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Islanders' Pulock could debut with de Haan injured

by David Satriano /

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Facing elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday when they host the Washington Capitals in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference First Round series (3 p.m.; NBC, TVA Sports, SN), the New York Islanders likely will have another change on their defense.

Already without Travis Hamonic, who hasn't played in the series because of an undisclosed injury, and Lubomir Visnovsky, who sustained an upper-body injury in Game 4, New York's Calvin de Haan sustained an undisclosed injury in the third period of Game 5 on Thursday.

None of those players practiced Friday, a good indication none of them will play. That could lead to rookie Ryan Pulock making his NHL debut.

"I've been told to be ready to go," Pulock said. "[The coaches] haven't made a decision yet. But if I get in it's a big game. For myself I just have to be simple, help the team as much as I can.

"It'd be a dream come true for sure. First NHL game in a playoff game would be even more special for me."

Pulock had 17 goals in 54 games with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, including a team-high 13 power-play goals, which ranked second in the AHL. The Islanders are 0-for-12 on the power play in the series.

"If I'm in the lineup and they need me on the power play, it's something that I just have to execute plays, make good passes, get pucks on net," he said. "My shot's been a big part of scoring goals this past year at Bridgeport. If I can use that here and get that chance, it'd be great."

The 20-year old has some familiarity with his Islanders teammates, having played in several preseason games.

"It's not quite the same but that experience definitely helped and training camp definitely helped," Pulock said.

Defenseman Griffin Reinhart made his playoff debut Thursday and could stay in the lineup. In 12:42 of ice time he was a minus-2 with one shot on goal and two hits.

"That was the first NHL game I have played in a long time, let alone [it was] a playoff game, so I think that's out of my system now," said Reinhart, who played in eight games during the regular season, the most recent one in December. "I'm not sure if I am playing or not [in Game 6]. I will be ready if I am."

The Islanders also have defenseman Matt Donovan, who played 12 games during the regular season and has been a healthy scratch during the playoffs.


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