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Morning Skate Updates: 12/2/14

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders


Halak Starts: Jaroslav Halak will start in goal tonight for the Islanders. Halak is the NHL’s reigning First Star of the Week, posting a 3-0 record, 0.95 goals against average and a .964 save percentage last week. The Islanders goaltender has won a personal best nine straight games and is one game shy of tying Billy Smith’s team record of 10-straight wins.

Capuano On Halak: It’s a well-deserved honor. Over the past month he’s been really focused. His attitude has been good, he’s working hard and it pays dividends for him.

“He’s taken total advantage of the opportunity. At the start of the year he was a guy that put a little too much pressure on himself, after talking with him, being in the right frame of mind, relaxing and coming to the work everyday, enjoying himself, his play has picked up and been much better.”

Lineup - if it ain’t broke…: The Islanders are going with the same lineup from Saturday’s win over the New Jersey Devils. That means that Johnny Boychuk and Lubomir Visnovsky are still day-to-day with injuries and Matt Donovan and Brian Strait draw in for the Islanders.

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+2. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. Click here for channel listings.Click here to buy tickets.

Anderson Starts: Craig Anderson (5-5-3, 2.43 GAA, .932 SV%) will start tonight for the Senators. Anderson has lost three straight games.

Ryan Out: Bobby Ryan (finger) is out for tonight's game.

Power Play Looks: Nick Leddy quarterbacked the Islanders top power-play unit in Monday’s practice, as both Johnny Boychuk and Lubomir Visnovsky sat out with injuries. The Islanders also experimented with an all-forward power play – for a two-man advantage – featuring Kyle Okposo and John Tavares up top and Brock Nelson, Frans Nielsen and Ryan Strome down low.

Vs. the Sens: The Islanders are 3-2-0 in their last five games vs. the Senators. The road team won all three meetings last season, with the Islanders going 2-1-0.

Fourth Line: The Islanders fourth line has found the back of the net over the past seven games, combining for 12 points (six goals, six assists). Casey Cizikas has six points (two goals, four assists), Cal Clutterbuck has four points (two goals, two assists) and Matt Martin has two goals over that stretch.

Matt Martin on the fourth line: They want us to be a physical line, an energy line that they can put out there to get the building going. We’ve been doing a good job, we just need to keep it going. We’ve been contributing a lot lately and it feels good to do that. We’d love to keep doing that, but we have to focus on playing our game and being effective.

They Said It:
John Tavares on the Islanders winning ways:
You just want to keep building off of the good things. You don’t ever want to be satisfied. You want to find the areas you can be better in and there are certainly a few. We know that we have the talent in here, but we cant lose the work ethic, attention to detail.


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