The New York Islanders are hours away from starting the 2014-15 season against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, NC.
The Islanders and Hurricanes are the last two teams to debut in the 2014-15 campaign and finish a back-to-back, home-and-home set at Nassau Coliseum Saturday night.
Ahead of tonight’s season opener, the Islanders held an optional morning skate at PNC Arena in Raleigh. Here are some news, notes and quotes to get your ready for tonight’s action.
Reinhart Debuts: Griffin Reinhart will make his NHL debut tonight. The Islanders 2011 first-round pick (fourth overall) will pair with veteran Brian Strait.
Halak in Goal: Jaroslav Halak will make his Islanders debut tonight.
More Debuts: The Islanders' 23-man roster features eight new players who have yet to make their Islanders debuts: Johnny Boychuk, Cory Conacher, Mikhail Grabovski, Halak, Chad Johnson, Nikolay Kulemin, Nick Leddy and Reinhart.
READ: ISLES-CANES GAME PREVIEW; THE SKINNY
Grabner Injury: As reported by Arthur Staple, Michael Grabner will undergo sports hernia surgery and is out indefinitely.
From the Coach: We have to kill penalties. End of story. Systematically we’ve tweaked a few things. I’m not getting into a whole lot of detail, but we’ve tweaked a few things. The bottom line is we have to execute. We have to execute the proper way, we have to have the personnel that do the things we want to do on the penalty kill, or they won’t be on the penalty kill.
It has to be better and will be better.
LISTEN TO JACK CAPUANO'S MORNING MEDIA SCRUM
Skinner: Carolina Hurricanes leading goal scorer Jeff Skinner (concussion) did not skate at the team’s morning ice time and will reportedly not play tonight, as per Chip Alexander.
J. Staal: Jordan Staal (broken leg) will also be out of the lineup for the back-to-back set.