Islanders will need larger complement of defensemen for road trip

Matt Carkner of the Islanders looks to clear

Matt Carkner of the Islanders looks to clear the puck past Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period. (Oct. 19, 2013) (Credit: Getty Images)

The same six Islanders defensemen dressed for a fifth consecutive game Saturday. It's been nearly two weeks since Brian Strait (upper body) joined Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) on the injured list, but Isles general manager Garth Snow has not made a move to add a body.

That likely will change this week when the Isles embark on a four-game road trip that begins in Washington on Tuesday. No team can afford to travel with only six healthy defensemen, so Snow likely will summon a spare from Bridgeport before the team departs Monday.

The Isles' sextet has been shaky at times, but there was a step up in play on Friday in Ottawa despite the four goals allowed.

"We've got some guys who aren't used to playing this many in a row, and I still think we're not quite there yet," said Matt Carkner, who did not dress for five of the first seven games of the season but has played in the past seven. "We know what the situation is. It's definitely a unique one."

Neither Strait nor Visnovsky has been cleared to resume skating, so it's unlikely either will return before the Isles wrap up their road trip a week from Sunday in Montreal.

There aren't many candidates on Bridgeport's defense for a recall. Calvin de Haan entered Saturday's game with one point in nine games. Aaron Ness (1-2-3) also is a possibility.

 

Strome breaks out

Ryan Strome had two goals and three assists for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a 7-1 win over Worcester on Friday night.

Strome, the fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft, has three goals and 10 assists in eight games with Bridgeport to start the season. The Islanders are well-stocked and healthy at forward, though, so he will not be getting a call just yet.

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