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DiPietro doesn't back up Poulin and Jurcina injured in first period

Although goaltender Rick DiPietro did not dress today following his first game back since suffering a groin strain two weeks ago, the Islanders said he’s healthy and was simply taking advantage of a scheduled day off.

The decision to start Kevin Poulin was not surprising especially considering the work DiPietro received in his first game back after missing five straight—he made 40 saves Saturday—but the decision to have Nathan Lawson back up Poulin was somewhat puzzling.

Before the game, coach Jack Capuano said DiPietro came through Saturday’s 5-3 win over Buffalo well and suffered no stiffness or swelling. And although DiPietro did not practice, Sunday, they wanted to give me an additional day off today as well.

“Ricky was having a maintenance day today. Ricky’s fine,” coach Jack Capuano said. “If you have any questions, we’re just following the protocol.”

When asked after the game if he was confident DiPietro was physically capable of playing, Capuano responded:

“Yeah, absolutely.”

Earlier in the day, Capuano said he planned to keep all three goaltenders around for the near future.

”I’ll talk to Garth after today, but I think we will for the next little while. Ricky feels really good; we’re just following the protocol of his doctors.”

***

Defenseman Milan Jurcina suffered an upper-body injury in the first period.

The Islanders have not yet disclosed any more information about the injury or a timetable for the 6-4, 240-pound defenseman, who missed 18 games with a hamstring injury earlier this season. 

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