The Islanders are riding a season-high, three-game win streak heading into tonight’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Isles are coming in hot, fresh off of back-to-back wins over Boston and Chicago, last year’s Stanley Cup finalists.
These two points are crucial for the Islanders, as their Metropolitan-division rivals, as the Hurricanes won the first two games of the season series, 4-3 and 1-0. The Canes are also on a bit of a streak, having won their last two games.
Ahead of tonight’s contest, the Islanders held an optional morning skate at Nassau Coliseum. Here are some news, notes and quotes from today’s skate. Lineup Notes/Changes:
If it ain't broke... Okposo:
Kyle Okposo is on an eight-game point streak (6-7-13), matching the longest streak of his career. Okposo has goals in three straight, including two game-winners (Minnesota, Chicago). Vanek:
Thomas Vanek is also producing at a torrid pace, riding a seven-game point streak (4-6-10). The Austrian needs a point tonight to tie his longest streak. Third Jersey:
The Islanders will wear their black jerseys tonight. Skinner and Staal:
The Hurricanes counter Okposo and Vanek with Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal. Skinner scored a hat trick Thursday night and has 15 goals in his last 14 games. Staal has five points in his last two games. Bailey Out:
Josh Bailey was on the ice this morning, but will not dress for tonight’s game. He is still day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Capuano
: Bailey's close. I’m sure he’d like to get in there tonight, but we’ve only had the one practice with him. He’ll continue to work on what he needs to work on and well get him back in there shortly. Donovan Up:
The Islanders recalled defenseman Matt Donovan from loan from Bridgeport Wednesday. Donovan scored three goals and 11 assists in 17 games for the Sound Tigers. de Haan:
Head coach Jack Capuano praised the play of Calvin de Haan at this morning's media scrum. Word travelled to the Isles young defenseman, who appreciated the vote of confidence from his coach.
From the Coach:
For Calvin to do what he did in the offseason to get himself prepared for training camp... it's an indication of how hard he worked. You don’t’ miss that much time and then come back, have a real good training camp with us and - when the call comes - step in and do your job. I give a ton of credit to the coaches in Bridgeport for getting him ready. de Haan:
It’s a vote of confidence and I shouldn’t change anything in my game and it feels great to hear that from Cappy. I’m feeling confident that the coaches are giving me minutes. I’m not getting any points, but I’m playing good defensive hockey. The points will come.