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Morning Skate Updates: 12/11/14

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders


Halak vs. Allen: Jaroslav Halak will get another crack at his former team tonight. Halak had an 11-game winning streak snapped on Saturday by the Blues on Saturday and sat out Tuesday’s loss with a minor upper-body injury. Jake Allen will start against the Islanders. Allen allowed three goals on 12 shots and was pulled after the first period in Saturday’s contest.

Boulton In, Bailey Out: Eric Boulton was activated off injured reserve this morning and will replace Josh Bailey (lower body) in tonight’s lineup. Boulton hasn’t played since Nov. 8 in Arizona.

Capuano said he wanted a veteran presence in the lineup and on the bench, which is why he put Boulton in tonight's lineup. Capuano also wanted a more experienced d-corps, hence the substitution of Matt Donovan for Griffin Reinhart.

Lineup Changes:
Projected Lines:  
86 Nikolay Kulemin 91 John Tavares 21 Kyle Okposo
84 Mikhail grabovski 51 Frans Nielsen 15 Cal Clutterbuck
27 Anders Lee 29 Brock Nelson 40 Michael grabner
17 Matt Martin 18 ryan strome 36 Eric Boulton

Where and When:
The Islanders are at Scottrade Center tonight in St. Louis, MO and the game can be seen on MSG+. Puck drop is at 8:00 p.m. Click here for channel listings.

First Time Back: Jaroslav Halak will play in St. Louis for the first time since being dealt in February. .

Healthy Blues: Alex Steen and Jay Bouwmeester will all play tonight, according to Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock. Both players missed Saturday’s game vs. the Islnaders. Bouwmeester hasn’t played since Nov. 22, while Steen has been out since Dec. 4.

They Said It:
Matt Donovan on what the coaches want from him tonight:
I’m an offensive defenseman. They want me to jump up in the play and create offense. It’s tough to jump back in after 20 games not doing that, but I just have to have confidence in myself and create some offense.

Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock on John Tavares:
He’s a very good one-on-one player. He’s very strong on the puck, he’s a guy that’s very determined; a red line-and-in player, a guy with tremendous competitive instincts in tight spaces. He’ll do anything to create offense, he doesn’t care about the number sin front of him. He’s a very strong, determined player. Quite frankly he’s a lot like [Sidney] Crosby. He has a lot of Crosby’s one-on-one puck skills, he’s a smart player.

I don’t think there are more than 10 players in the league that can control defensemen like he can.

T.J. Oshie on Brock Nelson – both played for Warroad High School:
He’s an honest, hard-working player. He’s big and for his size, he can make some nice little plays with the puck. It’s fun to watch him and to have someone from Warroad doing so well and to see his work ethic is a bonus.

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