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Saturday, September 21, 2013
W2W4: Islanders vs. Devils

By Katie Strang

At a glance: Brooklyn gets a taste of NHL hockey Saturday in the first preseason game at Barclays Center -- the Islanders’ future home come 2015 -- when the Isles and Devils meet up for their second tilt in three days. Already familiar foes, the two teams will square off again opening weekend, as the Devils host the Islanders in their home opener Oct. 4.

Last time around: The Islanders beat the Devils in a scoring bonanza that featured two short-handed goals in the first period from Josh Bailey, a breakaway goal by Ex-Devil Eric Boulton and three fights between Devils enforcer Krys Barch and Islanders tough guy Brett Gallant. Devils rookie defenseman Jon Merrill also finished with a goal and an assist in his Devils debut.

Hello, Brooklyn: The Islanders appear to be bringing their A-team for the first NHL game at Barclays, with the bulk of their opening day roster slated to play Saturday night. According to Newsday, the team’s top line of Matt Moulson, John Tavares and Pierre-Marc Bouchard will play, as will Bailey, Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo. Veteran netminder Evgeni Nabokov is expected to start in goal.

Second shot: After an impressive performance in his first game as a New Jersey Devil on Monday night, Cory Schneider will get the nod again Saturday. Schneider, who turned away all 22 shots faced in the Devils’ 2-1 win over the Rangers, is expected to play the entire game, according to The Bergen Record.

Ailing veterans: Two of the Devils’ biggest offseason acquisitions -- Jaromir Jagr and Ryane Clowe -- are already on the shelf due to injury. Jagr has not practiced with the team since suffering a lower-body injury the first day of training camp, while Clowe is out with a charley horse sustained in Thursday’s loss. Coach Pete DeBoer said he is not concerned Clowe’s injury will be a long-term issue, however.

Young guns: The Islanders line of top prospects Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome was a fun one to watch Thursday night. Now, keep an eye on the youngsters on their blue line. Both Griffin Reinhart and Matt Donovan will play Saturday as they look to compete for a roster spot.