The Islanders are trying to stave off elimination this afternoon, when the Capitals visit Nassau Coliseum for Game 6 of the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Head coach Jack Capuano will make a few lineup changes for the critical game. Matt Donovan will play on the team's banged up blue line, and Ryan Pulock or Scott Mayfield will also enter the lineup. Calvin de Haan, who left Thursday's game in the third period, will be scratched and Griffin Reinhart will also sit.
Donovan has been a healthy scratch for most of the season. "He's been with us all year and he's worked hard," Capuano said. "He's going to go for us, for sure, and most likely you're going to see Mayfield or Pulock on the other side."
The Islanders enter the afternoon game without de Haan, as well as Travis Hamonic and Lubomir Visnovsky. The Capitals appeared to take advantage of the dilapidated defensive unit the Islanders had in Game 5.
Capuano says the Islanders need their forwards to step up and keep the pressure off the defenseman.
"Our forwards really need to take responsibility and make sure we don't turn pucks over," he said. "Make them come 200 feet -- we have some veteran forwards in the lineup tonight -- and they need to take the game over. They have to alleviate some of the pressure on our end for our defensemen that are playing tonight."
The Nassau Coliseum crowd will certainly be emotionally charged for Game 6, not only hoping to keep the series alive, but also to keep hope their will be more hockey played in the building.