Pandolfo returns to Islanders' lineup
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jay Pandolfo returned to the lineup Saturday night after missing 17 games with a broken foot, stepping in for Marty Reasoner, who is out indefinitely with a broken hand after blocking a shot against the Ducks on Friday.
Pandolfo had been filling a fourth-line / penalty-killing role when he was injured blocking a shot against the Devils, his longtime team, Nov. 26. Reasoner sat out that game and the two before that as a healthy scratch but went back into the same role Pandolfo had been playing.
Now they reverse roles. Pandolfo, a natural wing, centered Tim Wallace and Nino Niederreiter Saturday night.
Dylan Reese skated in warm-ups along with the six other regular defensemen, but Reese ultimately was scratched for the second straight game since his recall. Jack Capuano said a couple of Isles defensemen are "banged up," but he went with his usual six.
Tavares is tied with Matt Duchene for most games played by a 2009 draft pick. The two were closely compared going into that draft. Duchene helped the Avalanche to the playoffs as a rookie, giving him an early edge. Tavares' play this season has erased many of the comparisons, as he came into Saturday night's game with 156 career points, 10 more than Duchene.
The Islanders begin a four-game homestand against the Red Wings on Tuesday. It's their first game against a team currently in the top eight of either conference since Dec. 26, when the Isles were shut out by the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.