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Jaroslav Halak won’t be available for start of Isles-Panthers series

New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) stops

New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) stops a break away shot by Ottawa Senators' Mike Hoffman (68) during second period NHL action in Ottawa, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. Credit: AP / FRED CHARTRAND

Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak, who hasn’t played since March 8 because of a groin injury, might also miss the entire first round of the playoffs, coach Jack Capuano said on Tuesday.

“Halak’s out and obviously he’s not going to be ready for Florida, so guys are going to get an opportunity,” Capuano said, naming backups Thomas Greiss, J-F Berube and Christopher Gibson. Halak did not participate in practice Tuesday but skated on his own.

“It’s one of those things that we’re going to have to see,” Capuano said. “He’s still not in the time frame [where he would return based on] what the injury was . . . It’s a matter of what his movement is like and if he’s able to do those things” in goal.

ESPN reported last month that Halak’s injury would take at least six weeks to heal, which would place his return sometime next week. Based on that, the best-case scenario for the Islanders is that Halak returns for Game 4 or Game 5, if necessary.

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