PHILADELPHIA —The fifth time was a charm for Otto Koivula, who finally made his NHL debut for the Islanders on Saturday night against the Flyers.
The 21-year-old Finn is on his fifth call-up from the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport since Oct. 30. He centered the fourth line with burly Ross Johnston and Michael Dal Colle on his wings.
For most of Koivula’s call-ups, the injury-depleted Islanders needed an extra body just in case another player got hurt on game day. But Koivula was able to practice with the team three times — as well as participate in a morning skate on Wednesday — since his latest recall on Tuesday.
“It’s been an awesome time,” said Koivula, selected in the fourth round in 2016. “Every time I went down I was like, ‘Yeah, this is going to be the last time for a while.’ Then, two days later, I get the phone call again. It’s always exciting to get the phone call. It’s a great feeling they want me here.”
Milestone for Bailey
Forward Josh Bailey played in his 815th game for the Islanders, passing Bob Bourne for fifth place on the team’s all-time list. Bryan Trottier is first with 1,123 games, followed by Denis Potvin (1,060), Bobby Nystrom (900) and Clark Gillies (872).
“With the names on that list and what they were able to accomplish and what they meant to this organization, to be mentioned in the same sentence in games played is something I take pride in,” Bailey said.
Forward Otto Leo Komarov and rookie defenseman Noah Dobson were the healthy scratches. It marked Komarov’s first healthy scratch as an Islander after playing in all 82 games last season. He returned in Wednesday night’s 5-4 win over the visiting Maple Leafs after missing nine games because of neck soreness and illness…Defenseman Bode Wilde, the 41st overall pick in 2018, made his professional debut on Saturday for Bridgeport after hurting his ankle before training camp.