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Niederreiter watch continues, Bailey returns, Hunter a game-time decision, and Roloson in net

 --Nino Niederreiter, who will play his ninth game of the season tonight, said he still has not received any indication from either GM Garth Snow or the coaching staff as to whether he'll remain with the big club or return to his junior club tomorrow.

Scott Gordon, however, provided some insight.

"It's going to be what is in best interest of him and his career and where we are as afar as the players we have here now and what we have in Bridgeport. I can say that if we made a decision to keep him for the rest of the year, I'd be comfortable with that."

--Shortly after Mike Cammalleri was peppered with similar questions, Niederreiter was also asked about the preseason incident between the two that led to Cammalleri's one-game suspension.

"It's gone," Niederreiter said . "I'm not going to go after him. I'm just going to play hockey.

--Josh Bailey is back in the lineup tonight since suffering a hip pointer injury in last week's game against Toronto.

Bailey said he thought he'd be ready to play Thursday against Tampa and Saturday against Florida, but injury kept nagging. The Islanders played it safe with Bailey, and in retrospect, he's glad they did.

"Absolutely. It was a risk-reward situation and the risk was just too high."

--Scott Gordon said Trent Hunter (foot) will be a game-time decision. If he does not play, Trevor Gillies will take his spot on the fourth line.

--To replace an injured Michael Grabner (groin), who did not make the trip to Montreal, Matt Martin will play in his first NHL game of the season.

"I just want to play my game and show I belong," Martin said.

Gordon said Martin likely would've made the team out of training camp had he not suffered an untimely foot injury.

"I healed up and now I feel as close to 100% as I probably will all season."

--P.A. Parenteau will play in his hometown Bell Centre for the first time of his career. Parenteau, who was born in Hull, Quebec but lived mostly in nearby Boucherville, was a Habs fan growing up.

"I've been waiting for this moment for a long time--six or seven years--I'm really excited. Should be a good game, two good teams facing each other, and I'm feeling hte chills already."

Parenteau said he expects about 40 friends and family members on hand for tonight's game.

--Dwayne Roloson was the first off the ice this morning so expect him to play tonight. This will be his first start since last Monday in Toronto.

--Rick DIPietro told me that his pink pads--an homage to Hockey Fights Cancer month--are all broken in and ready to go, so expect them to make a debut Friday at Nassau Coliseum

--Gordon spent about 20 minutes during practice speaking with Bruno Gervais, who has been the team's healthy scratch all season. Gordon said he just wanted to explain to Gervais that regardless of where he falls on the depth chart the Islanders have will full confidence in him when he gets his opportunity.

--Doug Weight did not practice this morning, but it was merely a morning off to rest for the veteran captain. He watched the team's skate with his dad who is in town for the game.

 

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