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Morning Skate Updates 3/14/14

News, notes and quotes from the Islanders morning skate at Nassau Coliseum.

Friday, 03.14.2014 / 12:30 PM / News
By Cory Wright
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Morning Skate Updates 3\/14\/14
News, notes and quotes from the Islanders morning skate at Nassau Coliseum.

Following a three-day break, the Islanders return to action tonight against the San Jose Sharks.

The Islanders swam away from hostile waters with two points when the teams met in December at the Shark Tank (SAP Center) in San Jose. Trailing 2-0 after 40 minutes, the Islanders rallied for two third-period goals en route to a 3-2 shootout win.

The Islanders enter this game on the heels of a dramatic comeback win against the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, as the Isles scored seven third-period goals to erase a 3-0 deficit. The Sharks – winners of four straight – are coming off of a 4-3 shootout win over the Columbus Blue Jackets last night.

Ahead of tonight’s game, both teams held an optional morning skate at Nassau Coliseum. Here are some news, notes and quotes from today’s skate.


Calvin de Haan shoots the puck at the Islanders morning skate.

Lineup Notes/Changes

Nabokov vs. Sharks: Evgeni Nabokov makes his first start against this former team tonight. Nabokov played his first 10 seasons with the Sharks, winning 293 games for the franchise. Nabokov did not play in the teams’ first meeting this season at SAP Center in December, but the former-Shark was honored at the game.

Joe Pavelski on Nabokov: He means a lot to the [Sharks] organization. I liked him as a goalie, I liked him as a guy. I’m excited to have a chance to finally play against him.

He means a lot to the guys in the room and the organization. He was great when he was there and he’s been really good for this organization coming in and stabilizing that position. At times it wasn’t always consistent, but as the team got better I think he was a factor.


Matt Donovan looks on at the Islanders morning skate.

Sundstrom Debuts: Johan Sundstrom will make his NHL debut tonight. The Islanders second-round pick in 2011 has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 38 games this season for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He will play on a line with Casey Cizikas and fellow call-up Mike Halmo.

Sundstrom: I am very excited. This is why you work so hard every day. Now I have an opportunity here, so I am happy to be here and I’ll hopefully I get some points.

I try to be a solid two-way player. I like to be physical and shoot the puck and skate a lot.


Johan Sundstrom shoots the puck at the Islanders morning skate.

Homestand: The Islanders kick off a four-game homestand tonight against the Sharks. They host the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night, the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday afternoon.

Rookies Galore: The Islanders currently have nine rookies on their roster: Kevin Czuvzman, Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan, Mike Halmo, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Anders Nilsson, Ryan Strome and Johan Sundstrom. Seven of the nine rookies are expected to play, as Czuczman is a healthy scratch and Nilsson will back up Nabokov.


The Sharks held an optional skate at Nassau Coliseum.

Swimming with Sharks: The Sharks are 43-17-7 overall, 19-6-3 against the Eastern Conference, 8-3-2 against the Metropolitan Division, 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and 4-0-0 in their last four.

Average Joe’s: The Sharks are led by Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton, who are first and second in team scoring. “Little Joe” [Pavelski} leads the team in goals (34) and points (66), while Thornton is second in the NHL with 55 assists.

Deep Waters: The Sharks are one of the deepest offensive teams in the NHL with 11 players registering at least 20 points. Patrick Marleau (28-31-59) is a top-25 scorer in the NHL, Logan Couture has 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) in 51 games and defenseman-turned-forward Brent Burns has 18 goals this season.

Fast Starts: The Sharks are fast starters and lead the NHL with 67 first-period goals. The Sharks have scored 10 times in the opening two minutes this season.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 64 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 64 14 27 22 41
B. Nelson 64 17 19 7 36
F. Nielsen 64 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 58 20 13 13 33
J. Bailey 52 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 54 7 23 16 30
N. Leddy 64 8 18 15 26
T. Hamonic 54 4 21 15 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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