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3/22/14 Practice Updates

McDonald Practices on Top Line; Okposo's Status For Sunday In Question

Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 12:52 PM ET / News
By Greg Picker
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3\/22\/14 Practice Updates
The New York Islanders held practice Saturday afternoon at Islanders Iceworks in Syosset on the final day of preparation prior to Sunday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sunday marks the final game of a four-game homestand, in which the Isles are currently 1-2-0. It's the first meeting at the Coliseum between the two new Metro Divison rivals since the Isles’ home opener on October 5.

Forward Kyle Okposo, who suffered a lower-body injury, earlier in the week did not practice today. Head coach Jack Capuano noted that Okposo still could be in the lineup Sunday afternoon at Nassau Coliseum.

“There's a chance that he could play,” Capuano told the media Saturday. “But we're obviously never going to put a player in the lineup if he's not capable of helping the team or put him in a position to hurt himself.”

Click here to watch Capuano's full interview.

With Okposo temporarily sidelined, Colin McDonald filled the void by donning a white first-line practice jersey. The second-year Islander skated along the right side of center Frans Nielsen and left wing Anders Lee.

With McDonald bumping up from the third line, rookie Johan Sundstrom slotted next to Ryan Strome and Matt Martin in an orange sweater. As a result, defenseman Radek Martinek wore the fourth-line jersey at Saturday’s skate.

Saturday’s Forward Lines:

Anders Lee - Brock Nielsen - Colin McDonald
Josh Bailey - Brock Nelson - Cal Clutterbuck
Matt Martin - Ryan Strome - Johan Sundstrom
Mike Halmo - Casey Cizikas - Radek Martinek

With nine rookies on the roster, each young player is well aware of the opportunity they have to prove themselves ready for the NHL. Anders Lee explained to reporters how he's approaching each game as a step towards proving he deserves a full-time spot in the NHL.

"You have to go out there every night and prove yourself," Lee said following practice. "As a young player coming up, I have to do that every night and take advantage of the opportunity."

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 7 6 5 2 11
K. Okposo 7 1 6 2 7
F. Nielsen 7 3 2 1 5
B. Nelson 7 1 4 -3 5
R. Strome 5 1 3 4 4
A. Quine 7 1 3 2 4
S. Prince 7 3 0 3 3
R. Pulock 4 1 2 -3 3
T. Hickey 7 1 2 -1 3
N. Leddy 7 0 3 3 3
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Greiss 5 2 0 .941 1.94
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