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Morning Skate Updates: Islanders-Rangers

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

Halak in Goal: In the biggest game of the season, Jack Capuano is going with Jaroslav Halak. 

“He’s our guy,” Capuano said. “Jaro has a 2.02 [goals-against average], that’s second in the league. We expect big things from him here tonight.”

Halak went 3-2-0 against the Rangers last season and is 6-4-2 with a 2.02 GAA and a .921 save percentage this season. Thomas Greiss started the Islanders last two games. 

Lundqvist in Goal: Henrik Lundqvist will start for the Rangers. He is 13-5-2 this season with a 2.10 GAA and a .935 SV%.

Nationally Televised: NBCSN is nationally televising Wednesday's game, as part of rivalry night. Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk have the call. 

Same Lineup: The Islanders are going with the same skaters from their last two games, both wins. 

PROJECTED LINES:
BROCK NELSON JOHN TAVARES KYLE OKPOSO
ANDERS LEE FRANS NIELSEN JOSH BAILEY
NIKOLAY KULEMIN MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI  RYAN STROME
MATT MARTIN CASEY CIZIKAS CAL CLUTTERBUCK


PROJECTED LINES:

NICK LEDDY TRAVIS HAMONIC
CALVIN DE HAAN JOHNNY BOYCHUK
THOMAS HICKEY MAREK ZIDLICKY



Cal Clutterbuck  on the Rivalry: 
There’s a lot of hatred there, a lot of anticipation there to face them,” Cal Clutterbuck told Newsday on Monday. 

Bulletin Board Material: 
“Are they still called the Islanders?” Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault quipped, referencing the Islanders move to Brooklyn. That may get the fans more excited than the players, but a little shade should add some heat to Wednesday’s contest. 

Islanders on the expected atmosphere at Barclays: 
Cal Clutterbuck: "The fans are pretty passionate either way and a lot of people take it pretty personally, which makes the rivalry that much more heated. It helps when the product on the ice is top-notch and it’s two pretty good teams."

Josh Bailey:  “A lot of cheering, a lot of booing, the odd fight in the stands, it’s a fun atmosphere to be a part of.”

Jack Capuano: “This will be the biggest atmosphere that we’ve had in this building, no question. It’s going to be loud… It’d be tough if you’re a player not to get up for this one when you get on the ice and see the atmosphere and emotion that’s running through the building."

Energy Line: Matt Martin, Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas have provided the Islanders with more than just energy of late. The line has scored in three of the Islanders past four games, helping the team to a 3-0-1 record over that stretch. 

“We’re a balanced team with four lines that can play,” Martin said. “We need to use that to our advantage, we can’t rely on John [Tavares] to be scoring all the goals – and his line. When we get depth scoring, it’s only going to improve our chances of winning hockey games and being successful.”
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