The New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders meet in NHL action from the UBS Arena on Thursday night.
The New Jersey Devils will look to build on their first win of the season coming in the form of a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks in their last game. Jesper Bratt has a team-high 5 points all coming via assists while Dougie Hamilton has 3 points with a team-leading pair of goals. Jack Hughes and Jonas Siegenthaler each have a pair of assists while Dawson Mercer and Nico Hischier each have a goal and an assist this season. MacKenzie Blackwood is 1-1 with a 3.06 GAA and an .864 save percentage while Vitek Vanecek is 0-1 with a 5.00 GAA and a .773 save percentage this season.
The New York Islanders will look to build on their 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks last time out. Noah Dobson, Brock Nelson, Oliver Wahlstrom and Anders Lee each have a team-high 4 points with Wahlstrom logging a team-high 3 goals while Nelson has a team-high 4 assists. Dobson’s also got 2 goals and 2 assists while Lee and Mathew Barzal each have 3 assists so far this season. Ilya Sorokin has gone 1-1 with a 1.52 GAA and a .941 save percentage while Semyon Varlamov is 1-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .929 save percentage in goal for the Islanders this year.
New Jersey is 21-52 in their last 73 games overall and 13-39 in their last 52 road games while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 Thursday games. New York is 2-6 in their last 8 games following a win and 8-3 in their last 11 games against the Metropolitan division while the over is 6-1 in their last 7 home games.
I get the reasoning for wanting to back the Devils off of their first win of the year, but the reality for me is that they’re still not a very good hockey team and are likely going to be in or near the division basement come the end of the year. The Islanders have looked pretty good out of the gate and this is a reasonable price to back an Islanders team that’s owned the head-to-head in recent years. Give me the Islanders.