Islanders assistant Brent Thompson begins suspension
Islanders assistant coach Brent Thompson served the first game of his two-game suspension Saturday for abuse of officials after the Islanders' 2-1 overtime loss to the Rangers on Thursday.
Thompson was livid, as were his fellow coaches and players, that the Isles did not receive a power play in the game and lost on Marian Gaborik's power-play goal.
"He probably used a word he shouldn't have, and that's all I'll say about it," coach Jack Capuano said before Saturday's game. Thompson will return to the bench Thursday in Tampa against the Lightning, missing Sunday's visit to Pittsburgh.
Thompson controls defensive assignments on the bench. Doug Weight, Capuano's other assistant, handled those duties Saturday.
Lubomir Visnovsky got off a plane Friday night and went right into the lineup, logging 21:20 after missing the previous two games.
Visnovsky returned to Bratislava to be with a close friend whose 13-year-old son was killed in a helicopter crash.
"I am [grateful] to the guys here, to the coaches and the GM for letting me go," Visnovsky said. "My friend, he's not better, because it's just an awful thing. But if I stay here, my head will not be right. So it's good I was able to go, even for a few days."
After praising Michael Grabner's work ethic before Saturday's game, Jack Cap- uano didn't give Grabner much work. The wing, who had his goal streak snapped at three games, played only 9:22, the least ice time he's had in his two-plus seasons with the Isles . . . Evgeni Nabokov is tied for second in the league with 11 wins and is third in minutes played.