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Islanders get ‘spark’ from separating Moulson, Tavares

May 4, 2013, 3:31 PM EDT

John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders celebrates his first-period goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with teammate Matt Moulson #26 on January 24, 2012 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Getty Images

Matt Moulson and John Tavares have become a very familiar duo for the New York Islanders, but they weren’t skating together on the top line Friday night.

After the Islanders humbling 5-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of their first-round series, coach Jack Capuano decided to make a change by putting Moulson with Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen. Tavares centered Josh Bailey and Brad Boyes.

“It’s good to switch it up,” Moulson said, according to Newsday. “We needed a little spark.”

The Islanders’ top two scorers stayed together on the top power-play unit, which led to Tavares assisting on Moulson’s first period goal. Beyond that, Moulson got an assist on Kyle Okposo’s game winner.

Given that New York managed to even the series, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the longtime linemates separated for a second straight game.

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