Nabokov hopes to return before end of season

Evgeni Nabokov of the Islanders reacts after he

Evgeni Nabokov of the Islanders reacts after he was called for a penalty against the Rangers. (March 11, 2012) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Evgeni Nabokov said he hasn't ruled out a return from the lower-body injury he suffered in the second period of Tuesday's 5-3 win over the Penguins.

"It's not only my decision, but if I can play, I will play," said Nabokov, who is believed to have a groin problem. "If I can be feeling better during this weekend, I think I can be ready."

Nabokov said he and Penguins forward Chris Kunitz got their skates tangled, causing the injury. He left Tuesday's game after two periods, with Al Montoya playing the third to preserve the win.

John Grahame passed a physical exam yesterday and joined the team for the final 10 days of the season. Grahame, 36, last played in the NHL with the Hurricanes in 2007-08, retired after the 2010-11 season and had been coaching with Sioux City of the USHL when he signed on to back up Montoya for the remaining five games after Thursday night's.

Kevin Poulin backed up Montoya Thursday night but was headed back to Bridgeport Friday morning to play in the Sound Tigers' three games this weekend.

Ullstrom sent down

David Ullstrom scored the winner in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Two days later, he was packing his gear for Bridgeport, having been sent down to make room for Grahame on the roster. He scored two goals in his last four games.

"I'm excited to be a big key for them, to play a lot of minutes and try to go on a run," he said.

 

Sid bloodied, returns

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby took Dylan Reese's clearing attempt in the face early in the second period, leaving a gush of blood on the ice. Crosby returned about 10 minutes later with stitches in his nose.

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