Josh Bailey #12 of the Islanders celebrates his third period goal...

Josh Bailey #12 of the Islanders celebrates his third period goal against the New York Rangers at UBS Arena on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. Credit: Jim McIsaac

A potential serious flaw for the Islanders has been exposed.

Essentially healthy all season, their forward depth is now likely to be tested, though two days between games may allow the Islanders to heal.

Josh Bailey was a late scratch for Tuesday night’s 3-1 loss in Philadelphia – he participated in pregame warmups – and is day to day with an upper-body injury. Cal Clutterbuck then exited at 15:59 of the first period with an unspecified issue. Kyle Palmieri missed his fourth game with an upper-body injury.

It left the Islanders (15-9-0), who had a four-game winning streak snapped, skating with 11 forwards. That included tough guy Ross Johnston, who fought Nicolas Deslauriers eight seconds into the game and then was used for four shifts in the third period as the Islanders tried to rally from a 2-1 deficit.

It also left Lane Lambert with no other option other than to leave Simon Holmstrom, playing in his fourth career NHL career, in the lineup once Bailey was unavailable.

The Islanders are carrying just 13 forwards on their roster – meaning just one extra – after losing Kieffer Bellows on waivers to the Flyers and re-assigning Nikita Soshnikov to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

But Lambert did not believe playing one forward short hindered the Islanders in the loss.

“I don’t think so,” Lambert said. “I think it gave an opportunity to double shift a couple of guys. So I don’t think that was the issue.”

Still, AHL reinforcements may be needed when the Islanders face the Predators on Friday night at UBS Arena.

The Islanders did not practice on Wednesday so there were no updates on Bailey, Clutterbuck or Palmieri.

Not that the Islanders have been forthcoming on injuries, anyway.

Lambert shed no light on Bailey’s issue after Tuesday’s loss other than to say he learned after warmups Bailey would be unavailable and Bailey had used warmups to test whether he could play. He said he had no update on Clutterbuck and, when asked directly whether Palmieri had resumed skating, said only that Palmieri was “day to day.”

Lambert was also less than expansive when asked whether he remained confident in the Islanders’ depth up front.

“Yeah, yup,” Lambert said, without offering anything further.

Clutterbuck missed two, non-consecutive games earlier this season with what he called a nagging issue not related to his shoulder surgery from last season. Bailey has also been a healthy scratch three times this season.

Before Bailey’s injury, Lambert was trying to move Holmstrom off Mathew Barzal’s top line to Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s third line.

“They’re completely different players,” Holmstrom said. “I’m just trying to read off of them and do my best.”

Notes & quotes: Defenseman Robin Salo, a healthy scratch for the 20th straight time on Tuesday, was again loaned to Bridgeport for some playing time. Bridgeport hosted Providence on Wednesday and Salo was also in Bridgeport’s lineup for Sunday’s 6-4 win over Springfield before being brought right back up to the NHL. Salo will likely rejoin the Islanders for Thursday’s practice.

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