NEWARK — For now, left wing Andrew Ladd and defenseman Thomas Hickey are happy to be practicing with the Islanders. Worrying about reclaiming their lineup spots will come later.
The two participated in the optional skate before the Islanders’ 2-1 shootout win over the Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday night and were made available to the media despite being on injured reserve.
Ladd and Hickey also skated in full team practices on Monday and Wednesday, their first since going on IR.
“The biggest thing is I want to get back where I can contribute,” said Hickey, out with a suspected head injury since Dec. 18. “As far as wondering, it’s a waste of time trying to make decisions that aren’t made yet.”
Islanders coach Barry Trotz said Hickey is further along in his recovery than Ladd, out since Nov. 15 with a suspected foot or ankle injury. But there is no timetable for either to return.
“It’s just nice to be integrated back into the group,” Ladd said. “Maybe I can bring some energy and give the team a little lift.”
On the call
Boomer Esiason and morning radio partner Gregg Giannotti called the game for WFAN. Islanders left wing Matt Martin is engaged to Esiason’s daughter, Sydney, but said his future father-in-law did not seek any inside tips.
“I haven’t talked to him at all about the game,” Martin said. “He’s pretty well knowledgeable on the game. He does his homework on his own.”
Islanders radio play-by-play man Chris King missed a game for the first time in 25 years because of illness.
Trotz said he had no update on F Cal Clutterbuck, who suffered a lower-body injury . . . The Islanders are 3-5 in shootouts . . . The Isles had not swept a four-game season series from the Devils since 2014-15.