Published January 08, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Jersey Devils had a strong showing in their first game after the Olympics and they'll try to build off that positive result when they visit the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon.
The Devils emerged from the break for the Winter Games by posting a 5-2 win over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. The regulation victory pushed New Jersey into a tie with the Blue Jackets in the East standings, where both clubs are five points out of a playoff spot.
Jersey scored three times in the opening nine minutes of the game to grab a 3-0 lead. It would be all the offense the Devils would need to earn just their third win in eight games (3-3-2).
Adam Henrique scored twice, registering the final marker of the three-goal flurry early in the first period and he also added a short-handed tally late in the second stanza. Ryane Clowe and Jaromir Jagr recorded a goal apiece, while Patrik Elias picked up a pair of assists before adding an empty-netter late in the win.
Cory Schneider stopped 17-of-19 shots to record the win, but the Devils will turn to Martin Brodeur in net on Saturday.
"Great effort from our guys," Schneider said. "It's a good win coming out of the break."
The Devils did lose a pair of players in Damien Brunner and Bryce Salvador to injury in Thursday's win. Brunner sustained a lower-body injury while Salvador, the team captain, left after taking a slap shot by Jack Johnson off the chest. Both players are questionable for Saturday.
The Islanders are also coming off a win in their first game after the Olympics. Although New York returned to action without leading scorer John Tavares, the club was able to earn a 5-4 overtime win against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
Tavares, of course, expects to miss the rest of the season after suffering tears to the MCL and meniscus in his left knee while playing for Team Canada in Sochi.
Lubomir Visnovsky scored the game-winner 1:55 into the extra session to help the Isles down the Leafs in a wild one at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders had a 2-1 lead for more than 32 minutes of game time before the teams traded five goals in an 8 1/2-minute flurry in the third period.
Anders Lee -- in his first appearance this season for the Islanders -- scored his second goal of the game with 2:40 left in regulation to tie it. Visnovsky got the winner after a failed Toronto clear ended up on his stick in the slot for a slap shot.
Earlier, Michael Grabner scored two short-handed goals on the same penalty kill for the Islanders, who had gone into the Olympic break with two straight losses and on a 1-6-1 slide.
Evgeni Nabokov gave up four goals on 22 shots but got the win for New York.
"We worked tonight," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. "We've worked pretty hard this year and we were resilient."
The Isles, who are just 9-14-8 as the hosts this season, are 14 points out of a playoff spot in the East.
The Devils and Islanders have split the first two of five meetings this season. New Jersey halted a three-game skid in the series when it notched a 2-1 road win on Dec. 28. That regulation win was Jersey's fourth win in its past five trips to Long Island.
All told, New Jersey is just 11-15-6 as the road team this season.