The Islanders are facing a grueling stretch of 16 games in 28 days in March, provided there are no further changes to their schedule because of COVID-19 postponements.
The result will be a more mapped-out goalie plan, with rookie Ilya Sorokin likely seeing more frequent playing time.
"For the most part, we’ve been a little bit more reactionary," coach Barry Trotz said before the Islanders beat the Sabres, 3-2, on Monday night at Nassau Coliseum. "I think you’re going to see next month is going to be a little bit more planned from that standpoint. As planned as we can because the schedule keeps changing on us."
Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves in his third straight start and 14th in the Islanders’ 18 games. He made six shorthanded saves as the Sabres went 1-for-2 on the power play and six more in the frantic final two minutes with the Sabres skating six-on-five.
Trotz said he expects Varlamov to start against Boston on Thursday at the Coliseum and the two goalies to split games against visiting Pittsburgh on Saturday and Sunday.
Dal Colle to IR
Michael Dal Colle (lower body) was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Wednesday. He missed his third game Monday after blocking a shot against the Sabres last Tuesday. Trotz said Dal Colle skated on Monday and is progressing. "He’s pretty close," he said.
Dal Colle will be eligible to be activated to face the Bruins.
Austin Czarnik logged 9:11 on Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s left wing after being brought up from the taxi squad for his second game as an Islander. Trotz praised Czarnik’s ability to play all three forward positions and said, "I think that’s going to be a real useful element for us.'' . . . Leo Komarov was reassigned to the taxi squad . . . Brock Nelson played in his 263rd straight game, the fifth-longest streak in Islanders history . . . Goalie Cory Schneider, defenseman Sebastian Aho and Ross Johnston were the healthy scratches.