SUNRISE, Fla. — Marek Zidlicky gets the call to replace Ryan Pulock in the Islanders lineup for Friday’s Game 5. The 39-year-old Zidlicky got the nod over Adam Pelech and Brian Strait with Zidlicky’s right-handed shot and power-play ability taking preference.
“We have some different looks on the back end, a little more size with Pelech and Strait, but Z can add some offense,” Jack Capuano said.
In a bit of a surprise, the Islanders showed a possible change up front with their morning activities. Steve Bernier, a healthy scratch the first four games, came off the ice with the regulars and Ryan Strome and Alan Quine stayed on the ice late with presumed scratches Eric Boulton, Pelech and Strait.
Quine was first off the ice among those two young forwards. Strome has a goal and assist in four games, both of those points coming in Game 1.
For the Panthers, who evened the series with a 2-1 victory at Barclays Center Wednesday, coach Gerard Gallant said injured center Vincent Trocheck is “a possibility” for Game 5. Trocheck, who had 25 goals this season, has missed a month with a lower-body injury. He participated in Friday’s morning skate, then stayed on to do conditioning work with the Panthers extras.
If Trocheck doesn’t play Gallant said he’d likely use the same 11-forward/seven-defenseman alignment he used in Game 4, which was really 11 and six since defenseman Jakub Kindl dressed but didn’t play a second. Gallant rotated centers on his third line.
Thomas Greiss and Roberto Luongo remain in the nets for Game 5.