Casey Cizikas left the Islanders’ home opener in the third period with a leg injury suffered when he blocked a Ducks shot with the back of his leg late in the second period.
Cizikas had been a big part of the Isles’ early penalty-kill success. The PK went 4-for-4 Sunday night, making the unit 14-for-15 through three games this season.
Cizikas also has been the designated faceoff-taker in the defensive zone. He was 5-for-12 on draws before leaving, and the Islanders could have used him late, when the Ducks tied the score with their goaltender pulled.
“He’s done really well in the faceoff circle for us,” coach Jack Capuano said. “Hopefully it’s not too serious.”
Anthony Beauvillier and Alan Quine played Sunday night, with Quine making his season debut. Shane Prince, who played the first two games, went on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. It’s believed that he aggravated an injury that kept him out of the majority of training camp.
Mathew Barzal was the lone healthy scratch.
If Cizikas has to stay out, the Islanders would have room for two call-ups from Bridgeport. Capuano again said he doesn’t believe the Islanders can carry six defensemen for the foreseeable future, so Ryan Pulock might soon get a call.
Cal Clutterbuck’s setup for John Tavares’ goal in the third period was contested by the Ducks, who felt the play should have been blown dead when Clutterbuck kicked the puck to Tavares while carrying the upper half of a broken stick. NHL rules say a player must immediately drop a broken stick and cannot be involved in the play while holding one, but the officials ruled it was too quick a play.
“I could see if I was carrying it around for 10 seconds and then kicked the puck to Johnny, but it was a split-second,” Clutterbuck said. “I was in the process of dropping it. It wasn’t anything. They were just trying to instigate something there.”