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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.

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 1:27 PM / 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 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
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14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 64 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 64 14 27 22 41
B. Nelson 64 17 19 7 36
F. Nielsen 64 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 58 20 13 13 33
J. Bailey 52 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 54 7 23 16 30
N. Leddy 64 8 18 15 26
T. Hamonic 54 4 21 15 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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