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Islanders’ Casey Cizikas fights through pain to play against Sharks

New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas faces off

New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas faces off against San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture during the first period of an NHL hockey game at Barclays Center on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Casey Cizikas took a spin on the Northwell Health Ice Center rink Tuesday morning and pronounced himself ready to play against the Sharks. Cizikas left Sunday’s home opener in the third period after blocking a shot with the back of his leg late in the second.

“It hurt a lot, kind of caught me in the right spot,” Cizikas said. “My equipment kind of shifted, hit me bare on the bone there but I feel good now. I had a good day off yesterday, the trainers did a good job of taking care of it, got some treatment on it.”

The Islanders have rookie Mathew Barzal as a spare forward, so there was no need for Cizikas to try and push through an injury to play on Tuesday night. But he wasn’t interested in sitting.

“Being third game of season it definitely makes you think twice about it but we’re here for a reason,” he said. “We’re here to play hockey and if I feel well enough to go out there I’m gonna go out there. Not much is gonna stop me.”

Barzal was a healthy scratch for the third time in the Isles’ four games, while fellow 19-year-old Anthony Beauvillier remained in the lineup. The Islanders next play on Friday at Barclays Center against the Coyotes.

Seidenberg fitting in well

It’s only been four games after Tuesday night but Dennis Seidenberg, the 35-year-old defenseman the Isles signed midway through training camp, has been solid on the third pair with Calvin de Haan.

Promising rookies Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech are in Bridgeport and the Islanders are going with only six defensemen at the NHL level during this lengthy stretch of home games (eight of the next nine), so Seidenberg has been put to the test early.

“Dennis is a guy, he’s got some really good hockey IQ but I like the fact he can pop pucks in certain areas and execute our breakout and get up into the play,” Jack Capuano said. “I think he really understands our concept and what we’re trying to do here.”


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