--More than five weeks after suffering a broken hand, defenseman Andrew MacDonald will return to the Islanders lineup tomorrow against the Rangers.
MacDonald, who took Vinny Lecavalier's shot to his right hand in the team's game 3-2 overtime win against Tampa October 21, will likely be with James Wisniewski in the team's top pairing tomorrow.
"It gives our D a boost. He's a guy that's going to play 20-plus minutes and is really going to help us out on the power play," interim head coach Jack Capuano said.
MacDonald's absence neatly coincided with the Islanders' 14-game winless streak, making his time off the ice even more difficult to endure.
"It's tough. If we were winning--it's still not good to be out--but when you're losing, you just want to help the team so bad that it's just frustrating to watch," MacDonald said.
--Coming off his first shutout this season, DiPietro will make his fourth consecutive start. Capuano would not say whether he'd be comfortable using him in back-to-back games (i.e. Fri vs. the Rangers at MSG), saying "game-by-game with me."
"He's played well in his past few starts," Capuano said." He deserves to go."
--Trent Hunter, who was walking around the facility with a large brace on his left knee, and defenseman Mike Mottau have been placed on the IR. Both Jack Hillen (concussion) and MacDonald will come off.
--The Islanders practiced with eight defensemen today; Capuano said he is still deciding which two to sit tomorrow.
--While practicing the PK, Matt Martin took a shot to the hand forcing him to leave the ice briefly. He returned shortly after, however, and appeared unscathed.
--Bruno Gervais, who suffered a fractured cheekbone in a scrap with Colin White, practiced this morning with a full cage attached to his helmet. Got a nice shiner, but is otherwise okay.
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