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Islanders goalie J-F Berube closer to returning

New York Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube protects

New York Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube protects the net against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period of a game at Barclays Center on Saturday, April 2, 2016. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Islanders are getting their goalie back.

No, not that one.

First-string goalie Jaroslav Halak is still a ways away from his return, but the Islanders did catch a break with third-string backup J-F Berube. Berube, who proved to be a capable understudy before his 5-0 rout at the hands of the Penguins on April 5, participated in practice on Wednesday and looks closer to returning after suffering a lower-body injury, which he appeared to sustain during that last start.

In his absence, rookie Christopher Gibson had quite the introduction last week. He made his first NHL start against the President’s Trophy-winning Capitals and led the Islanders to a 4-3 overtime win, one where he made three key saves in the extra frame.

“Not sure” how close Berube is, coach Jack Capuano said, before saying that he’s now regularly participating in practice. “It’s tough for me to give you guys an evaluation until I actually talked to the trainers and see how he’s feeling, but he’s close as well. If he’s ready to go, we’ve got three guys down there that we feel can do the job.”

Thomas Greiss will get the start in net for Game 1 against the Panthers in Florida on Thursday night.

New York Sports