The New Jersey Devils are set to play their only game in a 10-day span as they take on the New York Islanders.
Tale of the Tape
Record: 14-17-5 (33 points, 7th in Metro)
The Opponent: New York Islanders (10-12-6) – FHN Blog: On The Island
Puckdrop: 7:30 PM ET
Venue: UBS Arena
Expected Goaltenders: Jon Gillies (0-1-1) vs. Ilya Sorokin (8-7-5)
Television Broadcasts: MSG, MSG+, MSG+2
New York Islanders
The Islanders have not played since a 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers on New Year’s Day. Since then, New York has had four games, including their Pacific Northwest road trip, postponed because of COVID-19. The Islanders still have important pieces in COVID-19 protocol as head coach Barry Trotz entered yesterday.
Ilya Sorokin is expected to get the start tonight for the Islanders. Sorokin is having a solid season as he comes into tonight with an 8-7-5 record. In 20 starts this season, the 26-year-old has a 2.46 GAA and .925 save percentage with three shutouts.
New Jersey Devils
New Jersey’s last game was a 4-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 8. The shorthanded Devils showed tremendous fight by tying the game twice but, in the end, the team could not put a fourth goal behind Joonas Korpisalo.
The Devils have had a plethora of players in and out of COVID-19 protocol since the NHL’s holiday break. This week is no different as there are currently 8 Devils in protocol including starting goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood.
Tonight, Jon Gillies will make his second start with the Devils out of necessity. The 27-year-old’s only appearance with New Jersey this season was a 3-2 loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins on December 19. Gillies has made two starts this season, his first coming with the St. Louis Blues, and brings a 0-1-1 record with a 2.97 GAA and .902 save percentage into tonight.
Player to Watch: Yegor Sharangovich
Yegor Sharangovich was really starting to heat up before he entered COVID-19 protocol on January 4. The second-year forward has five points in his last four games which can be seen as a direct result of being on a line with Jack Hughes.
Sharangovich makes his return tonight and is expected to be on a line with Hughes and Pavel Zacha. For the depleted Devils to win tonight, Sharangovich must be a contributor at even strength and on the power play.