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Islanders at Sabres [open game thread]

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New York Islanders (11-21-3, 30th) at Buffalo Sabres (16-14-5, 11th, East)

7 p.m. EST | [Many Letters of Scotland] Arena | MSG+

Sabres blog: Die by the Blade

First: Thank God, they're not pushing Rick DiPietro:

Goaltender Rick DiPietro did not make the trip to Buffalo. Gordon said the Isles chose to err on the side of caution by not asking him to play in back-to-back games coming off his second knee operation this year. "I haven't spoken to him this morning, but I can imagine he's pretty sore as far as being tight and the normal aches and pains that come from playing your first game when you haven't played in awhile," Gordon said.

MacDonald is in, with Yann Danis backing up. The "bring DP back for Christmas" gamble appears to have paid off (so far). Also in that On the Islanders Beat report: Jeremy Colliton comes up from Bridgeport to replace injured Andy Hilbert, and Mike Sillinger rests on the second game of this back-to-back.

... Warm-and-fuzzy department: 22-year-old Buffalo native Tim Kennedy makes his NHL debut tonight for the Sabres at home.