The left winger sat out at Tampa Bay and Buffalo as the
Islanders finished a four-game road trip, before getting back on
the ice at home against Phoenix.
New York also had Tim Jackman in the lineup after the forward
was recalled earlier Thursday from Bridgeport of the AHL. The
Islanders sent Jeff Tambellini back down to Bridgeport after
dressing him for five straight games following his recall on Dec.
Tambellini, filling in for Fedotenko on the Islanders' top line,
had only 9:23 of ice time, and was a minus-1 Wednesday in New
York's 5-3 loss to the Sabres.
Jackman is back with the Islanders for the second time this
season. He had one assist in his earlier eight-game stint with New
York. Jackman ranks fourth on the Bridgeport scoring list with 12
points (4 goals, 8 assists) in 16 games.
"Tim is someone who can give us quality shifts and an honest
effort," Nolan said Thursday morning. "Jeff didn't do anything
wrong, but he needs to be on a top line to be effective. With
Ruslan coming back, we felt it would be best for Jeff to get
consistent minutes in Bridgeport for his development."
Tambellini had no points in eight games with the Islanders.
Fedotenko played in New York's first 27 games before being
injured last Friday in Florida. In his first season with the
Islanders, his seventh overall in the NHL, Fedotenko posted six
goals and eight assists before he was sidelined.
New York went back to six defensemen on Thursday, scratching
Bryan Berard from the lineup after Nolan gave him only 3:29 of ice
time in Buffalo the night before. Berard didn't play after taking a
holding penalty behind the New York net in the first period.
"We've been pretty patient, giving guys all kinds of
opportunities," Nolan said Wednesday. "Patience can only go so
long. You have to produce and you have to work hard. If you don't,
maybe somebody else will."
Tambellini played just one shift in the third period.