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DiPietro to back up Nabokov vs. Penguins

by Dan Rosen /
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- A full-bearded Rick DiPietro says he feels good and he's just trying to stay sharp as he waits his turn to get back in the New York Islanders net.

This is all good news for the Islanders because it was only two weeks ago that the oft-injured goalie suffered a concussion in practice, which could have made his first positive offseason of workouts in years irrelevant.

"Just keep fine tuning," said DiPietro, who will serve as Evgeni Nabokov's backup Tuesday night against the Penguins. "It's nice to be able to go out there now, skate and feel good."

DiPietro was Al Montoya's backup for the first two games of the season before suffering a concussion in practice on Oct. 12. He hasn't dressed in a game since.

"It's going to be good to be in that game atmosphere again, be in the locker room with the boys and have that excitement," DiPietro said of his role as the backup Tuesday. "It should be a good game."

If he's ready to back up, that obviously means he's ready to play, but DiPietro said he's not at all bummed that Islanders coach Jack Capuano chose to ride Evgeni Nabokov after his 29-save performance in a 4-2 loss at Florida on Saturday.

"You just work. You can only control a couple of things in life and how hard you work is one of them," DiPietro said. "The main thing for me being here now is to win, and it's an exciting time for this team and this organization. I just want us to win. I just want us to be successful and whatever way I can chip in and help, I'm going to do it."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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