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Martinek returning to Islanders lineup

by Lonnie Herman

TAMPA -- After missing 22 games with back spasms, veteran defenseman Radek Martinek will return to the New York Islanders lineup when they play the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

His addition counters the loss of Travis Hamonic, who is out with an upper-body injury sustained during a game Jan. 12 at Dallas.

The Islanders will start Kevin Poulin in goal. His career-high five-game win streak ended Tuesday in Florida. Poulin became the first Islanders goalie since Rick DiPietro (Feb 12-21, 2008, six straight) to win five straight games.

"He's just a competitive kid," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "He's a guy that comes to the rink every day and wants to get better and has really paid attention to the details with our goalie coach. But for me it's just his competitiveness. His ability to compete, his ability to want to be that guy; he's got that attitude and edge that you look for."

Tampa Bay will send Ben Bishop to the crease Thursday for his second consecutive start after returning from a wrist injury that caused him to miss four games. He made 33 saves Tuesday in a 2-1 win against the New York Rangers in his return to the lineup.

"He's the rock back there," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "I don't know how to describe it but it's kind of a calming feeling for the team knowing [Bishop] is back there."

Here are the probable lineups for each team:


Thomas Vanek - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo

Peter Regin - Frans Nielsen - Josh Bailey

Michael Grabner - Brock Nelson - Cal Clutterbuck

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Colin McDonald

Brian Strait - Andrew MacDonald

Calvin De Haan - Matt Donovan

Thomas Hickey - Radek Martinek

Kevin Poulin

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Matt Carkner, Eric Boulton

Injured: Travis Hamonic (upper body), Evgeni Nabokov (lower body)


Martin St. Louis - Tyler Johnson - Ondrej Palat

J.T. Brown - Valtteri Filppula - Alex Killorn

Ryan Malone - J.T. Brown - Nikita Kucherov

Teddy Purcell - Nate Thompson - Tom Pyatt

Eric Brewer - Radko Gudas

Sami Salo - Victor Hedman

Matthew Carle - Jean-Philippe Cote

Ben Bishop

Anders Lindback

Scratched: B.J. Crombeen, Andrej Sustr, Mark Barberio

Injured: Keith Aulie (hand), Steven Stamkos (leg)

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