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 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 NYR 72 46 19 7 219 167 99
3 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
4 NYI 74 44 25 5 226 205 93
5 PIT 73 40 22 11 202 181 91
6 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
7 WSH 73 39 24 10 212 180 88
8 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
9 BOS 73 36 25 12 193 190 84
10 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 73 31 31 11 164 186 73
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 72 26 36 10 165 199 62
15 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
16 BUF 73 20 46 7 138 245 47

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 74 34 40 2 74
K. Okposo 52 15 31 -7 46
R. Strome 73 15 30 19 45
B. Nelson 74 18 22 9 40
F. Nielsen 73 12 28 9 40
A. Lee 68 23 16 15 39
J. Bailey 62 15 22 8 37
J. Boychuk 64 7 25 12 32
N. Leddy 70 10 19 18 29
T. Hamonic 64 5 24 15 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 15 2 .914 2.38
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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