Goaltender Al Montoya gets the start tonight against Minnesota following backup Nathan Lawson's 40-save performance in Washington last night.
Fourth-line forward Micheal Haley, who took Alex Ovechkin's shot to his knee during the first period of last night's 2-1 OT loss to the Caps, will not play tonight. He is day-to-day with a knee injury.
With one brawler subtracted from the lineup, another is added.
Heavyweight enforcer Trevor Gillies returns after serving a nine-game ban for his elbow on Penguins winger Eric Tangradi February 11.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be back in the lineup tonight," said Gillies, who has been working with Islanders skills coach Bernie Cassell during his time off.
Gillies said he's looking forward to bringing the Islanders bench energy and emotion in his first game back.
"I can assure you the bench will be much louder tonight," Gillies said. "I like keeping the boys up, that's what I do. I bring the energy."
John Tavares will face former OHL linemate Cal Clutterbuck. Tavares and Clutterbuck played together for two seasons with the Oshawa Generals. Clutterbuck told me last year how much he loved playing with Tavares then and how much he loves chirping him now. Don't be surprised if Tavares' old nickname in juniors, "Eeyore" is referenced at some point tonight....
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