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Islanders vs. Devils Preview: Win or die (but maybe still die)

The Islanders must win to keep the suspense going

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils
The free agent signings will save the day.
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Islanders, winners of four straight with their season on the line, must win two more this weekend to have a chance.

It’s all moot if the Toronto Maple Leafs are able to win one of their final two home games, but in any case the Isles might as well do their part.

Their game in Newark against the Devils begins at 6 p.m. EDT, an hour before the Leafs get started in Toronto against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Lineup News

The Isles will start prodigal goalie Jaroslav Halak for his fifth straight.

They expect to get Nikolay Kulemin back after a seven-game absence -- but he will bump Connor Jones from the lineup, meaning Thomas Hickey continues his unlikely late season role as a left wing.

Otherwise, they continue their unlikely march without captain John Tavares, Ryan Strome and Casey Cizikas as well as defenseman Travis Hamonic.

For the Devils, Patrik Elias will skate in warmups, but just as a way of saying goodbye.


This one is on MSG+ as well as radio feeds on AM970 - The Answer, 88.7FM - WRHU and 103.9FM - LI News.

Check out All About The Jersey for Devils coverage from our SB Nation siblings.

Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here. A special “treat” awaits the season’s winner. (And heading into the final weekend, if you have 12 or more points you still have a shot.)