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Islanders' second line could face a shakeup

Head coach Barry Trotz of the Islanders watches

Head coach Barry Trotz of the Islanders watches a replay during the third period of an NHL game against the Florida Panthers at the FLA Live Arena on October 16, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. Credit: Getty Images/Joel Auerbach

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Barry Trotz is ready to make some changes to his second line, the longstanding trio of Brock Nelson centering left wing Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey.

The trio had sluggish outings in the Islanders’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets on Thursday night at Nationwide Arena. Nelson, who usually turns the first month of the season into Brocktober with fast starts, and Bailey both went without a point for the third straight game.

"Their line hasn’t been really good the last couple of games," Trotz said. "The last game, I didn’t think they had a real strong game. Their analytics were terrible. But I give them credit for battling through all that when they’re not having a great night.

"We might do something with that," he added. "It’s unfortunate, but I’m going to have to move some people around on that line for sure."

The Islanders’ 13-game road trip continues Saturday night at Arizona. 

Same thing

Anders Lee returned to the Islanders’ lineup after a one-game absence because of a stomach illness, but Jean-Gabriel Pageau was unable to play Thursday night, also because of a non-COVID-19 sickness.

Trotz said there was some concern about the illness going through the Islanders’ room.

"You always are," he said. "You hope if one guy got sick, it doesn’t have two or three."

Pageau was the only Islander not to participate in Thursday’s morning skate. Zach Parise slid into Pageau’s role as the third-line center, with Oliver Wahlstrom remaining on right wing and Kieffer Bellows playing the left side.

Lee, who missed Tuesday night’s 4-1 win in Chicago, was able to skate for the first time since Monday’s practice.

"A bug or food poisoning," Lee said. "It just ran its course. The last couple of days, I’ve been getting back my appetite.

"I was up all night [Monday]. I couldn’t keep anything down, even on game day. I didn’t have anything to give. I knew Belly [Bellows] was going to have much more energy than I was to come in and play a good game."

Isles files

Goalie Semyon Varlamov (injured reserve/soreness) is expected to skate again Friday in Glendale, Arizona, before a decision is reached about his return. "Then we’ll see where we are in the next 48 hours after that," Trotz said . . . The Islanders announced their season-ticket waiting list for UBS Arena at Belmont Park has reached 1,000 in just over a week. The 12,000 season tickets for the first season in the building sold out by June . . . Forward Ross Johnston and defenseman Sebastian Aho remained healthy scratches.

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