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Islanders’ Nielsen suffers lower-body injury

May 9, 2013, 10:08 PM EDT

Frans Nielsen #51 of the New York Islanders handles the puck against the Buffalo Sabres during their game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on February 9, 2013 in Uniondale, New York.
(February 8, 2013 - Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The New York Islanders are already struggling to slow down the dangerous Pittsburgh Penguins offense, so losing two-way forward Frans Nielsen could be a tough blow.

The underrated defensive center suffered a lower-body injury in Game 5’s 4-0 loss on Thursday and there’s no word on whether or not he’ll be available for a must-win Game 6 on Saturday, New York Newsday’s Arthur Staples reports.

The 29-year-old has seen his role change a bit at times in the 2013 season, producing some growing pains but also some solid offensive production (29 points in 48 games).

He might not be a household name, but the Islanders would likely miss his versatility if this issue keeps him from playing in their next game or more.

  1. multiplemiggs - May 9, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    islesjb knows exactly what happened to Nielsen (his favorite player). I hope he releases this info to us being that he knows everything!

    • islesjb - May 10, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      you’re a strange dude

  2. bcisleman - May 9, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Frans will be a big loss but if Stromer comes in, he could spark the O as Vokoun hasn’t seen him. Isles weren’t bad offensively. Vokoun just shut the door on them. If MAF is in, this is probably a close game. Cappy needs to put Cark back in the lineup. His physicality makes a big difference. They also need to move the puck side to side as Vokoun does not move well laterally.

    • chanceoffleury1 - May 9, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      A snowball has a better chance in hell than Fleury has in starting Game 6. Vokoun was streaky through the whole season. Hot Vokoun today means hot Vokoun for at least the next week. They’ll let him finish out the series and put Fleury in to start fresh if they get to Round 2.

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 10, 2013 at 7:51 AM

      Has Strome played at the NHL level yet? I keep forgetting he’s in the pipeline. JT/Bailey/Strome down the center would be fun to see.

      Looking at the prospect chart for NYI is scary – there’s so much talent there. Strome, NN, Reinhart…plus everyone that is already at the NHL level.

      • islesjb - May 10, 2013 at 8:40 AM

        He was in camp this year but he hasn’t been in the lineup yet- next year for sure. Would be interesting to see him make his debut in a game 6 playoff game. He absolutely lit up the OHL this year and continued to play well once he was moved to the AHL.

        Guys like Strome, Nelson, and Nino are a huge reason why there is so much for Isles fans to be excited about (finally). Whether we make it past the Pens this year or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg for this team. They’re stocked and positioned to be good for a long time- the only thing that is missing is a long term answer in goal.

      • steelpenbucs87 - May 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Yeah I agree here. The landscape of hockey is going to change a little bit given the amount of solid young talent that is dispersed around the NHL these days. Teams like the Isles, the Wild and others have been quietly building solid systems that are going to start bearing fruit sooner rather than later.

        (Pardon Me while I put on my BLack and Vegas-Yellow glasses for a moment)

        Luckily the nucleus of the Pens is still relatively young, so they’ll still be contenders for some time. There are some other traditionally solid teams however that might begin to see themselves fall off a bit.

  3. ashtongronholz8 - May 9, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    No they will start vokoun next round too if he plays like this next game

  4. multiplemiggs - May 9, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    You are boring

  5. bobhpine - May 10, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    This is where the Isles’ depth, or lack thereof, will really compromise them. You need depth to win a playoff series. You cannot expect all 20 guys to make it through 7 hard fought games without a guy or two going down with an injury. If you can’t get a guy to step up, you get exposed. No McDonald, no Nielsen and you have scrubs in their places.

    When Neal goes out, the Pens have Bennett. When Fleury sucks, the Pens have Vokoun. When Eaton gets exposed, insert Despres. Vitale in for a slower Glass. Kennedy in for a struggling Jokinen (who will be back).

    The Pens depth was bound to show at some point. This was a valiant effort from the Isles, but it just got way harder for them with these injuries and no one decent to replace them.

  6. tjvalley - May 10, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Islesjb, I agree with you completely. But we have the pieces to trade for a guy like johnathon bernier. Who I feel would fit perfectly.

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