Islanders' Brian Strait making progress

Brian Strait of the Islanders carries the puck

Brian Strait of the Islanders carries the puck against Steve Bernier of the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Coliseum. (Feb. 16, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Brian Strait took his first spin on the ice with his Islanders teammates Saturday morning since suffering a broken ankle on Feb. 18. It may not lead to Strait being ready to play right away, but he said he's progressing smoothly since he resumed skating a week ago.

"I'm pretty confident it'll be sooner rather than later," Strait said. "It's been real positive to see how the ankle's getting back into shape."

Strait, a waiver pickup from the Penguins two days before the season began, impressed the coaching staff and GM Garth Snow right away with his steadiness -- he signed a three-year extension before his Isles tenure was even two weeks old.

But the ugly injury, suffered when Strait caught a rut near center ice and went feet first into the boards near the Isles bench during a 7-0 loss to the Flyers, figured to be a tough blow to a defense that had been shaky.

Strait has been delighted to see his teammates round into form without him.

"Not only was the injury devastating, but we were faltering a bit as a team defensively when I went out," he said. "It's great to see the guys playing well and coming back to hopefully help us down the stretch."

 

Streit gets scare

Mark Streit's left eye was pretty swollen after he needed five stitches to close a cut suffered on a follow-through of a shot by the Bruins' Rich Peverley on Thursday.

"I couldn't really see right away, so it's very scary," said Streit, who got stitched up and returned to the game. He said his vision has been fine.

Streit also wears a visor, but the stick got up underneath. He played with no issues Saturday.

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