The Islanders’ Ryan Pulock got another full practice in and said he hopes to be ready for Game 4. That was the situation entering Game 3, but Pulock, out since suffering an upper-body injury in Game 4 against the Panthers in the first round, was not ready to return on Tuesday night.
“It’s improving,” Pulock said after Thursday’s practice. “It’s not going to be perfect, obviously, but it’s a matter of whether it feels good enough, strong enough for me to go.”
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The initial diagnosis for Pulock’s injury was one to two weeks, and Wednesday was the two-week mark.
Pulock almost certainly would take Marek Zidlicky’s spot on defense and could be on the top power-play unit, which has produced only John Tavares’ Game 1 power-play goal in 13 opportunities. The Isles’ little-used second unit has the other two power-play goals in this series.
Strome skates with scratches
Ryan Strome was part of a fifth forward line at Thursday’s practice, skating between presumptive healthy scratches Eric Boulton and James Wright. Jack Capuano left the other four forward lines the same from Game 3, in which Strome was a healthy scratch for the third time in the postseason.
“I don’t think you can read into that too much,” Capuano said.
Halak still not ready
Capuano said goalie Jaroslav Halak isn’t ready to play despite practicing with the full squad since the series with the Lightning began. J-F Berube remains the backup to Thomas Greiss. Halak won’t dress until Capuano believes he’s prepared to enter a game.