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At the Rink: Islanders at Hurricanes

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The New York Islanders activated forward Michael Grabner off injured reserve prior to their game Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes. Forward Casey Cizikas will miss the game with a lower-body injury.

The Islanders and Hurricanes each traveled to Raleigh late Monday after playing elsewhere. Neither team held a morning skate.

The Islanders blew two, two-goal leads in a 6-5 loss to the New York Rangers. John Tavares and Frans Nielsen gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead, but the Rangers battled back for their first head-to-head win in four games this season. With 77 points, the Islanders hold a two-point lead over the Rangers in the Metropolitan Division.

Carolina defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-3 on Monday. The Senators erased three one-goal deficits before Jay McClement's goal late in the second period put the Hurricanes ahead 4-3. Ottawa goaltender Robin Lehner and Clarke MacArthur were injured on the play and did not return to the game.

The Hurricanes scored twice in the third period, including Michal Jordan's first NHL goal on a cross-ice pass from Elias Lindholm to give the Hurricanes a 5-3 lead. Andrej Nestrasil had a goal and two assists.

This will be the third of four games between the teams and the first since the Islanders swept a back-to-back, home-and-home series to begin the 2014-15 season.

Here are the projected lineups:


Anders Lee - John Tavares - Josh Bailey

Mikhail Grabovski - Frans Nielsen - Ryan Strome

Nikolay Kulemin - Brock Nelson - Michael Grabner

Matt Martin - Colin McDonald - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk

Brian Strait - Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey - Calvin de Haan

Chad Johnson

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Matt Donovan, Lubomir Visnovsky

Injured: Casey Cizikas (lower body), Kyle Okposo (upper body), Eric Boulton (lower body)


Eric StaalJordan StaalJiri Tlusty

Jeff SkinnerRiley NashElias Lindholm

Nathan GerbeAndrej NestrasilChris Terry

Brad MaloneJay McClementPatrick Dwyer

Andrej SekeraJustin Faulk

Tim GleasonMichal Jordan

Ron HainseyJohn-Michael Liles

Anton Khudobin

Cam Ward

Scratched: Alexander Semin, Victor Rask, Brett Bellemore

Injured: Ryan Murphy (lower body)

Status report: Goalies Johnson and Khudobin will start for the Islanders and Hurricanes, respectively, after Halak and Ward each played Monday. ... De Haan returns to the Islanders lineup for the first time since his face was cut by a skate blade against the Boston Bruins on Feb. 7.

Who's hot: Strome has three goals in his past two games. Nielsen has two goals and two assists in the past two games. Skinner has three goals in his past three games. Lindholm has two goals and two assists in his past four games. Nestrasil has three goals and two assists in his past three games.

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