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Morning Skate Updates: 3/7/15

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders
NEWS, NOTES AND QUOTES

Okposo Skates:
Kyle Okposo joined the team for morning skate in Sunrise this morning. Okposo is currently recovering from an eye injury and hasn’t skated with his teammates since before the All-Star Weekend. Despite missing the last 20 games, Okposo is still second in team scoring with 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists) in 46 games.

Kennedy Skates:
Tyler Kennedy also rejoined the team in Florida, three days after being sent home to Long Island to be evaluated by team doctors.

Capuano: Kyle and Tyler came down with the team. It’s good for them to be around. Kyle is improving, he’s able to do certain things now that the doctors want him to do. He’s skating, working on his conditioning. Things were good, so that’s a positive sign moving forward.

Neuvirth’s Islanders Debut:
Michal Neuvirth will make his Islanders debut tonight. Neuvrith was acquired for Chad Johnson and a third-round pick at Monday’s trade deadline. Neuvirth played the Panthers three times this season with the Buffalo Sabres, stopping 34, 33 and 42 shots, respectively.

Neuvirth on his debut: I’m excited to be a part of it, but I am going to approach tonight like another game and do my best.

Neuvirth on the Panthers: They have a good power play. They have Jaromir Jagr now and that makes them more dangerous. They are a good team and work hard. We have to be ready for them.

Martin Returns: Matt Martin returns to the Islanders lineup after serving a one-game suspension for a knee-on-knee collision with Dallas’ Trevor Daley Tuesday.

Boulton Out: Eric Boulton comes out of the lineup as Martin draws back in.

Projected Lines:
27 Anders Lee 91 John Tavares 12 josh bailey
40 MICHAEL GRABNER
51 Frans Nielsen 18 ryan strome
86 Nikolay Kulemin
29 Brock Nelson 15 Cal clutterbuck
17 Matt Martin
53 Casey Cizikas 13 COLIN MCDONALD


Where/When:
The Islanders play the Panthers tonight at 7 p.m. The game can be seen on MSG+.

Ellis Starts: Dan Ellis will start in goal tonight for the Panthers. Ellis was recalled from San Antonio after both Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya suffered injuries on Tuesday night vs. Toronto.

Clawing at the Playoffs:
The Panthers are two points behind the Boston Bruins for the second wild card playoff spot. The Panthers and Bruins meet three times before the end of the season.

Capuano: I know they’ll be a desperate team. They’ve played extremely well. They’ve made some changes and going to rally around their group right now.

Team Leaders:
Nick Bjugstad leads the Panthers in goals (22) and points (39). Jussi Jokinen leads the team in assists (29).

Huberdeau Streaking:
Jonathan Huberdeau is riding a three-game point streak (one goal, four assists).


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