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dan yu (officialsbaseball)
Free Member · Join Date: 12 Jun, 2018 · Posts 207
11 Sep, 2018 · #1
The New Jersey Devils have held a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference every day since winning their season opener on Oct. 7.

Yet with only five games remaining on their schedule DeVante Parker Jersey , the Devils are clinging to the eighth and final playoff berth in the East, trying to stave off a late-season push by the surging Florida Panthers.

On Saturday night at the Prudential Center, the Devils (40-28-9) look to take another step closer to their first playoff appearance in six years when they host the New York Islanders (32-36-10).

The Devils are 6-2-1 in their last nine games, coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, a defeat that snapped a three-game winning streak that solidified New Jersey’s hold on the second wild card in the East.

“The last stretch of games, we’ve been playing some good hockey and finding ways to string wins together,” said Devils winger Kyle Palmieri, who has four goals in his last three games. “We have to reset quickly after (the loss to Pittsburgh) and get ready for a big weekend and see where this weekend takes us.”

After hosting the Islanders in the finale of a four-game homestand on Saturday, New Jersey travels to Montreal to skate against the Canadiens on Sunday Mason Crosby Jersey , setting the stage for the final week of the regular season.

“It’s exciting, every night the buildings are electric, the games seem to all go down to the wire with exciting atmospheres,” said Devils forward Blake Coleman. “These are fun games to play in, and we’re fortunate to be in the position to play meaningful games.”

Keith Kinkaid has been the backbone of New Jersey’s final kick at the end of the regular season. He has started eight of the last nine games in goal, stepping up in the wake of injury and poor play of No. 1 netminder Cory Schneider to post a career-high 22 wins this season.

Kinkaid made 30 or more saves in each of his last eight starts since March 10.

“Keith has had our back down the stretch,” said New Jersey’s leading scorer Taylor Hall.

The Devils are 2-0-1 against New York this season, with Kinkaid starting both of the team’s wins in the season series.

The Islanders are stumbling down the stretch, just 3-11-4 in their last 18 games following Friday’s 5-4 home-ice loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. One bright spot in the most recent defeat was that team captain John Tavares scored a power-play goal to reach 80 points for the third time in his career.

“You’d like the production to lead to some good results for the team Justin Tucker Jersey ,” Tavares told reporters Friday.

New York was without two of its key forwards against the Maple Leafs. Casey Cizikas and Josh Bailey both sat out with upper-body injuries. Cizikas is ruled out for Saturday’s contest while Bailey is a game-time decision.

In addition, the status of veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak is unknown for the game in New Jersey. Halak was scratched due to an illness Friday and rookie Christopher Gibson started, while Thomas Greiss backed him up after being activated off injured reserve.

The Islanders are playing out the string after being eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the week for the second season in a row.

“We are looking to play well and finish strong,” said Islanders coach Doug Weight. “We are all professionals here.”

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked today to talk about Tom Brady, but he wouldn’t.

Brady is absent from the Patriots’ Organized Team Activities, and when Belichick was asked about that, he quickly shut it down.

“I’m not going to talk about the people who aren’t here. The guys who are here are improving, working hard. That’s who we’re going to focus on,” Belichick said.

Belichick was also asked about Rob Gronkowski Frank Zombo Jersey , who is also absent but is expected to make it to OTAs at some point. Again, Belichick declined to talk.

“I’m focused on the guys that are here and those are the guys we’re working with in the OTA process Phase 3,” Belichick said.

In fact, Belichick didn’t talk much about the players who were there, either. When asked about some of the Patriots’ rookie draft picks, Belichick said it had already been covered in the team’s post-draft press conference.

Belichick did say that OTAs are valuable.

“It’s always good to get back on the field and be working with everybody in Phase 3,” Belichick said. “We were able to do a little bit in Phase 2 against air, get some teaching and instruction, but this is much better. It’ll progress faster and just do more with our team Harrison Phillips Jersey , starting yesterday and for the next couple weeks. It’s always good to get to that point. We have a lot of new players on our team.”

So OTAs are important, and Brady isn’t there, but what Belichick draws from that we’ll have to figure out for ourselves, because Belichick isn’t talking about Brady.

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