Lubomir Visnovsky will not play for Slovakia next month
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Lubomir Visnovsky says he still hasn't given up hope of trying to represent Slovakia at the Olympics next month, but the Islanders will not be allowing Visnovsky to go to Sochi.
"This is the first time in my life I don't do anything for three months," said Visnovsky, who had a vigorous skate at Madison Square Garden following the Islanders' morning spin Tuesday. "When you hurt your shoulder, you can ride the bike and be ready to skate. Right now for me, it's very tough.
"I'm looking for my first game back with the Islanders and be back in perfect condition -- after that, I try thinking about Olympics."
Even though Visnovsky was named to the Slovak roster for a fifth time earlier this month, Islanders general manager Garth Snow told Newsday that even if Visnovsky can return before the Feb. 9 Olympic break begins, the 37-year-old defenseman won't be going.
"As much as Lubo would like to represent his country and participate in the Olympics, our doctors and I are not comfortable with him going to play," Snow said.
Visnovsky missed his 44th game Tuesday night after suffering a concussion on Oct. 19.
"In my country, Olympics is something very big," Visnovsky said. "But you need to be in good shape. I don't want to go out there and kill my team by playing."
Kevin Poulin (30 saves) made first career appearance against the Rangers. It was Poulin's seventh start in the last eight games with Evgeni Nabokov (quad) still sidelined.
Peter Regin dressed in place of Eric Boulton and Radek Martinek took Matt Carkner's spot. Travis Hamonic (concussion) remains out, with Jack Capuano saying the defenseman "still hasn't started the protocol" for a return from the concussion he suffered Jan. 12 in Dallas.