Brock Nelson, Matt Donovan to fill in for Michael Grabner, Lubomir Visnovsky
Jack Capuano will be shuffling his roster for Tuesday night's visit from the Canucks, though not by choice.
Lubomir Visnovsky went on injured reserve after suffering a concussion in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Hurricanes. Michael Grabner was issued a two-game suspension for a check to the head of Carolina's Nathan Gerbe in the same game.
Grabner's spot will be taken by Brock Nelson, who was a healthy scratch the previous three games. Matt Donovan, also a scratch Saturday, will take Visnovsky's spot.
So that's two rookies in place of one of the team's leading scorers and one of their most steady defensemen.
"They're both going to get an opportunity to get some minutes," Capuano said. Grabner will miss Tuesday night's game and Friday's game in Pittsburgh. Visnovsky, who needed assistance to get to the locker room late in the first period Saturday, has to be out a minimum of seven days, retroactive to Oct. 19, but could be out longer.
The Isles did not add another defenseman to replace Visnovsky on the 23-man roster Monday and it appeared they will stick with the current six defensemen for Tuesday night. Radek Martinek, the 37-year-old veteran who's been skating with the Islanders without a contract, still is not signed, but with back-to-back games Friday and Saturday, that might change in the coming days.
Donovan will be called upon to have an expanded role. Visnovsky manned the point on the Isles' top power-play unit and formed a solid skating pair with Thomas Hickey. Capuano said he hadn't decided on his defense pairs yet, but regardless, Donovan will be in the thick of it against the Sedin twins and Vancouver's other skilled forwards.
"He's been practicing at the pace we want to play, he's played a few games and he's watched a few," Capuano said. "When he gets out there, you hope it's going to translate to the ice. He's going to have to be ready."