Isles welcome struggling Devils

( – After a thrilling comeback win over one of the NHL’s top
teams, the New York Islanders will try for a second straight victory when they
host the New Jersey Devils in Monday’s clash at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders followed up a 13-2-0 stretch with three consecutive regulation
losses before returning to the win column with Saturday’s 3-2 win over the
visiting Chicago Blackhawks. The victory halted Chicago’s winning streak at
eight games.

The Blackhawks went ahead 2-0 on Patrick Kane’s goal early in the third
period, but Kyle Okposo and Lubomir Visnovsky tallied 51 seconds apart midway
through the final stanza to grab the lead for good and cool off Chicago.

Cal Clutterbuck added a second-period strike for the Islanders, while Jaroslav
Halak turned aside 23 shots for the win.

“I told our guys, ‘We’ve got to get that attitude, we’ve got to get the
swagger back in our game.’ And I think we did that,” Isles head coach Jack
Capuano said. “If we do the right things, we can compete with anybody.”

The Isles enter Monday’s contest with 40 points, placing them two behind the
Pittsburgh Penguins for the Metropolitan Division lead. The Pens also play
Monday when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

New Jersey, meanwhile, enters Monday tied with Philadelphia for fifth in the
Metro and trailing the second-place Islanders by 13 points. The Devils have
lost three straight and nine of their last 11 games, but hope to pick up a
victory tonight in what could be their final visit to the Coliseum.

Barring a playoff meeting this spring between New Jersey and the Isles,
Monday’s encounter will be the teams final encounter on Long Island. New York,
of course, is moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn after this season.

This is the second of four regular-season meetings between the clubs. The
Isles notched a 3-1 home win over Jersey on Nov. 29. It was New York’s third
straight win in the series and sixth in the last eight meetings.

The Isles, who will visit New Jersey on Jan. 9 and March 21 to complete the
season series, have won their last two home encounters against the Devils.

New Jersey will try to salvage the finale of a three-game road trip tonight
after going 0-2 at the start of the swing following setbacks in Philadelphia
and Dallas.

The Devils fell to 8-11-1 as the guest on Saturday after dropping a 4-3
decision to the Stars. New Jersey allowed the first two goals before tying the
game at 2-2, but Trevor Daley and Shawn Horcoff put Dallas ahead for good with
tallies late in the second period.

Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas and Scott Gomez all lit the lamp for New Jersey.

“We battled hard tonight, but we just came up short,” Devils forward Michael
Ryder said. We’ve got to find ways to win.”

Cory Schneider allowed four goals on 33 shots over the first two periods and
Keith Kinkaid made three saves in relief during the third.

Schneider is 1-1-1 with a 1.31 goals against average in three career starts
against the Islanders. Halak is expected to face him tonight and owns a 4-4-1
mark and a 2.41 GAA versus New Jersey in his career.

Mike Cammalleri left Saturday’s game in Dallas with a lower-body injury and is
questionable for tonight. Cammalleri is leading New Jersey with 11 goals this
season despite playing in only 23 of 31 games due to various injuries.