Mark Eaton returns to Islanders lineup

Islanders defenseman Mark Eaton missed 13 games with

Islanders defenseman Mark Eaton missed 13 games with a sprained ligament in his left knee. (Dec. 22, 2010) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Defenseman Mark Eaton returned to the lineup after missing 13 games with a sprained ligament in his left knee, and the Islanders returned Dylan Reese to Bridgeport to make room on the roster.

Reese, 27, had some effective stretches in his nine games with the Islanders, with a goal, an assist and a minus-3 rating. He was on an emergency recall, so once the Islanders exceeded more than six active defensemen, he either had to be transferred to a full recall, which would have counted against the number of times he could be recalled without needing waivers, or be sent back to the Sound Tigers.

"One of the things I knew I needed to do was work on the physical side of my game up here,'' he said, "and I think I've been able to do that at times."

Eaton was paired with Mike Mottau on defense. Eaton had one assist in 16 games and was a minus-1 before the injury suffered Nov. 21 in Pittsburgh.

Haley called up, in lineup

Micheal Haley got in the lineup in only four of the nine games for which he was called up in his previous stint, from Nov. 23-Dec. 10. Once he'd been a healthy scratch in five of six, he was headed back to Bridgeport to get some game action in.

With David Ullstrom sidelined by a concussion, Haley came back and was in the lineup Thursday, thanks to only 12 healthy forwards. Haley is 2-2-4 and a minus-6 in 18 games with Bridgeport this season.

He skated on the left side with Marty Reasoner and Nino Niederreiter, who again swapped lines with Tim Wallace. Wallace skated with Josh Bailey and Matt Martin.

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