Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Nathan Lawson to start vs. Oil; Kevin Poulin to back up

 Although goaltender Rick DiPietro skated this morning--a good indication that the groin strain he suffered Monday night is not serious--Nathan Lawson will start tonight for the Islanders.

Head Coach Jack Capuano said DiPietro has made strides since leaving the game in the second period three nights ago, but will not suit up for tonight's match-up against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall PLace.

"Ricky's doing a lot better. He won't dress tonight, but he's progressing well," Capuano said.

After Lawson turned away 28 of 29 shots to preserve the win against Calgary, Capuano felt confident going back to the 27-year-old again.

"You saw a guy that battled. Obviously he's waited awhile to get into this position from the ECHL to the AHL and I'm sure he's going to make the most of that opportunity."

Tonight will be his 2nd NHL start. His first came december 18, a 4-3 shootout loss to Phoenix in which he made 32 saves.

"it means a lot to me. I know he has confidence in me. I think they guys in here have confidence in me. I just have to go out there, stick with a game-plan and do my job."

--Frans Nielsen will not play tonight; enforcer Trevor Gillies will dress instead.

--Josh Bailey, the only forward who did not skate, is fine. Just a maintenance day.

--Captain Doug Weight joined the team in Calgary and took part in the day trip to Banff on Tuesday. Weight also presented a belated retirement gift to former Islander Mike Sillinger, who was along for the trip as well.

--As expected there were some dejected Canadians after last night's shocking 5-3 loss to Russia in the World Juniors gold-medal game last night. Luckily the Islanders don't have any Russians  on the team to rub it in...

New York Sports