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Islanders alter lineup, give Poulin start in goal

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano is looking for a little more offense from his team against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. He hinted he might juggle his lines early if they do not generate some scoring chances.

In the meantime, he will make a few adjustments. Colin McDonald likely will return to the lineup to bolster the fourth line. McDonald has missed five straight games with a hip injury.

"The way he plays the game is physical," Capuano said. "It's tough to come back from that [injury] right away, so it's good that we gave him some time. But the last few days he's looked real good in practice and [is] pain-free. It will be good to get him back in there."

Defenseman Aaron Ness, who logged nine games for the Islanders last season, has been called up from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. Capuano said Ness likely will play regardless of whether Matt Donovan can play through a hip injury. Donovan sat out practice Wednesday but did take part in the optional skate Thursday morning.

Goaltender Kevin Poulin will make his fourth start of the season. Capuano said forward Michael Grabner likely will see some power-play time.

Carolina coach Kirk Muller said he expects Jeff Skinner, the Hurricanes' leading scorer, to remain out of the lineup for another two weeks with an upper-body injury. Skinner, who sought a second opinion on the injury Tuesday, already has missed five games.

The Hurricanes made a roster move Wednesday, sending rookie Elias Lindholm to their AHL affiliate in Charlotte. The No. 5 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Lindholm had one goal and one assist in 10 games with Carolina.

"He was doing pretty good," Muller said. "But this gives him a chance to hit the re-start button, go down and play a lot of minutes, get used to the style over here a little bit more and get full confidence in the things he's capable of doing. It can be a two- or three-week stint. It doesn't have to be a long one. At the right time we'll get him back up. It's just a good step for him."

In Lindholm's place, Chris Terry comes up from Charlotte. Terry made his NHL debut last season, scoring one goal in three games.

Here are the projected lineups for the Islanders and Hurricanes:


Kyle Okposo - Thomas Vanek - John Tavares

Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Pierre-Marc Bouchard

Matt Martin - Brock Nelson - Casey Cizikas

Colin McDonald - Peter Regin - Michael Grabner

Travis Hamonic - Andrew MacDonald

Matt Carkner - Thomas Hickey

Radek Martinek - Aaron Ness

Kevin Poulin

Evgeni Nabokov

Scratched: Eric Boulton, Cal Clutterbuck

Injured: Brian Strait (upper body), Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion), Matt Donovan (hip)


Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Nathan Gerbe - Jordan Staal - Tuomo Ruutu

Chris Terry - Riley Nash - Patrick Dwyer

Drayson Bowman - Manny Malhotra - Radek Dvorak

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Brett Bellemore - Ron Hainsey

Jay Harrison - Ryan Murphy

Justin Peters

Mike Murphy

Scratched: Mike Komisarek

Injured: Cam Ward (lower body), Anton Khudobin (lower body), Tim Gleason (upper body), Jeff Skinner (upper body), Kevin Westgarth (upper body)

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