Thomas Vanek injury update: Islanders forward returns to the lineup

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

After missing the previous five games due to injury, Thomas Vanek returns to the Islanders' lineup Friday night against the Penguins.

Thomas Vanek has been limited to just six games and three points since the New York Islanders acquired him from the Buffalo Sabres, but he returns to the lineup Friday night after missing five games with an upper-body injury.

Vanek, a career 15 percent shooter, is scoring on just half as many of his opportunities this season, but expect that to change soon. He'll skate on the top line against the Penguins with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo, which could end up being a lethal line if they stay together.

A native of Vienna, Austria, Vanek's last point was the 500th of his career, in just his 604th game.

Other notes for the Islanders: Michael Grabner returns to the lineup while Brock Nelson and Eric Boulton are out. Kevin Poulin will get the start in goal.

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