Islanders-Sabres [game thread]: There will be rust

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Buffalo Sabres (29-11-5, 3rd/E) at New York Islanders (20-19-8, 10th/E)
7 p.m. | Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum | MSG+/B, radio
Men who play with swords: Die by the Blade

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Tonight, America fights itself. Ryan Miller vs. Rick DiPietro, who skates in front of home fans for the first time in an eternity.

The last time the Islanders played, four days ago, they absolutely destroyed a traditional powerhouse who pretended like it didn't happen. ("Denial" is always the first step...) Now they face the first of three powers from their own conference in the next four days.

In scrums today, Scott Gordon again said he didn't fully grasp the severity of DiPietro's injuries last year (no thanks to DP, who tried to play through them). Among many quotes on that note at Katie Strang's Newsday blog (that'll be $5, please):

"Unfortunately, he had an injury where you couldn't fool your body, it just wouldn't allow him to do the things he needed," Gordon said. "This year he didn't try to hurry it up, he went about it the right way."

If you can't see those without Dolaning out a lot of dollars, Chris Botta also covered this topic and more. Naturally, DP says his health is the priority, but that in the NHL you're judged by wins and losses.

DiPietro: "Coming back, you'd like to say there's no rust, but when you finally get in you realize that maybe there is some rust. It's hard to come to grips with that..."

*  *  *

Haiti note: From friends at SBN's Senators site Silver Seven: "For every (sensible, relevant) comment made in [Silver Seven's] GameDay Thread, we're donating $0.05 to the Canadian Red Cross for the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund." They encourage all to come by and comment to contribute your two five cents. They do have a cap, but it's not a meager one. Details will be posted at their site. The Sens, minus concussed Pascal Leclaire but with Daniel Alfredsson and Filip Kuba back, face Montreal tonight.

This is our Islanders-Sabres DiPietro Comes Home in-game thread. What do you say we hope some of the rust is gone, eh?

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