UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Rick DiPietro returned to the New York Islanders' lineup Friday night, starting against Toronto after missing 27 games following his second knee surgery in five months.
Coming off surgery on his right knee in June, DiPietro had appeared in only three games this season, the last a one-period stint against Carolina on Oct. 25. He had arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 31 to repair a torn meniscus, but the Islanders wouldn't reveal which knee was injured.
DiPietro, in the third season of a landmark 15-year deal with the Islanders, has had three operations in seven months - including a hip procedure in March. That marked the second time DiPietro had hip surgery, once on each side in consecutive years
Winless since last Feb. 28, DiPietro assisted on Kyle Okposo's first-period goal against Toronto. With the assist, DiPietro broke Billy Smith's team record for points by a goalie with 14 - all on assists.