Rick DiPietro is out indefinitely with a concussion suffered when he took a shot to the mask in Wednesday's practice, the team announced Friday.
It's just the latest in a four-year string of injuries suffered by the 30-year-old goaltender, now in the sixth year of a 15-year, $67.5-million contract.
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"Someone must have a voodoo doll of me they keep sticking needles into," DiPietro said Friday. "I've just got to shake this off, keep a positive outlook and follow what the doctors say."
DiPietro went through neurological baseline testing Thursday and was determined to be suffering the effects of a concussion. He did some work on a stationary bike Friday morning and said he felt good afterward, meaning he's further along in the concussion protocol for now. That could change, though, given the uncertain nature of concussions.
DiPietro has had three others since March, 2007, that caused him to miss time, including one that was the result of a fight with Penguins goaltender Brent Johnson on Feb. 2 in which he also suffered facial fractures.
As a result of that fight and surgery to insert a plate and screws on the left side of his face, DiPietro switched to an old-style cage-and-helmet mask. Brian Rolston's slap shot caught DiPietro on the left side of that helmet Wednesday, shattering the mask and sending him to the dressing room.
"[Equipment manager Scott Boggs] has been getting calls from a lot of manufacturers, so I think I'll try to find the same style of mask, maybe a little more heavy-duty protection," DiPietro said.
That will come only after he's cleared to resume skating and practicing.
Al Montoya has started the Islanders' first three games in goal, winning two and allowing only four goals.
DiPietro had a strong summer and training camp and was the backup for the first two games, figuring to get his chance to start either Thursday's game against the Lightning (a 5-1 Islanders victory) or Saturday's date with the Rangers.
"My body, as far as my knees and everything, has felt great," he said. "I felt like my game was where it needed to be."
Notes & quotes:Jack Capuano said Saturday's game with the Rangers is merely the next game on the schedule for him. "We know there's hype and the fans get into it, but we need to play our game," he said. "I think our guys realize that after the way we played [Thursday]." . . . RW Nino Niederreiter (groin) and D Milan Jurcina (groin) remained off the ice . . . F Jeremy Colliton cleared waivers and was assigned to Bridgeport.