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Morning Skate Updates - Islanders at Red Wings

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders
The Islanders are in Detroit for the first time since a 4-3 overtime win on New Year’s Eve 2011 and have won three straight at Joe Louis Arena. The Islanders look to extend their Motor City magic against a banged-up Red Wings squad, who are missing some key starters, but have won two straight.

Ahead of tonight’s game, the Islanders took morning skate at Joe Louis Arena. Here are some news, notes and quotes from today’s skate.

Lineup Notes/Changes: Colin McDonald draws back into the lineup, replacing Eric Boulton on the fourth line. Aaron Ness is back on the blueline, while Matt Carkner comes out of the lineup.

Nabokov:  Evgeni Nabokov makes his fifth straight start for the Islanders tonight.     

Homecoming for Martin:
Monday’s game is a pseudo-homecoming for Matt Martin, who was born just across the Detroit river in Windsor, Ont. Martin has 12 family and friends making the trip to Detroit to watch him play. Originally a Red Wings household, the Martins have traded in their red and white for blue and orange.

Martin:  I’ve only played here once before. I have a lot of family and friends coming to the game tonight. This is the team we grew up watching, but no one in my family is a Red Wings fan anymore.  It’s always fun to be here, but it’ll be even more fun with the two points.

Injured Wings: Henrik Zetterberg, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Stephen Weiss, Darren Helm and Justin Abedelkader are all listed on the Red Wings IR. Gustav Nyquist is reportedly returning for the Red Wings tonight.

They Said It: It’s good to have Colin back. He’s an energy guy, we played all last season together, so me him and Casey know each other pretty well. Hopefully tonight we can provide some energy and momentum for the team. 
– Matt Martin on the return of Colin McDonald

From the Coach: The main thing was faceoffs and our intensity level and making sure that we won the line of scrimmage. It’s a battle, and we haven’t done that in a long time and it costs us the hockey game. You have to make sure that on those 50/50 pucks you are tying guys up. That was crucial.

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