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Tavares (lower body) out vs. New Jersey tonight

Anaheim Ducks v New York Islanders

during the first period of an NHL hockey game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on December 21, 2013 in Uniondale, New York.

Paul Bereswill

The New York Islanders will be without their captain against the New Jersey Devils tonight.

Isles coach Jack Capuano said John Tavares will miss tonight’s game with a lower-body injury and Brock Nelson will take his spot centering the top line.

This season, the Isles have struggled terribly and are tied with the Edmonton Oilers for second-fewest points in the league ahead of only the Buffalo Sabres. Tavares has 13 goals and 39 points, good for a tie with Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz for 10th in the league.

According to Islanders Point Blank, Tavares had played in 246 consecutive games, good for fifth-best all-time in team history.

For what it’s worth, Nelson has three goals and nine points this season. The 2010 first-round pick will be getting a big chance to show what he’s got playing on a line (likely) with Thomas Vanek and Kyle Okposo.

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