knowing they can't be reliant on star forward taylor hall to provide points in every game, the new jersey devils made a move to beef up their offense in a rare trade with one of their neighboring rivals. michael grabner, acquired from the new york rangers on thursday, will make his debut for new jersey on saturday night against the visiting new york islanders.

grabner, part of the first deal since 1979 between the rangers and devils, now has played for all three teams in the new york city area, spending five seasons with the islanders from 2010-2015. the devils have lost two in a row -- both at home -- following a four-game winning streak and are holding down the top wild card in the east, five points ahead of the islanders. while not adding a body, new york made a significant move friday by agreeing to terms on a six-year contract with all-star forward josh bailey, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. "josh has become one of the core members of the new york islanders," general manager garth snow said. "he has developed within our system for several years and it's exciting to see him mature into the player we always had confidence he would become."

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about the islanders (29-26-7): rookie mathew barzal took over the team lead in scoring after netting one goal and setting up two others in thursday's loss at toronto. barzal, the runaway scoring leader among league rookies, has collected 14 points in 10 games in february to push his season total to 65 -- one ahead of captain john tavares and three more than bailey. the 62 points mark a career best for bailey, eclipsing last season's previous high of 56, and his 15 goals are one shy of matching his career high.

about the devils (31-22-8): hall continued his blistering pace by scoring in his third straight game to give him 26 for the season and extend his point streak to a league-best 13 games. hall, who needs one goal to match his career-best total, actually has points in 20 consecutive games dating to jan. 2 but the league doesn't recognize the streak because he sat out three contests due to injury in that span. coach john hynes said he expects to pair grabner with rookie jesper bratt, with either travis zajac or pavel zacha centering them.


1. the islanders have won seven of the last nine meetings overall and eight of the past 10 in new jersey.

2. grabner has two goals in nine games versus the islanders and was held without a point in three games this season.

3. the devils will honor patrik elias on saturday night, pushing back the start of the game one hour. the ceremony begins at 6:15 p.m. et.

prediction: devils 4, islanders 3