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According to plan, Jaroslav Halak starts in goal for Islanders

New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak looks on

New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak looks on against the Washington Capitals in the second period of an NHL hockey game at Barclays Center on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Jaroslav Halak got the start on Tuesday, which may have been a surprise to those outside the Islanders, given that Thomas Greiss had recorded consecutive wins while allowing only three total goals on 79 shots before the three-day holiday break.

But it was all according to plan.

“We just had a plan over the three games with our goalie coaches, and the fact that Jaro’s played pretty well against Washington, too,” Jack Capuano said.

Halak had a 38-save shutout of the Capitals in Washington on Dec. 1 and then was also in net for a 4-2 loss to the Caps in Barclays Center on Dec. 13.

But Capuano said there’s no plan going forward other than the hot goaltender will get the bulk of the starts. Greiss had Tuesday night off with J-F Berube backing up Halak.

“The goalies that are playing well are going to play,” Capuano said. “We had a little bit of a plan going in (to the break) with our goalie coaches. As we move forward, the guy that is playing well is going to get an opportunity to continue to play.”

Cizikas skates for first time

Casey Cizikas (upper body) missed his fifth straight game but did make some progress, skating on his own for 10-15 minutes prior to the Isles’ morning skate at Northwell Health Ice Center on Tuesday.

Cizikas was injured in a Dec. 15 loss to the Blackhawks and isn’t likely to return until after the team’s Jan. 1-5 CBA-mandated break. It’s unclear whether Cizikas will travel with the team on their two-game trip to Minnesota and Winnipeg later this week.

Adam Pelech (upper body), who has been out since Nov. 28, practiced fully on Tuesday morning and Capuano said the young defenseman will likely travel with the Isles and be ready to return should the team need a fill-in on defense. The Isles have had only six defensemen on the active roster for most of the season.

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