Newsday Islanders beat writer Andrew Gross talks about the Isles' first half of the season and what they need to do in the second half to get where they expect to be. Credit: Newsday / Raychel Brightman; Photo Credit: Jim McIssac, Joseph D. Sullivan

The second half of the Islanders’ season has begun. Jordan Eberle is hoping that’s a good sign for him.

“I’ve always been a second-half player anyway,” Eberle said. “So, hopefully, this will be my second half.”

Eberle must wait until Saturday night against the Bruins at Barclays Center to build off scoring his fourth goal of the season and first in 11 games as the Islanders, in their 42nd game, beat the Devils, 4-3, in overtime on Tuesday night at Prudential Center.

The Islanders did not practice on Wednesday. Odds are, coach Barry Trotz will keep his reunited line of Brock Nelson centering Eberle and captain Anders Lee — who scored the overtime winner — intact when practice resumes on Thursday.

That trio, very effective for stretches last season, was back together for the third straight game on Tuesday.

“It’s just predictability,” said Eberle on Tuesday, who has 18 points in 32 games — he missed 10 from Oct. 14-Nov. 7 with an ankle injury.  “I know what they’re going to do. I think Barry trusts us a little bit more with Nellie in the middle and then you just kind of get into a rhythm more. It’s easier.”

“As a line, we’ve been really good the last few games,” added Lee, who has goals in two straight games after going five without one. “We’ve created a lot.”

Eberle had three shots against the Devils and a game-high six in Saturday night’s 3-0 loss at Toronto, the trio’s first game back together.

Getting scoring chances always eases some frustration in a scoring drought. But not all and there’s no doubt Eberle, who signed a five-year, $27.5 million extension, was relieved after Tuesday’s goal.

“This year it’s been a bit of a battle, getting hurt and coming back and really not being healthy and trying to get back into it and get going,” Eberle said.

Eberle is a streaky scorer and the final two full months of the season have been his most productive during his nine full NHL seasons, the first seven with the Oilers.

He has 213 career goals in 698 regular-season games. Forty have come during March and 37 in February. January has been his third-most productive month with 34 goals. Eberle also has 19 in April, with the regular season typically concluding in that month’s first week.

“I think it’s really big,” Trotz said of Eberle’s goal against the Devils. “You feel the pressure and he wants to score. He’s a proud guy. What I liked about him is he kept going to those hard areas. He’s getting between the dots, putting pucks in play. Shooting and getting a little greasy. He drove to the net in overtime. That’s how you’re going to score in this league and he’ll get rewarded for it.”

Still, Eberle and the Islanders are looking forward to a three-day break after playing seven games in 12 days.

“Just to rest and rejuvenate,” Eberle said. “More than anything, get the mind back to square one.”

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