Rick DiPietro pulled after 5 goals

A tough few weeks for Rick DiPietro didn't get any better Friday night.

The demoted New York Islanders goalie, making his first start for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, allowed five goals on just 12 shots before being pulled after the first period of an AHL game against the Connecticut Whale in Hartford, Conn.

DiPietro was beaten by Chris Kreider -- the young forward just sent back down to the AHL by the New York Rangers on Thursday -- just 2:59 into the game. He allowed another power-play goal just 56 seconds later, and the floodgates opened.

Connecticut scored three more goals in the frame, leading the Sound Tigers to turn to Kenny Reiter to start the second period of an eventual 7-3 loss.

DiPietro, a former No. 1 overall draft pick, signed a 15-year, $67.5 million contract with the Islanders before the 2006-07 season. But the deal -- which pays the oft-injured 31-year-old $4.5 million annually through 2021 -- is regarded as one of the league's worst.

He was 0-3 with a 4.09 goals-against average in three games for the Islanders this season before the team placed him on waivers Feb. 22. He was assigned to Bridgeport the following day.

Things haven't been much better for DiPietro off the ice.

Earlier this week, DiPietro said in an interview with News 12 Long Island that he has fought depression and pondered suicide because of his history of injuries, the weight of a giant contract and the team's constant losing.

But he later told reporters his comments about suicide shouldn't be taken literally because he simply intended to credit the support of his wife during his trying time with the Islanders.

"I was just trying to draw attention to how important my wife has been to me," DiPietro told ESPNNewYork.com in a telephone interview.

The Islanders said they were aware of DiPietro's comments and were planning to handle the matter internally.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Katie Strang and The Associated Press was used in this report.