Nilsson showing promise

New York Islanders goalie Anders Nilsson adjusts his

New York Islanders goalie Anders Nilsson adjusts his mask during the second period. (Nov. 21, 2011) (Credit: AP)

PHILADELPHIA -- Anders Nilsson didn't get a chance to start Thursday night's game after being called up to replace Al Montoya, who went back to Long Island with an upper-body injury on Wednesday.

But Nilsson's last two months in Bridgeport have been awfully impressive, and he certainly could get a shot to play one of the weekend games coming up: either Saturday in Boston or Sunday against the Devils at home.

Nilsson, 21, was named the AHL's goaltender of the month for February. He has a 10-0-1 record with only 16 goals allowed in his 11 starts since the beginning of January for the Sound Tigers.

"I feel like a different goaltender than when I first got here [in July for the rookie minicamp]," Nilsson said. "That was like a lifetime ago.''

Kevin Poulin had been getting the regular recalls when the Islanders needed an extra goaltender the last two months, which allowed Nilsson to get a steady diet of games.

His only start for the Islanders this season was on Nov. 21, noteworthy because it was the first game of Sidney Crosby's brief return to action for the Penguins. Crosby had four points in a 5-0 Islanders loss.

Nino sits againRookie Nino Niederreiter was a healthy scratch for a second straight game. "Of course I'm happy and proud to be an Islander all year," Niederreiter said, "but I'm [upset] that I can't play."

Jack Capuano said the coaching staff and the organization still have immense faith in the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft. "He's a coachable kid and he understands," Capuano said. "It's good he's not happy about not playing." . . . Dylan Reese (sprained knee) was activated off injured reserve but was scratched.

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