Devils (15-16-7) at New York Islanders (11-20-7)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Nassau Coliseum)
The Line: New York Islanders -126 / New Jersey Devils +114 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The New Jersey Devils started off their post Christmas break with a game that seemed reminiscent of a lot of their games so far this season. New Jersey was outworked by the Columbus Blue Jackets through the first two periods and managed just nine shots on goal through 40 minutes. The Devils have had serious issues generating chances and while it's understandable that head coach Peter Deboer knows his team isn't offensively gifted it's still hard to win when you don't generate any chances. Artem Anisimov scored for the Blue Jackets in the first period to give them a 1-0 lead that they would hold onto until early in the third. Adam Henrique scored his seventh goal of the season and the Devils found themselves on a power play just afterwards but were unable to score the go-ahead goal. After a scoreless overtime session the Devils were unable to light the lamp in the shootout as they fell to the Blue Jackets by a final of 2-1. New Jersey finished the night with just 17 shots on goal and general manager Lou Lamiorello has to be scratching his head when he watches this club. The Devils will head to Long Island to take on an Islanders club that had one of the worst stretches you'll see in the modern day NHL. The good news for the Islanders is that they've managed to win two of their last three games. New York started with a big win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden last Friday night and after blowing a lead against the Anaheim Ducks they came back with a strong outing on the road against the Detroit Red Wings. Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner, and Casey Cizikas scored first period goals for the Islanders who held on for the 3-0 win i nthis one. The Islanders managed just 19 shots on goal in this one but it was an impressive effort for a club that struggles to defend and hold leads. The Islanders are gifted offensively and have enough firepower to keep up with the top clubs in the league but they need to learn to take care of their own end. It should be an interesting match on Saturday night against a Devils club that looks to eliminate chances and will try to force turnovers from the Islanders. Martin Brodeur played well on Friday night in the Devils' loss to the Blue Jackets but Cory Schneider will most likely get the start in this one. If New Jersey wants to create chances they've got the perfect opponent to do it against but I don't see Peter Deboer letting his club change their ways for just one game. New York was off on Friday night and should have some jump from the get-go in this one.
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