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Morning Skate Updates 2/26/13

by Travis Betts / New York Islanders
The Islanders will have morning skate at Nassau Coliseum starting at 10:30 a.m. in preparation for their game tonight against the Boston Bruins. Check this space for the latest updates throughout the skate.

10:15: NBC Sports Network has the game tonight, so there's a few extra folks in the building this morning setting up. Note the later-than-usual start time of 7:30 p.m. Check HERE for the channel listings in your area.

10:30: Lubomir Visnovsky and Thomas Hickey hit the ice.

10:42: Keith Aucoin (from Waltham, MA), Brad Boyes (played for Bruins) and Marty Reasoner (Boston College) all have ties to Beantown, so storylines are not in short supply. Jack Capuano played two NHL games with the Bruins, and Assistant Coach Brent Thompson finished his playing career in the Bruins system.

10:53: Evgeni Nabokov is first off. Looks like he's in tonight.

11:16: Just spoke with Jack Capuano, John Tavares and Matt Moulson. Capuano confirmed Radek Martinek will stay in the lineup tonight, and there are a couple of changes with the lines from what we saw the other night. David Ullstrom will go in tonight in place of Keith Aucoin. Kyle Okposo will be alongside Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey.

11:20: Capuano, on his players taking change: "You need that leadership from within. Do I think we have it? Yes. I believe that we have the character guys in there and the leaders that can get it done for us."

11:23: Capuano, on getting the team to string together more consistent games: "We know there's going to be surges both ways throughout a hockey game, and how we maintain that is key. But it's still a process. There's not a whole lot of practice time. It's communication, it's teaching, it's video, it's making sure they're in the right mindset."

11:26: Capuano, on Tavares being tied for the league lead in goals: "He deserves to be. We talk about it all the time - he brings it every day. He puts a lot of pressure on himself to be one of the elite players in this league, and he does the right things."

11:27: Moulson, on the struggles at Nassau Coliseum: "I don't have an exact answer for why it's been so tough, but we know we have to change that. This is a big home stand right now and we have to get points."

11:29: Moulson, on tonight's matchup: "At times we've shown how good we can be - wearing teams down, playing in their zone. The New Jersey game, the Pittsburgh game and the Buffalo game I think were great examples of that. We have to make sure we're as consistent as we were in those games, where we played a full 60."

11:30: Tavares, on his accolades and his ranking among league leaders in several offensive categories: "I don't really pay attention to those things, or look at whether I'm tied with someone or up there in that company. I'm just trying to contribute to this group of guys in here. Obviously, my biggest attribute is bringing offense and contributing when I get chances, so I want to keep doing that."

11:31: Tavares, on what needs to change at home: "We need to play a full 60 minutes. You can't get comfortable. Although it's a good feeling being here, and we're familiar with our surroundings, when we start the game off on the first few shifts, we have to come with high intensity and the same understanding of playing a simple game, just like we do on the road. We have to bring that tonight, especially against these guys, who play such a well-structured game. They're very physical, they're in your face and they don't give you a whole lot."

11:34: Bruins are on the ice.

11:57: As I said earlier, NBC Sports is broadcasting tonight's game. Brian Engblom will be behind the Islanders bench tonight. Pierre McGuire normally uses this equipment, as you can probably tell. This may seem like an intense amount of cables (especially if your experience in this area involves trying to hook the TV at home to the DVR), but is really such a small part of the magic that goes into making every broadcast happen. Lots of work behind-the-scenes by the production crew day in and day out.

12:32: The Bruins are off the ice, and we got to talk to Claude Julien, Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly. Quotes from them coming as fast as I can type.

12:35: Boston has the top-ranked penalty kill in the league (55-for-58, 94.8%). Kelly, on facing the Islanders power play: "They've got a lot of skill, especially up front. They've got some guys on the back end who can really shoot the puck. It'll be important for us to stay out of the box as much as possible and limit their chances on the power play."

12:39: Peverley, on what tonight's matchup brings: "The Islanders are a really skilled team offensively. I think if you can shut down their top line, it helps a lot. They've got a lot of depth and they're playing a lot better than they have in years past, so you have to be careful with their forwards."

12:41: Peverley, on the Bruins success (11-2-2, 24 points) this season: "We have pretty good confidence in our game right now. Playing physical, and playing a good team game has been a really big key for us so far."

12:45: Julien, on Boston's mentality ending a five-game road trip: "We have an opponent tonight with a lot of skill and is capable of doing a lot of damage if we're not at the top of our game. That never changes. Both games in Florida were a lot closer than the score indicated, and we have to understand that's the way it's going to be. The Islanders are a young team that is capable of scoring some goals if you give them the chance."

12:49: Julien, on facing the Islanders fifth-ranked power play: "When you're facing the skill that they have, you know your penalty kill has to be as its best. I think a lot of it is going to be our game without the puck tonight. If we give them space, they'll make things happen. We have to be extremely good without the puck and get numbers coming back. The Islanders are a team that will stretch you out if you let them. You have to be careful about that."

Check tonight for live updates during the game. Start time is 7:30 p.m.
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