UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Ruslan Fedotenko returned to the New York Islanders lineup on Thursday night after missing two games because of a shoulder injury.
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. 2.
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 (four goals, eight assists) in 16 games.
Islanders coach Ted Nolan had him on a checking line with Richard Park and Chris Simon against Phoenix.
"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 defencemen 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.