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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Both expected to play Thursday at home vs. Florida; Ben Walter recalled from Bridgeport; Loudville Open on Thursday!

Rick DiPietro
Rick DiPietro and Mike Sillinger did not make the trip today to Carolina and will not play Monday night against the Hurricanes.
Islanders head coach Ted Nolan called the decision to keep the two players back a "precaution" and added DiPietro and Sillinger were probable for Thursday night when the Islanders host the Florida Panthers at 7:05 pm at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
To replace Sillinger, the Islanders have recalled center Ben Walter from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. At today's practice at Islanders Iceworks, the 23-year old Walter centered Tim Jackman and Blake Comeau. In 27 games with the Sound Tigers this season, Walter has 9 goals and 16 assists for 25 points. He played four games for the Islanders earlier this season.
"It's important that we give Mike Sillinger a game off to heal some injuries," Nolan told "Fans don't know this, no one does, but Mike has been banged up for a while and has shown a lot of guts playing through it. By giving him the one game off on Monday, it will give him four days to get a little more healthy until our home game on Thursday."
Mike Sillinger
As for DiPietro, Nolan was consistent with what he said over the weekend. "We want Ricky at 100%," Nolan said. "He'll stay back and should be ready for Thursday against the Panthers. Why risk it for one game when he can get an extra few days of rest"?
The coach said the adversity of injuries to top players brings opportunities for others. "Whenever you lose top guys it's tough," said Nolan, referring to DiPietro, Sillinger and veteran defenseman Radek Martinek. "We're talking about our star goalie, our best two-way center and one of our best defensemen, but that's hockey and you make the best of it. Look at Bruno Gervais the last few games stepping up with big minutes. Marc-Andre Bergeron was very good last night. Comeau's been steady. This is a great opportunity for a kid like Ben Walter, who looked very good his first time here."
Islanders with the Lead

Only four of 30 teams are perfect so far in the 2007-08 season with the lead after two. And yup, the Islanders are one of them.

The Orange and Blue have a record of 13-0-0 with the lead after the second period. Only Minnesota, New Jersey and Vancouver share the Islanders' company.

With the lead after the first period, the Islanders hold a .778 winning percentage and a record of 7-1-1. 
LI Students: Ring in the New Year with the Islanders for just $10

College students home on Long Island for the holiday break will want to be part of Loudville on Thursday when the Islanders host the Florida Panthers at the Coliseum at 7:05 pm.
Loudville is the wildest cheering section of young fans in the National Hockey League. And best of all, seats can be purchased for just $10 each.
LOUDVILLE tickets go on sale Thursday beginning at 6:00 pm. There are a limited number of seats available per game, so arrive early to secure a seat. Remember to bring your Student ID! There is a limit of one $10 LOUDVILLE ticket per ID. Once you get to the LOUDVILLE section, do your part to help lead the crowd in giving the Islanders the best home-ice advantage in the NHL!
This is the last Islanders home game for two weeks and the last home game of the holiday break!

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