Rick DiPietro #39 of the New York Islanders makes a...

Rick DiPietro #39 of the New York Islanders makes a third period save against the Montreal Canadiens. (Nov. 17, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Rick DiPietro and Mike Mottau weren't going to play Tuesday night -- DiPietro isn't even off injured reserve, having been out a month with a groin injury -- but both were sent back to Long Island for medical evaluations before the game with the Hurricanes.

Official word was an upper-body injury for Mottau and lower-body for DiPietro. Mottau was a healthy scratch on Saturday against the Oilers and was going to be again Tuesday night, so his injury may have come during a practice.

DiPietro's could be any number of things -- his groin, his surgically repaired knee, which has had many problems, or even something new. DiPietro wasn't going to be ready to even dress as a backup on this trip, which has stops next in Anaheim on Friday and Phoenix on Saturday, but he was along to get some work in.

The Islanders already have Anders Nilsson up from Bridgeport as Evgeni Nabokov's backup in goal, with Al Montoya (concussion) still out. They will need an extra defenseman from the Sound Tigers; Dylan Reese, who had a goal and assist in nine games on his last call-up, seems the likeliest candidate.

Pandolfo ready, waiting

Jay Pandolfo is still on IR, missing his 16th game because of a broken foot. But he's with the team and ready to be activated when it's time to get the call. "We've won the last couple games, so I need to get healthy and be ready when they need me," Pandolfo said.

Pandolfo signed a one-year deal after coming to camp on a tryout. Missing nearly half the season for a role player means there's nothing assured once he's healthy. "He's a true pro, he knows the situation," coach Jack Capuano said.

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