Brian Strait breaks ankle, could be done for season

Brian Strait lays on the ice after falling

Brian Strait lays on the ice after falling into the boards during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Nassau Coliseum. (Feb. 18, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Brian Strait's season could be over after he suffered what was diagnosed as a broken left ankle Monday.

He hobbled out of Nassau Coliseum on crutches after suffering the first big injury to an Islander this season. Strait caught a rut in the ice in the second period and stumbled, feet first, into the side boards.

"He's going to be out a while," Jack Capuano said of Strait, who has been the steadiest Islanders defenseman this season with four assists and a plus-3 rating.

Strait was claimed off waivers from the Penguins on Jan. 18, then showed enough to be given a three-year, $2.325-million extension Jan. 31.

The Islanders activated Radek Martinek (groin) off injured reserve and will bring Matt Carkner (lower body) along on their three-game road trip. Defenseman Thomas Hickey, a healthy scratch the last three games, is expected to play Tuesday night in Ottawa.

DiPietro likely tonight

When Evgeni Nabokov led the Islanders onto the ice for the start of the third period Monday despite a 4-0 deficit, it seemed certain that Capuano would give Rick DiPietro the start in goal Tuesday night in Ottawa.

Nabokov could have used a break but said he'll be ready to play again Tuesday if needed. "It's the coach's call, it's not my call," he said. "It doesn't matter what's going on, you got to play. And if they want me [Tuesday night], I'm always ready."

DiPietro allowed five goals to the Hurricanes in a 6-4 loss a week ago. He's 0-2-0 this season.

Power failure

The Islanders' feast-or-famine power play, which was 7-for-12 in the previous three games, was 0-for-5, including an awful two-minute, two-man advantage in the first period. The Islanders had one shot on goal during that stretch. "It just kind of went along with the rest of our game today," John Tavares said. "We have to be better in that area, and even if we don't score, we have to generate some momentum and sustain some pressure and wear them down, but nothing really positive happened."

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