Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier sets before a face off...

Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier sets before a face off against Chicago in the third period of an NHL hockey game at UBS Arena on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

TEMPE, Ariz. — The newly-opened Mullett Arena, a state-of-the-art, 5,000-seat college rink, provided an unfamiliar setting for the Islanders as they practiced on Thursday in their first visit to the Coyotes’ temporary home on the Arizona State campus.

But there was a familiar look to the Islanders’ lines. Anthony Beauvillier (lower body) skated in his normal spot on Brock Nelson’s right wing and Kyle Palmieri (injured reserve/upper body) did likewise with Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s trio as both also worked with the second power-play unit. So their return for Friday night’s match against the Coyotes seems likely.

The Islanders opened a roster spot to activate Palmieri by placing defenseman Adam Pelech (suspected head injury) on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 6. He has missed three games and is not with the team in Arizona but is eligible to be activated when ready.

“When he’s here, you’ll see him on the ice,” Lambert said.

Beauvillier and Palmieri also skated with the team during Monday’s practice at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow and Tuesday’s morning skate in Boston. But neither played as the Islanders opened their season-long, five-game trip with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Bruins.

Palmieri rotated with Josh Bailey during Thursday’s power-play work while Beauvillier was a constant on the second unit.

“I’m excited to be back with the group,” Beauvillier said. “I felt good out there today so it’s positive. It’s probably up to them but I’m ready to go.”

As for practicing and playing on a college rink, Beauvillier said, “It’s definitely a little different. It’s cool. The locker room is great. The setup is good. The rink has got a different feel to it. The facility here is unbelievable. It will be interesting.”

Goalie Semyon Varlamov, expected to back up Ilya Sorokin on Friday after making 30 saves against the Bruins, said there were no issues with the sightlines or backdrops as he tried stopping pucks during practice.

“Today, I feel totally normal,” Varlamov said of the smallest facility in the NHL. “Of course it’s noticeable.”

“It’s different,” defenseman Ryan Pulock said. “We’ve played in these rinks in juniors or guys in college. It’s a smaller building. Hopefully the atmosphere is pretty good. A good atmosphere is always more fun to play in.”

Even more so than the game-day atmosphere, the Islanders were most interested in the quality of ice at Mullett Arena and other rink conditions, such as how the puck bounces off the boards.

The boards were deemed lively and players gave good reviews to the skating surface.

“The ice is good,” Nelson said. “Everybody has been pretty happy with it. It felt hard and fast right away.”

Beauvillier noted the rink became “snowy at the end but it seems fine.”

The Coyotes will play at Mullett Arena for at least three seasons while they try to build an NHL-sized facility in Tempe. They wanted to relocate much closer to downtown Phoenix and their lease at Gila Rivera Arena in Glendale, about a 30-minute drive away, was terminated.

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