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Islanders likely to make lineup changes for Game 5

by Brian Compton

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- After watching the power play fail to convert three times in the second period Tuesday, New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano said to expect changes to the lineup in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Washington Capitals on Thursday.

The Capitals took three minor penalties before the midway point of the second period, but New York came up empty and lost 2-1 at Nassau Coliseum when Nicklas Backstrom scored at 11:09 of overtime.

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 and shifts to Verizon Center on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, MSG+, CSN-DC).

"I think guys know [it's] probably time for a change," Capuano said. "Maybe guys are squeezing their sticks a little bit. You can see the energy and the confidence and the swagger that those guys play with, and we need to get more.

"Our guys are giving it everything they have, but at the end of the day your best players have got to be your best players. They have been all season long, but for whatever reason right now, offensively we've got to get a little bit more."

The Islanders appeared to have the momentum after Casey Cizikas tied the game 1-1 with 12.6 seconds left in the first period. Capitals forward Tom Wilson took two penalties in a span of 2:22 early in the second before defenseman Mike Green went off for delay of game at 8:44.

But the Islanders often tried to look for the perfect play instead of putting pucks toward the net and failed to take the lead.

"You get a power play, you want to score," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "We had some shots, had some looks. Obviously, we've got to find a way to get one."

The Islanders could be without defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky for Game 5 after he took a hit from Wilson 5:54 into the second period. If Visnovsky is unable to play, Griffin Reinhart, Matt Donovan and Ryan Pulock are candidates to replace him.

After watching Cizikas, Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck make up Capuano's best line Tuesday, the coach said to expect a different look Thursday.

"We've got [Mikhail] Grabovski that's getting close, [Michael] Grabner, we've got Colin McDonald, we've got Donovan, we've got Reinhart who has some size on the back end, so there's going to be some decisions that we'll sit with management and our coaches and figure out what we want to do for Game 5," Capuano said.


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