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Morning Skate Updates 4/8/14

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

The Islanders play their home finale tonight against the Ottawa Senators. The Senators are seven points out of a playoff spot with four games to go and need to run the table to have a chance at making the postseason. If the Islanders win, it’s au revoir Ottawa.

Ahead of tonight’s tilt, the Islanders and Senators held an optional morning skate at Nassau Coliseum. Here are some news, notes and quotes from today’s skates.

Lineup Notes/Changes:

Nilsson in Goal: Anders Nilsson gets back-to-back starts for the first time since getting two straight starts on March 15 and 18. Since then, head coach Jack Capuano has alternated starts between Nilsson and Evgeni Nabokov.

Home Finale: The Islanders play their final home game of the season tonight. The Islanders are 2-0-2 in their last four home finales.

Martin: It wasn’t the season we thought we were going to have, but the fans have pretty well been here all year. Even down the stretch, we’ve had some pretty good crowds at home. With all the injuries and guys out of the lineup, the fans show us how much they care and how much they support us. We’re thankful to still have them watching us.

Gallant Recalled: Brett Gallant earned his first NHL call up on Monday. Gallant, 25, leads the Sound Tigers with 245 penalty minutes, the fourth highest total in the AHL. The Summerside, PEI, native also has two points (one goal, one assist) in 56 games this season.

Gallant: I keep it simple, I play tough. I stick up for my teammates. I have to get the puck in and out at both blue lines and play hard.

Mayfield’s Home Debut: Scott Mayfield is expected to make his Coliseum debut tonight, two days after his NHL debut in Columbus.

Rookies: The Islanders are dressing 10 rookies for tonight’s game: Kevin Czuczman, Matt Donovan, Brett Gallant, Mike Halmo, Anders Lee, Scott Mayfield, Brock Nelson, Anders Nilsson, John Persson and Ryan Strome.

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