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Bits: Let the Islanders Preseason Games Begin

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So many other teams have gotten in on the fun, it's time for the New York Islanders to get their preseason kicks, too.

It starts tonight with a lighter squad in Boston, before tomorrow night's lone true "home" preseason game at Nassau Coliseum.

Coach Jack Capuano is sending the right "anyone can make the team" message to the youngsters, but the intrigue (standard preseason caveats apply) in tonight's lineup probably lies in whether P.A. Parenteau can elevate the Josh Bailey-Blake Comeau combo, and whether Rick DiPietro shows revived form (or whether North American rookie Anders Nilsson trumps him the way he trumped Mikko Koskinen in the rookie games).

Islanders Links

For the record, here are the expected -- but not official -- combos and lineup as listed by the official site:

Forwards
Comeau-Bailey-Parenteau
Pandolfo-Frischmon-Colliton
DiBenedetto-Ullstrom-Haley
McNeely-Marcinko-Gillies

Defensemen
Staios-Mottau
Wishart-Reese
Donovan-de Haan

Goalies
DiPietro
Nilsson

The official site also speculates on possible Bruins lines tonight in what is a home game for them.

This is the mindset of Rick DiPietro in September 2011:

"As bad as it was being injured, it really gives you an opportunity to sit back and realize how lucky you are," DiPietro said. "Every time I get a chance to play an exhibition or any kind of NHL game, is a huge thrill."

Needless to say, it's a massive year for DiPietro. Expect tonight's game to be streamed live so you can see how it begins (assuming DiPietro gets some playing time).

Meanwhile, in other injury reports Marty Reasoner and Andrew MacDonald were back on the ice (though not at full speed) yesterday, and Kirill Kabanov's wrist issue isn't listed as serious.

Tonight, the fun resumes.

Other Hockey Links

If you can't watch hockey tonight, there's always tomorrow night. That must mean hockey season is near.