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Nabokov in goal, Ness to make NHL debut vs. Flyers

Evgeni Nabokov goes back in goal for the Islanders tonight in Philadelphia, opposed by Ilya Bryzgalov for the Flyers.

Aaron Ness gets to jump right into the NHL fire tonight. Jack Capuano said Ness will pair with Mark Eaton to start the game, and Dylan Reese will play with Andrew MacDonald.

Without Hamonic and Milan Jurcina (lacerated elbow), the Isles are missing their two most physical defensemen against a Flyer team that never shies away from contact, especially among its forwards.

"We just have to play to our strengths," MacDonald said, referring to Ness and Reese being better puck-movers than bangers. "We do have to step it up on the physical side with Hammer out. That's on all of us."

The forward lines remain the same for the Isles, so Brian Rolston will be a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game.

New York Sports