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Isles face Devils in "statement" game

 After yesterday's 5-2 win over the Blues, PA Parenteau called today's matchup a "statement game."

Why?

The New Jersey Devils enter Nassau Coliseum on a remarkable streak--19-2-2 over their last 23 games. This from a team that was, at one point, 27 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Devils have clawed themselves into 12th place in the East, only 9 points removed from the 8th place Carolina Hurricanes with 18 games to play.

Amidst this streak, Ilya Kovalchuk has emerged as the true superstar the Devils hoped for when signing him to a blockbuster deal this summer.The 27-year-old sniper has six game-winning goals in the past 12 games.

The Islanders aren't doing too shabby lately, either. They have scored nine goals over the past two games and have outscored their opponents 18-4 in the first two periods of the last eight games.

The Islanders hold a 2-1 season edge over the Devils. Today's matinee will be the first of three meetings over the next 25 days between the two teams.

Martin Brodeur for the Devils. Al Montoya in back-to-back games for the Islanders

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