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Devils At Islanders: New Jersey Looks For First Win Against Rival Isles

When fans are asked who the New Jersey Devils share a rivalry with, the most common answers are usually the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers.

Martin Brodeur would add one more to the list - the New York Islanders, who the Devils open up a home and home series with today at Nassau Coliseum. Gametime is 3 p.m. and can be seen on MSG Plus 2.

"Back-to-back games are always tough," Brodeur told Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger. "For us it's a rivalry."

The Devils enter the game with four straight wins over the Islanders, dating back to last season. Three of those wins were decided by one goal.

Brodeur has 48 wins and 10 shutouts over the Islanders, his most against any opponent. After backstopping New Jersey to a 2-1 shootout win Wednesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the NHL's all-time wins leader will backup Johan Hedberg.

Hedberg is 6-6-2 against the Islanders with a 3.02 goals-against average. Hedberg last started ten days ago in a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Dainius Zubrus has headlined a Devils offense that's come to life in the past few games. He scored the team's only regulation goal Wednesday, firing an Adam Larsson rebound past Curtis Sanford for his seventh goal of the season. He's scored three goals in the past three games, and has 28 points (9g, 19a) in 60 games against the Islanders.

Zubrus acknowledged that today's game won't be easy.

"Those games with them are always tough," he told Chere. "As long as I've been a Devil now, games against the Rangers or Islanders there is always a good atmosphere. They play well against us. It's a good young team, a fast-moving team so we have to be ready."

New York has struggled out of the gate, entering today's game with just 14 points. One point separates the Islanders from the league-worst Columbus Blue Jackets. The team is looking for its second win in the past nine games.

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Islanders, 4-3, in overtime Wednesday. Holding a 3-1 lead heading into the third period, the Flyers stormed back, with Danny Briere tying the game late in the final period. He struck again in overtime, beating Rick DiPietro at the 2:26 mark.

The third period continues to be a problem for the Islanders. They've allowed opponents to outscore them 15-1 in the final period in last eight games.

Al Montoya will get the start against New Jersey. In five career games against the Devils, he's 0-0-2 with a 2.34 goals-against average. All five of those starts came last season.


Next Game

New Jersey Devils
@ New York Islanders

Friday, Nov 25, 2011, 3:00 PM EST
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

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