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Morning Skate Updates: 12/15/14

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders


Halak Starts: Jaroslav Halak gets the nod tonight for the Islanders. Halak is coming off a 23-save win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. The Islanders goaltender is 15-6-0 this season with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

Cizikas In, Grabner Out:
Casey Cizikas was activated off injured reserve this morning and draws back into the Islanders lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury. Cizikas replaces Michael Grabner, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Cizikas: We know what our job is, what kind of role we have to play. It’s a simple game, but a hard game. It’s getting pucks in deep, making things tough on their defense and other lines and just trying to play an all-around game.

Kids, Go To Your Room: With Cizikas back in the lineup, the “kid line” will be reunited as Ryan Strome bumps back up on a line with Anders Lee and Brock Nelson.

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 are 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.

Kinkaid Starts: Farmingville native Keith Kinkaid gets the start for the Devils tonight. The Islanders beat Kinkaid in preseason action at Barclays Center in September. Kinkaid grew up an Islanders fan and gets the opportunity to play in what could be the final Devils game ever at Nassau Coliseum.

Injury Updates: Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk skated at the team’s optional morning skate, but will not play tonight.

Capuano: They are getting close, still day-to-day, but they are coming along quite well. Hopefully we’ll know more after this game tonight.

Griffin Reinhart: Griffin Reinhart was a physical presence on the ice in Saturday’s win over the Chicago Blackhawks, dishing out several big hits. The Islanders coaches asked Reinhart to use his 6’4, 217 lbs. frame more and he’s responded with eight hits in his last two games.

Reinhart: My confidence goes up with every game that I play up here. I am trying to play a bit more physical and close the gap a bit more. That has really helped me.

They Said It:
Jack Capuano on Griffin Reinhart:
“It’s about attention to detail. He’s the first guy between periods if he needs to look at a shift, after practice, he studies the game. That’s what you want to see from a young player off the ice. On the ice, he uses his reach, his physicality and he knows his role and responsibility and how he has to play to be effective. So far he’s done that.”

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