Nielsen returns after his hand was broken by a slash from Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson on Feb. 8, the Islanders' last game before the Olympic break. He has 18 goals and 43 points in 60 games.
Forward Mike Halmo was returned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. Halmo had two shots on goal and four penalty minutes in two games.
It's for that reason coach Peter DeBoer has encouraged his players to keep their foot on the gas.
"You've got to get greedy now this time of year. We can’t be happy with four points," DeBoer told the Newark Star-Ledger. "We've got to get greedy. You look around the League and teams aren't losing around us very often, so we've got to win games."
New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said Saturday if he were to accept a trade it would not have to be either to a Stanley Cup contender or for a starting job.
"Not necessarily. If I would agree for it, it would just be to get more ice time," Brodeur told MSG Network after defeating the New York Islanders 6-1 in his first game since Jan. 26.
"I feel really good. I think that kind of helped me out to see the way I was playing, how in control I was today. I've still got a lot left in me, and if I need to play somewhere else next year I need to make some decisions."
Rob Rossi, citing multiple sources, reported that a proposed trade would send Kesler to the Penguins in exchange for center Brandon Sutter, two 2014 draft picks (likely a first-round and third-round), and the Canucks' choice of defensemen Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin.
The Ottawa Senators are expected to continue contract talks with defenseman Chris Phillips on Friday, according to TSN's Darren Dreger, who said the Boston Bruins are believed to be among the teams interested in trading for Phillips if the Senators decide to move him instead.
Phillips is in the final season of a three-year, $9.25 million contract.
Another player likely to attract attention is defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who confirmed to the Buffalo News on Friday that the Sabres recently asked him for his list of eight teams where he wouldn't accept a trade.
"They obviously want to be prepared come trade deadline," Ehrhoff told the newspaper. "We’ll see where it will take us."
There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.
— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp