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DiPietro, Okposo, Nielsen in; Jurcina, Schremp (healthy) out

Rick DiPietro takes a drink of water against

Rick DiPietro takes a drink of water against the Columbus Blue Jackets. (Nov. 24, 2010) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Goaltender Rick DiPietro, who did not practice due to illness yesterday, will start tonight against the Capitals.

DiPietro, who recently returned from a five-game absence with a strained groin, received fluids yesterday after experiencing flu-like symptoms and feels much better as a result.

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Kyle Okposo makes his long awaited debut tonight, playing in his first game since suffering a torn labrum in right shoulder this preseason.

Okposo, who will skate on a line with Michael Grabner and Frans Nielsen, said he got a text recently from good buddy and fellow Minnesota boy Zach Parise, urging him to rip off as many shots as possible.

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Frans Nielsen returns to the lineup after missing seven games with a groin strain. Nielsen said he pushed it a little too hard last week and suffered a setback (Nielsen came off the ice early during last Thursday's morning skate after feeling a pinch).

He is confident, however, that after pushing hard for three days straight, he is finally ready to play.

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Milan Jurcina, who suffered an upper-body injury in the first period of Monday's game, is out for tonight. The Islanders are expected to release an update on his injury soon.

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With Nielsen and Okposo returning, center Rob Schremp is the odd-man out. 

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