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New York Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils: Return again, again [Game #29]

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The New York Islanders return from their umpteenth pause of the season to face the New Jersey Devils, who have hired an EBUG on an ATO to back up Jon Gillies.

Gillies only has 14 NHL games under his belt, and this season alone he has played with two NHL teams (Devils, Blues), two AHL teams (Providence, Lehigh Valley) and one ECHL team (Maine).

The Islanders will have Lane Lambert leading things behind the bench, as Barry Trotz is in COVID Protocol — something that seemed increasingly likely given that he had to do cross-border travel and mourning during the omicron surge. Hopefully he and others are doing alright. Lambert was behind the bench just before this 12-day break as Trotz attended to family matters after his mother’s passing.

Lambert didn’t reveal anything in his pre-game availability…

…but Andrew Gross suggests veterans Kyle Palmieri (previously injured, now healthy) and Matt Martin will sit:

#Isles Lane Lambert won’t confirm lineup decisions for tonight, saying everything now is a “game-time” decision. Expectation is both Kyle Palmieri and Matt Martin will be out, with Ross Johnston, Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows in.

— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) January 13, 2022

The Devils have dealt with several COVID outages themselves, including a postponed game earlier this week, but they just got Pavel Zacha, Yegor Sharangovich, and Andreas Johnsson back out of protocol. They’re also missing Dougie Hamilton regardless, as he’s recovering from a broken jaw as well as COVID.

For more on the former Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Scouts, check All About The Jersey.

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