The New York Islanders take on the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. eastern time. 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 game notes.
Thomas Greiss will start in goal, but that's all Doug Weight would confirm on Saturday morning. The Islanders' coach is waiting on the health of two of his forwards - Jordan Eberle and Cal Clutterbuck - before finalizing his lineup card.
"We have a couple of guys with bumps and bruises, but I don't suspect too many drastic changes," Weight said at the team's optional skate at SAP Center. "Clutter was a little banged up, he's trying to get back, but we want to make sure [he's 100%]. Ebs took a little bump, it's not too severe, but we have to make sure on all of these accounts. We have a lot of hockey to play and we have to make some smart decisions and I want to see how they feel first."
Eberle and Clutterbuck both skated during Saturday's optional morning skate.
"I felt good in the morning skate," Eberle said. "I'm ready to go and excited to get back."
If both forwards are healthy, Weight will have to take someone out of the lineup, but he didn't give an indication of who it might be. In the event that neither Eberle or Clutterbuck can play, the plan is to ice 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Last season Weight played defenseman Thomas Hickey as a forward against the Nashville Predators and Hickey scored the OT winner.
Weight said he did not anticipate making changes to his defense corps for Saturday.
"Everybody's healthy," Weight said of the back end. "We play tomorrow night so I'm probably going to stay with the same defense tonight."
Click here for the projected lines if Eberle is in and Clutterbuck is out (based on last game).
Click here for the projected lines if Clutterbuck is in and Eberle is out (based on Friday's practice).
Greiss Gets Start vs Fomer Team:
The Shark Tank is familiar waters for Thomas Greiss.
Greiss played 44 games for the Sharks over four seasons, serving as the primary backup in the 2009-10 season and again from 2011-13. Greiss had a 17-16-3 record with the Sharks, who drafted him in the third round (94th overall) in the 2004 NHL Draft. He's also played in the last two Islanders-Sharks games in San Jose.
"It's always nice," Greiss said of coming back to San Jose. "You see a couple of familiar faces again and off the ice, all the training staff are the still the same guys. I'm really familiar with the area. It's always nice to be back."
Dell Starting for Sharks:
Goalie Aaron Dell will make his first start of the season on Saturday against the Islanders. Dell has already made one relief appearance this season, stopping nine shots against the LA Kings on Oct. 7.
Dell was 11-6-1 with a 2.00 goals-against average, a .931 save percentage and a shutout last year in his first NHL season.
The Sharks are sticking with their same lineup from Thursday's win over Buffalo.
SHARKS PROJECTED LINES:
|LEFT WING ||CENTER ||RIGHT WING |
|KEVIN LABANC ||JOE THORNTON ||JOE PAVELSKI |
|TOMAS HERTL ||LOGAN COUTURE ||MIKKEL BOEDKER |
|TIMO MEIER ||CHRIS TIERNEY ||JOONAS DONSKOI |
|MELKER KARLSSON ||RYAN CARPENTER ||JANNIK HANSEN |
|JOAKIM RYAN ||BRENT BURNS |
|MARC-EDOUARD VLASIC ||JUSTIN BRAUN |
|BRENDEN DILLON ||TIM HEED |