As expected, the Islanders will start goalie Rick DiPietro and not long-time Shark Evgeni Nabokov, who suffered a lower body injury on Thursday in Pittsburgh.
Todd McLellan was asked after the morning skate at Nassau Coliseum if he thought his club was looking forward to facing Nabokov.
I can tell you about our room and Nabby, and we have a ton of respect for him, said McLellan. This guy was a long time Shark, hes a tremendous human being and tremendous goaltender.
Would they have liked to play against him? Im sure they would have, thats in their blood. They are competitive people. Im sure Nabby would have, too. We wish him well and hes played some good games here for the Islanders. Its nice to see his NHL career back on track.
As for Greiss, he will be in net for the first time since he played in the first three games of the season while Niemi recovered from a cyst that was removed from behind his knee. Since then, Niemi has started all five games, winning his last four.
Greies has a 1-2 record, with a respectable 2.36 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.
It will be exiting for him to get back playing, said McLellan. Our team looks forward to playing in front of him.
The Sharks coach hinted at other lineup changes as well, which is no surprise after watching the third period of Friday nights 4-2 win over Detroit. In that game, McLellan benched Andrew Desjardins, Jamie McGinn and Benn Ferreiro after the second intermission.
There will be some changes. Were looking at injecting some fresh legs into the lineup and some healthy legs, said McLellan.
That likely means that Torrey Mitchell will make his return to the lineup after a three game absence due to upper body soreness. Mitchell was hurt last Friday in New Jersey.