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The Official Site of the New York Islanders

Game Day Updates 10/15/13

by Travis Betts / New York Islanders
The New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres will play tonight at Nassau Coliseum in the first of three meetings this season. The Isles hit the ice at 10:30 for morning skate.

10:38: Some photos from early on:

Josh Bailey

Pierre-Marc Bouchard

Kyle Okposo shooting on Evgeni Nabokov

Brian Strait putting a shot on goal

11:00: Coach and player media availability just wrapped up in the Islanders side of the hallway. Here's Jack Capuano on playing Michael Grabner alongside John Tavares and Kyle Okposo tonight: "With Johnny's vision and his hockey sense, Grabs is a game-breaker and he can move. You've got to be first o nthe forecheck. You've got to have some speed to get extended zone time. We played those guys together a little bit in Nashville and last year against Tampa Bay when Moulson didn't play, so we'll just see how it goes and take it shift by shift."

11:07: Capuano, on his plans for playing Matt Donovan: "You don't want guys to sit too long. The more you get a young guy in, and the more he can continue to watch the video and be in our team meetings and see what we're trying to do, it's going to help. Matt will be back in there for sure. He gives us offense and creativity on the blue line. But sitting a game or two isn't a bad thing for a young player."

11:11: John Tavares, on the difference playing with Grabner vs. Moulson: "Obviously Grabs' speed is his biggest asset. I don't think there's anyone in the league who can really back off defensemen like he can. He can create space. He's obviously been playing well. When he plays aggressive with his speed, I find that's when he's really making it tough on the other team."

11:14: Andrew MacDonald, on the importance of getting a four-game home stand off on the right foot: "We have an opportunity to play consecutive home games, and we want to take advantage of it. It's early in the season, and obviously we're coming off a couple of tough losses, so it's going to be crucial for us to have a good home stand."

11:17: Thomas Hickey, on playing a Buffalo team trying to climb their way out of the Eastern Conference cellar: "You certainly can't take anyone lightly in this league. They're a team with a lot of energy, good goaltending, some high-end guys. We don't take them lightly at all. We'd like to think we're better than our record, and it's probably the same for them. It's a big matchup for us - it's going to be a tight game."

11:40: Sabres head coach Ron Rolston, on playing their third game in four nights against an Islanders team that hasn't played since Saturday: "We'd rather make sure guys are getting rest throughout the course of the week. It's tough, with the schedule - we have 15 games in October. A lot of it is just managing guys' energy. You don't have a lot of practice time to go with it, so it's about guys' abaility to manage their time away from the rink and recover mentally and physically."

11:50: Rolston, on if there's been a missing ingredient on his hockey team, which has played in five one-goal games (all losses): "We haven't finished well early on in the season. Part of that is getting the power play going and having key guys finish when they get their opportunities. We haven't been able to score a lot of goals. Our goaltending has been excellent, but right now it's just about working hard and getting back to the basics of offense and being simple about it."
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