Isles and Nets exchange jerseys prior to Wednesday night’s game

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

It’s no secret that the Islanders and Nets will soon become corporate cousins when the Isles move to the Barclays Center next season.

It will be a reunion of sorts since the Islanders and Nets used to both play at Nassau Coliseum before the basketball team was moved to New Jersey in 1977. Now they will be, as the Barclays Center is dubbing it, “two teams reunited in Brooklyn.”

On Wednesday night several players exchanged jerseys prior to tip-off between the Nets and Milwaukee Bucks.

Casey Cizikas, Nick Leddy, Brock Nelson, Thomas Hickey, Matt Martin, and Anders Lee made the trip to Brooklyn for the jersey exchange. Mason Plumlee, Mirza Teletovic, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jorge Gutierrez, Cory Jefferson and Markel Brown were the Nets players who took part in the ceremony.

The Nets even put together a short video that played during the pre-game ceremony.

Unfortunately for the Nets, the Islanders presence at the Barclays Center could not help propel them to a win. The Isles have won six of their last seven games and the Nets… Well the Nets have not.

Maybe the Islanders will bring their basketball brethren luck next time around.

Practice report: Capuano mixes up lines, Boychuk given a maintenance day

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Islanders’ Head Coach Jack Capuano mixed up his lines in the middle of the game Tuesday night and did so again on Wednesday at practice.

Brock Nelson and Nikolay Kulemin moved to the Islanders top line for practice. Kyle Okposo practiced alongside Frans Nielsen and Mikhail Grabovski. Michael Grabner skated with the Islanders fourth line and scratched forward Cory Conacher skated on the third line Ryan Strome, Anders Lee and Josh Bailey.

“We’re just trying to get the best chemistry lines going and make sure top to bottom we’re balanced,” Lee said about the line jumbling. “Sometimes a little change up is good and…it’s going to make things better for us.” To read more of this story, click here

Nabokov loses in return to Nassau Coliseum

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Evgeni Nabokov hadn’t touched Nassau Coliseum ice since April 5, prior to Tuesday Night.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York IslandersThat was the last time Nabokov wore an Islander sweater and guarded the net at the barn in Uniondale. Tuesday marked his return to the building he called home for three seasons.

Nabokov’s tenure on Long Island was an interesting one. At first he did not want to play for the Islanders and then eventually fell in love with the place. Nabokov ended up playing 123 regular season games with the Isles and another six games in the playoff in 2013.

His return to Nassau Coliseum did not go the way he would have liked it to go though. Nabokov surrendered five goals Tuesday night in a 5-2 Tampa Bay Lightning loss to the Islanders.

Islander fans even began sarcastically chanting “Nab-by, Nab-by” as the Islander lead swelled in the third period. To read more of this story, click here

Mid-game line changes help propel Isles to 5-2 win

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Islanders coach Jack Capuano has never been one to hesitate to change up the lines when he thinks things are not going the way they should.

On Tuesday night, that proved to be the game changer for the Islanders, as the shakeup propelled his squad to a 5-2 win over Tampa Bay. Line changes in the second period helped facilitate four more Islander goals after Cal Clutterbuck scored shorthanded 39 seconds into the second period.

The Islanders were not generating as many chances as Capuano would have liked through the first 20 minutes of Tuesday’s rematch against the Lightning, which led to his decision to shake things up in the second period. To read more of this story, click here

Game recap: Islanders 5 — Lightning 2

Result: The Islanders shut down Tampa’s league-leading offense and evened the score with the Lightning, who ended the Isles’ five-game winning streak by the identical score last Saturday.

Need to Know: The Islanders scored three goals in the second period and two in the third after Tampa took a 1-0 lead in the first period. The Isles are now 10-1 when scoring three or more goals..

Cal Clutterbuck’s shorthanded goal 39 seconds into the second period tied it. Four other Islanders scored; Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen both had two assists.

The Islanders shut out two of Tampa’s big guns: Steven Stamkos who entered the night tied for the league lead in goals (12) and former Ranger Ryan Callahan, who has been key to the Lightning’s success. Tampa is 7-0 this season when Callahan scores.

It was a tough night for former Islander Evgeni Nabokov, who had 30 saves on 35 shots for Tampa. The Isles’ Jaroslav Halak had 26 saves.

Johnny Boychuk left in the second period favoring his left leg, but returned for the third period.

Links: Box Score

What’s Next: The Isles travel to Pittsburgh Friday at 7 p.m. in the first game of a home-and-home on consecutive days.

Game day (18): Lightning at Islanders, 7 pm

Nassau Coliseum — Uniondale, NY
TV: MSG Plus Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9 FM

The Least You Should Know About the Lightning… Tampa Bay is the NHL’s top scoring team with 70 goals this season. They have also scored a combined nine goals in their last two games… The Lightning are third in the NHL in power play goals with 16… Steven Stamkos is tied for the NHL goal lead. He has 12 so far this season with Tampa Bay… The Lightning are 3-0-1 in their last four games against the Islanders.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders will look to put a 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay behind them on Tuesday night, when they complete the second half of a home-and-home with the Lightning.

Jaroslav Halak will be in net for the Islanders after getting the night off on Saturday. He made 35 saves in his previous start on Friday night against the Florida Panthers. Cal Clutterbuck will return to the lineup on Tuesday night. Cory Conacher will sit out to make room for Clutterbuck.

The Islanders defense will be the same as the previous game against the Lightning.

New York will try to avoid a repeat performance of their game in the sunshine state just three nights ago. Islander Coach Jack Capuano doesn’t foresee too much tweaking to how either team plays, but feels that the Islanders’ special teams needs to be better.

“We have to make sure we stay discipline against this hockey club,” Capuano said. “With [Steven Stamkos] and [Jason Garrison] on the backend. Callahan has net presence and [Tyler] Johnson they have some skill upfront. There are some things you pick up, but to get yourself out of those situations you want to try and stay discipline.”

The Islanders will face a familiar foe in Evgeni Nabokov on Tuesday night.  Nabokov played three seasons with the Islanders before signing with the Lightning in the offseason.

Several of the players caught up with Nabokov when the Islanders were in Tampa and are looking forward to playing against him.

“It’s exciting,” Josh Bailey said after the morning skate. “I think he’s a terrific guy, great family. I think the time he was here we all became really close with him and great veteran guy for our team for a number years. It was nice to see him there on Saturday and catch up with him, and see how everything is going. It’s funny when these things happen. It doesn’t change anything on the ice.

“I’m going to go out there — just like everyone in here — and you’re going to be trying to put as many pucks by him as you can. He’s going to be trying to stop us as much as he can.”

Islanders Point Blank Podcast: Clark Gillies calls in’s Brian Compton and Christian Arnold of Islanders Point Blank look back at Saturday night’s loss to Tampa Bay. Plus, Brian chats with Isles legend Clark Gillies about his playing days, Al Arbour, and the final year of the Coliseum.

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