NEWARK -- Michael Grabner's two-game absence because of the flu made him a healthy scratch Thursday night.
After scoring only one goal in his last 18 games, the Calder Trophy finalist from last season came down with the flu bug and watched his team win twice in his absence.
"I knew there was a possibility [Jack Capuano] didn't want to switch it up," Grabner said after the team's skate Thursday morning. "I haven't scored as many goals as I thought I would this season. I haven't had the season people expected, or that I expected."
Even with the drop-off from his 34-goal rookie season, Grabner is tied for third on this low-scoring team with 15 goals and has produced roughly 20 breakaways with his speed and ability on the penalty kill (he scored on a shorthanded breakaway to snap a tie at 2 in a 3-2 victory over the Devils Nov. 26 in Newark), so Capuano didn't want to presume that Grabner will be out long.
"The one thing I don't want to do is sit guys too long," Capuano said. "Grabs has 15 goals for us this season, he's gotten some chances and he's a good guy on the PK for us. We had a good talk this morning."
Defenseman Dylan Reese was the other healthy scratch.
By the numbers Andrew MacDonald's second-period goal was the first by an Islanders defenseman since Mark Streit's overtime winner to beat the Kings on Feb. 11, a span of 12 games . . . Evgeni Nabokov played in his 599th career game. He'll become the 40th goaltender to reach 600 appearances. Martin Brodeur extended his all-time lead with his 1,179th appearance.