Islanders-Penguins : Game Four : Morning Skate Update

By Andy Graziano

May 5, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman

Lubomir Visnovsky

(11) takes the puck as defenseman

Brian Strait

(37) keeps Pittsburgh Penguins right wing

Beau Bennett

(19) on the boards during the second period in game three of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Middletown, N. J. – The New York Islanders took the ice this morning in preparation for game four of the Eastern conference quarter final series with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It was billed as an optional skate but you would not have known that by looking onto the ice surface, as just about the entire roster was present and getting the extra work in that is needed to ensure they head back to Pittsburgh tied in the series and not facing an elimination game.

As of this writing, the Pens have ‘dived’ into their morning skate as well and there are two noticeable attendees : defenseman Brooks Orpik and right wing James Neal. Both look to be ready to be re-inserted into the lineup by head coach Dan Bylsma this evening as the East’s #1 seed finally begin to get healthy and fully stocked.

That should be of little concern to New York however, as they only need to maintain their current level of intensity and hard nosed play, sprinkled with a little extra work on the special teams to knot this series and send the loyal crowd home this evening with a well deserved bonus.

No changes have been announced by head coach Jack Capuano, so the Isles will roll with the same lineup as game three meaning Matt Carkner is once again inserted for Thomas Hickey and Evgeni Nabokov gets the start in goal.