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Morning Skate Updates: Game Five

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders
Grabovski Activated, Will Play: Mikhail Grabovski was activated off the team’s injured reserve Thursday morning. Head Coach Jack Capuano said Grabovski will play, but did not specify who he is replacing. Grabovski was injured on Feb. 19 and has missed the last 27 games (23 regular season, four playoff).


Capuano on what Grabovski brings: He brings speed, deception and can back off the opposition with his speed… He’s a guy that’s played in some big games before. He’ll be excited to play. Obviously when you haven’t played in a while there’s always the timing issue as we saw when Kyle came back. But he’s practiced a little longer than Kyle has and he’s battled hard for us and he’s going to get that opportunity. For me, he deserves the opportunity.

Halak Starts: Jaroslav Halak will start in goal tonight for the Islanders.

Visnovsky Out: Lubomir Visnovsky will not play tonight after leaving Tuesday’s game.


Reinhart or Pulock In: Griffin Reinhart and Ryan Pulock will both take warmups tonight in Washington. Reinhart brings size and a physical element, while Pulock scored 17 goals for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in his first AHL season. Pulock's 13 power-play goals in 54 games tied for second in the AHL.

Capuano on Reinhart: He’s played a lot of hockey games. I know the NHL is a little different. Guys will tell you it’s a little easier because of the structure of the NHL vs. the AHL. For me, he’s got size and reach if he gets in there and that’s something that we’re obviously looking for against a big team that Washington has.

Capuano on Pulock: Our power play has struggled. He’s got a bunch of power-play goals down there and the biggest thing he has is a shot from the point. That’s another thing we have to look at going forward too, because looking back on that last game, there’s no question that the outcome of that game could have changed and should have changed because of our power play.

Reinhart on potentially playing: Ever since I came up, I’ve been waiting for the opportunity. It’s unfortunate that it had to happen like this, but whether I get to play tonight or another time this series, I’m really excited and I think I’m ready for it.

Reinhart on a year in the AHL: I learned some of the positional play and played bigger guys, faster guys, but the biggest thing is the pace. It’s not something you can learn by hearing about it, it’s something you have to participate in and get used to the flow.

Pulock on a year in the AHL:
Personally I guess I improved throughout the year and I think playing there, that’s your main goal is to improve as a player and get that much closer to the NHL. What I did there this year has got me here now and prepared me for this time of year if I get my chance.
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