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Morning Skate Updates: Islanders vs Panthers

Projected lines, news and quotes ahead of Tuesday's Islanders-Panthers game

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

The New York Islanders take on the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Buy tickets here. Watch the game on MSG+. Stream it on MSG GO. Listen live on 88.7FM, 103.9FM, AM970. Read the game preview.

LINEUP NOTES: 

Jaroslav Halak will start in goal, Casey Cizikas is in for the first time since Jan. 13. Ross Johnston is out. Same defense from last Thursday in Vegas. 

CIZIKAS RETURNS: 

The Islanders are getting a jolt of energy to their lineup on Tuesday night, as Casey Cizikas was activated off IR and will play against the Panthers after missing six games with an upper-body injury.

Cizikas has been sidelined since Jan. 13, though he's been skating with the team since Jan. 19. He was revved up in the locker room and said he was eager to get back out with the team, but said he was glad he took the extra few days over the all-star break to heal up.

"We had some good skates on the road trip and I felt good. The legs felt good, the body felt good, but it was just a matter of making sure I wasn't rushing coming back," Cizikas said. "I've done that before and it bit me in the bum a little bit. I was just making sure everything was 100 percent." 

Tweet from @NYIslanders: "We had some good skates on the road trip and I felt good. It was just a matter of making sure I wasn't rushing coming back." @zeeker11 is back in the lineup tonight! #Isles #FLAvsNYI pic.twitter.com/Tmjgo2xHSW

Weight said Cizikas will play on the wing with Brock Nelson and either Tanner Fritz or Alan Quine - though the coach said he's leaning towards Quine - for his first game back. In Cizikas, Weight is getting back one of his top penalty killers and a player with a go-go-go mentality. 

"He has a big engine, brings a lot of energy and is a heck of a hockey player," Weight said. "He plays in a lot of different areas and certainly the reliability and the responsibility he has defensively, forechecking."

Cizikas said he hasn't played wing in a while - estimating as far back as his first year playing with Marty Reasoner - but he's up for the challenge. 

"I'll definitely have to make sure I don't get caught going down low just out of habit," Cizikas said. "I have to trust whoever's out there and do my job and get in shooting lanes and make sure my D-man isn't going to beat me up the ice. I just have to make sure I win all my battles."

Video: Morning Skate Update: Isles vs Panthers 01/30

ISLANDERS PROJECTED LINES:
FORWARDS
LEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WING
ANDERS LEE JOHN TAVARES JOSH BAILEY
ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER MATHEW BARZAL JORDAN EBERLE
CASEY CIZIKAS BROCK NELSON ALAN QUINE
JASON CHIMERA TANNER FRITZ CAL CLUTTERBUCK
DEFENSE
NICK LEDDY SCOTT MAYFIELD
ADAM PELECH SEBASTIAN AHO
THOMAS HICKEY RYAN PULOCK

 

CAPUANO RETURNS TO BARCLAYS CENTER: 

Jack Capuano is returning to a familiar building, but an unfamiliar bench on Tuesday night, as the former Islanders bench boss returns as an Associate Coach with the Florida Panthers. 

Capuano is the second all-time among Islanders coaches in games (483) and wins (227), posting a 227-192-64 record from 2010-17. The Islanders already saw Capuano earlier this season in Sunrise, but it'll be good to see him again in New York. 

"He mentored me a lot. He did a lot of great things for me and was a big part of me being here," Ciziksa said. "It'll be weird at the start, but I'll definitely go say hi after the game."

Tweet from @NYIslanders: Getting back to the morning routine. #Isles pic.twitter.com/ORl4r5RZHd

Weight said he learned a lot from Capuano during Weight's time as an assistant coach, watching the way Capuano conducted video sessions and ran practices.

"I used to pick on him all the time, he'd say 'I'll let the video play and I won't stop it, you guys watch it,' but he ends up stopping it 15 times. Some things he says and I do the same darn things," Weight said. "It's like driving in the car with your dad and he's yelling at you to turn the music down, we say we'd never do it and now we're doing it. It's funny. It's a different seat and I almost learned more about Cappy after he's gone."

SATERI STARTS FOR PANTHERS: 

With Roberto Luongo and James Reimer both out with injuries, the Panthers have turned to first-year Harri Sateri in goal on Tuesday night. Sateri has four games of NHL experience under his belt and is still looking for his first career win (0-3-0). 

The 28-year-old was originally a 2008 fourth-round pick by San Jose. He will be backed up by Samuel Montembeault. 

PANTHERS PROJECTED LINES:
FORWARDS
LEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WING
EVGENY DADONOV ALEKSANDER BARKOV NICK BJUGSTAD
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU VINCENT TROCHECK DENIS MALGIN
CONNOR BRICKLEY JARED MCCANN RADIM VRBATA
MICHAEL HALEY DEREK MACKENZIE COLTON SCEVIOUR
DEFENSE
AARON EKBLAD KEITH YANDLE
MICHAEL MATHESON MARK PYSYK
MACKENZIE WEEGAR ALEX PETROVIC
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