UNIONDALE, N.Y. – New York Islanders defenceman Radek Martinek left with an undisclosed injury in the first period, following a hard hit behind the net, and didn’t return to the home opener Saturday night.
An Islanders spokesman said Martinek was being evaluated by doctors, but declined to give any information about the injury.
Martinek was skating along the end boards behind the New York goal and crumpled after being crunched by St. Louis centre David Backes with 3:10 left in the period. He remained down on the ice for a few moments before skating without assistance toward the tunnel to the dressing room.
It is the latest injury to an already banged-up defence. New York, only two games into the regular season, is also missing Andy Sutton (hand surgery) and Chris Campoli (shoulder). Both are expected to be sidelined for several weeks.
The Islanders didn’t miss any of them early on as they grabbed a 4-1 lead in the first period with backup goalie Joey MacDonald in net in place of Rick DiPietro.
For the second straight night, MacDonald got the start as DiPietro served as the backup while working his way back from off-season knee surgery.