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Morning Skate Updates: 11/18/14

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders


Halak Starts: Jaroslav Halak will start in goal tonight for the Islanders. Halak has won four straight games while conceding five goals over that span. The Islanders netminder saw his lengthy shutout streak (156:04) snapped on Friday in Florida.

Capuano on Halak: Anytime you come to a new team there are expectations and you want to play well. I think that’s part of it. In talking to him, he was uptight a little bit, there’s no question. You could tell by his body language that he was down. I told him you have to put everything behind you. He’s one of the leaders on this team. He’s the guy. Over the last two or three weeks you can see that.

Clutter is Back: Cal Clutterbuck is back in the lineup tonight for the Islanders after a one-game absence. Head Coach Jack Capuano said Clutterbuck was available for Saturday’s game, but opted to scratch him, allowing his minor tweak to fully recover.

Conacher Out: Cory Conacher comes out of the Islanders lineup tonight.

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

Where and When: The Islanders are back home at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. 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+.

Nabokov Starts: Evgeni Nabokov will start for the Lightning against his former team tonight. Nabokov played three seasons for the Islanders, posting a 57-43-18 record with nine shutouts. Nabokov was an integral part of the Islanders playoff appearance in 2013, a leader and a veteran presence in the locker room.

Tavares on Nabokov: He was a great teammate, he fit really well in this locker room. He made a big impact on a lot of us, especially myself. He’s an extremely hard worker and played on some good San Jose teams. He had success for a long time and you try to pick his brain on a lot of things. He definitely taught me a lot as well about goaltending and goalies in this league, so I’m excited to go up against him. He’s probably excited about the opportunity to play against us and show he has a lot left in the tank.

Vs. the Lightning: The Isles have earned points in six of their last seven games against Tampa Bay (4-1-2).

Michael Grabner participated in the Islanders morning skate with a non-contact jersey, but will take part in contact drills post-skate with the coaches. Capuano said Grabner will practice with the team tomorrow and there's a chance Grabner could come back early next week if his recovery progresses.

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