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Morning Skate Updates: 11/26/14

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders


Halak Starts: Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Islanders tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers. Halak is riding a seven-game winning streak and has allowed just eight goals over that span. The Islanders netminder made 21 saves for his third shutout of the season Monday and is 10-4 on the season. Halak is the first Islanders goalie to win seven straight games since 2006.

de Haan and Hickey Healthy: Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey are both back in the lineup after missing Monday's win with illness.Hickey had played 103 consecutive games before his ironman streak was snapped Monday. Brian Strait and Matt Donovan will come out of the lineup.

Thomas Hickey: I watched at home, which is certainly a different perspective. We played real well and it was good to see guys like Dono get in and play real well. It makes it easier [to sit out] when the guys win. 

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

Where and When: The Islanders at Nassau Coliseum tonight and the game can be seen on MSG+. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. Click here for channel listings.Click here to buy tickets.

Best Start Ever: The Islanders are off to their best start in franchise history, winning 15 of the team's first 21 games for the first time.

Grabovski vs. Caps: Mikhail Grabovski plays his former team for the first time tonight. Grabovski spent one season with the Capitals, scoring 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) in 58 games.

Grabovski on his time in Washington: I had a great year. I enjoyed being coached by Adam Oates. As a person I have a lot memories from him. They had great guys, a bunch of guys im still friends with now. It was a great experience to play with Alex Ovechkin. Washington is a great city, but you guys know that pressure.

Nine of 10: The Islanders have won eight of their last nine games (9-1-0).

Vs. the Metro:
The Isles are 6-1-0 in Division games.

The Islanders are 7-1-0 when they allow the opening goal.

Tied for First: The Islanders are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the Metropolitan Division with 30 points apiece. It is the first time in nearly eight years that the Isles have at least a share of first place this late in the season.

They Said It:
Kyle Okposo on compliments and being hard to play against:
I’ve liked what other teams have said after they’ve played us. How tough it is to play against us. That’s something that we’ve really been stressing as a team and coaches have been stressing is to be tough to play against and we’ve done a good job of that. We can roll all four lines and keep coming at you and coming at you.

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