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RICK PRACTICES, BUT WILL HE PLAY?

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
With DiP cleared, Dubielewicz returns to the Bridge

Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro was cleared by team doctors and participated in this morning's 75-minute practice at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. As a result, Wade Dubielewicz was returned to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. So now the question is, who will start in goal Thursday night when the Islanders host Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby, Ziggy Palffy and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Head coach Steve Stirling, never reluctant to share information, didn't name his goaltender after practice today. He said he had two options: DiPietro, whose knee bruise has healed sufficiently enough to endure today's full practice, and veteran Garth Snow, superb throughout last night's 4-3 overtime win over Boston.

"We'll see what tomorrow brings," Stirling told us later in the day. "I have two excellent goalies to choose from. Garth has been everything we could have asked for. I was happy to see him get the win last night. We'll take a look at Rick at the morning skate and then make our decision."

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