The Islanders are back in New York their next four games, kicking off the local stretch tonight against the Montreal Canadiens. Ryan Strome is set to make his NHL debut, as he looks to help the Isles avenge a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Canadiens on Nov. 10 in Montreal. Canada will be watching as tonight’s game is broadcast on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, coast-to-coast in the Great White North.
Ahead of tonight’s contest, the Islanders took the ice at the Coliseum for their morning skate. Here are some news, notes and quotes from today’s skate.
When In Strome:
Ryan Strome, the Islanders fifth-overall pick in 2011, makes his NHL debut tonight. Strome was called up by the team on Wednesday after leading the American Hockey League in scoring, as a rookie, with 33 points (9g/24a) in 23 games. The Mississauga, Ont., native said he’s been dreaming about this day for a long time and his mom, dad and one of his brothers are in attendance tonight to commemorate the occasion. Head Coach Jack Capuano said Strome will play center and get some power play time.
"I feel like the carrot’s been dangling in front of me for a little while now, especially this last week. I’m eager to get out here and get to puck drop."
Jack Capuano did not reveal his line combinations for tonight’s game. Casey Cizikas (jaw) is out of the lineup.
Evgeni Nabokov makes his first start since Nov. 16, when he injured his groin against the Detroit Red Wings. Nabby is 5-5-3 this season.
From the Coach:
[Strome’s] earned this opportunities, he’s here to help us win. He’s going to make some mistakes, but it’s [about] the shift after. We want him to go out and not change too much about his game. We’ll continue to teach our young guys how to play away from the puck, and how they need to play, but he’s got some great offensive instincts.
Calvin de Haan looks on during the Islanders morning skate.
Andrew MacDonald and Evgeni Nabokov prepare for a drill.
John Tavares talks with former Islander Garry Galley of Hockey Night in Canada after the morning skate.