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Islanders' Jaroslav Halak plays in 300th NHL game

New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak, No. 41,

New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak, No. 41, slaps aside a shot on goal by Washington Capitals right wing Joel Ward, No. 42, in front of the net during the second period of a game on Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, at Nassau Coliseum. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

EDMONTON, Alberta - Islanders coach Jack Capuano saw no reason to switch his goaltenders Sunday night, and Jaroslav Halak started for the fourth straight game.

"For me, if he's getting enough rest and he's healthy, he's good to go," Capuano said before his team's 5-2 loss to the Oilers. "He's playing real confident right now."

It was Halak's 300th NHL game, making him the 145th goaltender to reach that mark. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Halak's 165 wins in his first 300 games is third among active goaltenders, behind only Antti Niemi (172) and Ryan Miller (170).

Chad Johnson, who last played in a 3-1 loss to the Canadiens on Dec. 23, could have been considered to play against an Oilers team that had only two wins in 23 games coming in. But Capuano likely will save Johnson for the next set of back-to-back games, which come up Friday in Newark against the Devils and Saturday in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.


Grabner still idling

Capuano was succinct in describing Michael Grabner's current status. Grabner (lower body) likely is healthy enough to come off IR but remains the 13th forward in a 12-man rotation. "I'm not going to change the lineup now," Capuano said.

So Grabner, who has played only five games this season after hernia surgery, remained sidelined Sunday along with healthy scratches Eric Boulton, Brian Strait and Matt Donovan.


Draisaitl sent down

Edmonton's struggles this season have included a coaching change and the recent trade of David Perron to the Penguins for a 2015 first-round pick. Their latest move was sending 2014 No. 3 overall pick Leon Draisaitl back to junior hockey.

Draisaitl had two goals and seven assists in 37 games, but the big center wasn't going to grow with a team headed for the lottery yet again.

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