Casey Cizikas is still pretty sore, enough so that he missed his second straight game as the Islanders beat the Red Wings, 8-2, on Tuesday night at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
But coach Barry Trotz is hoping the invaluable fourth-line center can return for Thursday night’s rematch with the rival Rangers at the Coliseum.
Rookie Otto Koivula, recalled from the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport on Monday, logged 13:39 as he took Cizikas’ spot for his seventh NHL game. Leo Komarov, who played the middle in Monday night’s 6-2 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, moved to right wing and scored the Islanders’ last goal.
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Cizikas was hit in the groin by David Pastrnak’s power-play shot in overtime of the Islanders’ 3-2 loss to the Bruins on Saturday night at Barclays Center. The puck came off Pastrank’s stick, deflected off Cizikas’ stick and directly into his midsection.
“It’s a bad case of what it appeared to be but not to the point of where it’s long term,” Trotz said.
Koivula had last played for the Islanders in a 4-1 win at Detroit on Dec. 2, when he logged only 4:26.
“I want to show I’m better than last time,” said Koivula, 21, still looking for his first NHL point. “The last time, I played too conservative. I wasn’t myself. I was trying to avoid mistakes. I just have to be myself.”
Notes & quotes: The Islanders improved to 5-0-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets . . . The attendance was 12,542 . . . A season-high 13 Islanders had at least one point and Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Leo Komarov and defenseman Ryan Pulock had multiple-point efforts . . . Defenseman Sebastian Aho and Ross Johnston were the healthy scratches.