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New York Islanders

Islanders Calling On Simon Holmstrom For Game 5 Against Hurricanes



AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Per New York Islanders head coach Patrick Roy, Simon Holmstrom will play in place of Matt Martin during tonight’s do-or-die Game 5 against the Carolina Hurricanes, according to multiple reports.

“I just want him to be good in his 1-on-1 battles, awareness with the puck, make good decisions but basically play a simple game,” Roy said of Holmstrom to reporters in Raleigh on Tuesday. “And when he has to be physical, then be physical.”

Tonight’s game will be Holmstrom’s first since Game 2 of the series on April 22, when he logged 12:34 of time on ice without a shot on goal. Holmstrom set a career-high in points during the regular season, scoring 25 points with 15 goals in 75 games.

Martin will miss his second straight game for the Islanders and remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per Roy. Rookie forward Ruslan Iskhakov made his playoff debut this past Saturday when he took Martin’s spot in the lineup during Game 4 of the series.

Mathew Barzal’s double-overtime goal in Game 4 helped the Islanders avoid elimination with a 3-2 win and force Game 5 tonight in Raleigh.

Semyon Varlamov is confirmed to be the starter in goal for the Islanders. The veteran has started all but one game in this series and has posted a 2.08 goals against average with a .930 save percentage. Frederik Andersen is expected to start in net for the Hurricanes.

Puck drop for Game 5 between the Islanders and Hurricanes is scheduled for just past 7:30 p.m. EST at PNC Arena. Should the Islanders win tonight, Game 6 will be played back on Long Island on Thursday at UBS Arena. If not, it’ll spell the end of the season for the Islanders.