It likely wasn't exactly the sort of bounce-back game Jaroslav Halak was looking for, but it'll have to do to get the Islanders' All-Star goaltender back on track.
Halak was a surprise choice to play Saturday in Montreal, given that he'd beaten the Penguins the night before. But coach Jack Capuano said Halak indicated he felt fine, so the coach went with the hot hand in net.
Halak was pulled from the game with 6:17 to play after allowing six goals. Capuano had no hesitation to go back to Halak for his fourth straight start and 10th in 11 games Monday afternoon. Halak gave up four goals to the Flyers but still won for the 25th time this season, making 25 saves.
"We didn't do a lot to help him early [on Saturday] so we wanted to get him back in there and feeling good before the break," Capuano said.
Halak heads to Columbus and his first All-Star Game tied for second in wins, though his save percentage dropped to .910, among the lowest for goaltenders who have started at least 25 games. Monday was the first time in 34 starts that Halak allowed more than three goals and won.
Capuano said Mikhail Grabovski (lower body) and Lubomir Visnovsky (upper body) both skated Monday morning, though the coach wasn't sure if either would play when the Isles resume play following the All-Star break.
"I'd say one is probably closer than the other," Capuano said.
Grabovski is closer to returning, with Visnovsky likely remaining on injured reserve.
Don't bleed on my dress
Former Islander Andrew MacDonald is spending the All-Star break getting married in the Caribbean. The Flyers defenseman, who will have a couple of current Islanders on hand for the big day, had just his second NHL fight last Monday when he dropped the gloves with the Lightning's Brenden Morrow.
"I got a text from [his fiancee], saying, 'No marks?' " MacDonald said. He confirmed that his face hadn't been damaged and he was set for this weekend.