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Islanders' Donovan ready to make most of his chance

by Brian Compton

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The last thing Matt Donovan wants is to see one of his teammates get injured.

However, when New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky sustained a concussion during a 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, Donovan knew it was going to provide him with an opportunity to get back into the lineup and show what he can do.

Donovan will get that chance Tuesday when the Islanders host the Vancouver Canucks at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

"Lubo [Visnovsky] is very offensive, he runs that first power play," Donovan said. "I'm going to get my chance to show what I can do offensively. Hopefully I can play well tonight."

Islanders coach Jack Capuano said Andrew MacDonald will receive the first crack at replacing Visnovsky on the team's top power-play unit but also said Donovan is expected to get playing time during the man-advantage too. Donovan has one goal, one assist and a plus-2 rating in five games this season.

"I've always said even when you sit out a game as a young player you can learn a lot," Capuano said. "You see from up top where you sit that you get more time and space. He's a plus player for us right now. I think he moves the puck, he jumps up in the play. He knows exactly how we want him to play. When young guys come up they're going to make mistakes. We talked about that. But he's gotten better and better every day."

Donovan last played in a 3-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers at the Coliseum last Thursday. He's been a healthy scratch in three of New York's first eight games, but he believes he's approached the situation with the right attitude.

"They wanted me to sit up there and learn and think about what I've done in past games and just learn from it individually," Donovan said. "I think I've done that. I've sat out three or four games now. I've really thought about what I can improve on and what kind of decisions I can make with the puck that will help me play better."

Here are the projected lineups for Tuesday:


Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Ryan Kesler

Chris Higgins - Mike Santorelli - Jannik Hansen

David Booth - Brad Richardson - Zack Kassian

Tom Sestito - Jeremy Welsh - Dale Weise

Alexander Edler - Jason Garrison

Dan Hamhuis - Christopher Tanev

Kevin Bieksa - Ryan Stanton

Roberto Luongo

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Andrew Alberts, Yannick Weber

Injured: Alexandre Burrows (foot), Jordan Schroeder (ankle)


Matt Moulson - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo

Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Frans Nielsen - Josh Bailey

Brock Nelson - Peter Regin - Cal Clutterbuck

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Colin McDonald

Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey - Matt Carkner

Brian Strait - Matt Donovan

Evgeni Nabokov

Kevin Poulin

Scratched: Eric Boulton

Suspended: Michael Grabner

Injured: Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion)

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