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Fourth line working well for Isles
Things haven’t been going well for the Islanders in their own end the last three weeks, but one of the bright spots head coach Jack Capuano sees is his fourth line.
More than just providing breathers for the top lines, the fourth line has found itself on the score sheet in the past handful of games.
Eric Boulton chipped in with his first goal as an Islander on Saturday against the Flyers, and Casey Cizikas has a point in five straight.
“He works and when you work, things will happen for you,” Capuano said about Cizikas. “It doesn’t matter how skilled you are – you have to be tough to play against. That’s what we were last year and that’s what we were down the stretch. You can talk about a lot of different things about why we’re in this rut but it comes down to battle level.”
McDonald scored his second goal of the season in the 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday and Martin has two assists in the last five games.
“I see Casey, and I see Matt Martin, Boulton and even Colin McDonald when that line is together – you saw it in the third period in Detroit, you see shifts where the crowd rises and gets on its feet and applauds them for keeping the puck down low and grinding it out and playing the Islanders hockey that we need to play,” Capuano said.
“Whoever is on the fourth line on a given night has to bring those energy shifts, getting in the zone and working and wearing the defense down,” he said. “It gets the crowd going but can also be a momentum swing. If things aren’t going the right way, if you get it deep and work them down low, then all of a sudden that snowballs and you get a couple of more shifts down there and it’s contagious.”