This is the third and final matchup of the year against the Senators, with the home team winning each of the first two. Isles getting ready to head out in a few minutes.10:35:
Everyone is on the ice this morning for the Islanders, including Matt Carkner, Michael Grabner and Jesse Joensuu.10:46:
Evgeni Nabokov is the first off the ice. Kevin Poulin stays out.11:53:
Some photos from practice this morning...
Eric Boulton participating in drills while Frans Nielsen waits his turn.
Radek Martinek jumps in on a drill.
Kevin Poulin makes a save on John Tavares.
Poulin stops Kyle Okposo10:56:
Jack Capuano says the he's rolling out the same lineup as he did Saturday at Florida, including Nabokov. That means Carkner, Grabner and Joensuu will watch from upstairs tonight. Capuano hinted that Carkner and Grabner could be back very soon, and that conditioning was the main focus with all three right now.11:27:
Here's the full Capuano media scrum - New York Islanders - Jack Capuano 03/19/201311:32:
Late getting out of the Islanders room, as lots of Ottawa media were waiting around for Carkner, the former Sen. Carkner has been injured since Feb. 6, and has missed both Ottawa games so far.11:35:
Here's No. 7, on how he's feeling: "I'm there basically. Our team's on a bit of a positive streak here, so the timing for me to come back is a little tough. The lineup is playing well. I've just got to be ready for when coach wants me back in.11:38:
Carkner, on not getting to face his old team this season: "That's hard. I'd love to take some liberties on some guys out there (laughing). It's just going to have to wait. I've learned from these things in the past. I've got to bury my head, work hard and I'll get my opportunity."11:41:
John Tavares from a few minutes ago, on how first year Islander Brad Boyes (goals in three straight games) has fit in with the team: "We talk a lot about how we can still be better. We want to create even more offensively. I think he's just getting more comfortable with the team. Everything happened so fast here, with the shortened camp and the shortened season. Sometimes it takes some time to get going, but I think Brad played well off the bat. Now he's in more of a groove and has a better understanding of not just me and Matt (Moulson), but everyone here and our system. It's good to see him be rewarded."11:46:
Senators are on the ice, working on beating forechecks. This is a team that has gotten it done with the little things this year - they have the second-fewest goals against (62) in the Conference, and before Sundays' 4-1 win against Winnipeg, had played in 11 one-goal games in a row (5-2-4), dating back to their Feb. 19 matchup with the Isles.12:00:
Here's Colin Greening, trying to deflect a shot in front of Robin Lehner.12:04:
Ben Bishop leaves the ice first for the Senators. So far the Islanders have seen Craig Anderson (Feb. 19 - loss) and Lehner (Mar. 3 - OT win) this season, but not the 6'7, 214-pound Bishop.12:28:
Just left the Ottawa room after chatting with Colin Greening, Kyle Turris and Head Coach Paul MacLean. I asked MacLean who some of the players were who have stepped up and impressed him this season, and he listed off about 13 players - Veterans, young guys who came up from AHL Binghamton, pretty much everybody. And that was right after he was complimentary about the three goaltenders who have played a big role this season.12:32:
Greening had a simpler answer: "I think everybody has raised their play. If you want to pinpoint some people, I think you should look at the guys who have come up from Binghamton. Andre Benoit, Patrick Wiercioch, Eric Gryba, Jakob Silfverberg - all those guys who spent time in the AHL and came up to fill pretty big roles with guys being out. Generally, I think everyone has stepped up their game because you have to."12:36:
Greening, on Ottawa playing smart hockey this season: "I think we're pretty consistent over 60 minutes, and lately, over 65 minutes a lot of the time. Our mentality is that we may not break you down in the first period, but if we do the right things consistently, it'll pay dividends in the third period."12:38:
Turris, who is pacing the team with 19 points this season, on the keys to victory tonight: "We've just got to keep playing our game and come out with a good start on the road. We need to play a full 60 minutes like we know we can."12:42:
MacLean, on the special teams play this season: "The penalty kill has been very good all year long, very consistent. I think the power play is starting to get a little more consistent, keeping it a little bit simpler - not trying to create too much from what's not there, and just take what's given to us. That seems to be having an effect for us. The strength to our penalty killing has always been our goaltending, and at the same time, the structure we're playing with is helping us as well."12:44:
MacLean, on the keys to an Ottawa win tonight: "We've got to get started again. This is a very good team we're going up against - very skilled. Tavares is one of the best players in the league, and his line is always a threat. We have to make sure we're aware of their defense. They like to get active. We need to play more in their end than they play in ours." Check back tonight for live updates of tonight's game between the Islanders and Senators. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m.