BOSTON — After a game in which the Islanders defense struggled mightily to move the puck, a bit of good injury news could help them snap out of their 0-1-1 mini-funk.
Calvin de Haan, who missed his fourth straight game and ninth in the last 11 with a suspected groin injury, skated on Saturday for the second straight day and could be ready to return either Monday or Tuesday, provided he comes through Sunday’s practice in one piece.
A league source indicated that de Haan, who was initially injured during the Isles’ 4-1 win over the Red Wings on Feb. 15 and then suffered a similar injury in the 4-3 overtime win in Winnipeg on March 3, could get back into the Isles lineup on Monday against the Panthers in Barclays Center or the following night in Pittsburgh.
Brian Strait was one of a handful of Isles defensemen who made egregious mistakes in Saturday’s loss to the Bruins and it’s likely he would come out of the lineup to make room for de Haan. Ryan Pulock acquitted himself decently in his sixth NHL game.
Pelech back on the ice
There’s even more good news for the Isles’ depleted D corps: Adam Pelech, out since Jan. 17 with an undisclosed injury, resumed skating this week. Pelech was initially believed to be done for the season with his injury, which flared up as he was about to take the ice for warmups before the Isles’ home game with the Canucks.
Pelech is still several weeks away from returning as he has only been skating either on his own or with the Isles’ other injured players. But this step is seen is very good news for the 21-year-old whose career was initially thought to be in jeopardy.
Zidlicky, Grabovski still out
Now for some not-so-good news: Marek Zidlicky (upper body) will be out “a little while” with the injury he suffered against the Rangers a week ago and Mikhail Grabovski (upper body) missed his ninth straight game on Saturday and isn’t due to be cleared to return for the next several days.
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