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Morning Skate Updates: 4/7/15

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

One to Clinch: The Islanders need one point – or an Ottawa Senators loss – to clinch a playoff berth.

Nielsen, Martin Out:
Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin are both recovering from minor injuries and did not make the trip to Philadelphia.

Grabner,
McDonald In: Michael Grabner and Colin McDonald draw in for Nielsen and Martin. Grabner is playing for the first time since March 14, while McDonald laces up for the first time since March 7.

Capuano:
We have some injuries like any other team. Guys are going to get an opportunity to step up and play some minutes.

Same Defense: The Islanders are going back to the same six from Saturday night.


PROJECTED LINES:
NIKOLAY KULEMIN JOHN TAVARES RYAN STROME
MICHAEL GRABNER JOSH BAILEY KYLE OKPOSO
ANDERS LEE BROCK NELSON CAL CLUTTERBUCK
ERIC BOULTON CASEY CIZIKAS COLIN MCDONALD



Where/When:
The Islanders are in Philadelphia tonight and play gets underway at 7 p.m. Tonight's game is on MSG+2. Channel Finder




Halak Starts: Jaroslav Halak will start in goal tonight for the Islanders. Halak is 3-0-0 against the Flyers this season with a 1.90 goals against average, a .912 save percentage and one shutout.

Hickey’s 200th: Thomas Hickey is playing in his 200th NHL game tonight, all with the Islanders. Hickey has 22 points (two goals, 20 assists) in 78 games this season and is one point shy of setting a new career high.

Capuano on Hickey: He’s one of those guys who uses his intelligence. He’s not the biggest guy in the world, but he plays big. When you are that size, you have to do things the right way. He has a great stick, he uses his body position a bit like Brian Rafalski did. You have to have that intelligence and with his size he does. He makes subtle little plays that are really good for our hockey team, especially breaking out of our own end. He has some offensive instinct and when you talk about toughness, you talk about a guy who takes hits to make a play and that’s Thomas Hickey.

Season Sweep:
The Islanders can sweep the Flyers in the regular season for the first time in the franchise’s history with a win tonight.

Hamonic: Travis Hamonic has assists in three straight and in four of his last five games.

Tavares: John Tavares has six points (one goal, five assists) in his last three games and is one point back of Sidney Crosby for the NHL scoring lead. He’s also just one point ahead of Philadelphia’s Jake Voracek.

Boychuk on the home stretch: You want to go into the playoffs – regardless of who you play – playing your best hockey. The last two or three games have been pretty good. Before that we were on a skid and we wanted to turn it around before it was too late. We’re heading in the right direction. These last three games are going to be critical position-wise too.

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