Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.
Nabokov in net, same lineup vs. Canes
No changes for Jack Capuano's team tonight here in Raleigh. Evgeni Nabokov makes his sixth consecutive start, with Anders Nilsson backing up, and Mike Mottau is the lone healthy scratch.
Jay Pandolfo (broken foot) said he's ready to come off injured reserve, but he'll sit out again tonight.
"We've won two in a row, so it's a matter of getting healthy and staying ready," Pandolfo said.
Pandolfo was a key cog in the Isles' penalty killing unit from the start of the season, but the team has actually improved on the PK over the last few games. They have killed off 13 of 14 power plays over the last seven; a good stretch, but pretty remarkable that they've taken only 14 minors to put them a man down in that long a run.
"The coaches give us some leeway to be aggressive, and we have been," said Josh Bailey, who has formed a very good PK forward unit with Matt Martin of late. The Frans Nielsen-Michael Grabner tandem has been better as well, and Marty Reasoner has had some good faceoff wins.
The Isles were shorthanded four times against the Oilers on Saturday, and Edmonton had the No. 3 power play in the league coming into that game. Nielsen and Grabner both had shorthanded breakaways and the PK was superb.
"Nabby has been big for us there, and I think we were really aggressive right when they got into our zone and we didn't give them a chance to set up," Nielsen said. "We've started aggressive and stayed aggressive the last few games."