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At the Rink blog

Islanders' Nabokov back in net against Red Wings

Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 12:43 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

The New York Islanders will have Evgeni Nabokov in goal Saturday when they play host to the Detroit Red Wings at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

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:

Brock Nelson - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo

Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Frans Nielsen - Josh Bailey

Michael Grabner - Peter Regin - Colin McDonald

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey - Matt Donovan

Aaron Ness - Matt Carkner

Evgeni Nabokov

Kevin Poulin

Scratched: Eric Boulton, Radek Martinek

Injured: Thomas Vanek (upper body), Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion), Brian Strait (upper body)

It's hard to walk into that locker room and look those guys in the eye when they've played -- clearly, that was our best game we've played in the series -- and I thought we deserved a better fate tonight.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 on Sunday