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Projected Lineup: Islanders at Capitals

Projected lines, news and quotes ahead of Thursday's Islanders-Capitals game

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

The New York Islanders take on the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. Watch the game on MSG+ or MSG GO. Listen to the game on 88.7FM WRHU or 660AM, 101.9FM - WFAN. Read the game preview and the game notes.

LINEUP NOTES: 

Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Islanders on Thursday night. Halak is currently on a four-game winning streak and is 5-2-0 with a 2.66 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. 

Thomas Hickey draws back into the lineup after missing two games as a healthy scratch. 

Adam Pelech (day-to-day, undisclosed) is out for the Islanders. Head Coach Doug Weight said it's not serious and he considers the defenseman day-to-day. 

ISLANDERS PROJECTED LINES:

FORWARDS
LEFT WING CENTER  RIGHT WING
ANDERS LEE JOHN TAVARES JOSH BAILEY
ANDREW LADD MATHEW BARZAL JORDAN EBERLE
BROCK NELSON ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER JASON CHIMERA
NIKOLAY KULEMIN CASEY CIZIKAS CAL CLUTTERBUCK
DEFENSE
NICK LEDDY JOHNNY BOYCHUK
CALVIN DE HAAN DENNIS SEIDENBERG
THOMAS HICKEY RYAN PULOCK

THOMAS HICKEY RETURNS TO LINEUP: 

Hickey draws back in after missing two games as a healthy scratch and is projected to play with Ryan Pulock.

"You never want to be out, but we've been playing some good hockey, so it's a good time to get back in," Hickey said. "It's life on a team with eight good defensemen, we have a lot of respect for each other and you have to be on top of your game, we have to be winning and that's sort of the theme of it. It's healthy competition, it's good for us."

BARZAL RETURNS TO CAPITAL ONE ARENA: 

Mathew Barzal returns to the site of his NHL debut on Thursday night. Barzal played his first game in Washington last season, though it was remembered for a bizarre sequence, where the rookie was penialized for touching the puck while leaving the penalty box. 

Barzal, who has seven points (3G, 4A) in 12 games this season, has come a long way since that first night, but in true hockey fashion, his coach and teammates couldn't help but rib him on Thursday. 

"Well if nothing else, he knows the rule now," Weight joked. "He's certainly a different player. He's got a lot of confidence right now, he's controlling the play and he's working, working smart and he's bought into the way we play and meshed it into the way he plays." 

Tweet from @NYIslanders: Game day skate in Washington, D.C.! #Isles pic.twitter.com/LPgWZdzkA5

CAPTIALS PROJECTED LINES:

FORWARDS
LEFT WING CENTER  RIGHT WING
JAKUB VRANA NICKLAS BACKSTROM T.J. OSHIE
ALEX OVECHKIN EVGENY KUZNETSOV DEVANTE SMITH-PELLY
CHANDLER STEPHENSON LARS ELLER TOM WILSON
NATHAN WALKER JAY BEAGLE ALEX CHIASSON
FORWARDS
CHRISTIAN DJOOS JOHN CARLSON
BROOKS ORPIK MADISON BOWEY
DMITRY ORLOV TAYLOR CHORNEY

HOLTBY IN GOAL: 

Braden Holtby will start in goal for the Capitals on Thursday. Holtby is 12-3-3 lifetime against the Islanders with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. 

SPECIAL TEAMS: 

The Islanders power play has five goals in their last two games, a large leap from scoring two goals in the first 10 games of the season. The Capitals usually potent power play (21.5% this season) hasn't scored in four games, but that's also due to a lack of opportunities. The Capitals have only had five power plays in their last three games. 

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