Halak allowed two goals on 28 shots in the Islanders’ 5-2 win over the Lightning on Tuesday. He was given last night off, but will start tonight vs. the Penguins in the second game of a home-and-home. Halak has won five straight while allowing just seven goals on 139 shots (.950 SV%).
Johnson surrendered five goals on 28 shots in a loss to the Lightning on Saturday. Johnson is 4-2-0 with a 3.28 GAA and .878 SV% in six starts this season. He doesn’t make for an appealing spot-start tonight on the road vs. the 13-3-1 Penguins.
Halak will be between the pipes for the Islanders.
Halak stopped 35 of 38 shots in a win over the Panthers last Friday. He has now won four straight with a 1.21 GAA and .955 SV%. He has been up-and-down this year, but his recent hot-streak makes him an interesting start at home vs. the Lightning.
Boychuk (lower-body) is expected to return to the Islanders lineup on Tuesday.
Boychuk participated in the Islanders morning skate and was back skating with Nick Leddy on the Islanders second-pair. This suggests he will be back in after missing Saturday’s game and Brian Strait will come out of the lineup.
Halak stopped all 19 shots the Coyotes fired at him in the Isles’ 1-0 win on Saturday. Halak has won each of his last two starts and now sits at 5-4-0 with a 2.87 GAA and .905 SV%. It won’t always be pretty for the 29-year-old, but he is getting the job done more often than not right now. He draws a nice matchup against an Avalanche team who have dropped six of their last eight.
Grabner (hernia) skated on his own prior to Islanders’ practice on Monday.
This is the first time we have seen it reported that Grabner has skated since having surgery to remove a hernia in early October. He was originally expected to miss 4-6 weeks and this marks the four week point.
Bailey is getting close to a return to the Islanders lineup, but it will not happen on Tuesday. He skated with the team on Monday and should travel with the team and play in one or both of the Isles back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday.
Boychuk (lower-body) did not practice Monday; but might play Tuesday.
Despite missing practice on Monday, head coach Jack Capuano said Boychuk might be available for Tuesday’s clash with the Avalanche. Boychuk missed Sunday’s game with what is believed to be a knee injury. His potential availability for tomorrow is a positive sign that the injury is not serious. Consider Boychuk day-to-day.