Isles G DiPietro makes rehab start in AHL
New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro is back in action for
the first time in nearly a year.
The oft-injured DiPietro began a two-week conditioning
assignment with Bridgeport of the AHL on Saturday night and allowed
three goals on 13 shots in a 7-3 win against Springfield.
“It was good to get back in there, shake the rust off. It’s
been a long time,” DiPietro said. “There’s still a lot of work to
With Islanders owner Charles Wang and general manager Garth Snow
watching the team’s franchise goalie from a suite, DiPietro played
two periods for the Sound Tigers. He faced 10 shots in the second
In the past two years, the 28-year-old DiPietro had surgery on
both hips and both knees. He last played an NHL game on Jan. 2 and
made only five appearances with the Islanders last season.
He said he felt good physically, but the big test will be how he
“I didn’t expect to go out there and feel like I played last
week,” said DiPietro, who is in the fourth season of a landmark
15-year contract with New York.
His final stop Saturday was his best, a quick-reaction glove
save on Vladimir Trukhno from the slot. As is his style, DiPietro
left the crease often to play the puck. One early giveaway led to
one of the Falcons’ three shots in the first period, hardly a test
“It’s tough on a goalie not to see many shots. We were flying
in the first period,” DiPietro said. “That’s what you’ve got to
deal with. That’s stuff you can’t replicate in practice.”
The fourth shot was Johan Motin’s slapper from above the right
circle. The drive went between DiPietro’s legs 1:52 into the
Geoff Paukovich scored on a backhander over DiPietro’s blocker
from the goalie’s left off a blocked shot. Bill Thomas stuffed in a
pass at the left post 6 minutes later.
“Would I have liked to play better? Probably,” DiPietro
DiPietro is expected to make two more starts in the AHL by Dec.
15 before returning to the Islanders. New York has been using a
veteran goalie tandem of Dwayne Roloson and Martin Biron this
season while waiting for DiPietro to recover.