Anders Lee caught a stomach bug that kept him out of Tuesday night’s game, and with the All-Star break looming, Doug Weight wasn’t sure he wanted to rush Lee back Thursday night. But Lee skated in the morning and said he was ready to go, so Weight didn’t hesitate to put the Islanders’ second-leading goal-scorer back in uniform.
The tough decision was whom to sit. Shane Prince, who had only one point in his previous eight games, was the choice, but Weight said it wasn’t easy. “Shane is a good player. I think he’s an NHL player,” Weight said. “We had a good talk. He’s not going to be out long.”
Anthony Beauvillier, who missed Tuesday night’s game with a sore foot after blocking a shot on Sunday night, returned to action. The 19-year-old was a healthy scratch in 13 of the first 39 games of his NHL career under Jack Capuano, but Weight indicated that he wants the energetic teenager to play and will let some more veteran forwards fight it out for roster spots.
Weight also had praise for Stephen Gionta, 33, who played four of the previous five games before sitting Thursday night.
“You put him in the lineup and you know what you’re getting,” Weight said. “He’s going to give you all he has, and when he’s scratched, he’s going to be the hardest-working guy in practice. There’s a reason you sign guys like that.”
Canadiens deal for ‘D’
Montreal came to Brooklyn a bit banged up, especially on defense, and pulled off a deal for Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov that was announced just as Thursday night’s game began.
With Greg Pateryn and Andrei Markov on injured reserve, the Canadiens were in need of depth on defense. Nesterov, 23, fills the bill.