Alexander Romanov will have to wait at least one more day to make his Islanders’ preseason debut.
The physical defenseman, who underwent offseason shoulder surgery, was set to play against the Rangers on Friday night at UBS Arena. But the weather-related state of emergency declared by New York State forced a postponement to Saturday night.
Coach Lane Lambert said he “most likely” would keep the projected lineup intact. Romanov was paired with Ryan Pulock during Friday’s morning skate at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow.
“He’s excited,” Lambert said. “You just have to make sure he contains himself because he’s gung-ho.”
Also at the morning skate, Adam Pelech skated with Noah Dobson and Samuel Bolduc was paired with Scott Mayfield in a potential preview of the defensive lineup for the Islanders’ regular season opener against the visiting Sabres on Oct. 14.
Romanov was held out of the Islanders’ first team scrimmage for precautionary reasons before skating in the next two this week. He did not dress for either of the Islanders’ first two preseason games.
He missed the final five games last season and the first two playoff games before playing hurt for the rest of the series as the Islanders lost to the Hurricanes in six games in the first round.
The 23-year-old Romanov, acquired from the Canadiens for a first-round pick prior to last season, had two goals and 20 assists in 76 games, becoming more consistent as the season progressed.
“One game really good, the next game worse and the third game better,” Romanov said. “Better, worse. Better, worse. The second part of the season, I guess I started playing with more confidence. It took time to play in a different structure with a different group of guys.”
Romanov said he wants to be more effective with his blue-line shots this season and rush the puck up ice more.
“I thought he was really good for the most part,” Lambert said. “Certainly in the second half.”
Notes & quotes: D Isaiah George was loaned to London (OHL) and F Justin Gill was returned to Baie-Comeau (QMJHL). G Tristan Lennon was assigned to the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. Gs Brent Moran and Henrik Tikkanen, Ds Zsombor Garat, Artem Kulakov, Seth Helgeson, Trevor Cosgrove, Christian Krygier and Vincent Sevigny and Fs Blade Jenkins, Dmytro Timashov, Sam Asselin, Cole Bardreau, Tanner Fritz, Jeff Kubiak, Ashton Calder, Joseph Cipollone, Riley Piercey and Jake Pivonka all reported to Bridgeport’s training camp.