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DiPietro getting closer to another rehab start

Rick DiPietro deflects a shot on goal against

Rick DiPietro deflects a shot on goal against the Springfield Falcons during an AHL hockey game while playing for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. (December 5, 2009) Credit: AP

While the rest of the Islanders had a day off yesterday, rehabbing goaltender Rick DiPietro practiced at IceWorks in Syosset and will do so again Tuesday (likely before the Islanders' morning skate at Nassau Coliseum). Barring any setbacks, the Islanders will try to get DiPietro in a game this weekend for Bridgeport.

The Islanders want DiPietro, who played four periods in two games in his last conditioning assignment, to play a full game at the AHL level before making the next step and targeting a date for his first NHL start of the season.

The Sound Tigers have three games this weekend -- Friday in Providence, Saturday in Hartford and Sunday in Worcester.

DiPietro did not play the third period of his last rehab game Dec. 11 in Springfield because of tightness in his leg. That discomfort not only kept him from completing that game but forced him to miss what was to be his final rehab game four days later.

DiPietro saw team doctors and additional specialists before returning to practice for the Islanders last week, at which time he said he'd be more than willing to accept an additional conditioning assignment down the road.

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