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Thomas Vanek's condition still a mystery Live



Islanders left wing Thomas Vanek skates against the Rangers. (Oct. 29, 2013) Photo credit: Getty Images
by jennifer.earl



BY ARTHUR STAPLE

MONTREAL — Thomas Vanek stayed with the Islanders to finish off the last stop of the four-game road trip, but his condition is still a bit of a mystery.

Vanek sat out Sunday’s game here against the Canadiens with the upper body injury he suffered on the first shift of Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Blue Jackets in Columbus. Vanek’s injury happened when he was tripped by Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and fell awkwardly; a source indicated there were no concerns over a broken bone, but he isn’t likely to play when the Isles return home to face the Predators on Tuesday. “He’s here, but he’s pretty sore,” Jack Capuano said before Sunday’s game. “We’ll have to evaluate him again when we get home.

Part of the allure of trading for Vanek is his durability. He missed only 16 games over the past three seasons before this one with the Sabres, and his only major injury in nine NHL seasons was a broken jaw that occurred near the end of the 2008-09 season when he took a shot off his face and he missed nine games.

Clutterbuck still ailing

Jack Capuano said Cal Clutterbuck, who missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury on Sunday, will also be evaluated again on Monday. Clutterbuck was close to playing in Raleigh on Thursday but was a late scratch; now his injury has become a concern.

Nelson with top line

After sitting out on Saturday as a healthy scratch for the sixth time this season, Brock Nelson went back into the lineup, starting on the top line in Vanek’s spot. “I just need to go out, stay focused and not take it for granted,” said Nelson, who scored the Islanders’ second goal Sunday night. “You don’t want to just stand around and watch. Just do all the same things I’ve been doing.

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