Greiss in goal for Islanders
Will make first start in almost a month vs. Oilersby Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
NEW YORK -- It's been nearly a month since New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss has played, but he'll get the start when the Islanders host the Edmonton Oilers at Barclays Center on Sunday (2:30 p.m. ET; SNW, MSG+, NHL.TV).
Greiss, arguably the Islanders' most valuable player the first half of the season, hasn't played since Jan. 12, when he made 18 saves in a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He finds himself in a three-goalie rotation with Jaroslav Halak and Jean-Francois Berube.
"It's been a little while, but he's practiced extremely hard," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of Greiss. "He takes a lot of pride on and off the ice on how he handles himself. He's got to come up big for us here today."
The Islanders (26-18-6) have lost their past two games and have fallen into ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Despite their recent struggles, Capuano is confident things will turn around.
"I think guys look at [the standings]," Capuano said. "They know where we stand. I don't bring it up too much because I'm worried and how we're going to play against Edmonton here today against a real fast, quick team. That's all we can concentrate (on). You don't want to look too far ahead of your opponents. You can take a glance at it, and I'm sure they do, but I'm just worried about today."
Edmonton (21-27-5) is coming off a 5-1 loss at the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Former Islanders goalie Anders Nilsson is expected to get the start; he made 11 saves in relief of Cam Talbot in Montreal.
Here are the projected lineups:
Taylor Hall - Leon Draisaitl - Teddy Purcell
Benoit Pouliot -- Connor McDavid - Jordan Eberle
Lauri Korpikoski - Matt Hendricks - Iiro Pakarinen
Nail Yakupov - Mark Letestu - Zack Kassian
Andrej Sekera - Mark Fayne
Darnell Nurse - Adam Clendening
Brandon Davidson - Eric Gryba
Injured: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Andrew Ference (hip), Oscar Klefbom (lower body)
Scratched: Anton Lander, Griffin Reinhart, Justin Schultz
Mikhail Grabovski - John Tavares - Ryan Strome
Nikolay Kulemin - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
Anders Lee - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey - Brian Strait
Injured: Eric Boulton (lower body), Adam Pelech (upper body)
Scratched: Jean-Francois Berube, Steve Bernier, Marek Zidlicky
Status report: Strait will replace Zidlicky on the Islanders' third defensive pairing. Zidlicky was minus-1 in 15:34 of ice time in a 5-1 loss at the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.
Who's hot: Pouliot has a three-game point streak (two goals, three assists). … Tavares has three goals and three assists in his past five games.