Rookie Kevin Poulin has started each of the past three games, a 4-2 road loss Sunday to the Montreal Canadiens, a 3-1 home victory Tuesday against the Nashville Predators, and a 3-2 loss Thursday to the Los Angeles Kings in which the Islanders couldn’t hold a 2-0 third-period lead.
It was the third times this season the Islanders have failed to hold a 2-0 lead. Coach Jack Capuano said his team has to put that game in the past and concentrate on the Red Wings.
"Tonight is about what we have to do," he told the media after the morning skate. "We had good meetings after the LA game and understand what happened in the third period. It was a function of us not moving our feet. We are not a team that wants to sit back; we want to play on our toes. In the third period, you didn’t see that from us as much. That’s something we have to be better at, for sure."
Nabokov’s most recent appearance was in a 5-2 road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets last Saturday.
Capuano said other than the goaltending change he’ll stick with the same lineup he used Thursday, meaning first-line left wing Thomas Vanek will miss a fourth consecutive game. Vanek sustained an upper-body injury during the first shift of the loss in Columbus and has not played since.
Vanek was on the ice for the morning skate and remains day-to-day.
Here is the likely lineup for the Islanders: