Mathew Barzal will be back, but the Islanders still will be missing physical defenseman Alexander Romanov for the start of their first-round playoff series against the Metropolitan Division champion Hurricanes.
Romanov, who missed the final five games of the regular season with an upper-body injury, continued to skate on his own on Friday but did not join the team’s practice at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow.
Coach Lane Lambert ruled him out for Monday night’s Game 1 at Carolina before being asked if Romanov will be able to play at some point in the series.
“We’ll have to see on that,” Lambert said. “He’s just day-to-day, but we’re not expecting Game 1.”
Lambert also wouldn’t specify whether Romanov will travel with the team for Games 1 and 2.
In Romanov’s absence, rookie Samuel Bolduc has remained in the lineup, but he was benched after his soft play defensively led to Nick Suzuki’s shorthanded goal late in the second period of Wednesday night’s 4-2 win over the Canadiens in the regular-season finale at UBS Arena.
Bolduc was on the ice working with assistant coaches both before and after Friday’s practice.
Parker Wotherspoon also is on the roster but was a healthy scratch for the final 34 games.
Josh Bailey skated in Matt Martin’s usual spot on Casey Cizikas’ fourth line with Cal Clutterbuck during Friday’s practice even though Martin was on the ice, but Lambert said Martin will play in Game 1. Bailey and Simon Holmstrom, along with Ross Johnston, are the likely candidates to be healthy scratches with Barzal returning . . . Barzal’s return altered the power-play units as Kyle Palmieri moved back to the second unit, working on the right half-wall, while Pierre Engvall was on the opposite side. Also, defenseman Sebastian Aho replaced Bolduc quarterbacking the second unit.