Unmasked, the two goalies working during Wednesday’s Islanders practice turned out not to be the same two from the team’s roster the day before. Twenty-year-old rookie Kevin Poulin was in one net, but veteran Rick DiPietro was not at the other end of the ice.
Instead, it was Nathan Lawson, who had been sent down to Bridgeport barely 24 hours earlier and made 35 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss to Providence in Tuesday night’s AHL game.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano said that DiPietro was “under the weather. He was scheduled to be out there but he came in Wednesday morning not feeling well.”
Lawson, meanwhile, said he had driven straight back to Long Island after Tuesday’s game. “Yeh, I’m getting to know the way, that’s for sure,” Lawson said. “I knew the plan was for me to go down, get some time in and then come back. It’s day to day. I can’t look too far in the future, just one game at a time, one practice at a time, do my best.”
Capuano said DiPietro, “in the week of practice he had, he looked pretty good,” but his availability for Thursday’s home game against Washington “all depends on how he feels.”
The Islanders are facing five games in seven nights, and DiPietro — nagged by injuries the past three years — has not played on successive days this season.
Poulin, who was still in junior hockey last year and said he expected to be in Bridgeport all this season, called his situation “just a plus right now. Just being called up right now, it’s unbelievable. It’s just day to day right now. So every day I’m here and just enjoying.”