Jan 16, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen (51) shoots and scores on Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) during the shootout at Tampa Bay Times Forum. New York Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in a shoot out. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Top Shelf - Islanders Daily 1/20/14


Apr 9, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky (11) controls the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period of an NHL game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Positive news out of Long Island yesterday, as defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky practiced with the team for the first time since suffering a concussion during a game against the Carolina Hurricanes in October. Lubo, who has missed the last 42 games, skated in a yellow, no-contact practice jersey on Sunday morning after passing his most recent neurological exam after skating all week.

According to Arthur Staple, there are still “two more hurdles” to get over before he can return to the Islanders lineup – get cleared for contact and get back into game-shape – but this is, of course, a positive development for Lubo and the Islanders.

Head coach Jack Capuano did not give a timetable for Visnovsky’s return, but Staple speculates that it might be another two weeks before we see him in game-form.

As the Islanders sit on life support, Visnovsky’s return can’t come soon enough.

In case you missed it:

Sound Tigers Week in Review. (Eyes on Isles)

Is Kevin Poulin the goalie of the future on Long Island? Discuss. (Isles Op-Timism)

Practice update from Syosset, including Lubo’s first practice back. (Islanders official site)

Staple on Visnovsky. (Newsday)

Dominik explains ‘retained salary’ trades, and how it impacts Isles in a potential Ryan Miller trade. (Lighthouse Hockey)

Around the NHL:

Chicago Blackhawks 3, Boston Bruins 2 SO: CHI (Hossa, Bollig, Kane SO Winner), BOS (Marchand [2]) – In the first meeting between the Blackhawks and Bruins since Game 7 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, Chicago pulled out two points in the shootout. Marian Hossa scored his 5th goal in his last 5 games.

Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Carolina Hurricanes 3: TBL (Barberio [2], Palat, Kucherov, Purcell), CAR (Semin, E. Staal, Hainsey) – Mark Barberio scored the first two goals of his career, and Ben Bishop made 48 saves to lead Tampa to victory.

New York Rangers 4, Washington Capitals 1: NYR (Nash [2], Stepan, Callahan), WSH (Ovechkin) – Alexander Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 35th goal of the season, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a two-goal effort from Rick Nash.

Across the Sound:

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack by the score of 5-1 on Saturday afternoon. The Islanders AHL-affiliate received goals from Mike Halmo, John Persson, Mike Cornell, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Chris Langkow. Ryan Strome recorded an assist on Bridgeport’s first goal, and Parker Milner made 31 saves for the victory.

-CT

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