Grabner Close to Return

Michael Grabner has his first full practice with the team since suffering a concussion on March 10.

Friday, 04.4.2014 / 1:27 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Grabner Close to Return
Michael Grabner has his first full practice with the team since suffering a concussion on March 10.

The Islanders had a new skater in Friday's line drills, but this time it wasn’t a rookie.

Michael Grabner rejoined the team for his first full practice since suffering a concussion March 10 in Vancouver. Grabner had previously taken the ice for Tuesday’s morning skate in a non-contact jersey.

“I’m glad to be back,” Grabner said. “I’ve been doing a lot of nothing over the past few weeks and it was pretty boring. It’s fun to be back around the team and the guys.”

Grabner could be in the lineup Saturday night when the Islanders host the Washington Capitals at 5 p.m. Head coach Jack Capuano said the decision to put Grabner in the lineup is still pending a talk with the teams’ medical staff.

“He had a full practice today, so we’ll check with our trainers and doctors and see if he’ll be available to go,” Capuano said.

Capuano added that he may alter the lineup combinations when Grabner returns, as he attempts to elicit more even-strength scoring from his club. The Austrian winger practiced Friday on a line with Brock Nelson and Johan Sundstrom.

Grabner missed eight games with his injury and said that it’ll take a game or two to find his legs.

“You can skate as much as you want [on your own], but it takes one or two games to get back into it,” Grabner said. “I hope I am in the best possible condition I can be in.”

Bailey Streaking on Top Line:

Josh Bailey has found his offensive game while playing on the Islanders first line. Bailey has five points (two goals, three assists) during a three-game point streak. The Bowmanville, ON native has recorded points in four of his last five games.

“I think he’s been pretty effective on the power play,” head coach Jack Capuano said. "Five-on-five, he’s getting better. It’s a matter of consistency with him and getting him to work hard. If he does that he’ll have success.”

Cizikas, Clutterbuck take Maintenance Days:

Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas were both absent at the Islanders practice on Friday. Capuano told reporters that they were both taking maintenance days.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
M. Neuvirth 1 3 1 .881 2.94

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