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Nelson in lineup for Islanders; Poulin starts

by Adam Kimelman

PHILADELPHIA -- Looking for extra size down the middle, New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano has opted to put Brock Nelson back in the lineup.

The 6-foot-3, 196-pounder has played center and the wing, but is a natural center. He was a healthy scratch for the Islanders' 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

"He's played both and obviously he's a big body," Capuano said. "He's played extremely well for us. If he continues the way that he's playing we can use him down the middle or on the wing. Down low obviously having that big body helps."

Nelson has three goals and four assists in 16 games. Two of his goals have come on the power play, and for a team that enters games Saturday 21st in the League at 17.7 percent, any extra help is important.

"Having him back, not only on the power play but probably you'll see him on the penalty kill as well," Capuano said. "He's a very intelligent player and those are the intangibles you need to play special teams."

Capuano also said he'd stick with Kevin Poulin in goal. He stopped 30 of 34 shots in the loss to the Penguins on Friday. He has a 2.92 goals-against average and .896 save percentage in 10 games but Capuano said he's been happy with his goalie's play.

"He's played really well for us," Capuano said. "He's battled and played well enough to win in Pittsburgh. And when you play in the American Hockey League you're playing three games in three, sometimes two-and-a-half days. I don't think it'll faze him."

Here are the lineups the Islanders and Flyers will go with Saturday:


Thomas Vanek - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo

Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Colin McDonald

Michael Grabner - Brock Nelson - Cal Clutterbuck

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Eric Boulton

Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic

Matt Donovan - Radek Martinek

Thomas Hickey - Matt Carkner

Kevin Poulin

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Peter Regin, Aaron Ness

Injured: Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion), Brian Strait (upper body), Evgeni Nabokov (groin)


Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn - Vincent Lecavalier - Wayne Simmonds

Steve Downie - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

Jay Rosehill - Adam Hall - Zac Rinaldo

Braydon Coburn - Kimmo Timonen

Mark Streit - Nicklas Grossmann

Luke Schenn - Erik Gustafsson

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Michael Raffl, Hal Gill, Andrej Meszaros

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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