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Morning Skate Updates: 11/15/14

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders


Johnson Starts: Chad Johnson starts in goal tonight for the Islanders. Johnson is 4-1 this season and is coming off a 28-save, 2-1 shootout win over the LA Kings on Nov. 6.

Clutterbuck a Game-Time Decision:
Cal Clutterbuck “tweaked” something in his lower body against the Panthers and will be a game-time decision tonight, according to Head Coach Jack Capuano. Cory Conacher is the Islanders only active extra forward on the two-game trip.

Capuano on Clutterbuck:
There’s a good chance he can play, but we want to make sure. We have healthy bodies now, so you don’t want to put someone in a situation when he’s not 100 percent. We have other guys who can go.

Projected Lines:  
86 Nikolay Kulemin 91 John Tavares 21 Kyle Okposo
12 josh bailey 51 Frans Nielsen 84 Mikhail grabovski
27 Anders Lee 29 Brock Nelson 18 Ryan Strome
17 Matt Martin 53 Casey Cizikas 15 Cal Clutterbuck

Where and When: The Islanders at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. Click here for channel listings. The game can be seen in the New York area on MSG+ 2.

Eastern Clash: Tonight’s matchup pits two of the Eastern Conference’s top-four teams against each other. The Islanders sit fourth in the conference with 22 points, while the Lightning are second with 24. Both teams have high-octane offenses, as the Islanders have scored 52 goals (including shootout winners), compared to the Lightning’s 61.

Vs. the Lightning:
The Isles have earned points in six straight games against Tampa Bay (4-0-2) and are also 4-2-1 in their last seven matchups with the Lightning in Tampa.

Killin’ It:
The Islanders PK went 5-for-6 on Friday, making the shorthanded unit 17-for-18 in their last four games.

They Said It:
Evgeni Nabokov on his time with the Islanders: I thought the guys were absolutely unbelievable in that locker room. There was some negativity [from the outside], but the way we handled it inside that locker room was unbelievable. I learned a lot from that. Those guys were like brothers to each other and I hope they are going to continue that. I guarantee that in a couple of years, something good is going to come out of that locker room.

Capuano: I like our resiliency, we’re in tough buildings and we’re playing well. These teams are good. Tonight there is great goaltending on both sides, especially with Ben Bishop in net. I like the way we’re playing. We just have to continue playing with that confidence and our penalty kill has to continue to play with that confidence.

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