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Dennis Seidenberg a game-time decision vs. Islanders, Tuukka Rask expected to start

01.25.13 at 11:55 am ET
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Dennis Seidenberg will participate in warmups prior to Friday night’s game against the Islanders and will be a game-time decision as he looks to return from a lower-body injury that has kept him out for the last two games.

“He’ll be game-time,” Claude Julien said after Friday’s morning skate. “I can tell you I’m more optimistic than pessimistic though, but again, game-time for the right reasons that we want to make sure that he is ready to go.”

Seidenberg took part in the morning skate after staying off the ice (the team did not practice) on Thursday. The 31-year-old participated in line rushes with Dougie Hamilton, his partner in last Saturday’s win over the Rangers (the only game in which he’s played this season and the game in which he suffered the injury). It’s worth noting, however, that Seidenberg practiced on Tuesday and worked with Hamilton before eventually being kept out of Wednesday night’s game at Madison Square Garden. He said Friday that he feels good and that resting on Thursday was beneficial.

“The day off always helps when you have a nagging injury, so it definitely helped,” he said.

The defensive pairings have been shuffled in each of the two games without Seidenberg, but they were as follows Friday morning (the forward lines were unchanged):

Zdeno Chara – Johnny Boychuk

Seidenberg – Hamilton

Andrew Ference – Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice Friday, suggesting he will make his fourth straight start to begin the season.

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