Isles Files

Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.

Anders Nilsson gets his first NHL start in goal vs. Crosby, Penguins

A bit of a surprise from Jack Capuano in putting Anders Nilsson, the 21-year-old rookie, in goal for his first NHL start tonight.

"Good time, good opportunity," Capuano said.

Nilsson was 5-2-0 with a 2.86 GAA in Bridgeport before his call-up on Saturday, and he played the final 40 minutes in the 6-0 loss to the Bruins, allowing three goals on 14 shots.

But with Sidney Crosby back, a raucuous building and a continental audience, Rick DiPietro might have been the safe call in goal.

Nilsson said he likes the idea of jumping in on such a momentous occasion.

"I think it's more fun," he said. "It helps me get more focused on my game with the crowd being against me. There's only positives, I think."

Nilsson, who had an option in his contract to return to Sweden after training camp but was adamant in his decision to stay and play in the AHL, said he's become more and more accustomed to the smaller ice surface and his play has improved since he came to camp.

"I feel better and better every day, every practice," he said. "Maybe it's gone a little quicker than I expected, but I try to take one step at a time and not to rush things."

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