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Isles G DiPietro out again due to injury after playing just once in return

NEW YORK - Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro lasted only one game before another injury forced him out of the lineup again.

DiPietro, the Islanders' franchise goalie, has played only four times in New York's 37 games this season. He returned Friday after a 27-game absence and made 28 saves in the Islanders' 4-1 victory that ended the club's 10-game losing streak.

However, a new groin strain forced him to skip the Islanders' trip to Buffalo on Saturday and he was held out of the lineup again Monday night when the team faced the New York Rangers. The Islanders recalled goalie Yann Danis to serve as Joey MacDonald's backup.

DiPietro made a few early season appearances following surgery on his right knee, but then was shelved again after an operation on the left knee in October. After the initial knee surgery in June, DiPietro backed up MacDonald for the first four games of the season, but didn't see any action.

He then made three straight starts, but lasted only one period against Carolina on Oct. 25. DiPietro had arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 31 to repair a torn meniscus in the left knee.

DiPietro, in the third season of a landmark 15-year deal with the Islanders, has had three operations in seven months - including a hip procedure in March. That marked the second time DiPietro had hip surgery, once on each side in consecutive years.

He assisted on Kyle Okposo's first-period goal against Toronto on Friday, breaking Billy Smith's team record for points by a goalie with 14 - all on assists. DiPietro went on to earn his first win since Feb. 28.

In another injury news, the Islanders activated leading scorer Doug Weight from the injured list. The 37-year-old centre, who has seven goals and 22 assists in 33 games, missed the previous three games due to a strained groin. He entered play Monday two points shy of 1,000 in his 17-season NHL career.



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