COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Kevin Poulin played well enough in Raleigh on Tuesday to earn the start Saturday night, but there was the small matter of the second half of this weekend's back-to-back in Montreal Sunday night.
Montreal also happens to be Poulin's hometown, and a place he has yet to play in his career. So without actually saying anything regarding Sunday night's lineup, given that Saturday night's game had yet to be played, Islanders coach Jack Capuano all but said that Poulin will get the call against the Canadiens.
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"You guys make some good points there," Capuano joked after reporters asked about Poulin's recent two-game run of solid play, plus the excitement he would feel playing in Montreal.
Poulin has allowed one goal in each of his last two starts, though one of them was Thursday night's 1-0 loss to the Hurricanes in Raleigh.
Capuano liked what he saw from call-up Aaron Ness against the Hurricanes. The young defenseman played 13:29 against them and fit in well with the Isles' quick puck-moving style. Matt Carkner replaced Radek Martinek in the lineup Saturday night, leaving Ness in.
"It's just his mobility -- he can skate and move the puck, and this is the new NHL," Capuano said. "When you trust your feet as a defenseman, it's a good quality to have."
Cal Clutterbuck (upper body) missed a second straight game and Brock Nelson was a healthy scratch, with Eric Boulton going in for his third game of the season.
When Thomas Vanek went out so quickly in the game, Boulton was pressed into more service than he might have expected. He played a total of 10:22 in his first two games.