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Morning Skate Updates: 2/19/15

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders


ISLES ON MSG: Tonight's game can be seen on MSG. Click here for channel listings.

Halak Starts:
Jaroslav Halak will start for the Islanders tonight. Halak is 31-12-0 this season and has won five of his last six games. The Islanders’ goaltender can tie the franchise record for single-season wins (32) with a victory tonight.

Visnovsky In: Lubomir Visnovsky draws back into the Islanders lineup, but Head Coach Jack Capuano did not specify which defenseman he'll replace.

Forward Lineup: Casey Cizikas (lower body) is out for the second straight contest, meaning the Islanders are going with the same forward corps.

27 Anders Lee 91 John Tavares 12 josh bailey
51 Frans Nielsen 18 ryan strome
86 Nikolay Kulemin
84 MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI 15 Cal clutterbuck
17 Matt Martin 29 Brock Nelson 13 COLIN MCDONALD

Vs. the Preds: The Islanders are 4-1-1 in their last six home games against the Predators.

Storylines: Tonight’s Islanders-Predators game offers several interesting one-on-one storylines.

Lee vs. Forsberg: Two of the NHL’s top rookies meet tonight. Anders Lee and Filip Forsberg are tied for second place in rookie goal scoring with 19 goals apiece. Lee has six goals in his last nine games, while Forsberg has two over that span. Both players trail Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman by one goal.

Boychuk vs. Weber: Blockers beware as two of the league’s hardest shooters patrol the points tonight. Weber has the NHL’s reigning hardest shot, clocked at 108.5 mph at the NHL Skills Competition.

Halak vs. Rinne: Two of the league’s 30-game winners start tonight, as Jaroslav Halak and Pekka Rinne get the nods from their respective coaches. Rinne is the league’s wins leader (34) and is second in both goals against average (1.94) and save percentage (.932).

Capuano on the Predators: It’s a veteran group. They have some good young players there, but if you go up and down their lineup, their back end and their goaltending is where it starts. They have a lot of guys – Weber, Josi, Jones, the list goes on – that get up in the offense. They are big bodies too, they have some right shots on the back end, Weber is going to shoot the puck. When you play a team that’s had success like this, this is a chance for you to see where you measure up.

Martin-Nelson-McDonald: With Cizikas out, Brock Nelson will center a line with Matt Martin and Colin McDonald for the second straight game. Nelson scored Tuesday night in Carolina, his first game playing on the line with Martin and McDonald

Martin: Casey and I have played together for so long that I know what to expect from the centerman like that. Brock has a ton of talent and was obviously hungry to score and really wanted one. You’re trying to put the puck in his hands as much as possible. He had a few pretty good opportunities where he took it upon himself to get pucks to the net and made some pretty nice plays. For the most part it was pretty good, I think the three of us are trying to feel each other out a bit.

Hamonic: Travis Hamonic played his 300th career game Tuesday and is one point shy of 100.

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