DENVER - Before adding two goals to help the Islanders toward a 4-3 win over Colorado at Pepsi Center Saturday, call-up Jeremy Colliton reflected on the transformation he has undergone since his last game for the Islanders over two years ago.
"It's just not being nervous anymore," the 25-year-old center said of his current tour with the Islanders.
After several seasons bouncing between the Islanders and the team's minor-league affiliate in Bridgeport, Colliton went overseas last year to spend a season playing in the Swedish Elite League. He has since tallied eight goals and chipped in eight assists in 32 games for the Sound Tigers this season.
That season helped Colliton re-energize his game and build some confidence, all of which showed in yesterday's standout performance.
"We're not going to call guys up that we don't have a strong belief in," said coach Jack Capuano, who used Colliton on the power-play and penalty-killing units. "Even besides the goals, he was good defensively and from the faceoff circle as well."
Colliton hopes all those factors bode well for him because he wants this stint with the Islanders to be more permanent.
"I just want to stay," he said.
Frans Nielsen, who suffered a groin strain Monday, missed his second straight game yesterday although Capuano said he is "pretty close" to returning and may be available tonight against the Blackhawks . . . During their penalty-killing streak, the Isles have killed 13 straight during that stretch . . . The Islanders had no update on injured goaltender Rick DiPietro, who flew back to New York Friday to undergo an evaluation on his groin strain suffered in Monday's win over Calgary.