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Poulin, Koskinen and some more pre-game notes

Islanders goaltender Kevin Poulin makes a save against

Islanders goaltender Kevin Poulin makes a save against Atlanta. (Feb. 1, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

 With Rick DiPietro and Nathan Lawson out,  Kevin Poulin will presumably handle the bulk of the goaltending duties the rest of the way.

The 20-year-old rookie said he's up to the task.

"I'm confident. I had two good games the last two I played. I'm just looking forward to keeping that momentum and playing the rest of the month," he said. "I've played [nine]games  so far and I think I did a good job, so I hope to just keep going like that."

Poulin has a 3-2-1 record in nine games this season, with a 2.36 goals against average and a .929 save percentage. He has given up only one goal in each of the previous two starts.

***

6-foot-6 Finnish goaltender Mikko Koskinen was called up this morning from Bridgeport to back up Poulin, although that appears to be a short-term fix. Jack Capuano said he thinks Nathan Lawson (MCL strain, left knee) is only a week away from returning.

Koskinen, 22,  has struggled this year in Bridgeport--5-15-0 record, 3.64 GAA and .882 save percentage--which both he and Capuano addressed.

"I haven't seen Mikko in a while," Capuano said. "He's had some ups and downs because he's had some injuries this year."

Said Koskinen: "I started the season pretty well, then I struggled for awhile, but lately I've been playing better."

Having seen his other two fellow Sound Tigers goalies get a shot in the NHL, Koskinen is anxious for his own chance.

"I'm so excited and happy about this opportunity. This is what I've been waiting for since the Islanders signed me."

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Capuano said the Islanders will dress seven defensemen for pre-game warmups and decide from there who plays. Milan Jurcina may return to the lineup after missing eight games with an upper-body injury, Ty Wishart may make his Islanders debut, or fans may see both tonight vs. Ottawa.

***

Joel Martin, who the Islanders signed to a two-way NHL contract yesterday, will start tonight for Bridgeport in goal. The organization will likely sign another goaltender from the ECHL today to a PTO to fulfill the backup role.

 

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