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Morning Skate Updates 2/8/14

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders
The Islanders wrap up their Pre-Olympic schedule tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. The Islanders took the first meeting on Jan. 10, and are going for the season sweep of the Avs. Patrick Roy’s team is currently fifth in the Western Conference, but historically, the Avalanche have had trouble with the Islanders, especially on Long Island.

Both teams are looking to end mini-losing streaks, as the Avs have two straight, while the Isles are coming off a loss on Thursday night. Tonight also marks the return of former-Islander Pierre-Alexandre (PA) Parenteau, who faces the Islanders for the first time since signing with Colorado following the 2011-12 season. 

Ahead of tonight’s game, both teams held morning skates at Nassau Coliseum. Here are some news, notes and quotes to get you primed for tonight’s game.

The Islanders held an optional morning skate today at Nassau Coliseum.

Hamonic Scheduled To Play:
Travis Hamonic is scheduled to play tonight after being activated off injured reserve yesterday afternoon. Head coach Jack Capuano said he plans on using Hamonic in his usual role, citing he’s 100 percent healthy and that he wouldn’t play his defenseman otherwise. Hamonic missed 12 games with an upper-body injury after leaving the Jan. 12 game against Dallas.

Hamonic: Everyone wants to get back quickly when you’re injured, but we weren’t going to be stupid about it. There are precautions that you have to take when you have an upper-body injury; it’s just the way things go. It’s nice that I can get a chance to play before the break and then rest and remain healthy [during the break] so when we come back we can hit the ground running help the team win.

Travis Hamonic is scheduled to play tonight after missing 12 games with an upper-body injury.

Lineup Notes/Changes:

Parenteau Returns: Former Islander PA Parenteau returns to Long Island for the first time since the 2011-12 season, before he departed as a free agent. Parenteau played on the team’s top line and scored 120 points (38g/82a) over two seasons with the Islanders.

Parenteau on Return:
I’m really grateful for what Snowy and Jack did for me in my first year there. It’s something I’ll never forget. It pretty much put me on the map, I’ll be grateful for. It was two great years, I got to play with really great players and it was an awesome time.

PA Parenteau skates on familiar ice, as he makes his return to Nassau Coliseum. 

More PA:
Parenteau scored 43 points (18g/25a) in 48 games for the Avs last season and has 27 points (10g/17a) in 45 games this season. Parenteau needs one point to reach 200 in his career. The former Islander spoke highly of his time on Long Island and spent time visiting friends and old hangouts on Friday. He was hurt and unable to play against the Islanders in Denver on Jan. 10.

Tavares on Parenteau: He’s got a great personality; he’s a great guy in the locker room. He’s very upbeat and he’s got a great skill set. He overcame a lot to finally make it in the NHL, so I’m happy to see him doing well. I know he’s looking forward to returning tonight and he’s always been a motivated guy to, so I’m sure he’s going to come out hard.

Parenteau and the Avalanche held a morning skate at Nassau Coliseum.

Vs. the Avs:
The Islanders are 8-0-1-2 (one tie, two overtime losses) in their last 11 games against the Avalanche.

No Mountains, No Avalanche: The Islanders have won six straight against the Avalanche on the flat confines of Long Island.

Nabokov Starts: Evgeni Nabokov will make his fifth consecutive start for the Islanders.

Evgeni Nabokov in the home net at today's morning skate.

Donovan Loaned: Matt Donovan was loaned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this morning.

Bridgeport Milestone:
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers play the 1000th game in franchise history tonight against the Albany Devils.

Islanders Milestones:
Cal Clutterbuck is slated to play his 400th career game tonight, while Colin McDonald hits the century mark.

Cal Clutterbuck reaches the 400-game plateau tonight against the Avs.

From the Coach: He wanted to play the last game and he could have played the last game, but we [wanted to give him] three extra days [of practice]. He wanted to get in the last game and we would never put anyone in that situation. He’s ready to go… He’s 100%... He’s conditioned hard, he’s battled hard. We’re not afraid to use him in any situation tonight.

Josh Bailey was on the ice for morning skate today at Nassau Coliseum.

Nathan MacKinnon leads all rookies in goals (21), assists (22) and points (43) and is currently on a seven-game point streak (four goals, six assists). The top pick in the 2013 draft scored Colorado’s lone goal against the Islanders on Jan. 10 and is tied for the team lead in goals.

Top Scorers: Matt Duchene leads the Avs with 48 points (17G/31A) in 54 games, while captain Gabriel Landeskog is second with 46 points (17G/29A).

Giguere Starts: Jean-Sebastien Gigeure will start for the Avalanche tonight. Giguere is 8-4-0-2 in 14 games this season.

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