Al Montoya will start Friday night against the Hurricanes, which means it is likely that Rick DiPietro will play Saturday against Florida.
After six weeks on the IR for facial fractures suffered in a fight with Brent Johnson, DiPietro was activated Monday and appears ready to go.
Coach Jack Capuano said he wanted DiPietro to get some more practice time in Friday to fine-tune some things before his return. But Capuano's reluctance to use Montoya in back-to-backs again after last weekend makes it a near certainty DiPietro will play against the Panthers.
DiPietro was in high spirits after the team's morning skate, joking about his trouble with metal detectors (he had plates and screws inserted after suffering facial fractures last month), his fight against now-teammate Al Montoya, and his emasculating choice in dogs (he bought a toy poodle for himself to add to his family's brood).
But it's been a difficult few days for DiPietro, whose bad luck isn't limited to injuries. Sadly, his beloved pet bulldog Roxy was hit by a car and killed Tuesday night
And sometimes it seems like things just continue to mount.
"It always seems like something, whether it's my face or my dog getting hit by a car the night before we left for the road trip. It just seems like everything's piling on here.
"I think the biggest thing I've learned from all of this, especially dealing with my knee, is that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Stuff happens and you have to learn from it and become a better person. I think I've become a better person, a more patient person. I respect and cherish what I have here and that make me work that much harder to come back. "
DiPietro will likely get another chance to bounce back Saturday and return from injury.
"It's great. Been through a lot the past couple of years. You want to be part of something special. I've always said I thought we have a special group of guys here and I think you're starting to see that on the ice. I'm just thrilled to be back."