Jack Capuano hit in face with puck, needs five stitches

Jack Capuano leaves the bench after getting hit

Jack Capuano leaves the bench after getting hit with a puck during the third period of a game against the New Jersey Devils. (Jan. 31, 2013) (Credit: AP)

NEWARK -- Jack Capuano has had the roughest start to the 2013 season of any Islander. He missed the opener because of kidney-stone surgery. Then he missed the end of the third period and overtime Thursday night after taking a puck to the face on the bench.

"Been a tough week," said Capuano, who had further surgery Wednesday to remove a stent implanted after his first surgery 11 days earlier. He needed five stitches Thursday night after Casey Cizikas' clearing attempt hit him above the left eye.

Barely 15 seconds later, the Devils tied it. "I was just getting in here,'' he said, "and the first thing I heard was the horn [for the Devils' goal]."

 

Strait locked upBrian Strait has been an Islander for only two weeks, but Garth Snow saw enough to sign him to a three-year, $2.325-million contract.

Strait, 25, was claimed off waivers from the Penguins on Jan. 18 and jumped right into the lineup against the Devils a night later on the second defense pair, alongside captain Mark Streit. He is a plus-1 in seven games and is averaging 18:39 of ice time.

"Brian is a player we've had our eye on for a few years," Snow said. "We're extremely pleased to have signed him to this deal."

 

Bailey back with matesForward Josh Bailey had his first spin on the ice with his Islanders teammates yesterday morning here after a week of solo work with team skills coach Bernie Cassell while the Isles were away.

"It just felt good to ride the bus with the boys last night and feel like I'm a part of the team," Bailey said. "It's nice to make some passes and take shots on our goalies."

Bailey is a little more than three weeks removed from surgery for a knee injury suffered while he played in Germany during the lockout. Given the timing and that he hasn't played hockey of any kind in nearly two months, he'll need a few practices to get his conditioning in line, so the Islanders are targeting a return for Thursday against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden at the earliest.

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