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Morning Skate Updates: 3/3/15

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders


New Guys: Tyler Kennedy and Michal Neuvirth took the ice with the Islanders for the first time at Tuesday’s morning skate.

Both players already have a few connections with other current Islanders. Neuvirth played junior hockey with John Tavares and Josh Bailey and played in Washington with Mikhail Grabovski. Kennedy said he knows Cal Clutterbuck and Colin McDonald.

Kennedy on Islanders: When you look at the Islanders, they out skate teams, out work teams and that’s why they are successful. Whenever you play the Islanders you have to be ready to work hard and skate because they have a young, fast team.

It seems like the organization has really turned it around in the last two or three years. It seems like you’re throwing them in there with Pittsburgh and Chicago, they are the teams to try and beat these days.

Neuvirth on Sabres, Islanders:
It was a good experience [in Buffalo]. I was facing a lot of shots and a lot of good scoring chances every game. It was a great experience.

I’m happy that I ended up here with a great team. Everybody seems like a good guy, so I am pretty excited about this opportunity.

Scouting Report: The Islanders are familiar with Kennedy and Neuvirth, as they both played for division rivals, but Head Coach Jack Capuano’s scouting report dates back to his American Hockey League days.

Capuano on Kennedy: I’ve watched Tyler play quite a bit in Wilkes-Barre when I was in Bridgeport and saw him in the playoffs with Pittsburgh. We know he’s an energy guy. He plays the right way and does a lot of good things.

Capuano on Neuvirth: He played really well against us to, even when he was in Hershey. I’ve seen quite a bit of him as well. His numbers speak for themselves, especially this month, he’s having a great month.

Halak Starts: Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Islanders, making his first start since setting the franchise’s single-season wins record. Halak is 33-13-0 this season with a 2.46 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.

Kennedy Debuts: Kennedy is expected to make his Islanders debut tonight, replacing Kael Mouillierat. Kennedy is expected to take Ryan Strome’s spot on the wing, while Strome shifts back to center.

Strait Out, Visnovsky In: Lubomir Visnovsky draws in for Brian Strait tonight and will pair with Thomas Hickey.

Projected Lines:
27 Anders Lee 91 John Tavares 12 josh bailey
51 Frans Nielsen 26 Tyler Kennedy
86 Nikolay Kulemin
18 ryan strome 15 Cal clutterbuck
17 Matt Martin 29 Brock Nelson 13 COLIN MCDONALD

The Islanders play the Stars tonight at 8:30 p.m. eastern time. The game can be seen on MSG+2.

Vs. the Stars: The Islanders have won three straight against the Stars, are 4-1-1 in their last six trips to Dallas and are 9-3-3 in their last 15 against the Stars overall.
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