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\u2019s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
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."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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