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Capuano shuffles lines, Nino sits vs. Caps
With the trade deadline past and with his team scoring only 19 goals in its last 11 games (5-6-0 in that span), Jack Capuano made a few tweaks to his forward lines. Here's how they'll begin tonight's game with the Caps in D.C.:
Nino Niederreiter will be a healthy scratch, continuing his rookie education in what's been a struggle of a first season -- he has no points in his last 33 games.
"It's not that Nino has played bad hockey at all," Capuano said. "It's not a knock on his game."
The top line has produced nine of those 19 goals, and all five in the last two games, so that group stays intact. Moving Bailey to the wing, Capuano hopes to get Bailey's offense going; keeping Grabner (1 goal in 17 games) and Okposo (1 in 13) together seemed more of an afterthought, as Capuano said he wanted to put Martin back on the fourth line, where he began this season.
Grabner has had too many valleys after a season of peaks, and Capuano wants to see Grabner get back to the slot and hunt around for goals instead of relying on his speed off the rush alone.
"I have to go back to doing things right," Grabner said.
Evgeni Nabokov makes the start in goal. The Islanders are seven points behind the ninth-place Caps.