Islanders goalie DiPietro day to day, could face Sens on Thursday

DiPietro left Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at 15:41 of the first period when Habs forward Steve Begin collided with him at full speed.

Although Begin’s leg slammed into DiPietro’s head suggesting a concussion, Nolan took evasiveness over injuries to a new scale after putting his team through an hour-long practice at the Bell Centre.

DiPietro did not take part.

“We have a good one here now, it’s general body soreness,” Nolan said. “It’s not even upper body or lower body, it’s general body soreness and he’ll be day to day.”

The Islanders were a little more forthcoming later in the afternoon, saying in a release that DiPietro was suffering from “neck stiffness” and that he would be a game-time decision for Thursday’s clash with the Senators in Ottawa.

Nolan conceded after Tuesday night’s game that DiPietro had suffered a blow to the head and that he was sent to hospital for tests, but wouldn’t expand on that Wednesday.

“We’re just saying that he’s just sore,” Nolan said. “Soreness could mean that your toe hurts.”

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DiPietro travelled with the team to Ottawa later Wednesday and Nolan said he would take no risks with DiPietro in that game. Just in case, the Islanders recalled goaltender Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport.

“One thing about Ricky is that he’s a fierce competitor,” Nolan said. “Right off, Ricky said ‘I’ll be ready for the next one.’ He’s a warrior, so we’ll bring him (to Ottawa) and see what happens from there.”

Tuesday’s game was DiPietro’s 18th straight start for the Islanders and he’s posted a 10-3-4 record with a .934 save percentage over that span dating back to Feb. 3.

Mike Dunham was forced to come in and play for the first time since Feb. 1 and stopped 27 of 32 shots to take the loss. Dunham said DiPietro looked to be back to his old self Wednesday.

“It’s good to see that he’s OK and he’s feeling good today,” Dunham said. “His wisecrack remarks are back this morning, so I’m guessing he feels a lot better.”